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THE LETTERS OF 
WILLIAM JAMES 




FRC 



THE LETTERS OF 
WILLIAM JAMES 

EDITED BY HIS SON 
HENRY JAMES 



IN TWO VOLUiMES 
VOLUME II 




THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS 
BOSTON 



fwi. 



COPYRIGHT, 1920, BT 
HENRY JAMES 



i. 
v V.2. 



CONTENTS 

XL 1893-1899 1-52 

Turning to Philosophy A Student s Impressions 

Popular Lecturing Chautauqua. 
LETTERS : 

To Dickinson S. Miller 17 

To Henry Holt 19 

To Henry James 20 

To Henry James 20 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman 20 

To G. H. Howison 22 

To Theodore Flournoy 23 

To his Daughter 25 

To E. L. Godkin 28 

To F. W. H. Myers 30 

To F. W. H. Myers 32 

To Henry Holt 33 

To his Class at Radcliffe College .... 33 

To Henry James 34 

To Henry James 36 

To Benjamin P. Blood 38 

To Mrs. James 40 

To Miss Rosina H. Emmet 44 

To Charles Renouvier 44 

To Theodore Flournoy 46 

To Dickinson S. Miller 48 

To Henry James 51 

XII. 1893-1899 (Continued) 53-91 

The Will to Believe Talks to Teachers Defense 



VI 



CONTENTS 

of Mental Heakrs Excessive Climbing in the 
Adirondacks. 
LETTERS: 

To Theodore Flournoy S3 

To Henry W. Rankin . . 56 

To Benjamin P. Blood . 58 

To Henry James ... 60 

To Miss Ellen Emmet .... 62 

To E. L. Godkin 64 

To F. C. S. Schiller . 65 

To James J. Putnam . . 66 

To James J. Putnam . . 7 2 

To Francois Pillon ... 73 

To Mrs. James . -75 

To G. H. Howison . . 79 

To Henry James ... 80 

To his Son Alexander ... 81 

To Miss Rosina H. Emmet . 82 

To Dickinson S. Miller . . 84 

To Dickinson S. Miller . 86 

To Henry Rutgers Marshall . . 86 
To Henry Rutgers Marshall . 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman 88 



XIII. 1899-1902 . 92-170 

Two Years of Illness in Europe Retirement from 
Active Duty at Harvard The First and Second 
Series of the Giford Lectures. 
LETTERS: 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark . 95 

To Mrs. E. P. Gibbens 9 6 

To William M. Salter . 99 

To Miss Frances R. Morse . . . . . 102 



CONTENTS vii 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman .... 103 

To Thomas Davidson 106 

To John C. Gray . . 108 

To Miss Frances R. Morse ... 109 

To Mrs. Glendower Evans . . . . 112 

To Dickinson S. Miller ... 115 

To Francis Boo tt n? 

To Hugo Miinsterberg .... 119 

To G. H. Palmer .... 120 

To Miss Frances R. Morse ... 124 

To his Son Alexander ... 129 

To his Daughter . . 13 

To Miss Frances R. Morse ... 133 

To Miss Frances R. Morse . 133 

To Josiah Royce . . J 35 

To Miss Frances R. Morse ... 138 

To James Sully. . J 4 

To Miss Frances R. Morse . H 2 

To F. C. S. Schiller ... H 2 

To Miss Frances R. Morse . . H3 

To Miss Frances R. Morse . H 6 

To Henry W. Rankin ... H 8 

To Charles Eliot Norton . . 15 

ToN. S. Shaler . *53 

To Miss Frances R. Morse . 155 

To Henry James . I S9 

ToE. L. Godkin . . J 59 

To E. L. Godkin . l61 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark . 162 

To H. N. Gardiner . 164 

To F. C. S. Schiller ... 164 

To Charles Eliot Norton . .166 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman ... 167 



viii CONTENTS 

XIV. 1902-1905 171-218 

The Last Period (T] Statements of Religious 

Belief Philosophical Writing. 
LETTERS: 

To Henry L. Higginson j^ 

To Miss Grace Norton I j^ 

To Miss Frances R. Morse .... 17 r 

To Henry L. Higginson ^5 

To Henri Bergson r ^g 

To Mrs. Louis Agassiz ... jg o 

To Henry L. Higginson .... jg 2 

To Henri Bergson jg~ 

To Theodore Flournoy .... x g<- 

To Henry James jgg 

To his Daughter I 

To Miss Frances R. Morse .... 

To Henry James 

To Henry W. Rankin 

To Dickinson S. Miller 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman .... I9 g 

To Miss Frances R. Morse .... 2 oo 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman .... 201 

To Henry James 2O2 

To Francois Pillon 2O ~ 

To Henry James 2O4 

To Charles Eliot Norton . . . 

To L. T. Hobhouse 

To Edwin D. Starbuck 2O9 

To James Henry Leuba 2II 

Answers to the Pratt Questionnaire on Religious 

Belief . 2I2 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark ... 2I r 

To F. C. S. Schiller . . 2l6 



CONTENTS ix 

To F. J. E. Woodbridge 217 

To Edwin D. Starbuck 217 

To F. J. E. Woodbridge 218 

XV. 1905-1907 219-282 

The Last Period (II} Italy and Greece Philo 
sophical Congress in Rome Stanford Univer 
sity The Earthquake Resignation of Profes 
sorship. 
LETTERS: 

To Mrs. James 221 

To his Daughter 223 

To Mrs. James 225 

To George Santayana 228 

To Mrs. James 229 

To Mrs. James 230 

ToH.G. Wells 230 

To Henry L. Higginson 231 

To T. S. Perry 232 

To Dickinson S. Miller 233 

To Dickinson S. Miller 235 

To Dickinson S. Miller 237 

To Daniel Merriman 238 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark 238 

To Henry James 239 

To Theodore Flournoy 241 

To F. C. S. Schiller 245 

To Miss Frances R. Morse 247 

To Henry James and W. James, Jr. . . 250 

To W. Lutoslawski 252 

To John Jay Chapman 255 

To Henry James 258 

ToH.G. Wells 259 



x CONTENTS 

To Miss Theodora Sedgwick 260 

To his Daughter 262 

To Henry James and W. James, Jr. . . 263 

To Moorfield Storey 265 

To Theodore Flournoy 266 

To Charles A. Strong 268 

To F. C. S. Schiller 270 

To Clifford W. Beers 273 

To William James, Jr 275 

To Henry James 277 

To F. C. S. Schiller 280 

XVI. 1907-1909 .... 283-332 

The Last Period (III} Hibbert Lectures in Ox 
ford The Hodgson Report. 
LETTERS : 

To Charles Lewis Slattery 287 

To Henry L. Higginson 288 

To W. Cameron Forbes 288 

To F. C. S. Schiller 290 

To Henri Bergson 290 

To T. S. Perry 294 

To Dickinson S. Miller 295 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark 296 

To W. Jerusalem 297 

To Henry James 298 

To Theodore Flournoy joo 

To Norman Kemp Smith joi 

To his Daughter j OI 

To Henry James 302 

To Henry James 303 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark 303 

To Charles Eliot Norton 306 



CONTENTS xi 

To Henri Bergson 3 8 

To John Dewey 3 10 

To Theodore Flournoy 3 IQ 

To Shadworth H. Hodgson 312 

To Theodore Flournoy 313 

To Henri Bergson 3 : 5 

ToH.G. Wells . 3 l6 

To Henry James 3 1 ? 

ToT. S. Perry. . 3^ 
To Hugo Miinsterberg .... .320 

To John Jay Chapman . 321 

To G. H. Palmer 3 22 

To Theodore Flournoy 322 

To Miss Theodora Sedgwick 324 

To F. C. S. Schiller 3 2 5 

To Theodore Flournoy 3 26 

To Shadworth H. Hodgson 328 

To John, Jay Chapman .... 329 
To John Jay Chapman ... -33 

To John Jay Chapman ... . 33 

To Dickinson S. Miller .... 33 1 

XVII. 1910 . . . . . 333-350 

Final Months The End. 

LETTERS: 

To Henry L. Higginson . 334 

To Miss Frances R. Morse 335 

To T. S. Perry .... -335 

To Francois Pillon .... 33 6 

To Theodore Flournoy ... 33 8 

To his Daughter 33 8 

To Henry P. Bowditch .... 34 1 

To Francois Pillon 34 2 



xii CONTENTS 

To Henry Adams 344 

To Henry Adams 346 

To Henry Adams 347 

To Benjamin P. Blood 347 

To Theodore Flour noy 349 

APPENDIX 1 353 

Three Criticisms for Students. 

APPENDIX II 357 

Books by William James. 

INDEX 363 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

William James in middle life . . . Frontispiece 

" Damn the Absolute " : two snapshots of William 

James and Josiah Royce . . . . 135 

William James and Henry James posing for a 

kodak in 1900 . . . . . . 161 

William James and Henry Clement at the " Put 
nam Shanty" in the Adirondacks (1907?) . 315 

Facsimile of Post-card addressed to Henry Adams 347 



THE LETTERS OF 
WILLIAM JAMES 



c 



THE LETTERS OF 
WILLIAM JAMES 

XI 

1893-1899 

Turning to Philosophy A Student s Impressions 
Popular Lecturing Chautauqua 

WHEN James returned from Europe, he was fifty-two 
years old. If he had been another man, he might have set 
tled down to the intensive cultivation of the field in which 
he had already achieved renown and influence. He would 
then have spent the rest of his life in working out special 
problems in psychology, in deducing a few theories, in mak 
ing particular applications of his conclusions, in adminis 
tering a growing laboratory, in surrounding himself with 
assistants and disciples in weeding and gathering where 
he had tilled. But the fact was that the publication of his 
two books on psychology operated for him as a welcome 
release from the subject. 

He had no illusion of finality about what he had written. 1 
But he would have said that whatever original contribu 
tion he was capable of making to psychology had already 
been made; that he must pass on and leave addition and 
revision to others. He gradually disencumbered himself 

I "It seems to me that psychology is like physics before Galileo s time not 
a single elementary law yet caught a glimpse of. A great chance for some future 
psychologue to make a greater name than Newton s; but who then will read the 
books of this generation? Not many, I trow. Meanwhile they must be written." 
To James Sully, July 8, 1890. 



2 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893-99 

of responsibility for teaching the subject in the College. 
The laboratory had already been placed under Professor 
Miinsterberg s charge. For one year, during which Miin- 
sterberg returned to Germany, James was compelled to 
direct its conduct; but he let it be known that he would 
resign his professorship rather than concern himself with it 
indefinitely. 

Readers of this book will have seen that the centre of 
his interest had always been religious and philosophical. 
To be sure, the currents by which science was being carried 
forward during the sixties and seventies had supported him 
in his distrust of conclusions based largely on introspection 
and a priori reasoning. As early as 1865 he had said, 
apropos of Agassiz, "No one sees farther into a generaliza 
tion than his own knowledge of details extends." In the 
spirit of that remark he had spent years on brain-physiology, 
on the theory of the emotions, on the feeling of effort in 
mental processes, in studying the measurements and exact 
experiments by means of which the science of the mind was 
being brought into quickening relation with the physical 
and biological sciences. But all the while he had been 
driven on by a curiosity that embraced ulterior problems. 
In half of the field of his consciousness questions had been 
stirring which now held his attention completely. Does 
consciousness really exist? Could a radically empirical con 
ception of the universe be formulated ? What is knowledge ? 
What truth? Where is freedom? and where is there room 
for faith? Metaphysical problems haunted his mind; dis 
cussions that ran in strictly psychological channels bored 
him. He called psychology "a nasty little subject," ac 
cording to Professor Palmer, and added, "all one cares to 
know lies outside." He would not consider spending time 
on a revised edition of his textbook (the "Briefer Course") 



1893-99] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 3 

except for a bribe that was too great ever to be urged upon 
him. As time went on, he became more and more irritated 
at being addressed or referred to as a " psychologist." In 
June, 1903, when he became aware that Harvard was in 
tending to confer an honorary degree on him, he went about 
for days before Commencement in a half-serious state of 
dread lest, at the fatal moment, he should hear President 
Eliot s voice naming him "Psychologist, psychical researcher, 
wilier- to-believe, religious experiencer." He could not say 
whether the impossible last epithets would be less to his 
taste than "psychologist." 

Only along the borderland between normal and patho 
logical mental states, and particularly in the region of 
"religious experience," did he continue to collect psycho 
logical data and to explore them. 

The new subjects which he offered at Harvard during 
the nineties are indicative of the directions in which his 
mind was moving. In the first winter after his return he 
gave a course on Cosmology, which he had never taught 
before and which he described in the department announce 
ment as " a study of the fundamental conceptions of natural 
science with especial reference to the theories of evolution 
and materialism," and for the first time announced that 
his graduate "seminar" would be wholly devoted to ques 
tions in mental pathology "embracing a review of the 
principal forms of abnormal or exceptional mental life." In 
1895 the second half of his psychological seminar was 
announced as "a discussion of certain theoretic problems, 
as Consciousness, Knowledge, Self, the relations of Mind 
and Body." In 1896 he offered a course on the philosophy 
of Kant for the first time. In 1898 the announcement of 
his "elective" on Metaphysics explained that the class would 
consider "the unity or pluralism of the world ground, and 



4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893-99 

its knowability or unknowability; realism and idealism, 
freedom, teleology and theism." T 

But there is another aspect of the nineties which must 
be touched upon. After getting back "to harness" in 1893 
James took up, not only his full college duties, but an amount 
of outside lecturing such as he had never done before. In 
so doing he overburdened himself and postponed the attain 
ment of his true purpose; but the temptation to accept the 
requests which now poured in on him was made irresistible 
by practical considerations. He not only repeated some 
of his Harvard courses at Radcliffe College, and gave in 
struction in the Harvard Summer School in addition to 
the regular work of the term; but delivered lectures at 
teachers meetings and before other special audiences in 
places as far from Cambridge as Colorado and California. 
A number of the papers that are included in "The Will 
to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy" (1897) 
and "Talks to Teachers and Students on Some of Life s 
Ideals" (1897) were thus prepared as lectures. Some of 
them were read many times before they were published. 
When he stopped for a rest in 1899, he was exhausted to 
the verge of a formidable break-down. 

Even a glance at this period tempts one to wonder whether 
this record would not have been richer if it had been dif 
ferent. Might-have-beens can never be measured or veri 
fied; and yet sometimes it cannot be doubted that possi- 

1 President Eliot, in a memorandum already referred to (vol. I, p. 32, note), calls 
attention to these courses and remarks: "These frequent changes were highly 
characteristic of James s whole career as a teacher. He changed topics, text 
books and methods frequently, thus utilizing his own wide range of reading and 
interest and his own progress in philosophy, and experimenting from year to year 
on the mutual contacts and relations with his students." James continued to be 
titular Professor of Psychology until 1897, just as he had been nominally Assistant 
Professor of Physiology for several years during which the original and important 
part of his teaching was psychological. His title never indicated exactly what he 
was teaching. 



1893-99] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 5 

bilities never realized were actual possibilities once. By 
1893 James was inwardly eager, as has already been said, 
to devote all his thought and working time to metaphysical 
and religious questions. More than that he had already 
conceived the important terms of his own Welt-anschauung. 
"The Will to Believe" was written by 1896. In the pref 
ace to the "Talks to Teachers" he said of the essay called 
"A Certain Blindness in Human Beings," "it connects it 
self with a definite view of the World and our Moral rela 
tions to the same. ... I mean the pluralistic or individual 
istic philosophy." This was no more than a statement of 
a general philosophic attitude which had for some years 
been familiar to his students and to readers of his occasional 
papers. The lecture on "Philosophical Conceptions and 
Practical Results," delivered at the University of California 
in 1898, forecast "Pragmatism" and the "Meaning of 
Truth." If his time and energy had not been otherwise 
consumed, the nineties might well have witnessed the ap 
pearance of papers which were not written until the next 
decade. If he had been able to apply an undistracted at 
tention to what his spirit was all the while straining toward, 
the disastrous breakdown of 1899-1902 might not have 
happened. But instead, these best years of his maturity 
were largely sacrificed to the practical business of supporting 
his family. His salary as a Harvard professor was insuffi 
cient to his needs. On his salary alone he could not edu 
cate his four children as he wanted to, and make provision 
for his old age and their future and his wife s, except by 
denying himself movement and social and professional 
contacts and by withdrawing into isolation that would 
have been utterly paralyzing and depressing to his genius. 
He possessed private means, to be sure; but, considering 
his family, these amounted to no more than a partial in- 



6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893-99 

surance against accident and a moderate supplement to 
his salary. His books had not yet begun to yield him a 
substantial increase of income. It is true that he made 
certain lecture engagements serve as the occasion for cast 
ing philosophical conceptions in more or less popular form, 
and that he frequently paid the expenses of refreshing 
travels by means of these lectures. But after he had econ 
omized in every direction, as for instance, by giving up 
horse and hired man at Chocorua, the bald fact remained 
that for six years he spent most of the time that he could 
spare from regular college duties, and about all his vaca 
tions, in carrying the fruits of the previous fifteen years of 
psychological work into the popular market. His public 
reputation was increased thereby. Teachers, audiences, and 
the "general reader " had reason to be thankful. But science 
and philosophy paid for the gain. His case was no worse 
than that of plenty of other men of productive genius who 
were enmeshed in an inadequately supported academic 
system. It would have been much more distressing under 
the conditions that prevail today. So James took the 
limitations of the situation as a matter of course and made 
no complaint. But when he died, the systematic statement 
of his philosophy had not been "rounded out" and he knew 
that he was leaving it "too much like an arch built only on 
one side." 

James s appearance at this period is well shown by the 
frontispiece of this volume. Almost anyone who was at 
Harvard in the nineties can recall him as he went back 
and forth in Kirkland Street between the College and his 
Irving Street house, and can in memory see again that 
erect figure walking with a step that was somehow firm and 
light without being particularly rapid, two or three thick 



1893-99] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 7 

volumes and a note-book under one arm, and on his face a 
look of abstraction that used suddenly to give way to an 
expression of delighted and friendly curiosity. Sometimes 
it was an acquaintance who caught his eye and received a 
cordial word; sometimes it was an occurrence in the street 
that arrested him; sometimes the terrier dog, who had been 
roving along unwatched and forgotten, embroiled himself 
in an adventure or a fight and brought James out of his 
thoughts. One day he would have worn the Norfolk jacket 
that he usually worked in at home to his lecture-room; 
the next, he would have forgotten to change the black coat 
that he had put on for a formal occasion. At twenty minutes 
before nine in the morning he could usually be seen going 
to the College Chapel for the fifteen-minute service with 
which the College day began. If he was returning home 
for lunch, he was likely to be hurrying; for he had probably 
let himself be detained after a lecture to discuss some ques 
tion with a few of his class. He was apt then to have some 
student with him whom he was bringing home to lunch and 
to finish the discussion at the family table, or merely for the 
purpose of establishing more personal relations than were 
possible in the class-room. At the end of the afternoon, 
or in the early evening, he would frequently be bicycling 
or walking again. He would then have been working until 
his head was tired, and would have laid his spectacles down 
on his desk and have started out again to get a breath of 
air and perhaps to drop in on a Cambridge neighbor. 

In his own house it seemed as if he was always at work; 
all the more, perhaps, because it was obvious that he pos 
sessed no instinct for arranging his day and protecting him 
self from interruptions. He managed reasonably well to 
keep his mornings clear; or rather he allowed his wife to 
stand guard over them with fair success. But soon after 



8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893-99 

he had taken an essential after-lunch nap, he was pretty 
sure to be "caught" by callers and visitors. From six 
o clock on, he usually had one or two of the children sitting, 
more or less subdued, in the library, while he himself read 
or dashed off letters, or (if his eyes were tired) dictated 
them to Mrs. James. He always had letters and post-cards 
to write. At any odd time with his overcoat on and 
during a last moment before hurrying off to an appoint 
ment or a train he would sit down at his desk and do one 
more note or card always in the beautiful and flowing 
hand that hardly changed between his eighteenth and his 
sixty-eighth years. He seemed to feel no need of solitude 
except when he was reading technical literature or writing 
philosophy. If other members of the household were talk 
ing and laughing in the room that adjoined his study, he 
used to keep the door open and occasionally pop in for a 
word, or to talk for a quarter of an hour. It was with the 
greatest difficulty that Mrs. James finally persuaded him 
to let the door be closed up. He never struck an equilib 
rium between wishing to see his students and neighbors 
freely and often, and wishing not to be interrupted by even 
the most agreeable reminder of the existence of anyone or 
anything outside the matter in which he was absorbed. 

It was customary for each member of the Harvard Faculty 
to announce in the college catalogue at what hour of 
the day he could be consulted by students. Year after 
year James assigned the hour of his evening meal for such 
calls. Sometimes he left the table to deal with the caller 
in private; sometimes a student, who had pretty certainly 
eaten already and was visibly abashed at finding himself 
walking in on a second dinner, would be brought into the 
dining-room and made to talk about other things than his 
business. 



1893-99! LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 9 

He allowed his conscience to be constantly burdened with 
a sense of obligation to all sorts of people. The list of 
neighbors, students, strangers visiting Cambridge, to whom 
he and Mrs. James felt responsible for civilities, was never 
closed, and the cordiality which animated his intentions 
kept him reminded of every one on it. 

And yet, whenever his wife wisely prepared for a suitable 
time and made engagements for some sort of hospitality 
otherwise than by hap-hazard, it was perversely likely to 
be the case, when the appointed hour arrived, that James 
was "going on his nerves" and in no mood for "being en 
tertaining. * The most comradely of men, nothing galled 
him like having to be sociable. The "hollow mockery of 
our social conventions" would then be described in furious 
and lurid speech. Luckily the guests were not yet there to 
hear him. But they did not always get away without 
catching a glimpse of his state of mind. On one such occa 
sion, an evening reception for his graduate class had been 
arranged, Mrs. James encountered a young man in the 
hall whose expression was so perturbed that she asked him 
what had happened to him. "I ve come in again," he 
replied, " to get my hat. I was trying to find my way to the 
dining-room when Mr. James swooped at me and said, 
Here, Smith, you want to get out of this Hell, don t you? 
I 11 show you how. There! And before I could answer, 
he d popped me out through a back-door. But, really, I 
do not want to go!" 

The dinners of a club to which allusions will occur in 
this volume, (in letters to Henry L. Higginson, T. S. Perry, 
and John C. Gray) were occasions apart from all others; 
for James could go to them at the last moment, without 
any sense of responsibility and knowing that he would find 
congenial company and old friends. So he continued to 



io LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893-99 

go to these dinners, even after he had stopped accepting all 
invitations to dine. The Club (for it never had any name) 
had been started in 1870. James had been one of the 
original group who agreed to dine together once a month 
during the winter. Among the other early members had 
been his brother Henry, W. D. Howells, O. W. Holmes, Jr., 
John Fiske, John C. Gray, Henry Adams, T. S. Perry, 
John C. Ropes, A. G. Sedgwick, and F. Parkman. The 
more faithful diners, who constituted the nucleus of the 
Club during the later years, included Henry L. Higginson, 
Sturgis Bigelow, John C. Ropes, John T. Morse, Charles 
Grinnell, James Ford Rhodes, Moorfield Storey, James W. 
Crafts, and H. P. Walcott. 

Every little while James s sleep would "go to pieces," and 
he would go off to Newport, the Adirondacks, or elsewhere, 
for a few days. This happened both summer and winter. 
It was not the effect of the place or climate in which he was 
living, but simply that his dangerously high average of 
nervous tension had been momentarily raised to the snap 
ping point. Writing was almost certain to bring on this 
result. When he had an essay or a lecture to prepare, he 
could not do it by bits. In order to begin such a task, he 
tried to seize upon a free day more often a Sunday than 
any other. Then he would shut himself into his library, or 
disappear into a room at the top of the house, and remain 
hidden all day. If things went well, twenty or thirty sheets 
of much-corrected manuscript (about twenty-five hundred 
words in his free hand) might result from such a day. As 
many more would have gone into the waste-basket. Two 
or three successive days of such writing "took it out of 
him" visibly. 

Short holidays, or intervals in college lecturing, were 



1893-99] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES n 

often employed for writing in this way, the longer vaca 
tions of the latter nineties being filled, as has been said, 
with traveling and lecture engagements. In the intervals 
there would be a few days, or sometimes two or three whole 
weeks, at Chocorua. Or, one evening, all the windows of 
the deserted Irving Street house would suddenly be wide 
open to the night air, and passers on the sidewalk could see 
James sitting in his shirt-sleeves within the circle of the 
bright light that stood on his library table. He was writ 
ing letters, making notes, and skirmishing through the piles 
of journals and pamphlets that had accumulated during an 
absence. 

The impression which he made on a student who sat 
under him in several classes shortly before the date at 
which this volume begins have been set down in a form in 
which they can be given here. 

"I have a vivid recollection" (writes Dr. Dickinson S. 
Miller) "of James s lectures, classes, conferences, seminars, 
laboratory interests, and the side that students saw of him 
generally. Fellow-manliness seemed to me a good name 
for his quality. The one thing apparently impossible to 
him was to speak ex cathedra from heights of scientific eru 
dition and attainment. There were not a few ifV and 
* maybe V in his remarks. Moreover he seldom followed 
for long an orderly system of argument or unfolding of a 
theory, but was always apt to puncture such systematic 
pretensions when in the midst of them with some entirely 
unaffected doubt or question that put the matter upon a 
basis of common sense at once. He had drawn from his 
laboratory experience in chemistry and his study of medi 
cine a keen sense that the imposing formulas of science that 
impress laymen are not so exact as they sound. He was 



12 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893-99 

not, in my time at least, much of a believer in lecturing in 
the sense of continuous exposition. 

"I can well remember the first meeting of the course in 
psychology in 1890, in a ground-floor room of the old Law 
rence Scientific School. He took a considerable part of the 
hour by reading extracts from Henry Sidgwick s Lecture 
against Lecturing, proceeding to explain that we should use 
as a textbook his own Principles of Psychology, appearing 
for the first time that very week from the press, and should 
spend the hours in conference, in which we should discuss 
and ask questions, on both sides. So during the year s 
course we read the two volumes through, with some amount 
of running commentary and controversy. There were four 
or five men of previous psychological training in a class of 
(I think) between twenty and thirty, two of whom were 
disposed to take up cudgels for the British associational 
psychology and were particularly troubled by the repeated 
doctrine of the Principles that a state of consciousness 
had no parts or elements, but was one indivisible fact. He 
bore questions that really were criticisms with inexhaustible 
patience and what I may call (the subject invites the word 
often) human attention; invited written questions as well, 
and would often return them with a reply penciled on the 
back when he thought the discussion too special in interest 
to be pursued before the class. Moreover, he bore with us 
with never a sign of impatience if we lingered after class, 
and even walked up Kirkland Street with him on his way 
home. Yet he was really not argumentative, not inclined 
to dialectic or pertinacious debate of any sort. It must 
always have required an effort of self-control to put up with 
it. He almost never, even in private conversation, contended 
for his own opinion. He had a way of often falling back on 
the language of perception, insight, sensibility, vision of 



1 893-99] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 13 

possibilities. I recall how on one occasion after class, as I 
parted with him at the gate of the Memorial Hall triangle, 
his last words were something like these: Well, Miller, 
that theory s not a warm reality to me yet still a cold 
conception ; and the charm of the comradely smile with 
which he said it! The disinclination to formal logical sys 
tem and the more prolonged purely intellectual analyses was 
felt by some men as a lack in his classroom work, though 
they recognized that these analyses were present in the 

* Psychology/ On the other hand, the very tendency to 
feel ideas lent a kind of emotional or aesthetic color which 
deepened the interest. 

"In the course of the year he asked the men each to write 
some word of suggestion, if he were so inclined, for improve 
ment in the method with which the course was conducted; 
and, if I remember rightly, there were not a few respectful 
suggestions that too much time was allowed to the few 
wrangling disputants. In a pretty full and varied experi 
ence of lecture-rooms at home and abroad I cannot recall 
another where the class was asked to criticize the methods 
of the lecturer. 

"Another class of twelve or fourteen, in the same year, 
on Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibnitz, met in one of the 

* tower rooms of Sever Hall, sitting around a table. Here 
we had to do mostly with pure metaphysics. And more 
striking still was the prominence of humanity and sensi 
bility in his way of taking philosophic problems. I can see 
him now, sitting at the head of that heavy table of light- 
colored oak near the bow-window that formed the end of 
the room. My brother, a visitor at Cambridge, dropping 
in for an hour and seeing him with his vigorous air, bronzed 
and sanguine complexion, and brown tweeds, said, He 
looks more like a sportsman than a professor. I think that 



i 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893-99 

the sporting men in college always felt a certain affinity to 
themselves on one side in the freshness and manhood that 
distinguished him in mind, appearance, and diction. It 
was, by the way, in this latter course that I first heard some 
of the philosophic phrases now identified with him. There 
was a great deal about the monist and pluralist views of 
the universe. The world of the monist was described as a 
block-universe and the monist himself as wallowing in 
a sense of unbridled unity/ or something of the sort. He 
always wanted the men to write one or two theses in the 
course of the year and to get to work early on them. He 
made a great deal of bibliography. He would say, I am 
no man for editions and references, no exact bibliographer/ 
But none the less he would put upon the blackboard full 
lists of books, English, French, German, and Italian, on 
our subject. His own reading was immense and system 
atic. No one has ever done justice to it, partly because he 
spoke with unaffected modesty of that side of his equipment. 
"Of course this knowledge came to the foreground in his 
seminar/ In my second year I was with him in one of 
these for both terms, the first half-year studying the psy 
chology of pleasure and pain, and the second, mental path 
ology. Here each of us undertook a special topic, the 
reading for which was suggested by him. The students were 
an interesting group, including Professor Santayana, then 
an instructor, Dr. Herbert Nichols, Messrs. Mezes (now 
President of the City College, New York), Pierce (late Pro 
fessor at Smith College), Angell (Professor of Psychology 
at Chicago, and now President of the Carnegie Corpora 
tion), Bakewell (Professor at Yale), and Alfred Hodder 
(who became instructor at Bryn Mawr College, then aban 
doned academic life for literature and politics). In this 
seminar I was deeply impressed by his judicious and often 



1893-99] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 15 

judicial quality. His range of intellectual experience, his 
profound cultivation in literature, in science and in art (has 
there been in our generation a more cultivated man?), his 
absolutely unfettered and untrammeled mind, ready to do 
sympathetic justice to the most unaccredited, audacious, 
or despised hypotheses, yet always keeping his own sense 
of proportion and the balance of evidence merely to know 
these qualities, as we sat about that council-board, was 
to receive, so far as we were capable of absorbing it, in a 
heightened sense of the good old adjective, liberal edu 
cation. Of all the services he did us in this seminar perhaps 
the greatest was his running commentary on the students 
reports on such authors as Lombroso and Nordau, and all 
theories of degeneracy and morbid human types. His 
thought was that there is no sharp line to be drawn between 
healthy* and unhealthy* minds, that all have something 
of both. Once when we were returning from two insane 
asylums which he had arranged for the class to visit, and at 
one of which we had seen a dangerous, almost naked maniac, 
I remember his saying, President Eliot might not like to 
admit that there is no sharp line between himself and the 
men we have just seen, but it is true. He would emphasize 
that people who had great nervous burdens to carry, heredi 
tary perhaps, could order their lives fruitfully and perhaps 
derive some gain from their degenerate sensitiveness, 
whatever it might be. The doctrine is set forth with regard 
to religion in an early chapter of his Varieties of Religious 
Experience, but for us it was applied to life at large. 

" In private conversation he had a mastery of words, a 
voice, a vigor, a freedom, a dignity, and therefore what one 
might call an authority, in which he stood quite alone. Yet 
brilliant man as he was, he never quite outgrew a percepti 
ble shyness or diffidence in the lecture-room, which showed 



1 6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893 

sometimes in a heightened color. Going to lecture in one 
of the last courses he ever gave at Harvard, he said to a col 
league whom he met on the way, I have lectured so and so 
many years, and yet here am I on the way to my class in 
trepidation ! 

"Professor Royce s style of exposition was continuous, 
even, unfailing, composed. Professor James was more 
conversational, varied, broken, at times struggling for 
expression in spite of what has been mentioned as his 
mastery of words. This was natural, for the one was 
deeply and comfortably installed in a theory (to be sure a 
great theory), and the other was peering out in quest of 
something greater which he did not distinctly see. James s 
method gave us in the classroom more of his own explora 
tion and apergu. We felt his mind at work. 

"Royce in lecturing sat immovable. James would rise 
with a peculiar suddenness and make bold and rapid strokes 
for a diagram on the black-board I can remember his 
abstracted air as he wrestled with some idea, standing by 
his chair with one foot upon it, elbow on knee, hand to chin. 
A friend has described a scene at a little class that, in a still 
earlier year, met in James s own study. In the effort to 
illustrate he brought out a black-board. He stood it on a 
chair and in various other positions, but could not at once 
write upon it, hold it steady, and keep it in the class s 
vision. Entirely bent on what he was doing, his efforts 
resulted at last in his standing it on the floor while he lay 
down at full length, holding it with one hand, drawing 
with the other, and continuing the flow of his commentary. 
I can myself remember how, after one of his lectures on 
Pragmatism in the Horace Mann Auditorium in New York, 
being assailed with questions by people who came up to the 
edge of the platform, he ended by sitting on that edge him- 



Act. 57] TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 17 

self, all in his frock-coat as he was, his feet hanging down, 
with his usual complete absorption in the subject, and the 
look of human and mellow consideration which distinguished 
him at such moments, meeting the thoughts of the inquirers, 
whose attention also was entirely riveted. If this suggests 
a lack of dignity, it misleads, for dignity never forsook him, 
such was the inherent strength of tone and bearing. In 
one respect these particular lectures (afterwards published 
as his book on Pragmatism) stand alone in my recollection. 
An audience may easily be large the first time, but if there 
is a change it usually falls away more or less on the subse 
quent occasions. These lectures were announced for one 
of the larger lecture-halls. This was so crowded before the 
lecture began, some not being able to gain admittance, 
that the audience had to be asked to move to the large 
auditorium I have mentioned. But in it also the numbers 
grew, till on the last day it presented much the same ap 
pearance as the other hall on the first." 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Nov. 19, 1893. 

MY DEAR MILLER, I have found the work of recom 
mencing teaching unexpectedly formidable after our year 
of gentlemanly irresponsibility. I seem to have forgotten 
everything, especially psychology, and the subjects them 
selves have become so paltry and insignificant-seeming that 
each lecture has appeared a ghastly farce. Of late things 
are getting more real; but the experience brings startlingly 
near to one the wild desert of old-age which lies ahead, 
and makes me feel like impressing on all chicken-professors 
like you the paramount urgency of providing for the time 
when you 11 be old fogies, by laying by from your very first 
year of service a fund on which you may be enabled to 



1 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1893 

"retire" before you re sixty and incapable of any cognitive 
operation that was n t ground into you twenty years before, 
or of any emotion save bewilderment and jealousy of the 
thinkers of the rising generation. 

I am glad to hear that you have more writings on the 
stocks. I read your paper on "Truth and Error" with 
bewilderment and jealousy. Either it is Dr. Johnson 
redivivus striking the earth with his stick and saying, 
"Matter exists and there s an end on t," or it is a new 
David Hume, reincarnated in your form, and so subtle 
in his simplicity that a decaying mind like mine fails to 
seize any of the deeper import of his words. The trouble is, 
I can t tell which it is. But with the help of God I will 
go at it again this winter, when I settle down to my final 
bout with Royce s theory, which must result in my either 
actively becoming a propagator thereof, or actively its 
enemy and destroyer. It is high time that this more de 
cisive attitude were generated in me, and it ought to take 
place this winter. 

I hardly see more of my colleagues this winter than I 
did last year. Each of us lies in his burrow, and we meet on 
the street. Miinsterberg is going really splendidly and 
the Laboratory is a bower of delight. But I do not work 
there. Royce is in powerful condition. . . . Yours ever, 

W. J. 

Although, in the next letter, James poked fun at reformed 
spelling, he was really in sympathy with the movement to 
which his correspondent was giving an outspoken support 
as Mr. Holt of course understood. " Is n t it abomi 
nable" Professor Palmer has quoted James as exclaim 
ing "that everybody is expected to spell the same way!" 
He lent his name to Mr. Carnegie s simplified spelling 



Act. 52} TO HENRY HOLT 19 

program, and used to wax honestly indignant when people 
opposed spelling reform with purely conservative arguments. 
He cared little about etymology, and saw clearly enough 
that mere accident and fashion have helped to determine 
orthography. But in his own writing he never put himself to 
great pains to reeducate his reflexes. He let his hand write 
through as often as thro* or thru, and only occasionally be 
thought him to write filosofy and telefone. When he 
published, the text of his books showed very few reforms. 

To Henry Holt. 

CAMBRIDGE, March 27 [1894]. 

Autographic ally written, and spelt spontaneously. 

DEAR HOLT, The Introduction to filosofy is what I 
ment I dont no the other book. 

I will try Nordau s Entartung this summer as a rule 
however it duzn t profit me to read Jeremiads against evil 
- the example of a little good has more effect. 

A propo of kitchen ranges, I wish you wood remoov your 
recommendation from that Boynton Furnace Company s 
affair. We have struggld with it for five years lost 2 
cooks in consequens burnt countless tons of extra coal, 
never had anything decently baikt, and now, having got 
rid of it for 15 dollars, are having a happy kitchen for the 
ist time in our experience all through your unprinsipld 
recommendation! You ought to hear my wife sware when 
she hears your name! 

I will try about a translator for Nordau though the 
only man I can think of needs munny more than fame, and 
cood n t do the job for pure love of the publisher or author, 
or on an unsertainty. 

Yours affectionately, 

WILLIAM JAMES* 



20 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1895 

To Henry James. 

PRINCETON, Dec. 29, 1894. 

DEAR H., I have been here for three days at my co- 
psychologist Baldwin s house, presiding over a meeting of 
the American Association of Psychologists, which has proved 
a very solid and successful affair. 1 Strange to say, we are 
getting to be veterans, and the brunt of the discussions was 
borne by former students of mine. It is a very healthy 
movement. Alice is with me, the weather is frosty clear 
and cold, touching zero this A.M. and the country robed in 
snow. Princeton is a beautiful place. . . . 

To Henry James. 

CAMBRIDGE, A-pr. 26, 1895. 

... I have been reading Balfour s "Foundations of 
Belief" with immense gusto. It almost makes me a Liberal- 
Unionist! If I mistake not, it will have a profound effect 
eventually, and it is a pleasure to see old England coming 
to the fore every time with some big stroke. There is more 
real philosophy in such a book than in fifty German ones of 
which the eminence consists in heaping up subtleties and 
technicalities about the subject. The English genius makes 
the vitals plain by scuffing the technicalities away. B. is a 
great man. . . . 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman. 

SPRINGFIELD CENTRE, N.Y., June 16, 1895. 

MY DEAR FRIEND, About the 22nd! I will come if 

you command it; but reflect on my situation ere you do so. 

Just reviving from the addled and corrupted condition in 

which the Cambridge year has left me; just at the portals 

At this meeting he delivered a presidential address "On the Knowing of Things 
Together," a part of which is reprinted in The Meaning of Truth, p. 43, under the 
title, "The Tigers in India." Vide, also, Collected Essays and Reviews. 



Act. 53} TO MRS. HENRY WHITMAN 21 

of that Adirondack wilderness for the breath of which I 
have sighed for years, unable to escape the cares of domes 
ticity and get there; just about to get a little health into me, 
a little simplification and solidification and purification and 
sanification things which will never come again if this one 
chance be lost; just filled to satiety with all the simpering 
conventions and vacuous excitements of so-called civiliza 
tion; hungering for their opposite, the smell of the spruce, 
the feel of the moss, the sound of the cataract, the bath in its 
waters, the divine outlook from the cliff or hill-top over the 
unbroken forest oh, Madam, Madam! do you know what 
medicinal things you ask me to give up? Alas! 

I aspire downwards, and really am nothing, not becoming 
a savage as I would be, and failing to be the civilizee that 
I really ought to be content with being! But I wish that 
you also aspired to the wilderness. There are some nooks 
and summits in that Adirondack region where one can really 
"recline on one s divine composure," and, as long as one 
stays up there, seem for a while to enjoy one s birth-right 
of freedom and relief from every fever and falsity. Stretched 
out on such a shelf, with thee beside me singing in the 
wilderness, what babblings might go on, what judgment- 
day discourse! 

Command me to give it up and return, if you will, by 
telegram addressed " Adirondack Lodge, North Elba, N.Y." 
In any case I shall return before the end of the month, and 
later shall be hanging about Cambridge some time in July, 
giving lectures (for my sins) in the Summer School. I 
am staying now with a cousin on Otsego Lake, a dear old 
country-place that has been in their family for a century, 
and is rich and ample and reposeful. The Kipling visit 
went off splendidly he s a regular little brick of a man; 
but it s strange that with so much sympathy with the in- 



22 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1895 

sides of every living thing, brute or human, drunk or sober, 
he should have so little sympathy with those of a Yankee 
who also is, in the last analysis, one of God s creatures. I 
have stopped at Williamstown, at Albany, at Amsterdam, 
at Utica, at Syracuse, and finally here, each time to visit 
human beings with whom I had business of some sort or 
other. The best was Benj. Paul Blood at Amsterdam, a 
son of the soil, but a man with extraordinary power over the 
English tongue, of whom I will tell you more some day. I 
will by the way enclose some clippings from his latest 
"effort." "Yes, Paul is quite a correspondent!" as a citizen 
remarked to me from whom I inquired the way to his dwell 
ing. Don t you think "correspondent" rather a good 
generic term for "man of letters," from the point of view 
of the country- town newspaper reader? . . . 

Now, dear, noble, incredibly perfect Madam, you won t 
take ill my reluctance about going to Beverly, even to your 
abode, so soon. I am a badly mixed critter, and I expe 
rience a certain organic need for simplification and solitude 
that is quite imperious, and so vital as actually to be re 
spectable even by others. So be indulgent to your ever 
faithful and worshipful, 

W. J. 

To G. H. Howison. 

CAMBRIDGE, July 17, 1895. 

MY DEAR HOWISON, How you have misunderstood the 
application of my word "trivial" as being discriminatively 
applied to your pluralistic idealism! Quite the reverse 
if there be a philosophy that I believe in, it s that. The 
word came out of one who is unfit to be a philosopher be 
cause at bottom he hates philosophy, especially at the 
beginning of a vacation, with the fragrance of the spruces 



Act. 53} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 23 

and sweet ferns all soaking him through with the convic 
tion that it is better to be than to define your being. I am 
a victim of neurasthenia and of the sense of hollowness and 
unreality that goes with it. And philosophic literature 
will often seem to me the hollowest thing. My word trivial 
was a general reflection exhaling from this mood, vile indeed 
in a supposed professor. Where it will end with me, I do 
not know. I wish I could give it all up. But perhaps it 
is a grand climacteric and will pass away. At present I 
am philosophizing as little as possible, in order to do it the 
better next year, if I can do it at all. And I envy you 
your stalwart and steadfast enthusiasm and faith. Al 
ways devotedly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, 
COLORADO, Aug. 13, 1895. 

MY DEAR FLOURNOY, Ever since last January an en 
velope addressed to you has been lying before my eyes on 
my library table. I mention this to assure you that you 
have not been absent from my thoughts; but I will waste 
no time or paper in making excuses. As the sage Emerson 
says, when you visit a man do not degrade the occasion with 
apologies for not having visited him before. Visit him now! 
Make him feel that the highest truth has come to see him 
in you its lowliest organ. I don t know about the highest 
truth transpiring through this letter, but I feel as if there 
were plenty of affection and personal gossip to express them 
selves. To begin with, your photograph and Mrs. Flour- 
noy s were splendid. What We need now is the photographs 
of those fair demoiselles! I may say that one reason of my 
long silence has been the hope that when I wrote I should 



24 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1895 

have my wife s photograph to send you. But alas! it has 
not been taken yet. She is well, very well, and is now in 
our little New Hampshire country-place with the children, 
living very quietly and happily. We have had a rather 
large train de maison hitherto, and this summer we are 
shrunken to our bare essentials a very pleasant change. 

I, you see, am farther away from home than I have ever 
been before on this side of the Atlantic, namely, in the state 
of Colorado, and just now in the heart of the Rocky Moun 
tains. I have been giving a course of six lectures on psy 
chology "for teachers" at a so-called "summer-school" in 
Colorado Springs. I had to remain for three nights and 
three days in the train to get there, and it has made me 
understand the vastness of my dear native land better than 
I ever did before. . . . The trouble with all this new civili 
zation is that it is based, not on saving, but on borrowing; 
and when hard times come, as they did come three years 
ago, everyone goes bankrupt. But the vision of the future, 
the dreams of the possible, keep everyone enthusiastic, and 
so the work goes on. Such conditions have never existed 
before on so enormous a scale. But I must not write you 
a treatise on national economy! I got through the year 
very well in regard to health, and gave in the course of it, 
what I had never done before, a number of lectures to 
teachers in Boston and New York. I also repeated my 
course in Cosmology in the new woman s College which 
has lately been established in connection with our Uni 
versity. The consequence is that I laid by more than a 
thousand dollars, an absolutely new and proportionately 
pleasant experience for me. To make up for it, I have n t 
had an idea or written anything to speak of except the 
"presidential address" which I sent you, and which really 
contained nothing new. . . . 



Aet. 53 \ TO HIS DAUGHTER 25 

And now is not that enough gossip about ourselves? I 
wish I could, by telephone, at this moment, hear just where 
and how you all are, and what you are all doing. In the 
mountains somewhere, of course, and I trust all well; but it 
is perhaps fifteen or twenty years too soon for transatlan 
tic telephone. My surroundings here, so much like those 
of Switzerland, bring you before me in a lively manner. 
I enclose a picture of one of the streets at Colorado Springs 
for Madame Flournoy, and another one of a "cowboy" 
for that one of the demoiselles who is most romanesque. 
Alice, Blanche but I have actually gone and been and 
forgotten the name of the magnificent third one, whose 
resplendent face I so well remember notwithstanding. 
"Dulcissima mundi nomina, all of them; and I do hope that 
they are being educated in a thoroughly emancipated way, 
just like true American girls, with no laws except those 
imposed by their own sense of fitness. I am sure it produces 
the best results! How did the teaching go last year? I 
mean your own teaching. Have you started any new lines? 
And how is Chantre? and how Ritter? And how Monsieur 
Gowd? Please give my best regards to all round, especially 
to Ritter. Have you a copy left of your "Metaphysique et 
Psychologic"? In some inscrutable way my copy has 
disappeared, and the book is reported epuise. 

With warmest possible regards to both of you, and to all 
five of the descendants, believe me ever faithfully yours, 

W. JAMES. 

To his Daughter. 

EL PASO, COLO., Aug. 8, 1895. 

SWEETEST OF LIVING Pegs, Your letter made glad my 
heart the day before yesterday, and I marveled to see what 
an improvement had come over your handwriting in the 



26 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1895 

short space of six weeks. "Orphly" and "ofly" are good 
ways to spell "awfully," too. I went up a high mountain 
yesterday and saw all the kingdoms of the world spread 
out before me, on the illimitable prairie which looked like 
a map. The sky glowed and made the earth look like a 
stained-glass window. The mountains are bright red. All 
the flowers and plants are different from those at home. 
There is an immense mastiff in my house here. I think 
that even you would like him, he is so tender and gentle 
and mild, although fully as big as a calf. His ears and face 
are black, his eyes are yellow, his paws are magnificent, 
his tail keeps wagging all the time, and he makes on me the 
impression of an angel hid in a cloud. He longs to do good. 
I must now go and hear two other men lecture. Many 
kisses, also to Tweedy, from your ever loving, 

DAD. 

On December 17, 1895, President Cleveland s Venezuela 
message startled the world and created a situation with 
which the next three letters are concerned. The boundary 
dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana had been 
dragging along for years. The public had no reason to 
suppose that it was becoming acute, or that the United 
States was particularly interested in it, and had, in fact, 
not been giving the matter so much as a thought. All at 
once the President sent a message to Congress in which he 
announced that it was incumbent upon the United States 
to "take measures to determine . . . the true" boundary 
line, and then to "resist by every means in its power as a 
willful aggression upon its rights and interests" any appro 
priation by Great Britain of territory not thus determined 
to be hers. In addition he sent to Congress, and thus 
published, the diplomatic despatches which had already 



Aet. 53} LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 27 

passed between Mr. Olney and Lord Salisbury. In these 
Mr. Olney had informed the representative of the Empire 
which was sovereign in British Guiana "that distance and 
three thousand miles of intervening ocean make any per 
manent political union between a European and an Amer 
ican state unnatural and inexpedient," and that "today the 
United States is practically sovereign on this continent, 
and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its 
interposition." Lord Salisbury had squarely declined to 
concede that the United States could, of its own initiative, 
assume to settle the boundary dispute. It was difficult to 
see how either Great Britain or the United States could with 
dignity alter the position which its minister had assumed. 

James was a warm admirer of the President, but this 
seemingly wanton provocation of a friendly nation horrified 
him. He considered that no blunder in statesmanship 
could be more dangerous than a premature appeal to a 
people s fighting pride, and that no perils inherent in the 
Venezuela boundary dispute were as grave as was the danger 
that popular explosions on one or both sides of the Atlantic 
would make it impossible for the two governments to pro 
ceed moderately. He was appalled at the outburst of 
Anglophobia and war-talk which followed the message. 
The war-cloud hung in the heavens for several weeks. Then, 
suddenly, a breeze from a strange quarter relieved the 
atmosphere. The Jameson raid occurred in Africa, and the 
Kaiser sent his famous message to President Kruger. 1 The 

1 In a brief letter to the Harvard Crimson (Jan. 9, 1896), James urged the right 
and duty of individuals to stand up for their opinions publicly during such crises, 
even though in opposition to the administration. Mr. Rhodes, in his History 
of the United States, 1877-1896, makes the following observation: "Cleveland, in 
his chapter on the Venezuelan Boundary Controversy, rates the un-Americans 
who lauded the extreme forbearance and kindness of England. . . . The reference 
. . . need trouble no one who allows himself to be guided by two of Cleveland s 
trusted servants and friends. Thomas F. Bayard, Secretary of State during the 



28 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1895 

English press turned its fire upon the Kaiser. The world s 
attention was diverted from Venezuela, and the boundary 
dispute was quietly and amicably disposed of. 

To E. L. Godkin. 

CAMBRIDGE, Christmas Eve [1895]. 

DARLING OLD GODKIN, The only Christmas present I 
can send you is a word of thanks and a bravo bravissimo for 
your glorious fight against the powers of darkness. I 
swear it brings back the days of 61 again, when the worst 
enemies of our country were in our own borders. But now 
that defervescence has set in, and the long, long campaign 
of discussion and education is about to begin, you will have 
to bear the leading part in it, and I beseech you to be as 
non-expletive and patiently explanatory as you can, for 
thus will you be the more effective. Father, forgive them 
for they know not what they do! The insincere propaganda 
of jingoism as a mere weapon of attack on the President 
was diabolic. But in the rally of the country to the Presi 
dent s message lay that instinct of obedience to leaders which 
is the prime condition of all effective greatness in a nation. 
And after all, when one thinks that the only England most 
Americans are taught to conceive of is the bugaboo coward- 
England, ready to invade the Globe wherever there is no 
danger, the rally does not necessarily show savagery, but 
only ignorance. We are all ready to be savage in some 
cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one 
is the choice of the cause. 

Two things are, however, desormais certain: Three days 

first administration, and actual ambassador to Great Britain, wrote in a private 
letter on May 25, 1895, There is no question now open between the United States 
and Great Britain that needs any but frank, amicable and just treatment. Edward 
J. Phelps, his first minister to England, in a public address on March 30, 1896, 
condemned emphatically the President s Venezuela policy." See Rhodes, History > 
vol. VIH, p. 454; also p. 443 et seq. 



Act. 53] TO E. L. GODKIN 29 

of fighting mob-hysteria at Washington can at any time 
undo peace habits of a hundred years; and the only per 
manent safeguard against irrational explosions of the right 
ing instinct is absence of armament and opportunity. 
Since this country has absolutely nothing to fear, or any 
other country anything to gain from its invasion, it seems 
to me that the party of civilization ought immediately, at 
any cost of discredit, to begin to agitate against any increase 
of either army, navy, or coast defense. That is the one 
form of protection against the internal enemy on which we 
can most rely. We live and learn: the labor of civilizing 
ourselves is for the next thirty years going to be complicated 
with this other abominable new issue of which the seed 
was sown last week. You saw the new kind of danger, 
as you always do, before anyone else; but it grew gigantic 
much more suddenly than even you conceived to be possible. 
Olney s Jefferson Brick style makes of our Foreign Office a 
laughing-stock, of course. But why, oh why, could n t he 
and Cleveland and Congress between them have left out 
the infernal war- threat and simply asked for $100,000 for a 
judicial commission to enable us to see exactly to what 
effect we ought, in justice, to exert our influence. That 
commission, if its decision were adverse, would have put 
England "in a hole," awakened allies for us in all countries, 
been a solemn step forward in the line of national righteous 
ness, covered us with dignity, and all the rest. But no 
omnia ademit una dies infesta tibi tot prcemia vital Still, 
the campaign of education may raise us out of it all yet. 
Distrust of each other must not be suffered to go too far, 
for that way lies destruction. 

Dear old Godkin I don t know whether you will have 
read more than the first page I did n t expect to write 
more than one and a half, but the steam will work off. I 
have n t slept right for a week. 



30 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES (1896 

I have just given my Harry, now a freshman, your 
"Comments and Reflections," and have been renewing my 
youth in some of its admirable pages. But why the dickens 
did you leave out some of the most delectable of the old 
sentences in the cottager and boarder essay? z 

Don t curse God and die, dear old fellow. Live and be 
patient and fight for us a long time yet in this new war. 
Best regards to Mrs. Godkin and to Lawrence, and a merry 
Christmas. Yours ever affectionately, 

WM. JAMES. 

To F. W. H. Myers. 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. i, 1896. 

MY DEAR MYERS, Here is a happy New Year to you 
with my presidential address for a gift. 2 Valeat quantum. 
The end could have been expanded, but probably this is 
enough to set the S. P. R. against a lofty Kultur-historisch 
background; and where we have to do so much champing 
of the jaws on minute details of cases, that seems to me a 
good point in a president s address. 

In the first half, it has just come over me that what I 
say of one line of fact being "strengthened in the flank" 
by another is an "uprush" from my subliminal memory 
of words of Gurney s but that does no harm. . . . 

Well, our countries will soon be soaked in each other s 
gore. You will be disemboweling me, and Hodgson cleav 
ing Lodge s skull. It will be a war of extermination when it 
comes, for neither side can tell when it is beaten, and the 
last man will bury the penultimate one, and then die him 
self. The French will then occupy England and the Span- 

1 "The Evolution of the Summer Resort." 

a "Address of the President before the Society for Psychical Research." Proc. 
of the (Eng.) Soc. for Psych. Res. 1896, vol. xii, pp. 2-10; also in Science^ 1896, 
N. S., vol. iv, pp. 881-888. 



Act. 53} TO F. W. H. MYERS 31 

iards America. Both will unite against the Germans, and 
no one can foretell the end. 

But seriously, all true patriots here have had a hell of 
a time. It has been a most instructive thing for the dis 
passionate student of history to see how near the surface 
in all of us the old righting instinct lies, and how slight an 
appeal will wake it up. Once really waked, there is no 
retreat. So the whole wisdom of governors should be to 
avoid the direct appeals. This your European govern 
ments know; but we in our bottomless innocence and igno 
rance over here know nothing, and Cleveland in my opinion, 
by his explicit allusion to war, has committed the biggest 
political crime I have ever seen here. The secession of the 
southern states had more excuse. There was absolutely 
no need of it. A commission solemnly appointed to pro 
nounce justice in the Venezuela case would, if its decision 
were adverse to your country, have doubtless aroused the 
Liberal party in England to espouse the policy of arbitrat 
ing, and would have covered us with dignity, if no threat of 
war had been uttered. But as it is, who can see the way out? 

Every one goes about now saying war is not to be. But 
with these volcanic forces who can tell? I suppose that 
the offices of Germany or Italy might in any case, however, 
save us from what would be the worst disaster to civiliza 
tion that our time could bring forth. 

The astounding thing is the latent Anglophobia now re 
vealed. It is most of it directly traceable to the diabolic 
machinations of the party of protection for the past twenty 
years. They have lived by every sort of infamous sophisti 
cation, and hatred of England has been one of their most 
conspicuous notes. . . . 

I hope you // read my address unless indeed Gladstone 
will consent!! 



32 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

Ever thine I hate to think of "embruing" my hands 
in (or with?) your blood. 

W. J. 

[S. P. R.] Proceedings XXIX just in hurrah for your 
2oo-odd pages! 

I have been ultra non-committal as to our evidence, 
thinking it to be good presidential policy, but I may 
have overdone the impartiality business. 

To F. W. H. Myers. 

CAMBRIDGE,/^. 5, 1896. 

DEAR MYERS, Void the proof! Pray send me a revise 

Cattell wants to print it simultaneously in extenso in 

"Science," which I judge to be a very good piece of luck 

for it. When will the next "Proceedings" be likely to 

appear? 

I hope your rich tones were those that rolled off its periods, 
and that you did n t flinch, but rather raised your voice, 
when your own genius was mentioned. I read it both in 
New York and Boston to full houses, but heard no comments 
on the spot. . . . 

As for Venezuela, Ach! of that be silent! as Carlyle would 
have said. It is a sickening business, but some good may 
come out of it yet. Don t feel too badly about the Anglo 
phobia here. It does n t mean so much. Remember by 
what words the country was roused: "Supine submission 
to wrong and injustice and the consequent loss of national 
self-respect and honor." J If any other country s ruler had 
expressed himself with equal moral ponderosity would n t 
the population have gone twice as fighting-mad as ours? 
Of course it would; the wolf would have been aroused; and 
when the wolf once gets going, we know that there is no 

1 From the last paragraph of Cleveland s Venezuela message. 



Aet. 54 \ TO HIS RADCLIFFE CLASS 33 

crime of which it doesn t sincerely begin to believe its 
oppressor, the lamb down-stream, to be guilty. The great 
proof that civilization does move, however, is the magnifi 
cent conduct of the British press. Yours everlastingly, 

W. J. 

To Henry Holt, Esq. 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 19, 1896. 

MY DEAR HOLT, At the risk of displeasing you, I think 
I won t have my photograph taken, even at no cost to my 
self. I abhor this hawking about of everybody s phiz 
which is growing on every hand, and don t see why having 
written a book should expose one to it. I am sorry that 
you should have succumbed to the supposed trade necessity. 
In any case, I will stand on my rights as a free man. You 
may kill me, but you shan t publish my photograph. Put 
a blank "thumbnail" in its place. Very very sorry to dis 
please a man whom I love so much. Always lovingly 
yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To his Class at Radcliffe College which had sent a potted azalea 
to him at Easter. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 6, 1896. 

DEAR YOUNG LADIES, I am deeply touched by your 
remembrance. It is the first time anyone ever treated me 
so kindly, so you may well believe that the impression on 
the heart of the lonely sufferer will be even more durable 
than the impression on your minds of all the teachings of 
Philosophy 2A. I now perceive one immense omission in 
my Psychology, the deepest principle of Human Nature 
is the craving to be appreciated, and I left it out altogether 
from the book, because I had never had it gratified till now. 



34 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

I fear you have let loose a demon in me, and that all my 
actions will now be for the sake of such rewards. However, 
I will try to be faithful to this one unique and beautiful 
azalea tree, the pride of my life and delight of my existence. 
Winter and summer will I tend and water it even with 
my tears. Mrs. James shall never go near it or touch it. 
If it dies, I will die too; and if I die, it shall be planted on 
my grave. 

Don t take all this too jocosely, but believe in the extreme 
pleasure you have caused me, and in the affectionate feel 
ings with which I am and shall always be faithfully your 
friend, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Henry James. 

[CAMBRIDGE] Apr. 17, 1896. 

DEAR H., Too busy to live almost, lectures and labora 
tory, dentists and dinner-parties, so that I am much played 
out, but get off today for eight days vacation via New Haven, 
where I deliver an "address" tonight, to the Yale Philos 
ophy Club. I shall make it the title of a small volume 
of collected things called "The Will to Believe, and Other 
Essays in Popular Philosophy," and then I think write no 
more addresses, of which the form takes it out of one un 
duly. If I do anything more, it will be a book on general 
Philosophy. I have been having a bad conscience about 
not writing to you, when your letter of the 7th came yester 
day expressing a bad conscience of your own. You certainly 
do your duty best. I am glad to think of you in the country 
and hope it will succeed with you and make you thrive. 
I look forward with much excitement to the fruit of all this 
work. . . . Just a word of good-will and good wish. I 
think I shall go to the Hot Springs of Virginia for next 



Act. 54} LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 35 

week. The spring has burst upon us, hot and droughtily, 
after a glorious burly winter-playing March. Yours ever, 

W. J. 

The next letter begins by acknowledging one which had 
alluded to the death of a Cambridge gentleman who had 
been run over in the street, almost under William James s 
eyes. Henry James had closed his allusion by exclaiming, 
"What melancholy, what terrible duties vous incombent 
when your neighbours are destroyed. And telling that 
poor man s wife! Life is heroic however we fix it! 
Even as I write these words the St. Louis horror bursts in 
upon me in the evening paper. Inconceivable I can t 
try; and I wont. Strange how practically all one s sense 
of news from the U. S. here is huge Horrors and Catastro 
phes. It s a terrible country not to live in." He would 
have exclaimed even more if he had witnessed the mescal 
experiment, that is briefly mentioned in the letter that fol 
lows. He might then have gone on to remark that the "fix 
ing" of life seemed, in William s neighborhood, to be quite 
gratuitously heroic. William James and his wife and the 
youngest child were alone in the Chocorua cottage for a 
few days, picnicking by themselves without any servant. 
They had no horse; at that season of the year hours often 
went by without any one passing the house; there was no 
telephone, no neighbor within a mile, no good doctor within 
eighteen miles. It was quite characteristic of James that 
he should think such conditions ideal for testing an unknown 
drug on himself. There would be no interruptions. He had 
no fear. He was impatient to satisfy his curiosity about 
the promised hallucinations of color. But the effects of 
one dose were, for a while, much more alarming than his 
letter would give one to understand. 



36 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

To Henry James. 

CHOCORUA, June n, 1896. 

Your long letter of Whitsuntide week in London came 
yesterday evening, and was read by me aloud to Alice and 
Harry as we sat at tea in the window to get the last rays 
of the Sunday s [sun]. You have too much feeling of duty 
about corresponding with us, and, I imagine, with everyone. 
I think you have behaved most handsomely of late and 
always, and though your letters are the great fete of our 
lives, I won t be "on your mind" for worlds. Your general 
feeling of unfulfilled obligations is one that runs in the family 
- I at least am often afflicted by it but it is "morbid." 
The horrors of not living in America, as you so well put it, 
are not shared by those who do live here. All that the 
telegraph imparts are the shocks; the "happy homes," 
good husbands and fathers, fine weather, honest business 
men, neat new houses, punctual meetings of engagements, 
etc., of which the country mainly consists, are never cabled 
over. Of course, the Saint Louis disaster is dreadful, but 
it will very likely end by "improving" the city. The 
really bad thing here is the silly wave that has gone over 
the public mind protection humbug, silver, jingoism, etc. 
It is a case of "mob-psychology." Any country is liable 
to it if circumstances conspire, and our circumstances have 
conspired. It is very hard to get them out of the rut. It 
may take another financial crash to get them out which, 
of course, will be an expensive method. It is no more 
foolish and considerably less damnable than the Russo- 
phobia of England, which would seem to have been respon 
sible for the Armenian massacres. That to me is the big 
gest indictment "of our boasted civilization"!! It requires 
England, I say nothing of the other powers, to maintain 
the Turks at that business. We have let our little place, 



Act. 54} TO HENRY JAMES 37 

our tenant arrives the day after tomorrow, and Alice and 
I and Tweedie have been here a week enjoying it and clean 
ing house and place. She has worked like a beaver. I 
had two days spoiled by a psychological experiment with 
mescal, an intoxicant used by some of our Southwestern 
Indians in their religious ceremonies, a sort of cactus bud, 
of which the U. S. Government had distributed a supply 
to certain medical men, including Weir Mitchell, who sent 
me some to try. He had himself been "in fairyland." 
It gives the most glorious visions of color every object 
thought of appears in a jeweled splendor unknown to the 
natural world. It disturbs the stomach somewhat, but 
that, according to W. M., was a cheap price, etc. I took 
one bud three days ago, was violently sick for 24 hours, 
and had no other symptom whatever except that and the 
Katzenjammer the following day. I will take the visions on 
trust! 

We have had three days of delicious rain it all soaks 
into the sandy soil here and leaves no mud whatever. The 
little place is the most curious mixture of sadness with 
delight. The sadness of things things every one of 
which was done either by our hands or by our planning, old 
furniture renovated, there is n t an object in the house 
that is n t associated with past life, old summers, dead 
people, people who will never come again, etc., and the way 
it catches you round the heart when you first come and 
open the house from its long winter sleep is most extraor 
dinary. 

I have been reading Bourget s "Idylle Tragique, " which 
he very kindly sent me, and since then have been reading in 
Tolstoy s "War and Peace," which I never read before, 
strange to say. I must say that T. rather kills B., for my mind. 
B. s moral atmosphere is anyhow so foreign to me, a lewd- 



38 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

ness so obligatory that it hardly seems as if it were part of 
a moral donnee at all; and then his overlabored descriptions, 
and excessive explanations. But with it all an earnestness 
and enthusiasm for getting it said as well as possible, a 
richness of epithet, and a warmth of heart that makes you 
like him, in spite of the unmanliness of all the things he 
writes about. I suppose there is a stratum in France to 
whom it is all manly and ideal, but he and I are, as Rosina 
says, a bad combination. . . . 

Tolstoy is immense! 

I am glad you are in a writing vein again, to go still 
higher up the scale! I have abstained on principle from 
the " Atlantic" serial, wishing to get it all at once. I am not 
going abroad; I can t afford it. I have a chance to give 
$1500 worth of summer lectures here, which won t recur. 
I have a heavy year of work next year, and shall very likely 
need to go the following summer, which will anyhow be 
after a more becoming interval than this, so, somme toute, 
it is postponed. If I went I should certainly enjoy seeing 
you at Rye more than in London, which I confess tempts 
me little now. I love to see it, but staying there does n t 
seem to agree with me, and only suggests constraint and 
money-spending, apart from seeing you. I wish you could 
see how comfortable our Cambridge house has got at last 
to be. Alice who is upstairs sewing whilst I write below 
by the lamp a great wood fire hissing in the fireplace 
sings out her thanks and love to you. . . . 

To Benjamin Paul Blood. 

CHATHAM, MASS., June 28, 1896. 

MY DEAR BLOOD, Your letter was an "event," as any 
thing always is from your pen though of course I never 
expected any acknowledgment of my booklet. Fear of life 



Aet. 54} TO BENJAMIN PAUL BLOOD 39 

in one form or other is the great thing to exorcise; but it 
is n t reason that will ever do it. Impulse without reason 
is enough, and reason without impulse is a poor makeshift. 
I take it that no man is educated who has never dallied 
with the thought of suicide. Barely more than a year ago 
I was sitting at your table and dallying with the thought of 
publishing an anthology of your works. But, like many 
other projects, it has been postponed in indefinition. The 
hour never came last year, and pretty surely will not come 
next. Nevertheless I shall work for your fame some time! 
Count on W. J. 1 I wound up my "seminary" in specula 
tive psychology a month ago by reading some passages 
from the "Flaw in Supremacy" "game flavored as a 
hawk s wing." "Ever not quite" covers a deal of truth - 
yet it seems a very simple thing to have said. "There is 
no Absolute" were my last words. Whereupon a number 
of students asked where they could get "that pamphlet" 
and I distributed nearly all the copies I had from you. I 
wish you would keep on writing, but I see you are a man 
of discontinuity and insights, and not a philosophic pack- 
horse, or pack-mule. . . . 

I rejoice that ten hours a day of toil makes you feel so 
hearty. Verily Mr. Rindge says truly. He is a Cambridge 
boy, who made a fortune in California, and then gave a lot 
of public buildings to his native town. Unfortunately he 
insisted on bedecking them with "mottoes" of his own 
composition, and over the Manual Training School near my 
house one reads: "Work is one of our greatest blessings. 
Every man should have an honest occupation" -which, if 
not lapidary in style, is at least what my father once said 

1 In 1910 during his final illness, in fact James fulfilled this promise. See 
"A Pluralistic Mystic," included in Memories and Studies; also letter of June 
25, 1910, p. 348 infra. 



4 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

Swedenborg s writings were, viz., "insipid with veracity," 
as your case now again demonstrates. Have you read 
Tolstoy s "War and Peace"? I am just about finishing it. 
It is undoubtedly the greatest novel ever written also 
insipid with veracity. The man is infallible and the 
anesthetic revelation * plays a part as in no writer. You 
have very likely read it. If you have n t, sell all you have 
and buy the book, for I know it will speak to your very 
gizzard. Pray thank Mrs. Blood for her appreciation of 
my "booklet" (such things encourage a writer!), and 
believe me ever sincerely yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

In July, 1896, James delivered, in Buffalo and at the 
Chautauqua Assembly, the substance of the lectures that 
were later published as "Talks to Teachers." His impres 
sions of Chautauqua were so characteristic and so lively 
that they must be included here, even though they dupli 
cate in some measure a well-known passage in the essay 
called "A Certain Blindness in Human Beings." 

To Mrs. James. 

CHAUTAUQUA, July 23, 1896. 

. . . The audience is some 500, in an open-air auditorium 
where (strange to say) everyone seems to hear well; and it 
is very good-looking mostly teachers and women, but 
they make the best impression of any audience of that sort 
that I have seen except the Brooklyn one. So here I go 
again! . . . 

July 24, 9.30 P.M. 

. . . X departed after breakfast a good inarticulate 

man, farmer s boy, four years soldier from private to major, 

1 Cf. William James s unsigned review of Blood s Anesthetic Revelation in the 
Atlantic Monthly , 1874, vol. xxxiv, p. 627. 



Aet. 54} TO MRS. JAMES 4 i 

business man in various States, great reader, editor of a 
"Handbook of Facts," full of swelling and bursting Welt- 
schmerz and religious melancholy, yet no more flexibility or 
self-power in his mind than in a boot-jack. Altogether, 
what with the teachers, him and others whom I ve met, 
I m put in conceit of college training. It certainly gives 
glibness and flexibility, if it does n t give earnestness and 
depth. I ve been meeting minds so earnest and helpless 
that it takes them half an hour to get from one idea to its 
immediately adjacent next neighbor, and that with infinite 
creaking and groaning. And when they ve got to the 
next idea, they lie down on it with their whole weight and 
can get no farther, like a cow on a door-mat, so that you 
can get neither in nor out with them. Still, glibness is not 
all. Weight is something, even cow-weight. Tolstoy feels 
these things so I am still in "Anna Karenina," volume I, a 
book almost incredible and supernatural for veracity. I 
wish we were reading it aloud together. It has rained at 
intervals all day. Young Vincent, a powerful fellow, took 
me over and into the whole vast college side of the institu 
tion this A.M. I have heard 4^ lectures, including the one 
I gave myself at 4 o clock, to about 1200 or more in the vast 
open amphitheatre, which seats 6000 and which has very 
good acoustic properties. I think my voice sufficed. I 
can t judge of the effect. Of course I left out all that gos 
sip about my medical degree, etc. But I don t want any 
more sporadic lecturing I must stick to more inward 
things. 

July 26, 12:30 P.M. 

... T is the sabbath and I am just in from the amphi 
theatre, where the Rev. - - has been chanting, calling and 
bellowing his hour-and-a-quarter-long sermon to 6000 
people at least a sad audition. The music was bully, a 



42 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

chorus of some 700, splendidly drilled, with the audience to 
help. I have myself been asked to lead, or, if not to lead, 
at least to do something prominent I declined so quick 
that I did n t fully gather what it was in the exercise 
which I have marked on the program I enclose. Young 
Vincent, whom I take to be a splendid young fellow, told me 
it was the characteristically "Chautauquan" event of the 
day. I would give anything to have you here. I did n t 
write yesterday because there is no mail till tomorrow. I 
went to four lectures, in whole or in part. All to hundreds 
of human beings, a large proportion unable to get seats, 
who transport themselves from one lecture-room to another 
en masse. One was on bread-making, with practical dem 
onstrations. One was on walking, by a graceful young 
Delsartian, who showed us a lot. One was on telling stories 
to children, the psychology and pedagogy of it. The au 
diences interrupt and ask questions occasionally in spite 
of their size. There is hardly a pretty woman s face in the 
lot, and they seem to have little or no humor in their com 
position. No epicureanism of any sort! 

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I sailed an hour and 
a half down the Lake again to "Celoron," "America s 
greatest pleasure resort," - in other words popcorn and 
peep-show place. A sort of Midway-Pleasance in the wilder 
ness supported Heaven knows how, so far from any 
human habitation except the odd little Jamestown from 
which a tramway leads to it. Good monkeys, bears, foxes, 
etc. Endless peanuts, popcorn, bananas, and soft drinks; 
crowds of people, a ferris wheel, a balloon ascension, with 
a man dropping by a parachute, a theatre, a vast concert 
hall, and all sorts of peep-shows. I feel as if I were in a 
foreign land; even as far east as this the accent of everyone 
is terrific. The "Nation" is no more known than the 



Act. 54} TO MRS. JAMES 43 

London "Times." I see no need of going to Europe when 
such wonders are close by. I breakfasted with a Metho 
dist parson with 32 false teeth, at the X s table, and dis 
coursed of demoniacal possession. The wife said she had 
my portrait in her bedroom with the words written under 
it, "I want to bring a balm to human lives"!!!!! Supposed 
to be a quotation from me!!! After breakfast an extremely 
interesting lady who has suffered from half-possessional 
insanity gave me a long account of her case. Life is heroic 
indeed, as Harry wrote. I shall stay through tomorrow, 
and get to Syracuse on Tuesday. . . . 

July 27. 

... It rained hard last night, and today a part of the 
time. I took a lesson in roasting, in Delsarte, and I made 
with my own fair hands a beautiful loaf of graham bread 
with some rolls, long, flute-like, and delicious. I should 
have sent them to you by express, only it seemed unneces 
sary, since I can keep the family in bread easily after my 
return home. Please tell this, with amplifications, to 
Peggy and Tweedy. . . . 

BUFFALO, N.Y., July 29. 

. . . The Chautauqua week, or rather six and a half days, 
has been a real success. I have learned a lot, but I m glad 
to get into something less blameless but more admiration- 
worthy. The flash of a pistol, a dagger, or a devilish eye, 
anything to break the unlovely level of 10,000 good people 
a crime, murder, rape, elopement, anything would do. 
I don t see how the younger Vincents stand it, because they 
are people of such spirit. . . . 

SYRACUSE, N.Y., July 31. 

. . . Now for Utica and Lake Placid by rail, with East Hill 
in prospect for tomorrow. You bet I rejoice at the out 
look I long to escape from tepidity. Even an Armenian 



44 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

massacre, whether to be killer or killed, would seem an 
agreeable change from the blamelessness of Chautauqua 
as she lies soaking year after year in her lakeside sun and 
showers. Man wants to be stretched to his utmost, if not 
in one way then in another! . . . 

To Miss Rosina H. Emmet. 

BURLINGTON, VT., Aug. 2, 1896. 

... I have seen more women and less beauty, heard more 
voices and less sweetness, perceived more earnestness and 
less triumph than I ever supposed possible. Most of the 
American nation (and probably all nations) is white-trash, 
but Tolstoy has borne me up and I say unto you: "Smooth 
out your voices if you want to be saved"!! . . . 

To Charles Renouvier. 

BURLINGTON, VT., Aug. 4, 1896. 

DEAR MR. RENOUVIER, My wife announces to me from 
Cambridge the reception of two immense volumes from you 
on the Philosophy of History. I thank you most heartily 
for the gift, and am more and more amazed at your intel 
lectual and moral power physical power, too, for the 
nervous energy required for your work has to be extremely 
great. 

My own nervous energy is a small teacup-full, and is 
more than consumed by my duties of teaching, so that 
almost none is left over for writing. I sent you a "New 
World" the other day, however, with an article in it called 
"The Will to Believe," in which (if you took the trouble 
to glance at it) you probably recognized how completely 
I am still your disciple. In this point perhaps more fully 
than in any other; and this point is central! 

I have to lecture on general "psychology" and "morbid 



Aet.54\ TO CHARLES RENOUVIER 45 

psychology," "the philosophy of nature" and the "philos 
ophy of Kant," thirteen lectures a week for half the year 
and eight for the rest. Our University moreover inflicts 
a monstrous amount of routine business on one, faculty 
meetings and committees of every sort, 1 so that during term- 
time one can do no continuous reading at all reading of 
books, I mean. When vacation comes, my brain is so 
tired that I can read nothing serious for a month. During 
the past month I have only read Tolstoy s two great novels, 
which, strange to say, I had never attacked before. I 
don t like his fatalism and semi-pessimism, but for infallible 
veracity concerning human nature, and absolute simplicity 
of method, he makes all the other writers of novels and plays 
seem like children. 

All this proves that I shall be slow in attaining to the read 
ing of your book. I have not yet read Pillon s last^nnee 
except some of the book notices and Danriac s article. How 
admirably clear P. is in style, and what a power of reading 
he possesses. 

1 James always did a reasonable share of college committee work, especially 
for the committee of his own department. But although he had exercised a deter- 
mining influence in the selection of every member of the Philosophical Depart 
ment who contributed to its fame in his time (except Professor Palmer, who was 
his senior in service), he never consented to be chairman of the Department. 
He attended the weekly meetings of the whole Faculty for any business in which 
he was concerned; otherwise irregularly. He spoke seldom in Faculty. Occa 
sionally he served on special committees. He usually formed an opinion of his own 
quite quickly, but his habitual tolerance in matters of judgment showed itself in 
good-natured patience with discussion this despite the fact that he often chafed at 
the amount of time consumed. "Now although I happen accidentally to have 
been on all the committees which have had to do with the proposed reform, and 
have listened to the interminable Faculty debates last winter, I disclaim all powers 
or right to speak in the name of the majority. Members of our dear Faculty have 
a way of discovering reasons fitted exclusively for their idiosyncratic use, and 
though voting with their neighbors, will often do so on incommunicable grounds. 
This is doubtless the effect of much learning upon originally ingenious minds; 
and the result is that the abundance of different points and aspects which a simple 
question ends by presenting, after a long Faculty discussion, beggars both cal 
culation beforehand and enumeration after the fact." - "The Proposed Shorten 
ing of the College Course." Harvard Monthly, Jan., 1891. 



46 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

I hope, dear Mr. Renouvier, that the years are not weigh 
ing heavily upon you, and that this letter will find you well 
in body and in mind. Yours gratefully and faithfully, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN, Aug. 30, 1896. 

MY DEAR FLOURNOY, You see the electric current of 
sympathy that binds the world together I turn towards 
you, and the place I write from repeats the name of your 
Lake Leman. I was informed yesterday, however, that 
the lake here was named after Lake Geneva in the State of 
New York! and that Lake only has Leman for its Godmother. 
Still you see how dependent, whether immediately or 
remotely, America is on Europe. I was at Niagara some 
three weeks ago, and bought a photograph as souvenir 
and addressed it to you after getting back to Cambridge. 
Possibly Madame Flournoy will deign to accept it. I have 
thought of you a great deal without writing, for truly, my 
dear Flournoy, there is hardly a human being with whom I 
feel as much sympathy of aims and character, or feel as 
much "at home," as I do with you. It is as if we were of 
the same stock, and I often mentally turn and make a 
remark to you, which the pressure of life s occupations pre 
vents from ever finding its way to paper. 

I am hoping that you may have figured, or at any rate 
been, at the Munich "Congress" -that apparently stu 
pendous affair. If they keep growing at this rate, the next 
Paris one will be altogether too heavy. I have heard no 
details of the meeting as yet. But whether you have been 
at Munich or not, I trust that you have been having a salu 
brious and happy vacation so far, and that Mrs. Flournoy 
and the young people are all well. I will venture to suppose 



Act. 54} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 47 

that your illness of last year has left no bad effects what 
ever behind. I myself have had a rather busy and instruc 
tive, though possibly not very hygienic summer, making 
money (in moderate amounts) by lecturing on psychology 
to teachers at different "summer schools" in this land. 
There is a great fermentation in "paedagogy" at present 
in the U.S., and my wares come in for their share of patron 
age. But although I learn a good deal and become a better 
American for having all the travel and social experience, 
it has ended by being too tiresome; and when I give the 
lectures at Chicago, which I begin tomorrow, I shall have 
them stenographed and very likely published in a very small 
volume, and so remove from myself the temptation ever to 
give them again. 

Last year was a year of hard work, and before the end of 
the term came, I was in a state of bad neurasthenic fatigue, 
but I got through outwardly all right. I have definitely 
given up the laboratory, for which I am more and more 
unfit, and shall probably devote what little ability I may 
hereafter have to purely "speculative" work. My inability 
to read troubles me a good deal: I am in arrears of several 
years with psychological literature, which, to tell the truth, 
does grow now at a pace too rapid for anyone to follow. 
I was engaged to review Stout s new book (which I fancy is 
very good) for "Mind," and after keeping it two months 
had to back out, from sheer inability to read it, and to ask 
permission to hand it over to my colleague Royce. Have 
you seen the colossal Renouvier s two vast volumes on the 
philosophy of history? that will be another thing worth 
reading no doubt, yet very difficult to read. I give a course 
in Kant for the first time in my life (!) next year, and at 
present and for many months to come shall have to put most 
of my reading to the service of that overgrown subject. . . 



4 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

Of course you have read Tolstoy s "War and Peace" and 
"Anna Karenina." I never had that exquisite felicity 
before this summer, and now I feel as if I knew perfection 
in the representation of human life. Life indeed seems less 
real than his tale of it. Such infallible veracity! The im 
pression haunts me as nothing literary ever haunted me 
before. 

I imagine you lounging on some steep mountainside, with 
those demoiselles all grown too tall and beautiful and proud 
to think otherwise than with disdain of their elderly com 
mensal who spoke such difficult French when he took walks 
with them at Vers-chez-les-Blanc. But I hope that they 
are happy as they were then. Cannot we all pass some 
summer near each other again, and can t it next time be in 
Tyrol rather than in Switzerland, for the purpose of in 
creasing in all of us that "knowledge of the world" which 
is so desirable? I think it would be a splendid plan. At 
any rate, wherever you are, take my most affectionate re 
gards for yourself and Madame Flournoy and all of yours, 
and believe me ever sincerely your friend, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN, Aug. 30, 1896. 
DEAR MILLER, Your letter from Halle of June 22nd 
came duly, but treating of things eternal as it did, I thought 
it called for no reply till I should have caught up with more 
temporal matters, of which there has been no lack to press 
on my attention. To tell the truth, regarding you as my 
most penetrating critic and intimate enemy, I was greatly 
relieved to find that you had nothing worse to say about 
"The Will to Believe." You say you are no "rationalist," 
and yet you speak of the "sharp" distinction between beliefs 



Aet. 54 \ TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 49 

based on "inner evidence" and beliefs based on "craving." 
I can find nothing sharp (or susceptible of schoolmaster s 
codification) in the different degrees of "liveliness" in hy 
potheses concerning the universe, or distinguish a priori be 
tween legitimate and illegitimate cravings. And when an 
hypothesis is once a live one, one risks something in one s 
practical relations towards truth and error, whichever of the 
three positions (affirmation, doubt, or negation) one may 
take up towards it. The individual himself is the only right- 
ful chooser of his risk. Hence respectful toleration, as the 
only law that logic can lay down. 

You don t say a word against my logic, which seems to 
me to cover your cases entirely in its compartments. I 
class you as one to whom the religious hypothesis is von 
vornherein so dead, that the risk of error in espousing it now 
far outweighs for you the chance of truth, so you simply 
stake your money on the field as against it. If you say 
this, of course I can, as logician, have no quarrel with you, 
even though my own choice of risk (determined by the 
irrational impressions, suspicions, cravings, senses of direc 
tion in nature, or what not, that make religion for me a 
more live hypothesis than for you) leads me to an opposite 
methodical decision. 

Of course if any one comes along and says that men at 
large don t need to have facility of faith in their inner con 
victions preached to them, [that] they have only too much 
readiness in that way already, and the one thing needful to 
preach is that they should hesitate with their convictions, 
and take their faiths out for an airing into the howling 
wilderness of nature, I should also agree. But my paper 
was n t addressed to mankind at large but to a limited set 
of studious persons, badly under the ban just now of certain 
authorities whose simple-minded faith in "naturalism" also 



50 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

is sorely in need of an airing and an airing, as it seems to 
me, of the sort I tried to give. 

But all this is unimportant; and I still await criti 
cism of my Auseinandersetzung of the logical situation of 
man s mind gegenuber the Universe, in respect to the risks 
it runs. 

I wish I could have been with you at Munich and heard 
the deep-lunged Germans roar at each other. I care not 
for the matters uttered, if I only could hear the voice. I 
hope you met [Henry] Sidgwick there. I sent him the 
American Hallucination-Census results, after considerable 
toil over them, but S. never acknowledges or answers any 
thing, so I 11 have to wait to hear from someone else whether 
he "got them off." I have had a somewhat unwholesome 
summer. Much lecturing to teachers and sitting up to 
talk with strangers. But it is instructive and makes one 
patriotic, and in six days I shall have finished the Chicago 
lectures, which begin tomorrow, and get straight to Keene 
Valley for the rest of September. My conditions just now 
are materially splendid, as I am the guest of a charming 
elderly lady, Mrs. Wilmarth, here at her country house, 
and in town at the finest hotel of the place. The political 
campaign is a bully one. Everyone outdoing himself in 
sweet reasonableness and persuasive argument hardly 
an undignified note anywhere. It shows the deepening 
and elevating influence of a big topic of debate. It is 
difficult to doubt of a people part of whose life such an 
experience is. But imagine the country being saved by a 
McKinley! If only Reed had been the candidate! There 
have been some really splendid speeches and documents. . . . 

Ever thine, 

w.j. 



Aet.sA TO HENRY JAMES 51 

To Henry James. 

BURLINGTON, VT., Sept. 28, 1896. 

DEAR HENRY, The summer is over! alas! alas! I left 
Keene Valley this A.M. where I have had three life-and- 
health-giving weeks in the forest and the mountain air, 
crossed Lake Champlain in the steamer, not a cloud in 
the sky, and sleep here tonight, meaning to take the train 
for Boston in the A.M. and read Kant s Life all day, so as 
to be able to lecture on it when I first meet my class. School 
begins on Thursday this being Monday night. It has 
been a rather cultivating summer for me, and an active 
one, of which the best impression (after that of the Adiron 
dack woods, or even before it) was that of the greatness of 
Chicago. It needs a Victor Hugo to celebrate it. But as 
you won t appreciate it without demonstration, and I 
can t give the demonstration (at least not now and on 
paper), I will say no more on that score! Alice came up 
for a week, but went down and through last night. She 
brought me up your letter of I don t remember now what 
date (after your return to London, about Wendell Holmes, 
Baldwin and Royalty, etc.) which was very delightful and 
for which I thank. But don t take your epistolary duties 
hard! Letter-writing becomes to me more and more of an 
affliction, I get so many business letters now. At Chicago, 
I tried a stenographer and type-writer with an alleviation 
that seemed almost miraculous. I think that I shall have 
to go in for one some hours a week in Cambridge. It just 
goes "whiff" and six or eight long letters are done^ so far 
as you re concerned. I hear great reports of your "old 
things," and await the book. My great literary impression 
this summer has been Tolstoy. On the whole his atmos 
phere absorbs me into it as no one s else has ever done, and 



52 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

even his religious and melancholy stuff, his insanity, is prob 
ably more significant than the sanity of men who have n t 
been through that phase at all. 

But I am forgetting to tell you (strange to say, since it 
has hung over me like a cloud ever since it happened) of 
dear old Professor Child s death. We shall never see his 
curly head and thickset figure more. He had aged greatly 
in the past three years, since being thrown out of a carriage, 
and went to the hospital in July to be treated surgically. 
He never recovered and died in three weeks, after much 
suffering, his family not being called down from the country 
till the last days. He had a moral delicacy and a richness 
of heart that I never saw and never expect to see equaled. 1 
The children bear it well, but I fear it will be a bad blow for 
dear Mrs. Child. She and Alice, I am glad to say, are 
great friends. . . . Good-night. Left wohl ! 

W.J. 

1 "I loved Child more than any man I know." Sept. 12, 96. 



XII 

(CONTINUED) 



The Will to Believe Talks to Teachers Defense of 
Mental Healers Excessive Climbing in the Adi- 
rondacks 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

[Dictated] 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 7, 1896. 

MY DEAR FLOURNOY, Your altogether precious and 
delightful letter reached me duly, and you see I am making 
a not altogether too dilatory reply. In the first place, we 
congratulate you upon the new-comer, and think if she only 
proves as satisfactory a damsel as her charming elder 
sisters, you will never have any occasion to regret that she 
is not a boy. I hope that Madame Flournoy is by this 
time thoroughly strong and well, and that everything is 
perfect with the baby. I should like to have been at 
Munich with you; I have heard a good many accounts of 
the jollity of the proceedings there, but on the whole I 
did a more wholesome thing to stay in my own country, 
of which the dangers and dark sides are singularly exag 
gerated in Europe. 

Your lamentations on your cerebral state make me smile, 
knowing, as I do, under all your subjective feelings, how 
great your vigor is. Of course I sympathize with you 
about the laboratory, and advise you, since it seems to me 
you are in a position to make conditions rather than have 
them imposed on you, simply to drop it and teach what 
you prefer. Whatever the latter may be, it will be as good 



54 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1896 

for the students as if they had something else from you in 
its place, and I see no need in this world, when there is 
someone provided somewhere to do everything, for anyone 
of us to do what he does least willingly and well. 

/ have got rid of the laboratory forever, and should re 
sign my place immediately if they reimposed its duties 
upon me. The results that come from all this laboratory 
work seem to me to grow more and more disappointing 
and trivial. What is most needed is new ideas. For every 
man who has one of them one may find a hundred who 
are willing to drudge patiently at some unimportant experi 
ment. The atmosphere of your mind is in an extraordinary 
degree sane and balanced on philosophical matters. That 
is where your forte lies, and where your University ought 
to see that its best interests lie in having you employed. 
Don t consider this advice impertinent. Your tempera 
ment is such that I think you need to be strengthened 
from without in asserting your right to carry out your true 
vocation. 

Everything goes well with us here. The boys are develop 
ing finely; both of them taller than I am, and Peggy healthy 
and well. I have just been giving a course of public lec 
tures of which I enclose you a ticket to amuse you. 1 The 
audience, a thousand in number, kept its numbers to the 
last. I was careful not to tread upon the domains of psy 
chical research, although many of my hearers were eager 
that I should do so. / am teaching Kant j or the first time in 

1 Eight lectures on "Abnormal Mental States" were delivered at the Lowell 
Institute in Boston, but were never published. Their several titles were "Dreams 
and Hypnotism," "Hysteria," "Automatisms," "Multiple Personality," "De 
moniacal Possession," "Witchcraft," "Degeneration," "Genius." In a letter 
to Professor Howison (Apr. 5, 1897) James said, "In these lectures I did not go 
into psychical research so-called, and although the subjects were decidedly morbid, 
I tried to shape them towards optimistic and hygienic conclusions, and the audience 
regarded them as decidedly anti-morbid in their tone." 



Aet. 54 \ LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 55 

my life, and it gives me much satisfaction. I am also send 
ing a collection of old essays through the press, of which I 
will send you a copy as soon as they appear; I am sure 
of your sympathy in advance for much of their contents. 
But I am afraid that what you never will appreciate is 
their wonderful English style! Shakespeare is a little street- 
boy in comparison! 

Our political crisis is over, but the hard times still endure. 
Lack of confidence is a disease from which convalescence 
is not quick. I doubt, notwithstanding certain appearances, 
whether the country was ever morally in as sound a state 
as it now is, after all this discussion. And the very silver 
men, who have been treated as a party of dishonesty, are 
anything but that. They very likely are victims of the 
economic delusion, but their intentions are just as good as 
those of the other side. . . . 

If you meet my friend Hitter, please give him my love. 
I shall write to you again ere long eigenhdndig. Mean 
while believe me, with lots of love to you all, especially to 
ces demoiselles^ and felicitations to their mother, Always 
yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

My wife wishes to convey to Madame Flournoy her most 
loving regards and hopes for the little one. 

James had already been invited to deliver a course of 
"Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion" at the University 
of Edinburgh. He had not yet accepted for a definite date; 
but he had begun to collect illustrative material for the 
proposed lectures. A large number of references to such 
material were supplied to him by Mr. Henry W. Rankin of 
East Northfield. 



56 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1897 

To Henry W. Rankin. 

NEWPORT, R.I., Feb. i, 1897. 

DEAR MR. RANKIN, A pause in lecturing, consequent 
upon our midyear examinations having begun, has given 
me a little respite, and I am paying a three-days visit upon 
an old friend here, meaning to leave for New York tomorrow 
where I have a couple of lectures to give. It is an agree 
able moment of quiet and enables me to write a letter or 
two which I have long postponed, and chiefly one to you, 
who have given me so much without asking anything in 
return. 

One of my lectures in New York is at the Academy of 
Medicine before the Neurological Society, the subject being 
" Demoniacal Possession." I shall of course duly advertise 
the Nevius book. 1 I am not as positive as you are in 
the belief that the obsessing agency is really demonic indi 
viduals. I am perfectly willing to adopt that theory if the 
facts lend themselves best to it; for who can trace limits 
to the hierarchies of personal existence in the world? But 
the lower stages of mere automatism shade off so continu 
ously into the highest supernormal manifestations, through 
the intermediary ones of imitative hysteria and "suggesti 
bility," that I feel as if no general theory as yet would cover 
all the facts. So that the most I shall plead for before the 
neurologists is the recognition of demon possession as a regu 
lar "morbid-entity" whose commonest homologue today 
is the "spirit-control" observed in test-mediumship, and 
which tends to become the more benignant and less alarm 
ing, the less pessimistically it is regarded. This last remark 
seems certainly to be true. Of course I shall not ignore 
the sporadic cases of old-fashioned malignant possession 
which still occur today. I am convinced that we stand 

1 Demon Possession and Allied Themes, by John C. Nevius. 



Act. 55} TO HENRY W. RANKIN 57 

with all these things at the threshold of a long inquiry, of 
which the end appears as yet to no one, least of all to my 
self. And I believe that the best theoretic work yet done 
in the subject is the beginning made by F. W. H. Myers 
in his papers in the S. P. R. Proceedings. The first thing 
is to start the medical profession out of its idiotically con 
ceited ignorance of all such matters matters which have 
everywhere and at all times played a vital part in human 
history. 

You have written me at different times about conversion, 
and about miracles, getting as usual no reply, but not 
because I failed to heed your words, which come from a 
deep life-experience of your own evidently, and from a 
deep acquaintance with the experiences of others. In 
the matter of conversion I am quite willing to believe that 
a new truth may be supernaturally revealed to a subject 
when he really asks. But I am sure that in many cases 
of conversion it is less a new truth than a new power gained 
over life by a truth always known. It is a case of the con 
flict of two self-systems in a personality up to that time 
heterogeneously divided, but in which, after the conversion- 
crisis, the higher loves and powers come definitively to 
gain the upper-hand and expel the forces which up to that 
time had kept them down in the position of mere grumblers 
and protesters and agents of remorse and discontent. This 
broader view will cover an enormous number of cases 
psychologically^ and leaves all the religious importance to 
the result which it has on any other theory. 

As to true and false miracles, I don t know that I can 
follow you so well, for in any case the notion of a miracle 
as a mere attestation of superior power is one that I cannot 
espouse. A miracle must in any case be an expression of 
personal purpose, but the demon-purpose of antagonizing 



58 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1897 

God and winning away his adherents has never yet taken 
hold of my imagination. I prefer an open mind of in 
quiry, first about the facts , in all these matters; and I believe 
that the S. P. R. methods, if pertinaciously stuck to, will 
eventually do much to clear things up. You see that, 
although religion is the great interest of my life, I am rather 
hopelessly non-evangelical, and take the whole thing too 
impersonally. 

But my College work is lightening in a way. Psychology 
is being handed over to others more and more, and I see a 
chance ahead for reading and study in other directions from 
those to which my very feeble powers in that line have 
hitherto been confined. I am going to give all the frag 
ments of time I can get, after this year is over, to religious 
biography and philosophy. Shield s book, Steenstra s, Gra- 
try s, and Harris s, I don t yet know, but can easily get at 
them. 

I hope your health is better in this beautiful winter which 
we are having. I am very well, and so is all my family. 
Believe me, with affectionate regards, truly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Benjamin Paul Blood. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 28, 1897. 

DEAR BLOOD, Your letter is delectable. From your 
not having yet acknowledged the book, 1 I began to wonder 
whether you had got it, but this acknowledgment is almost 
too good. Your thought is obscure lightning flashes 
darting gleams but that s the way truth is. And altho 
I "put pluralism in the place of philosophy," I do it only 
so far as philosophy means the articulate and the scientific. 
Life and mysticism exceed the articulable, and if there is 

1 The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy had just appeared. 



Act. 55} LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 59 

a One (and surely men will never be weaned from the idea 
of it), it must remain only mystically expressed. 

I have been roaring over and quoting some of the pas 
sages of your letter, in which my wife takes as much delight 
as I do. As for your strictures on my English, I accept 
them humbly. I have a tendency towards too great col- 
loquiality, I know, and I trust your sense of English better 
than any man s in the country. I have a fearful job on 
hand just now: an address on the unveiling of a military 
statue. Three thousand people, governor and troops, etc. 
Why they fell upon me, God knows; but being challenged, 
I could not funk. The task is a mechanical one, and the 
result somewhat of a school-boy composition. If I thought 
it would n t bore you, I should send you a copy for you to 
go carefully over and correct or rewrite as to the English. 
I should probably adopt every one of your corrections. 
What do you say to this? Yours ever, 

WM. JAMES. 
P.S. Please don t betitle me! 

The "copy" which was offered for correction with so 
much humility was the "Oration" on the unveiling of St. 
Gaudens s monument to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw of the 
54th Massachusetts Infantry (the first colored regiment). 
James was quite accustomed to lecturing from brief notes 
and to reading from a complete manuscript; but, on this 
occasion he thought it necessary to commit his address to 
memory. He had never done this before and he never 
tried to do it again. He memorized with great difficulty, 
found himself placed in an entirely unfamiliar relation to 
his audience, and felt as much nervous trepidation as any 
inexperienced speaker. 1 

1 The Address has been reprinted in Memories and Studies. 



60 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1897 

To Henry James. 

CAMBRIDGE, June 5, 1897. 

DEAR H., Alice wrote you (I think) a brief word after 
the crisis of last Monday. It took it out of me nervously 
a good deal, for it came at the end of the month of May, 
when I am always fagged to death; and for a week previous 
I had almost lost my voice with hoarseness. At nine o clock 
the night before I ran in to a laryngologist in Boston, who 
sprayed and cauterized and otherwise tuned up my throat, 
giving me pellets to suck all the morning. By a sort of 
miracle I spoke for three-quarters of an hour without be 
coming perceptibly hoarse. But it is a curious kind of 
physical effort to fill a hall as large as Boston Music Hall, 
unless you are trained to the work. You have to shout and 
bellow, and you seem to yourself wholly unnatural. The 
day was an extraordinary occasion for sentiment. The 
streets were thronged with people, and I was toted around 
for two hours in a barouche at the tail end of the procession. 
There were seven such carriages in all, and I had the great 
pleasure of being with St. Gaudens, who is a most charming 
and modest man. The weather was cool and the skies were 
weeping, but not enough to cause any serious discomfort. 
They simply formed a harmonious background to the 
pathetic sentiment that reigned over the day. It was very 
peculiar, and people have been speaking about it ever since 
the last wave of the war breaking over Boston, everything 
softened and made poetic and unreal by distance, poor little 
Robert Shaw erected into a great symbol of deeper things 
than he ever realized himself, "the tender grace of a day 
that is dead," etc. We shall never have anything like it 
again. The monument is really superb, certainly one of the 
finest things of this century. Read the darkey [Booker T.] 



Aet. 55} LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 61 

Washington s speech, a model of elevation and brevity. 
The thing that struck me most in the day was the faces of 
the old 54th soldiers, of whom there were perhaps about 
thirty or forty present, with such respectable old darkey 
faces, the heavy animal look entirely absent, and in its 
place the wrinkled, patient, good old darkey citizen. 

As for myself, I will never accept such a job again. It is 
entirely outside of my legitimate line of business, although 
my speech seems to have been a great success, if I can judge 
by the encomiums which are pouring in upon me on every 
hand. I brought in some mugwumpery at the end, but 
it was very difficult to manage it. ... Always affectionately 
yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

Letters to Ellen and Rosina Emmet, which now enter 
the series, will be the better understood for a word of re 
minder. "Elly" Temple, one of the Newport cousins 
referred to in the very first letters, had married, and gone 
with her husband, Temple Emmet, to California. But 
in 1887, after his death, she had returned to the East to 
place her daughters in a Cambridge school. In 1895 and 
1896 Ellen and Rosina had made several visits to the house 
in Irving Street; and thus the comradely cousinship of the 
sixties had been maintained and reestablished with the 
younger generation. At the date now reached, Ellen, or 
"Bay" as she was usually called, was studying painting. 
She and Rosina had been in Paris during the preceding 
winter. Now they and their mother were spending the 
summer on the south coast of England, at Iden, quite close 
to Rye, where Henry James was already becoming estab 
lished. 



62 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1897 

To Miss Ellen Emmet (Mrs. Elanchard Rand). 

BAR HARBOR, ME., Aug. n, 1897. 

DEAR OLD BAY (and DEAR ROSINA), For I have letters 
from both of you and my heart inclines to both so that I 
can t write to either without the other I hope you are 
enjoying the English coast. A rumor reached me not long 
since that my brother Henry had given up his trip to the 
Continent in order to be near to you, and I hope for the 
sakes of all concerned that it is true. He will find in you 
both that eager and vivid artistic sense, and that direct 
swoop at the vital facts of human character from which I 
am sure he has been weaned for fifteen years at least. And 
I am sure it will rejuvenate him again. It is more Celtic 
than English, and when joined with those faculties of 
soul, conscience, or whatever they be that make England 
rule the waves, as they are joined in you. Bay, they leave 
no room for any anxiety about the creature s destiny. But 
Rosina, who is all senses and intelligence, alarms me by 
her recital of midnight walks on the Boulevard des Ital- 
iens with bohemian artists. . . . You can t live by gaslight 
and excitement, nor can naked intelligence run a jeune 
files life. Affections, pieties, and prejudices must play 
their part, and only let the intelligence get an occasional 
peep at things from the midst of their smothering embrace. 
That again is what makes the British nation so great. 
Intelligence does n t flaunt itself there quite naked as in 
France. 

As for the MacMonnies Bacchante, 1 1 only saw her faintly 
looming through the moon-light one night when she was 
sub judice, so can frame no opinion. The place certainly 
calls for a lightsome capricious figure, but the solemn Boston 

1 For a short while MacMonnies s Bacchante stood in the court of the Boston 
Public Library. 



Act. 55] TO MISS ELLEN EMMET 63 

mind declared that anything but a solemn figure would be 
desecration. As to her immodesty, opinions got very hot. 
My knowledge of MacMonnies is confined to one statue, 
that of Sir Henry Vane, also in our Public Library, an 
impressionist sketch in bronze (I think), sculpture treated 
like painting and I must say I don t admire the result 
at all. But you know; and I wish I could see other things of 
his also. How I wish I could talk with Rosina, or rather 
hear her talk, about Paris, talk in her French which I 
doubt not is by this time admirable. The only book she 
has vouchsafed news of having read, to me, is the d Annunzio 
one, which I have ordered in most choice Italian; but 
of Lemaitre, France, etc., she writes never a word. Nor 
of V. Hugo. She ought to read "La Legende des Siecles." 
For the picturesque pure and simple, go there! laid on with 
a trowel so generous that you really get your glut. But 
the things in French literature that I have gained most 
from the next most to Tolstoy, in the last few years 
are the whole cycle of Geo. Sand s life: her "Histoire," her 
letters, and now lately these revelations of the de Musset 
episode. The whole thing is beautiful and uplifting an 
absolute "liver" harmoniously leading her own life and 
neither obedient nor defiant to what others expected or 
thought. 

We are passing the summer very quietly at Chocorua, 
with our bare feet on the ground. Children growing up bul- 
lily, a pride to the parental heart. . . . Alice and I have just 
spent a rich week at North Conway, at a beautiful "place," 
the Merrimans . I am now here at a really grand place, 
the Dorrs tell Rosina that I went to a domino party 
last night but was so afraid that some one of the weird and 
sinister sisters would speak to me that I came home at 
12 o clock, when it had hardly begun. I am so sensitive! 



6 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1897 

Tell her that a lady from Michigan was recently shown the 
sights of Cambridge by one of my Radcliffe girls. She 
took her to the Longfellow house, and as the visitor went 
into the gate, said, "I will just wait here." To her sur 
prise, the visitor went up to the house, looked in to one 
window after the other, then rang the bell, and the door 
closed upon her. She soon emerged, and said that the ser 
vant had shown her the house. "I m so sensitive that at 
first I thought I would only peep in at the windows. But 
then I said to myself, What s the use of being so sensitive? 
So I rang the bell." 

Pray be happy this summer. I see nothing more of 
Rosina s in the papers. How is that sort of thing going 
on? ... As for your mother, give her my old-fashioned 
love. For some unexplained reason, I find it very hard to 
write to her probably it is the same reason that makes it 
hard for her to write tome so we can sympathize over 
so strange a mystery. Anyhow, give her my best love, and 
with plenty for yourself, old Bay, and for Rosina, believe 
me, yours ever, 

WM. JAMES. 

To E. L. Godkin. 

CHOCORUA, Aug. 17, 1897. 

DEAR GODKIN, Thanks for your kind note in re "Will 
to Believe." I suppose you expect as little a reply to it as 
I expected one from you to the book; but since you ask 
what I du mean by Religion, and add that until I define 
that word my essay cannot be effective, I can t forbear 
sending you a word to clear up that point. I mean by 
religion for a man anything that for him is a live hypothesis 
in that line, altho it may be a dead one for anyone else. 
And what I try to show is that whether the man believes, 



Aet. tf] TO F. C. S. SCHILLER 65 

disbelieves, or doubts his hypothesis, the moment he does 
either, on principle and methodically, he runs a risk of one 
sort or the other from his own point of view. There is no 
escaping the risk; why not then admit that one s human 
function is to run it? By settling down on that basis, and 
respecting each other s choice of risk to run, it seems to me 
that we should be in a clearer-headed condition than we 
now are in, postulating as most all of us do a rational cer 
titude which does n t exist and disowning the semi-voluntary 
mental action by which we continue in our own severally 
characteristic attitudes of belief. Since our willing natures 
are active here, why not face squarely the fact without 
humbug and get the benefits of the admission ? 

I passed a day lately with the [James] Bryces at Bar 
Harbor, and we spoke not altogether unkindly of you. 
I hope you are enjoying, both of you, the summer. All 
goes well with us. Youis always truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

To F. C. S. Schiller [Corpus Christi, Oxford]. 

CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 23, 1897. 

DEAR SCHILLER, Did you ever hear of the famous inter 
national prize fight between Tom Sayers and Heenan the 
Benicia Boy, or were you too small a baby in 1857 [1860?] 
The "Times" devoted a couple of pages of report and one or 
more eulogistic editorials to the English champion, and the 
latter, brimming over with emotion, wrote a letter to the 
"Times" in which he touchingly said that he would live in 
future as one who had been once deemed worthy of com 
memoration in its leaders. After reading your review of 
me in the October "Mind" (which only reached me two 
days ago) I feel as the noble Sayers felt, and think I ought 
to write to Stout to say I will try to live up to such a char- 



66 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

acter. My past has not deserved such words, but my future 
shall. Seriously, your review has given me the keenest 
possible pleasure. This philosophy must be thickened up 
most decidedly your review represents it as something 
to rally to, so we must fly a banner and start a school. 
Some of your phrases are bully: "reckless rationalism," 
"pure science is pure bosh," "infallible a priori test of truth 
to screen us from the consequences of our choice," etc., 
etc. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

The enclosed document [a returned letter addressed to 
Christ Church] explains itself. The Church and the Body 
of Christ are easily confused and I have n t a scholarly mem 
ory. I wrote you a post-card recently to the same address, 
patting you on the back for your article on Immortality in 
the "New World." A staving good thing. I am myself 
to give the "Ingersoll Lecture on Human Im mortality" 
here in November the second lecturer on the foundation. 
I treat the matter very inferiorly to you, but use your con 
ception of the brain as a sifting agency, which explains my 
question in the letter. Young [R. B.] Merriman is at Bal- 
liol and a really good fellow in all possible respects. Pray 
be good to him if he calls on you. I hope things have a 
peacock hue for you now that term has begun. They are 
all going well here. Yours always gratefully, 

W. J. 

To James J. Putnam. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mar. 2, 1898. 

DEAR JIM, On page 7 of the "Transcript" tonight you 
will find a manifestation of me at the State House, protest 
ing against the proposed medical license bill. 

If you think I enjoy that sort of thing you are mistaken. 
I never did anything that required as much moral effort 



Act. $6\ LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 67 

in my life. My vocation is to treat of things in an all-round 
manner and not make ex-parte pleas to influence (or seek 
to) a peculiar jury. Aussi, why do the medical brethren 
force an unoffending citizen like me into such a position? 
Legislative license is sheer humbug mere abstract paper 
thunder under which every ignorance and abuse can still 
go on. Why this mania for more laws? Why seek to stop 
the really extremely important experiences which these pecul 
iar creatures are rolling up? 

Bah! I m sick of the whole business, and I well know 
how all my colleagues at the Medical School, who go only 
by the label, will view me and my efforts. But if Zola 
and Col. Picquart can face the whole French army, can t 
I face their disapproval ? Much more easily than that of 
my own conscience! 

You, I fancy, are not one of the fully disciplined de- 
manders of more legislation. So I write to you, as on the 
whole my dearest friend hereabouts, to explain just what 
my state of mind is. Ever yours, 

W. J. 

James was not indulging in empty rhetoric when he said 
that his conscience drove him to face the disapproval of his 
medical colleagues. Some of them never forgave him, and 
to this day references to his " appearance " at the State 
House in Boston are marked by partisanship rather than 
understanding. 

What happened cannot be understood without recalling 
that thirty-odd years ago the licensing of medical practi 
tioners was just being inaugurated in the United States. 
Today it is evident that everyone must be qualified and 
licensed before he can be permitted to write prescriptions, 
to sign statements upon which public records, inquests, and 



68 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

health statistics are to be based, and to go about the com 
munity calling himself a doctor. On the other hand, expe 
rience has proved that those people who do not pretend to 
be physicians, who do not use drugs or the knife, and who 
attempt to heal only by mental or spiritual influence, can 
not be regulated by the clumsy machinery of the criminal 
law. But either because the whole question of medical 
registration was new, or because professional men are sel 
dom masters of the science of lawmaking, the sponsors of 
the bills proposed to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1894 
and 1898 ignored these distinctions. James did not name 
them, although his argument implied them and rested upon 
them. The bills included clauses which attempted to abol 
ish the faith-curers by requiring them to become Doctors 
of Medicine. The "Spiritualists" and Christian Scientists 
were a numerous element in the population and claimed a 
religious sanction for their beliefs. The gentlemen who 
mixed an anti-spiritualist program in their effort to have 
doctors examined and licensed by a State Board were either 
innocent of political discretion or blind to the facts. For 
it was idle to argue that faith-curers would be able to con 
tinue in their own ways as soon as they had passed the 
medical examinations of the State Board, and that accord 
ingly the proposed law could not be said to involve their 
suppression. Obviously, medical examinations were bar 
riers which the faith-curers could not climb over. This was 
the featu -. of the proposed law which roused James to 
opposition, and led him to take sides for the moment with 
all the spokesmen of all the -isms and -opathies. 

"I will confine myself to a class of diseases" (he wrote to 
the Boston "Transcript" in 1894) "with which my occu 
pation has made me somewhat conversant. I mean the 
diseases of the nervous system and the mind. ... Of all 



Act. 56} LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 69 

the new agencies that our day has seen, there is but one that 
tends steadily to assume a more and more commanding 
importance, and that is the agency of the patient s mind 
itself. Whoever can produce effects there holds the key 
of the situation in a number of morbid conditions of which 
we do not yet know the extent; for systematic experiments 
in this direction are in their merest infancy. They began 
in Europe fifteen years ago, when the medical world so tardily 
admitted the facts of hypnotism to be true; and in this 
country they have been carried on in a much bolder and 
more radical fashion by all those mind-curers * and Chris 
tian Scientists with whose results the public, and even the 
profession, are growing gradually familiar. 

"I assuredly hold no brief for any of these healers, and 
must confess that my intellect has been unable to assimi 
late their theories, so far as I have heard them given. But 
their facts are patent and startling; and anything that 
interferes with the multiplication of such facts, and with 
our freest opportunity of observing and studying them, 
will, I believe, be a public calamity. The law now proposed 
will so interfere, simply because the mind-curers will not 
take the examinations. . . . Nothing would please some of 
them better than such a taste of imprisonment as might, by 
the public outcry it would occasion, bring the law rattling 
down about the ears of the mandarins who should have 
enacted it. 

"And whatever one may think of the narrowness of the 
mind-curers, their logical position is impregnable. They 
are proving by the most brilliant new results that the thera 
peutic relation may be what we can at present describe 
only as a relation of one person to another person ; and they 
are consistent in resisting to the uttermost any legisla 
tion that would make examinable information the root of 



7 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

medical virtue, and hamper the free play of personal force 
and affinity by mechanically imposed conditions." 

James knew as well as anyone that in the ranks of the 
healers there were many who could fairly be described as 

preying on superstition and ignorance. "X personally 

is a rapacious humbug" was his privately expressed opinion 
of one of them who had a very large following. He had no 
reverence for the preposterous theories with which their 
minds were befogged; but "every good thing like science in 
medicine," as he once said, "has to be imitated and grimaced 
by a rabble of people who would be at the required height; 
and the folly, humbug and mendacity is pitiful." Further 
more he saw a quackery quite as odious and much more 
dangerous than that of the "healers" in the patent-medicine 
business, which was allowed to advertise its lies and secret 
nostrums in the newspapers and on the bill-boards, and 
which flourished behind the counter of every apothecary 
and village store-keeper at that time. (The Federal Pure 
Food and Drug Act was still many years off.) 

The spokesmen of the medical profession were ignoring 
what he believed to be instructive phenomena. "What the 
real interests of medicine require is that mental therapeutics 
should not be stamped out, but studied, and its laws ascer 
tained. For that the mind-curers must at least be suffered 
to make their experiments. If they cannot interpret their 
results aright, why then let the orthodox M.D. s follow up 
their facts, and study and interpret them? But to force 
the mind-curers to a State examination is to kill the experi 
ments outright." But instead of the open-minded attitude 
which he thus advocated, he saw doctors who "had no more 
exact science in them than a fox terrier" x invoking the 

1 These words were not employed in public, but were once applied to a well- 
known professor in a private letter. 



Q LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 71 

holy name of Science and blundering ahead with an air of 
moral superiority. 

"One would suppose," he exclaimed again in the 1898 
hearing, "that any set of sane persons interested in the 
growth of medical truth would rejoice if other persons were 
found willing to push out their experiences in the mental- 
healing direction, and provide a mass of material out of 
which the conditions and limits of such therapeutic methods 
may at last become clear. One would suppose that our 
orthodox medical brethren might so rejoice; but instead of 
rejoicing they adopt the fiercely partisan attitude of a 
powerful trades-union, demanding legislation against the 
competition of the * scabs/ . . . The mind-curers and their 
public return the scorn of the regular profession with an 
equal scorn, and will never come up for the examination. 
Their movement is a religious or quasi-religious movement; 
personality is one condition of success there, and impres 
sions and intuitions seem to accomplish more than chemical, 
anatomical or physiological information. . . . Pray do not 
fail, Mr. Chairman, to catch my point. You are not to ask 
yourselves whether these mind-curers do really achieve the 
successes that are claimed. It is enough for you as legis 
lators to ascertain that a large number of our citizens, per 
sons as intelligent and well-educated as yourself, or I, per 
sons whose number seems daily to increase, are convinced 
that they do achieve them, are persuaded that a valuable 
new department of medical experience is by them opening 
up. Here is a purely medical question, regarding which 
our General Court, not being a well-spring and source of 
medical virtue, not having any private test of therapeutic 
truth, must remain strictly neutral under penalty of making 
the confusion worse. . . . Above all things, Mr. Chairman, 
let us not be infected with the Gallic spirit of regulation and 



72 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

reglementation for their own abstract sakes. Let us not 
grow hysterical about law-making. Let us not fall in love 
with enactments and penalties because they are so logical 
and sound so pretty, and look so nice on paper." x 

To James J. Putnam. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mar. [3?] 1898. 

DEAR JIM, Thanks for your noble-hearted letter, which 
makes me feel warm again. I am glad to learn that you 
feel positively agin the proposed law, and hope that you will 
express yourself freely towards the professional brethren 
to that effect. 

Dr. Russell Sturgis has written me a similar letter. 

Once more, thanks! 

W. J. 

P.S. March 3. The "Transcript" report, I am sorry to 
say, was a good deal cut. I send you another copy, to 
keep and use where it will do most good. The rhetorical 
problem with me was to say things to the Committee that 
might neutralize the influence of their medical advisers* 
who, I supposed, had the inside track, and all the prestige. 
I being banded with the spiritists, faith-curers, magnetic 
healers, etc., etc. Strange affinities! 2 

W. J. 

1 A full report of the speech made at the Legislative hearing was printed in the 
Banner of Light , Mar. 12, 1898. The letter to the Boston Transcript in 1894 
appeared in the issue of Mar. 24. 

3 James J. Putnam to William James 

BOSTON, Mar. 9, 1898. 

DEAR WILLIAM, We have thought and talked a good deal about the subject 
of your speech in the course of the last week. I prepared with infinite labor a letter 
intended for the Transcript of last Saturday, but it was not a weighty contribution 
and I am rather glad it was too late to get in. I think it is generally felt among 
the best doctors that your position was the liberal one, and that it would be a 
mistake to try to exact an examination of the mind-healers and Christian Scien 
tists. On the other hand, I am afraid most of the doctors, even including myself, 
do not have any great feeling of fondness for them, and we are more in the way of 



Aet. 56} TO FRANCOIS PILLON 73 

To Francois Pillon. 

CAMBRIDGE, June 15, 1898. 

MY DEAR PILLON, I have just received your pleasant 
letter and the Annee> volume 8, and shall immediately pro 
ceed to read the latter, having finished reading my examina 
tions yesterday, and being now free to enjoy the vacation, 
but excessively tired. I grieve to learn of poor Mrs. Pillon s 
continued ill health. How much patience both of you 
require. I think of you also as spending most of the sum 
mer in Paris, when the country contains so many more 
elements that are good for body and soul. 

How much has happened since I last heard from you! 
To say nothing of the Zola trial, we now have the Cuban 
War! A curious episode of history, showing how a nation s 
ideals can be changed in the twinkling of an eye, by a 
succession of outward events partly accidental. It is quite 
possible that, without the explosion of the Maine, we should 
still be at peace, though, since the basis of the whole Ameri 
can attitude is the persuasion on the part of the people 
that the cruelty and misrule of Spain in Cuba call for her 
expulsion (so that in that sense our war is just what a war 
of "the powers" against Turkey for the Armenian atrocities 
would have been), it is hardly possible that peace could 
have been maintained indefinitely longer, unless Spain had 
gone out a consummation hardly to be expected by 
peaceful means. The actual declaration of war by Con 
gress, however, was a case of psychologic des joules ^ a genuine 
hysteric stampede at the last moment, which shows how 

seeing the fanatical spirit in which they proceed and the harm that they sometimes 
do than you are. Of course they do also good things which would remain other 
wise not done, and that is the important point, and sincere fanatics are almost 
always, and in this case I think certainly, of real value. 

Always affectionately, 

JAMES J. P. 



74 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

unfortunate that provision of our written constitution is 
which takes the power of declaring war from the Executive 
and places it in Congress. Our Executive has behaved 
very well. The European nations of the Continent cannot 
believe that our pretense of humanity, and our disclaiming 
of all ideas of conquest, is sincere. It has been absolutely 
sincere! The self-conscious feeling of our people has been 
entirely based in a sense of philanthropic duty, without 
which not a step would have been taken. And when, in 
its ultimatum to Spain, Congress denied any project of 
conquest in Cuba, it genuinely meant every word it said. 
But here comes in the psychologic factor: once the excite 
ment of action gets loose, the taxes levied, the victories 
achieved, etc., the old human instincts will get into play 
with all their old strength, and the ambition and sense of 
mastery which our nation has will set up new demands. 
We shall never take Cuba; I imagine that to be very cer 
tain unless indeed after years of unsuccessful police duty 
there, for that is what we have made ourselves responsible 
for. But Porto Rico, and even the Philippines, are not so 
sure. We had supposed ourselves (with all our crudity and 
barbarity in certain ways) a better nation morally than 
the rest, safe at home, and without the old savage ambition, 
destined to exert great international influence by throwing 
in our "moral weight," etc. Dreams! Human Nature is 
everywhere the same; and at the least temptation all the 
old military passions rise, and sweep everything before 
them. It will be interesting to see how it will end. 

But enough of this! It all shows by what short steps 
progress is made, and it confirms the "criticist" views of 
the philosophy of history. I am going to a great popular 
meeting in Boston today where a lot of my friends are to 
protest against the new "Imperialism." 



Aet. 56} TO MRS. JAMES 75 

In August I go for two months to California to do some 
lecturing. As I have never crossed the continent or seen 
the Pacific Ocean or those beautiful parages, I am very glad 
of the opportunity. The year after next (i.e. one year 
from now) begins a new year of absence from my college 
duties. I may spend it in Europe again. In any case I 
shall hope to see you, for I am appointed to give the "Gif- 
ford Lectures" at Edinburgh during 1899-1901 two 
courses of 10 each on the philosophy of religion. A great 
honor. I have also received the honor of an election as 
" Correspondent" of the Academic des Sciences Morales et 
Politiques. Have I your influence to thank for this? 
Believe me, with most sympathetic regards to Mrs. Pillon 
and affectionate greetings to yourself, yours most truly 

WM. JAMES. 

Before starting for California, James went to the Adiron 
dack Lodge to snatch a brief holiday. One episode in this 
holiday can best be described by an extract from a letter to 
Mrs. James. 

To Mrs. James. 

ST. HUBERT S INN, 
KEENE VALLEY, July 9, 1898. 

... I have had an eventful 24 hours, and my hands are 
so stiff after it that my fingers can hardly hold the pen. 
I left, as I informed you by post-card, the Lodge at seven, 
and five hours of walking brought us to the top of Marcy 
I carrying 18 Ibs. of weight in my pack. As usual, I met 
two Cambridge acquaintances on the mountain top "Ap 
palachians" from Beede s. At four, hearing an axe below, 
I went down (an hour s walk) to Panther Lodge Camp, and 
there found Charles and Pauline Goldmark, Waldo Adler 



7 6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

and another schoolboy, and two Bryn Mawr girls the 
girls all dressed in boys breeches, and cutaneously dese 
crated in the extreme from seven of them having been 
camping without a male on Loon Lake to the north of this. 
My guide had to serve for the party, and quite unexpectedly 
to me the night turned out one of the most memorable of 
all my memorable experiences. I was in a wakeful mood 
before starting, having been awake since three, and I may 
have slept a little during this night; but I was not aware of 
sleeping at all. My companions, except Waldo Adler, 
were all motionless. The guide had got a magnificent pro 
vision of firewood, the sky swept itself clear of every trace 
of cloud or vapor, the wind entirely ceased, so that the 
fire-smoke rose straight up to heaven. The temperature 
was perfect either inside or outside the cabin, the moon 
rose and hung above the scene before midnight, leaving only 
a few of the larger stars visible, and I got into a state of 
spiritual alertness of the most vital description. The in 
fluences of Nature, the wholesomeness of the people round 
me, especially the good Pauline, the thought of you and 
the children, dear Harry on the wave, the problem of the 
Edinburgh lectures, all fermented within me till it became 
a regular Walpurgis Nacht. I spent a good deal of it in 
the woods, where the streaming moonlight lit up things 
in a magical checkered play, and it seemed as if the Gods 
of all the nature-mythologies were holding an indescrib 
able meeting in my breast with the moral Gods of the 
inner life. The two kinds of Gods have nothing in com 
mon the Edinburgh lectures made quite a hitch ahead. 
The intense significance of some sort, of the whole scene, 
if one could only tell the significance; the intense inhuman 
remoteness of its inner life, and yet the intense appeal of it; 
its everlasting freshness and its immemorial antiquity and 



Aet. 56} TO MRS. JAMES 77 

decay; its utter Americanism, and every sort of patriotic 
suggestiveness, and you, and my relation to you part and 
parcel of it all, and beaten up with it, so that memory and 
sensation all whirled inexplicably together; it was indeed 
worth coming for, and worth repeating year by year, if 
repetition could only procure what in its nature I suppose 
must be all unplanned for and unexpected. It was one of 
the happiest lonesome nights of my existence, and I under 
stand now what a poet is. He is a person who can feel the 
immense complexity of influences that I felt, and make some 
partial tracks in them for verbal statement. In point of 
fact, I can t find a single word for all that significance, and 
don t know what it was significant of, so there it remains, 
a mere boulder of impression. Doubtless in more ways 
than one, though, things in the Edinburgh lectures will be 
traceable to it. 

In the morning at six, I shouldered my undiminished pack 
and went up Marcy, ahead of the party, who arrived half 
an hour later, and we got in here at eight [P.M.] after ioJ/2 
hours of the solidest walking I ever made, and I, I think, 
more fatigued than I have been after any walk. We 
plunged down Marcy, and up Bason Mountain, led by 
C. Goldmark, who had, with Mr. White, blazed a trail the 
year before; * then down again, away down, and up the 
Gothics, not counting a third down-and-up over an inter 
mediate spur. It was the steepest sort of work, and, 
as one looked from the summits, seemed sheer impossible, 
but the girls kept up splendidly, and were all fresher than I. 
It was true that they had slept like logs all night, whereas 
I was "on my nerves." I lost my Norfolk jacket at the 
last third of the course high time to say good-bye to that 
possession and staggered up to the Putnams to find 

1 That is, there was here no path to follow, only " blazes " on the trees. 



78 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

Hatty Shaw x taking me for a tramp. Not a soul was 
there, but everything spotless and ready for the arrival 
today. I got a bath at Bowditch s bath-house, slept in 
my old room, and slept soundly and well, and save for the 
unwashable staining of my hands and a certain stiffness 
in my thighs, am entirely rested and well. But I don t be 
lieve in keeping it up too long, and at the Willey House will 
lead a comparatively sedentary life, and cultivate sleep, if 
I can. . . . 

W. J. 

The intense experience which James thus described had 
consequences that were not foreseen at the time. He had 
gone to the Adirondacks at the close of the college term in a 
much fatigued condition. He had been sleeping badly for 
some weeks, and when he started up Mount Marcy he had 
neuralgia in one foot; but he had characteristically deter 
mined to ignore and "bully" this ailment. Under such 
conditions the prolonged physical exertion of the two days 
climb, aggravated by the fact that he carried a pack all 
the second day, was too much for a man of his years and 
sedentary occupations. As the summer wore on, pain or 
discomfort in the region of his heart became constant. He 
tried to persuade himself that it signified nothing and would 
pass away, and concealed it from his wife until mid-winter. 
To Howison who was himself a confessed heart case 
he wrote, "My heart has been kicking about terribly of 
late, stopping, and hurrying and aching and so forth, but 
I do not propose to give up to it too much." The fact was 
that the strain of the two days climb had caused a val 
vular lesion that was irreparable, although not great enough 
seriously to curtail his activities if he had given heed to 

1 The housekeeper at the Putnam-Bowditch "shanty." 



Act. 56} TO G. H. HOWISON 79 

his general condition and avoided straining himself again. 
In August James went to California to give the lectures 
which have already been mentioned in a letter to Pillon. 
Again, these lectures were in substance the "Talks to 
Teachers." The next letter, written just before he left 
Cambridge, answers a request to him to address the Philo 
sophical Club at the University of California. 

To G. H. Howison. 

CAMBRIDGE, July 24, 1898. 

DEAR HOWISON, Your kind letter greeted me on my 
arrival here three days ago but I have waited to answer 
it in order to determine just what my lecture s title should 
be. I wanted to make something entirely popular, and as 
it were emotional, for technicality seems to me to spell 
"failure" in philosophy. But the subject in the margin 
of my consciousness failed to make connexion with the centre, 
and I have fallen back on something less vital, but still, I 
think, sufficiently popular and practical, which you can 
advertise under the rather ill-chosen title of "Philosophical 
Conceptions and Practical Results," if you wish. 

I am just back from a month of practical idleness in the 
Adirondacks, but such is the infirmity of my complexion 
that I am not yet in proper working trim. You ask me, 
like an angel, in what form I like to take my sociability. 
The spirit is willing to take it in any form, but the flesh is 
weak, and it runs to destruction of nerve-tissue and mad 
ness in me to go to big stand-up receptions where the people 
scream and breathe in each other s faces. But I know my 
duties; and one such reception I will gladly face. For the 
rest, I should infinitely prefer a chosen few at dinner. But 
this enterprise is going, my friend, to give you and Mrs. 
Howison a heap of trouble. My purpose is to arrive on 



80 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

the eve of the 26th. I will telegraph you the hour and train. 
When the lectures to the teachers are over, I will make for 
the Yosemite Valley, where I want to spend a fortnight if I 
can, and come home. . . . Yours ever truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Henry James. 

OCCIDENTAL HOTEL, 
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. n, 1898. 

DEAR OLD HENRY, You see I have worked my way 
across the Continent, and, full of the impressions of this 
queer place, I must overflow for a page or two to you. I 
saw some really grand and ferocious scenery on the Cana 
dian Pacific, and wish I could go right back to see it again. 
But it does n t mean much, on the whole, for human habi 
tation, and the British Empire s investment in Canada is 
in so far forth but scenic. It is grand, though, in its vast- 
ness and simplicity. In Washington and Oregon the whole 
foreground consisted of desolation by fire. The magnifi 
cent coniferous forests burnt and burning, as they have 
been for years and years back. Northern California one 
pulverous earth-colored mass of hills and heat, with green 
spots produced by irrigation hardly showing on the back 
ground. I drove through a wheatfield at Harry s Uncle 
Christopher s on a machine, drawn by 26 mules, which cut 
a swathe 18 feet wide through the wheat and threw it out 
in bags to be taken home, as fast as the leisurely mules 
could walk. It is like Egypt;. Down here, splendid air, 
and a city so indescribably odd and unique in its sugges 
tions that I have been saying to myself all day that you 
ought to have taken it in when you were under 30 and 
added it to your portraits of places. So remote and ter 
minal, so full of the sea-port nakedness, yet so new and 



Aet. 5 6\ TO HIS SON ALEXANDER 81 

American, with its queer suggestions of a history based on 
the fifties and the sixties. But at my age those impres 
sions are curiously weak to what they once were, and the 
time to travel is between one s 2oth and joth year. This 
hotel an old house cleaned into newness is redolent 
of 59 or 60, when it must have been built. Hideous vast 
stuccoed thing, with long undulating balustrades and wells 
and lace curtains. The fare is very good, but the servants 
all Irish, who seem cowed in the dining-room, and go about 
as if they had corns on their feet and for that reason had 
given up the pick and shovel. . . . Tomorrow, in spite of 
drouth and dust, I leave for the Yosemite Valley, with 
a young Californian philosopher, named [Charles M.] 
Bakewell, as companion. On the whole I prefer the works 
of God to those of man, and the alternative, a trip down 
the coast, beauties as it would doubtless show, would in 
clude too much humanity. . . . 

To his Son Alexander. 

BERKELEY, CAL., Aug. 28, 1898. 

DARLING OLD CHERUBINI, See how brave this girl and 
boy are in the Yosemite Valley! x I saw a moving sight the 
other morning before breakfast in a little hotel where I 
slept in the dusty fields. The young man of the house had 
shot a little wolf called a coyote in the early morning. The 
heroic little animal lay on the ground, with his big furry 
ears, and his clean white teeth, and his jolly cheerful little 
body, but his brave little life was gone. It made me 
think how brave all these living things are. Here little 
coyote was, without any clothes or house or books or any 
thing, with nothing but his own naked self to pay his way 

1 Photograph of a boy and girl standing on a rock which hangs dizzily over a 
great precipice above the Yosemite Valley, 



82 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

with, and risking his life so cheerfully and losing it 
just to see if he could pick up a meal near the hotel. He 
was doing his coyote-business like a hero, and you must do 
your boy-business, and I my man-business bravely too, or 
else we won t be worth as much as that little coyote. Your 
mother can find a picture of him in those green books of 
animals, and I want you to copy it. Your loving 

DAD. 

To Miss Rosina H. Emmet. 

MONTEREY, Sept. 9, 1898. 

DEAR OLD ROSINA, I have seen your native state and 
even been driven by dear, good, sweet Hal Dibblee (who is 
turning into a perfectly ideal fellow) through the charming 
and utterly lovable place in which you all passed your child 
hood. (How your mother must sometimes long for it 
again! ) Of California and its greatness, the half can never 
be told. I have been on a ranch in the white, bare dry- 
ness of Siskiyou County, and reaped wheat with a swathe 
of 1 8 feet wide on a machine drawn by a procession of 26 
mules. I ve been to Yosemite, and camped for five days 
in the high Sierras; I ve lectured at the two universities of 
the state, and seen the youths and maidens lounge together 
at Stanford in cloisters whose architecture is purer and 
more lovely than aught that Italy can show. I ve heard 
Mrs. Dibblee read letter after letter from Anita concerning 
your life together; and even one letter to Anita from Bay, 
which the former enclosed. (Dear Bay!) All this, dear 
old Rosina, is a " summation of stimuli" which at last car 
ries me over the dam that has so long obstructed all my 
epistolary efforts in your direction. 

Over and over again I have been on the point of writing 
to you, more than once I have actually written a page or 



Aet. 56} TO MISS ROSINA H. EMMET 83 

two, but something has always checked the flow, and ar 
rested the current of the soul. What is it? I think it is 
this: I naturally tend, when "familiar" with what the 
authors of the beginning of the century used to call "a 
refined female," to indulge in chaffing personalities in writ 
ing to her. There is something in you that doubtfully 
enjoys the chaffing; and subtly feeling that, I stop. But 
some day, when experience shall have winnowed you with 
her wing; when the illusions and the hopes of youth alike 
are fadecj; when eternal principles of order are more to 
you than sensations that pass in a day, however exciting; 
when friends that know you and your roots and derivations 
are more satisfactory, however humdrum and hoary they 
be, than the handsome recent acquaintances that know 
nothing of you but the hour; when, in short, your being is 
mellowed, dulled and harmonized by time so as to be a 
grave, wise, deep, and discerning moral and intellectual 
unity (as mine is already from the height of my 40 centuries!), 
then, Rosina, we two shall be the most perfect of combina 
tions, and I shall write to you every week of my life and 
you will be utterly unable to resist replying. That will 
not be, however, before you are forty years old. You are 
sure to come to it! For you see the truth, irrespective of 
persons, as few people see it; and after all, you care for that 
more than for anything else and that means a rare and 
unusual destiny, and ultimate salvation. But here I am, 
chaffing, quite against my intentions and altogether in spite 
of myself. The ruling passion is irresistible. Let me stop! 
But still I must be personal, and not write merely of the 
climate and productions of California, as I have been doing 
to others for the past four weeks. How I do wish I could 
be dropped amongst you for but 24 hours! What talk I 
should hear! What perceptions of truth from you and Bay 



84 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1898 

(and probably young Leslie) would pour into my receptive 
soul. How I should like to hear you hold forth about the 
French, their art, their literature, their nature, and all else 
about them! How I should like to hear you talk French! 
How I should like to note the changes wrought in you by 
all this experience, and take all sorts of excursions in your 
company! Don t come home for one more year if you can 
help it. Stay and let the impressions set and tie them 
selves in with a hard knot, so that they will be worth some 
thing and definitive. 

I am so glad to hear that Bay is doing so well, and doubly 
glad (as Mrs. Dibblee tells me from Anita) that H. J. is 
going to sit to her for his portrait. I am a bit sorry that 
the youthful Harry did n t accept your invitation, but his 
time was after all so short that it has been perhaps good 
for him to get the massive English impression. What times 
we live in ! Dreyfus, Cuba, and Khartoum ! I keep well, 
though fragile as a worker. You will have heard of my 
Edinburgh appointment and my election to the Institut 
de France as Correspondant. The latter is silly, but the 
former a serious scrape out of which I am praying all the 
gods to help me, as the time for preparation is so short. 
All Cambridge friends are well. You heard of dear Child s 
death, last summer, I suppose. Good-bye! Write to me, 
dear old Rosina. Kiss Bay and Leslie even effleurez 
your own cheek, for me. Give my best love to your mother, 
and believe me always your affectionate 

W. J. 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 3, 1898. 

ILLUSTRIOUS FRIEND AND JOY OF MY LIVER, I am much 
pleased to hear from you, for I have wished to know of 



Aet. 56] TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 85 

your destinies, and Bakewell could n t give me a very pre 
cise account. I congratulate you on getting your review 
of me off your hands you must experience a relief similar 
to that of Christian when he lost his bag of sin. I imagine 
your account of its unsatisfactoriness is a little hyper- 
aesthetic, and that what you have brooded over so long 
will, in spite of anything in the accidents of its production, 
prove solid and deep, and reveal ex pede the Hercules. Of 
course, if you do not unconditionally subscribe to my "Will 
to Believe" essay, it shows that you still are groping in the 
darkness of misunderstanding either of my meaning or of 
the truth; for in spite of "the bludgeonings of fate," my 
head is " bloody but unbowed" as to the Tightness of my con 
tention there, in both its parts. But we shall see; and I 
hope you are now free for more distant flights. 

I am extremely sorry to hear you have been not well 
again, even though you say you are so much better now. 
You ought to be entirely well and every inch a king. Re 
member that, whenever you need a change, your bed is made 
in this house for as many weeks as you care to stay. I 
know there will come feelings of disconsolateness over you 
occasionally, from being so out of the academic swim. But 
that is nothing! And while this time is on, you should 
think exclusively of its unique characteristics of blessedness, 
which will be irrecoverable when you are in the harness again. 

I spent the first six weeks after term began in trying to 
clear my table of encumbering tasks, in order to get at my 
own reading for the Gifford lectures. In vain. Each day 
brought its cargo, and I never got at my own work, until 
a fortnight ago the brilliant resolve was communicated to 
me, by divine inspiration, of not doing anything for any 
body else, not writing a letter or looking at a MS., on any 
day until I should have done at least one hour of work for 



86 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

myself. If you spend your time preparing to be ready, 
you never will be ready. Since that wonderful insight into 
the truth, despair has given way to happiness. I do my 
hour or hour and a half of free reading; and don t care what 
extraneous interest suffers. . . . Good-night, dear old Miller. 
Your ever loving, 

W. J. 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 31, 1899. 

. . . Your account of Josiah Royce is adorable we have 
both gloated over it all day. The best intellectual charac 
ter-painting ever limned by an English pen! Since teach 
ing the "Conception of God," I have come to perceive what 
I did n t trust myself to believe before, that looseness of 
thought is R. s essential element. He wants it. There is n t 
a tight joint in his system; not one. And yet I thought 
that a mind that could talk me blind and black and numb 
on mathematics and logic, and whose favorite recreation is 
works on those subjects, must necessarily conceal closeness 
and exactitudes of ratiocination that I had n t the wit to 
find out. But no! he is the Rubens of philosophy. Rich 
ness, abundance, boldness, color, but a sharp contour never, 
and never any perfection. But is n t fertility better than 
perfection? Deary me! Ever thine, 

W. J. 

To Henry Rutgers Marshall. 

CAMBRIDGE [Feb. 7, 1899?]. 

DEAR MARSHALL, I will hand your paper to Eliot, 
though I am sure that nothing will come of it in this Uni 
versity. 

Moreover, it strikes me that no good will ever come to 



Act. 57} TO HENRY RUTGERS MARSHALL 87 

Art as such from the analytic study of ^Esthetics harm 
rather, if the abstractions could in any way be made the 
basis of practice. We should get stark things done on 
system with all the intangible personal je ne sgais quaw left 
out. The difference between the first- and second-best 
things in art absolutely seems to escape verbal definition 
it is a matter of a hair, a shade, an inward quiver of some 
kind yet what miles away in point of preciousness! 
Absolutely the same verbal formula applies to the supreme 
success and to the thing that just misses it, and yet verbal 
formulas are all that your aesthetics will give. 

Surely imitation in the concrete is better for results than 
any amount of gabble in the abstract. Let the rest of us 
philosophers gabble, but don t mix us up with the interests 
of the art department as such! Them s my sentiments. 

Thanks for the "cudgels" you are taking up for the 
"Will to Believe." Miller s article seems to be based solely 
on my little catchpenny title. Where would he have been 
if I had called my article "a critique of pure faith" or 
words to that effect? As it is, he doesn t touch a single 
one of my points, and slays a mere abstraction. I shall 
greedily read what you write. 

I have been too lazy and hard pressed to write to you 
about your "Instinct and Reason," which contains many 
good things in the way of psychology and morals, but 
which I tremble to say it before you on the whole 
does disappoint me. The religious part especially seems to 
me to rest on too narrow a phenomenal base, and the for 
mula to be too simple and abstract. But it is a good con 
tribution to American scholarship all the same, and I hope 
the Philippine Islanders will be forced to study it. 

Forgive my brevity and levity. Yours ever, 

W. J. 



88 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

To Henry Rutgers Marshall. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 8 [1899]. 

DEAR MARSHALL, Your invitation was perhaps the 
finest "tribute" the Jameses have ever received, but it is 
plumb impossible that either of us should accept. Pinned 
down, by ten thousand jobs and duties, like two Gullivers 
by the threads of the Lilliputians. 

I should "admire" to see the Kiplings again, but it is no 
go. Now that by his song-making power he is the might 
iest force in the formation of the "Anglo-Saxon" character, 
I wish he would hearken a bit more to his deeper human 
self and a bit less to his shallower jingo self. If the Anglo- 
Saxon race would drop its sniveling cant it would have a 
good deal less of a "burden" to carry. We re the most 
loathsomely canting crew that God ever made. Kipling 
knows perfectly well that our camps in the tropics are not 
college settlements or our armies bands of philanthropists, 
slumming it; and I think it a shame that he should repre 
sent us to ourselves in that light. I wish he would try a 
bit interpreting the savage soul to us, as he could, instead of 
using such official and conventional phrases as "half-devil 
and half-child," which leaves the whole insides out. 

Heigh ho! 

I have only had time to glance at the first ^ of your 
paper on Miller. I am delighted you are thus going for 
him. His whole paper is an ignoratio elenchi, and he does n t 
touch a single one of my positions. 

Believe me with great regrets and thanks, yours ever, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman. 

CHOCORUA, June 7, 1899. 

DEAR MRS. WHITMAN, I got your penciled letter the 
day before leaving. The R.R. train seems to be a great 



Act. 57} TO MRS. HENRY WHITMAN 89 

stimulus to the acts of the higher epistolary activity and 
correspondential amicality in you a fact for which I have 
(occasional) reason to be duly grateful. So here, in the 
cool darkness of my road-side "sitting-room," with no pen 
in the house, with the soft tap of the carpenter s hammer 
and the pensive scrape of the distant wood-saw stealing 
through the open wire-netting door, along with the fra 
grant air of the morning woods, I get stimulus responsive, 
and send you penciled return. Yes, the daylight that now 
seems shining through the Dreyfus case is glorious, and if 
the President only gets his back up a bit, and mows down 
the whole gang of Satan, or as much of it as can be 
touched, it will perhaps be a great day for the distracted 
France. I mean it may be one of those moral crises that 
become starting points and high-water marks and leave tra 
ditions and rallying cries and new forces behind them. One 
thing is certain, that no other alternative form of govern 
ment possible to France in this century could have stood 
the strain as this democracy seems to be standing it. 

Apropos of which, a word about Woodberry s book. 1 I 
did n t know him to be that kind of a creature at all. The 
essays are grave and noble in the extreme. I hail another 
American author. They can t be popular, and for cause. 
The respect of him for the Queen s English, the classic 
leisureliness and explicitness, which give so rare a dignity 
to his style, also take from it that which our generation 
seems to need, the sudden word, the unmediated transition, 
the flash of perception that makes reasonings unnecessary. 
Poor Woodberry, so high, so true, so good, so original in his 
total make-up, and yet so unoriginal if you take him spot- 
wise and therefore so ineffective. His paper on Democ 
racy is very fine indeed, though somewhat too abstract. 

1 G. E. Woodberry: The Heart of Man; 1899. 



9 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

I have n t yet read the first and last essays in the book, 
which I shall buy and keep, and even send a word of gratu- 
lation to the author for it. 

As for me, my bed is made: I am against bigness and 
greatness in all their forms, and with the invisible molec 
ular moral forces that work from individual to individual, 
stealing in through the crannies of the world like so many 
soft rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, and yet 
rending the hardest monuments of man s pride, if you give 
them time. The bigger the unit you deal with, the hollower, 
the more brutal, the more mendacious is the life displayed. 
So I am against all big organizations as such, national ones 
first and foremost; against all big successes and big results; 
and in favor of the eternal forces of truth which always 
work in the individual and immediately unsuccessful way, 
under-dogs always, till history comes, after they are long 
dead, and puts them on the top. You need take no notice 
of these ebullitions of spleen, which are probably quite un 
intelligible to anyone but myself. Ever your 

W. J. 

When the College term ended in June, 1899, tne sailing 
date of the European steamer on which James had taken 
passage for his wife and daughter and himself was still 
three weeks away. He turned again to the Adirondack 
Lodge and there persuaded himself, to his intense satisfac 
tion, that if he walked slowly and alone, so that there was 
no temptation to talk while walking, or to keep on when he 
felt like stopping, he could still spend several hours a day 
on the mountain sides without inconvenience to his heart. 
But one afternoon he took a wrong path and did not dis 
cover his mistake until he had gone so far that it seemed 
safer to go on than to turn back. So he kept on. But the 



Aet. 57] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 91 

"trail" he was following was not the one he supposed it to 
be and led him farther and farther. He fainted twice; 
it grew dark; but having neither food, coat, nor matches, 
he stumbled along until at last he came out on the Keene 
Valley road and, at nearly eleven o clock at night, reached 
a house where he could get food and a conveyance. 

He ought to have avoided all exertion for weeks there 
after, but he tried again to make light of what had occurred, 
and, on getting back to Cambridge, spent a very active 
few days over final arrangements for his year of absence. 
When his boat had sailed and the stimulus which his last 
duties supplied had been withdrawn, he began to discover 
what condition he was in. 



XIII 



Two years of Illness in Europe Retirement from Active 
Duty at Harvard - - The First and Second Series of 
the Gijford Lectures 

WHEN James sailed for Hamburg on July I5 ? he planned 
quite definitely to devote the summer to rest and the treat 
ment of his heart, then to write out the Gifford Lectures 
during the winter, and to deliver them by the following 
spring; and, happily, could not foresee that he was to spend 
nearly two years in exile and idleness. For nearly six years 
he had driven himself beyond the true limits of his strength. 
Now it became evident that the strain of his second over- 
exertion in the Adirondacks had precipitated a complete 
collapse. He had been advised during the winter to go to 
Nauheim for a course of baths. But when he got there, 
the eminent specialists who examined his heart ignored his 
nervous prostration. He was doubtless a difficult patient 
to diagnose or prescribe for. Matters went from bad to 
worse; little by little all his plans had to be abandoned. 
A year went by, and a return to regular work in Cambridge 
was unthinkable. He was no better in the summer of 1900 
than when he landed in Germany in July of 1 899. His daugh 
ter had been sent to school in England. The three other 
children remained in America. He and Mrs. James moved 
about between England, Nauheim, the south of France, 
Switzerland and Rome, consulting a specialist in one place 
or trying the baths or the climate in another with how 



1899-1902] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 93 

much homesickness, and with how much courage none the 
less, the letters will indicate. 

His only systematic reading was a persistent, though 
frequently intermitted, exploration of religious biographies 
and the literature of religious conversion, in preparation for 
the Gifford Lectures. During the second year he managed 
to get one course of these lectures written out. Not until 
he had delivered them in Edinburgh, in May, 1901, did he 
know that he had turned the corner and feel as if he had 
begun to live again. 

Every letter that came to him from his family and friends 
at home was comforting beyond measure, and he poured 
out a stream of acknowledgment in long replies, which he 
dictated to Mrs. James. His own writing was usually 
limited to jottings in a note-book and to post-cards. He 
always had a fountain-pen and a few post-cards in his pocket, 
and often, when sitting in a chair in the open air, or at a 
little table in one of the outdoor restaurants that abound 
in Nauheim and in southern Europe, he would compress 
more news and messages into one of these little missives 
than most men ever get into a letter. A few of his friends 
at home divined his situation, and were at pains to write 
him regularly and fully. Letters that follow show how 
grateful he was for such devotion. 

In this state of enforced idleness he browsed through 
newspapers and journals more than he had before or than 
he ever did again, and so his letters contained more comments 
on daily events. It will be clear that what was happening 
did not always please him. He was an individualist and a 
liberal, both by temperament and by reason of having grown 
up with the generation which accepted the doctrines of the 
laissez-faire school in a thoroughgoing way. The Philip- 



94 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

pine policy of the McKinley administration seemed to him 
a humiliating desertion of the principles that America had 
fought for in the Revolution and the War of Emancipation. 
The military occupation of the Philippines, described by 
the President as " benevolent assimilation," and what he 
once called the "cold pot-grease of McKinley s eloquence" 
filled him with loathing. He saw the Republican Party in 
the light in which Mr. Dooley portrayed it when he repre 
sented its leaders as praying "that Providence might remain 
under the benevolent influence of the present administra 
tion." When McKinley and Roosevelt were nominated by 
the Republicans in 1900, he called them "a combination of 
slime and grit, soap and sand, that ought to scour anything 
away, even the moral sense of the country." He was ready 
to vote for Bryan if there were no other way of turning out 
the administration responsible for the history of our first 
years in the Philippines, "although it would doubtless have 
been a premature victory of a very mongrel kind of reform." 
In the same way, the cant with which many of the sup 
porters of England s program in South Africa extolled the 
Boer War in the British press provoked his irony. The up 
roar over the Dreyfus case was at its height. The "intel- 
lectuels," as they were called in France, the "Little Eng- 
landers" as they were nicknamed in England, and the 
Anti-Imperialists in his own country had his entire sym 
pathy. The state of mind of a member of the liberal 
minority, observing the phase of history that was disclosing 
itself at the end of the century, is admirably indicated in 
his correspondence. 

Miss Pauline Goldmark, next addressed, and her family 
were in the habit of spending their summers in Keene Valley, 
where they had a cottage that was not far from the Putnam 



Act. 57] TO MISS PAULINE GOLDMARK 95 

Shanty. James had often joined forces with them for a day s 
climb when he was staying at the Shanty. The reader will 
recall that it was their party that he had joined on Mt. 
Marcy the year before. 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, Aug. 12, 1899. 

MY DEAR PAULINE, I am afraid we are stuck here till 
the latter half of September. Once a donkey, always a 
donkey; at the Lodge in June, after some slow walks which 
seemed to do me no harm at all, I drifted one day up to the 
top of Marcy, and then (thanks to the Trail Improvement 
Society!) found myself in the Johns Brook Valley instead 
of on the Lodge trail back; and converted what would have 
been a three-hours downward saunter into a seven-hours 
scramble, emerging in Keene Valley at 10.15 P.M. This 
did me no good quite the contrary; so I have come to 
Nauheim just in time. My carelessness was due to the 
belief that there was only one trail in the Lodge direction, 
so I did n t attend particularly, and when I found myself off 
the track (the trail soon stopped) I thought I was going 
to South Meadow, and did n t reascend. Anyhow I was an 
ass, and you ought to have been along to steer me straight. 
I fear we shall ascend no more acclivities together. "Bent 
is the tree that should have grown full straight!" You 
have no idea of the moral repulsiveness of this Curort life. 
Everybody fairly revelling in disease, and abandoning 
themselves to it with a sort of gusto. "Heart," "heart," 
"heart," the sole topic of attention and conversation. As a 
"phase," however, one ought to be able to live through it, 
and the extraordinary nerve-rest, crawling round as we do, 
is beneficial. Man is never satisfied! Perhaps I shall be 
when the baths, etc., have had their effect. We go then 



9 6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

straight to England. I do hope that you are all getting 
what you wish in Switzerland, and that for all of you the 
entire adventure is proving golden. Mrs. James sends her 
love, and I am, as always, yours most affectionately, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Mrs. E. P. Gibbens. 

VILLA LUISE, BAD~NAUHEIM, Aug. 22, 1899. 

DARLING BELLE-MERE, The day seems to have come for 
another letter to you, though my fingers are so cold that 
I can hardly write. We have had a most conveniently 
dry season convenient in that it does n t coop us up in 
the house but a deal of cloud and cold. Today is sunny 
but frigid like late October. Altogether the difference 
of weather is very striking. European weather is stagnant 
and immovable. It is as if it got stuck, and needed a kick 
to start it; and although it is doubtless better for the nerves 
than ours, I find my soul thinking most kindly from this 
distance of our glorious quick passionate American climate, 
with its transparency and its impulsive extremes. This 
weather is as if fed on solid pudding. We inhabit one 
richly and heavily furnished bedroom, 21 x 14, with good 
beds and a balcony, and are rapidly making up for all our 
estrangement, locally speaking, in the past. It is a great 
"nerve-rest," though the listlessness that goes with all 
nerve-rest makes itself felt. Alice seems very well. . . . 
The place has wonderful adaptation to its purposes in the 
possession of a vast park with noble trees and avenues and 
incessant benches for rest; restaurants with out-of-door 
tables everywhere in sight; music morning, afternoon and 
night; and charming points to go to out of town. Cab- 
fare is cheap. But nothing else. . . . The Gifford lectures 
are in complete abeyance. I have word from Seth that 



Aet. 57} TO MRS. E. P. GIBBENS 97 

under the circumstances the Academic Senate will be sure to 
grant me any delay or indulgence I may ask for; so this re 
lieves tension. I can make nothing out yet about my heart. 
... So I /ry to take long views and not fuss about tem 
porary feelings, though I dare say I keep dear Alice worried 
enough by the fuss I imagine myself not to make. It is a 
loathsome world, this medical world; and I confess that 
the thought of another six weeks here next year does n t 
exhilarate me, in spite of the decency of all our physical 
conditions. I still remain faithful to Irving St. (95 and 
icy), 1 Chocorua, Silver Lake, and Keene Valley! 

We get almost no syllable of American news, in spite 
of the fact that we take the London "Chronicle." Pray 
send the "Nation" and the "Literary Digest." Dont 
send the "Sciences" as heretofore. Let them accumulate. 
I think that after reception of this you had better address 
us care of H. J., Rye, Sussex. We shall probably be off 
by the loth or I2th of Sept. I hope that public opinion 
is gathering black against the Philippine policy in spite 
of my absence! I hope that Salter will pitch in well in the 
fall. The still blacker nightmare of a Dreyfus case hangs 
over us; and there is little time in the day save for reading 
the "Figaro s" full reports of the trial. Like all French 
happenings, it is as if they were edited expressly for liter 
ary purpose. Every "witness" so-called has a power of 
statement equal to that of a first-class lawyer; and the 
various human types that succeed each other, exhibiting 
their several peculiarities in full blossom, make the thing 
like a novel. Esterhazy seems to me the great hero. How 
Shakespeare would have enjoyed such a fantastic scoun 
drel, knowing all the secrets, saying what he pleases, 
mystifying all Europe, leading the whole French army 

1 James s house was number 95, his mother-in-law s number 107. 



9 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

(except apparently Picquart) by the nose, a regular Shake 
spearean type of villain, with an insane exuberance of 
rhetoric and fancy about his vanities and hatreds, that 
literature has never given yet. It would seem incredible 
that the Court-Martial should condemn. Henry was evi 
dently the spy, employed by Esterhazy, and afterwards Du 
Paty helped their machinations, in order not to stultify his 
own record at the original trial at least this seems the 
plausible theory. The older generals seem merely to have 
been passive connivers, stupidly and obstinately holding 
to the original official mistake rather than surrender under 
fire. And such is the prestige of caste-opinion, such the 
solidity of the professional spirit, that, incredible as it may 
seem, it is still quite probable that the officers will obey the 
lead of their superiors, and condemn Dreyfus again. The 
President, Jouaust, who was supposed to be impartial, is 
showing an apparently bad animus against Picquart. P. is 
a real hero a precious possession for any country. He 
ought to be made Minister of War; though that would 
doubtless produce a revolution. I suppose that Loubet will 
pardon Dreyfus immediately if he is recondemned. Then 
Dreyfus, and perhaps Loubet, will be assassinated by some 
Anti-Semite, and who knows what will follow? But be 
fore you get this, you will know far more about the trial 
than I can tell you. 

We long for news from the boys not a word from Billy 
since he left Tacoma. I am glad their season promises 
to be shorter! Enough is as good as a feast! What a 
scattered lot we are! I hope that Margaret will be happy 
in Montreal. As for you in your desolation, I could almost 
weep for you. My only advice is that you should cling to 
Aleck as to a life-preserver. I trust you got the $200 I 
told Higginson to send you. I am mortified beyond meas- 



Act. 57} TO WILLIAM M. SALTER 99 

lire by that overdrawn bank account, and do not understand 
it at all. 

Oceans of love from your affectionate son, 

WILLIAM. 

To William M. Salter. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, Sept. n, 1899. 

DEAR MACKINTIRE, The incredible has happened, and 
Dreyfus, without one may say a single particle of positive 
evidence that he was guilty, has been condemned again. 
The French Republic, which seemed about to turn the most 
dangerous corner in her career and enter on the line of 
political health, laying down the finest set of political 
precedents in her history to serve as standards for future 
imitation and habit, has slipped Hell-ward and all the 
forces of Hell in the country will proceed to fresh excesses 
of insolence. But I don t believe the game is lost. "Les 
intellectuels," thanks to the Republic, are now aggressively 
militant as they never were before, and will grow stronger 
and stronger; so we may hope. I have sent you the 
"Figaro" daily; but of course the reports are too long for 
you to have read through. The most grotesque thing about 
the whole trial is the pretension of awful holiness, of semi- 
divinity in the diplomatic documents and waste-paper- 
basket scraps from the embassies a farce kept up to the 
very end these same documents being, so far as they 
were anything (and most of them were nothing), mere rec 
ords of treason, lying, theft, bribery, corruption, and every 
crime on the part of the diplomatic agents. Either the 
German and Italian governments will now publish or not 
publish all the details of their transactions give the exact 
documents meant by the bordereaux and the exact names 
of the French traitors. If they do not, there will be only 



ioo LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

two possible explanations: either Dreyfus s guilt, or the 
pride of their own sacrosanct etiquette. As it is scarcely 
conceivable that Dreyfus can have been guilty, their silences 
will be due to the latter cause. (Of course it can t be due 
to what they owe in honor to Esterhazy and whoever their 
other allies and servants may have been. E. is safe over 
the border, and a pension for his services will heal all his 
wounds. Any other person can quickly be put in similar 
conditions of happiness.) And they and Esterhazy will 
then be exactly on a par morally, actively conspiring to 
have an innocent man bear the burden of their own sins. 
By their carelessness with the documents they got Dreyfus 
accused, and now they abandon him, for the sake of their 
own divine etiquette. 

The breath of the nostrils of all these big institutions is 
crime that is the long and short of it. We must thank 
God for America; and hold fast to every advantage of our 
position. Talk about our corruption! It is a mere fly- 
speck of superficiality compared with the rooted and per 
manent forces of corruption that exist in the European 
states. The only serious permanent force of corruption in 
America is party spirit. All the other forces are shifting 
like the clouds, and have no partnerships with any per 
manently organized ideal. Millionaires and syndicates 
have their immediate cash to pay, but they have no in 
trenched prestige to work with, like the church sentiment, 
the army sentiment, the aristocracy and royalty sentiment, 
which here can be brought to bear in favor of every kind of 
individual and collective crime appealing not only to 
the immediate pocket of the persons to be corrupted, but 
to the ideals of their imagination as well. . . . My dear 
Mack, we "intellectuals" in America must all work to keep 
our precious birthright of individualism, and freedom from 



Aet. 57] TO WILLIAM M. SALTER 101 

these institutions. Every great institution is perforce a 
means of corruption whatever good it may also do. Only 
in the free personal relation is full ideality to be found. 
I have vomited all this out upon you in the hope that it 
may wake a responsive echo. One must do something to work 
off the effect of the Dreyfus sentence. 

I rejoice immensely in the purchase [on our behalf] of 
the two pieces of land [near Chocorua], and pine for the 
day when I can get back to see them. If all the same to 
you, I wish that you would buy Burke s in your name, and 
Mother-in-law Forrest s in her name. But let this be 
exactly as each of you severally prefers. 

We leave here in a couple of days, I imagine. I am bet 
ter; but I can t tell how much better for a few weeks yet. 
I hope that you will smite the ungodly next winter. What 
a glorious gathering together of the forces for the great 
fight there will be. It seems to me as if the proper tac 
tics were to pound McKinley put the whole responsi 
bility on him. It is he who by his purely drifting "non- 
entanglement" policy converted a splendid opportunity into 
this present necessity of a conquest of extermination. It is 
he who has warped us from our continuous national habit, 
which, if we repudiate him, it will not be impossible to 
resume. 

Affectionately thine, Mary s, Aleck s, Dinah s, Augusta s, 1 
and everyone s, 

W. J. 

P.S. Damn it, America does n t know the meaning of 
the word corruption compared with Europe! Corruption 
is so permanently organized here that it is n t thought of 
as such it is so transient and shifting in America as to 
make an outcry whenever it appears. 

1 Augusta was the house-maid; Dinah, a bull-terrier. 



102 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

BAD~NAUHEIM, Sept. 17, 1899. 

... In two or three days more I shall be discharged 
(in very decent shape, I trust) and after ten days or so of 
rigorously prescribed "Nachkur" in the cold and rain of 
Switzerland (we have seen the sun only in short but en 
trancing glimpses since Sept. I, and you know what bad 
weather is when it once begins in Europe), we shall pick 
up our Peggy at Vevey, and proceed to Lamb House, Rye, 
fiber Paris, with all possible speed. God bless the American 
climate, with its transparent, passionate, impulsive variety 
and headlong fling. There are deeper, slower tones of 
earnestness and moral gravity here, no doubt, but ours is 
more like youth and youth s infinite and touching promise. 
God bless America in general! Conspuez McKinley and 
the Republican party and the Philippine war, and the 
Methodists, and the voices, etc., as much as you please, 
but bless the innocence. Talk of corruption! We don t 
know what the word corruption means at home, with our 
improvised and shifting agencies of crude pecuniary bribery, 
compared with the solidly intrenched and permanently 
organized corruptive geniuses of monarchy, nobility, church, 
army, that penetrate the very bosom of the higher kind as 
well as the lower kind of people in all the European states 
(except Switzerland) and sophisticate their motives away 
from the impulse to straightforward handling of any simple 
case. Temoin the Dreyfus case! But no matter! Of all 
the forms of mental crudity, that of growing earnest over 
international comparisons is probably the most childish. 
Every nation has its ideals which are a dead secret to other 
nations, and it has to develop in its own way, in touch with 
them. It can only be judged by itself. If each of us does 
as well as he can in his own sphere at home, he will do all 



Act. 57\ TO MRS. HENRY WHITMAN 103 

he can do; that is why I hate to remain so long abroad. . . . 

We have been having a visit from an extraordinary Pole 
named Lutoslawski, 36 years old, author of philosophical 
writings in seven different languages, " Plato s Logic," 
in English (Longmans) being his chief work, and knower 
of several more, handsome, and to the last degree genial. 
He has a singular philosophy the philosophy of friend 
ship. He takes in dead seriousness what most people 
admit, but only half-believe, viz., that we are Souls (Zoolss, 
he pronounces it), that souls are immortal, and agents of 
the world s destinies, and that the chief concern of a soul 
is to get ahead by the help of other souls with whom it can 
establish confidential relations. So he spends most of his 
time writing letters, and will send 8 sheets of reply to a 
post-card that is the exact proportion of my correspond 
ence with him. Shall I rope you in, Fanny? He has a 
great chain of friends and correspondents in all the countries 
of Europe. The worst of them is that they think a secret 
imparted to one may at his or her discretion become, de 
proche en proche, the property of all. He is a wunderlicher 
Mensch: abstractly his scheme is divine, but there is some 
thing on which I can t yet just lay my defining finger 
that makes one feel that there is some need of the corrective 
and critical and arresting judgment in his manner of carry 
ing it out. These Slavs seem to be the great radical livers- 
out of their theories. Good-bye, dearest Fanny. . . . 

Your affectionate 

W. J. 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman. 

LAMB HOUSE, RYE, Oct. 5, 1899. 

DEAR MRS. WHITMAN, You see where at last we have 
arrived, at the end of the first etape of this pilgrimage the 



io 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

second station of the cross, so to speak with the Con 
tinent over, and England about to begin. The land is 
bathed in greenish-yellow light and misty drizzle of rain. 
The little town, with its miniature brick walls and houses 
and nooks and coves and gardens, makes a curiously vivid 
and quaint picture, alternately suggesting English, Dutch, 
and Japanese effects that one has seen in pictures all 
exceedingly tiny (so that one wonders how families ever 
could have been reared in most of the houses) and neat and 
zierlich to the last degree. Refinement in architecture 
certainly consists in narrow trim and the absence of heavy 
mouldings. Modern Germany is incredibly bad from that 
point of view much worse, apparently, than America. 
But the German people are a good safe fact for great powers 
to be intrusted to earnest and serious, and pleasant to 
be with, as we found them, though it was humiliating enough 
to find how awfully imperfect were one s powers of con 
versing in their language. French not much better. I re 
member nothing of this extreme mortification in old times, 
and am inclined to think that it is due less to loss of ability 
to speak, than to the fact that, as you grow older, you speak 
better English, and expect more of yourself in the way of 
accomplishment. I am sure you spoke no such English as 
now, in the seventies, when you came to Cambridge! And 
how could I, as yet untrained by conversation with you? 

Seven mortal weeks did we spend at the Curort, Nauheim, 
for an infirmity of the heart which I contracted, apparently, 
not much more than a year ago, and which now must be 
borne, along with the rest of the white man s burden, until 
additional visits to Nauheim have removed it altogether 
for ordinary practical purposes. N. was a sweetly pretty 
spot, but I longed for more activity. A glorious week in 
Switzerland, solid in its sometimes awful, sometimes beefy 



Act. 57} TO MRS. HENRY WHITMAN 105 

beauty; two days in Paris, where I could gladly have stayed 
the winter out, merely for the fun of the sight of the intelli 
gent and interesting streets; then hither, where H. J. has 
a real little bijou of a house and garden, and seems ab 
solutely adapted to his environment, and very well and 
contented in the leisure to write and to read which the place 
affords. 

In a few days we go almost certainly to the said H. J. s 
apartment, still unlet, in London, where we shall in all 
probability stay till January, the world forgetting, by 
the world forgot, or till such later date as shall witness the 
completion of the awful Gifford job, at which I have not 
been able to write one line since last January. I long for 
the definitive settlement and ability to get to work. I am 
very glad indeed, too, to be in an English atmosphere again. 
Of course it will conspire better with my writing tasks, and 
after all it is more congruous with one s nature and one s 
inner ideals. Still, one loves America above all things, for 
her youth, her greenness, her plasticity, innocence, good 
intentions, friends, everything. Je veux que mes cendres 
reposent sur les bords du Charles, au milieu de ce bon 
peuple de Harvarr Squerre que j ai tant aime. That is 
what I say, and what Napoleon B. would have said, had 
his life been enriched by your and my educational and other 
experiences poor man, he knew too little of life, had 
never even heard of us, whilst we have heard of him! 

Seriously speaking, though, I believe that international 
comparisons are a great waste of time at any rate, in 
ternational judgments and passings of sentence are. Every 
nation has ideals and difficulties and sentiments which are 
an impenetrable secret to one not of the blood. Let them 
alone, let each one work out its own salvation on its own 
lines. They talk of the decadence of France. The hatreds, 



io6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

and the coups de gueule of the newspapers there are awful. 
But I doubt if the better ideals were ever so aggressively 
strong; and I fancy it is the fruit of the much decried re 
publican regime that they have become so. My brother 
represents English popular opinion as less cock-a-whoop for 
war than newspaper accounts would lead one to imagine; 
but I don t know that he is in a good position for judging. 
I hope if they do go to war that the Boers will give them 
fits, and I heartily emit an analogous prayer on behalf of 
the Philippinos. 

I have had pleasant news of Beverly, having had letters 
both from Fanny Morse and Paulina Smith. I hope that 
your summer has been a good one, that work has prospered 
and that Society has been less enervante and more nutritious 
for the higher life of the Soul than it sometimes is. We 
have met but one person of any accomplishments or inter 
est all summer. But I have managed to read a good deal 
about religion, and religious people, and care less for accom 
plishments, except where (as in you) they go with a sancti 
fied heart. Abundance of accomplishments, in an unsanctified 
heart, only make one a more accomplished devil. 

Good bye, angelic friend! We both send love and best 
wishes, both to you and Mr. Whitman, and I am as ever 
yours affectionately, 

W.J. 

To Thomas Davidson. 

34 DE VERE GARDENS, 
LONDON, Nov. i, 1899. 

DEAR OLD T. D., A recent letter from Margaret Gibbens 
says that you have gone to New York in order to undergo 
a most "radical operation." I need not say that my 
thoughts have been with you, and that I have felt anxiety 



Act. 57] TO THOMAS DAVIDSON 107 

mixed with my hopes for you, ever since. I do indeed 
hope that, whatever the treatment was, it has gone off with 
perfect success, and that by this time you are in the durable 
enjoyment of relief, and nerves and everything upon the 
upward track. It has always seemed to me that, were I 
in a similar plight, I should choose a kill-or-cure operation 
rather than anything merely palliative so poisonous to 
one s whole mental and moral being is the irritation and 
worry of the complaint. It would truly be a spectacle for 
the Gods to see you rising like a phoenix from your ashes 
again, and shaking off even the memory of disaster like 
dew-drops from a lion s mane, etc. and I hope the spec 
tacle will be vouchsafed to us men also, and that you will 
be presiding over Glenmore as if nothing had happened, 
different from the first years, save a certain softening of 
your native ferocity of heart, and gentleness towards the 
shortcomings of weaker people. Dear old East Hill! 1 I 
shall never forget the beauty of the morning (it had rained 
the night before) when I took my bath in the brook, before 
driving down to Westport one day last June. 

We got your letter at Nauheim, a sweet safe little place, 
made for invalids, to which it took long to reconcile me on 
that account. But nous en avons vu bien d autres depuis, 
and from my present retirement in my brother s still unlet 
flat (he living at Rye), Nauheim seems to me like New 
York for bustle and energy. My heart, in short, has gone 
back upon me badly since I was there, and my doctor, 
Bezley Thorne, the first specialist here, and a man who 
inspires me with great confidence, is trying to tide me over 
the crisis, by great quiet, in addition to a dietary of the 

1 It will be recalled that Davidson had a summer School of Philosophy at his 
place called Glenmore on East Hill, and that East Hill is at one end of Keene Valley. 
See also James s essay on Thomas Davidson, "A Knight Errant of the Intellectual 
Life," in Memories and Studies. 



io8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

strictest sort, and more Nauheim baths, a domicile. Pro 
vided I can only get safely out of the Gifford scrape, the 
deluge has leave to come. Write, dear old T. D., and tell 
how you are, and let it be good news if possible. Give 
much love to the Warrens, and believe me always affec 
tionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

The woman thou gavest unto me comes out strong as a 
nurse, and treats me much better than I deserve. 

To John C. Gray. 

[Dictated to Mrs. James] 

LONDON, Nov. 23, 1899. 

DEAR JOHN, A week ago I learnt from the "Nation* 
strange to have heard it in no directer way! that dear old 
John Ropes had turned his back on us and all this mortal 
tragi-comedy. No sooner does one get abroad than that 
sort of thing begins. I am deeply grieved to think of never 
seeing or hearing old J. C. R. again, with his manliness, 
good-fellowship, and cheeriness, and idealism of the right 
sort, and can t hold in any longer from expression. You, 
dear John, seem the only fitting person for me to condole 
with, for you will miss him most tremendously. Pray write 
and tell me some details of the manner of his death. I hope 
he did n t suffer much. Write also of your own personal and 
family fortunes and give my love to the members of our 
dining club collectively and individually, when you next meet. 

I have myself been shut up in a sick room for five weeks 
past, seeing hardly anyone but my wife and the doctor, a 
bad state of the heart being the cause. We shall be at 
West Malvern in ten days, where I hope to begin to mend. 

Hurrah for Henry Higginson and his gift x to the Uni- 

1 A gift which provided for building the "Harvard Union." 



Act. 57} TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 109 

versity! I think the Club cannot fail to be useful if they 
make it democratic enough. 

I hope that Roland is enjoying Washington, but not so 
far transubstantiated into a politician as to think that 
McKinley & Co. are the high-water mark of human great 
ness up to date. 

John Ropes, more than most men, seems as if he would be 
natural to meet again. 

Please give our love to Mrs. Gray, and believe me, affec 
tionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

LAMB HOUSE, Dec. 23, 1899. 

DEAREST FANNY, About a week ago I found myself 
thinking a good deal about you. 

I may possibly have begun by wondering how it came 
that, after showing such a spontaneous tendency towards 
that " clandestine corresp6ndence " early in the season, you 
should recently, in spite of pathetic news about me, and 
direct personal appeals, be showing such great epistolary 
reserve. I went on to great lengths about you; and ended 
by realizing your existence, and its significance, as it were, 
very acutely. I composed a letter to you in my mind, 
whilst lying awake, dwelling in a feeling manner on the fact 
that human beings are born into this little span of life of 
which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies, and 
soon their places will know them no more, and yet they 
leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, 
to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to 
"keep" by force of mere inertia; they contribute nothing 
empirical to the relation, treating it as something tran 
scendental and metaphysical altogether; whereas in truth 



no LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1899 

it deserves from hour to hour the most active care and 
nurture and devotion. "There s that Fanny/ thought I, 
" the rarest and most precious, perhaps, of all the phenomena 
that enter into the circle of my experience. I take her for 
granted; I seldom see her she has never passed a night in 
our house! z and yet of all things she is the one that probably 
deserves the closest and most unremitting attention on my 
part. This transcendental relation of persons to each other 
in the absolute won t do! I must write to Fanny and tell 
her, in spite of her deprecations, just how perfect and rare 
and priceless a fact I know her existence in this Universe 
eternally to be. This very morrow I will dictate such a 
letter to Alice." The morrow came, and several days suc 
ceeded, and brought each its impediment with it, so that 
letter does n t get written till today. And now Alice, who 
had suddenly to take Peggy (who is with us for ten days) 
out to see a neighbor s little girl, conies in; so I will give 
the pen to her. 

[Remainder of letter dictated to Mrs. James] 

Sunday, 24th. 

Brother Harry and Peggy came in with Alice last even 
ing, so my letter got postponed till this morning. What I 
was going to say was this. The day before yesterday we 
received in one bunch seven letters from you, dating from 
the 2oth of October to the 8th of December, and showing 
that you, at any rate, had been alive to the duty of actively 
nourishing friendship by deeds. . . . Your letters were sent 
to Baring Brothers, instead of Brown, Shipley and Co., 
and it was a mercy that we ever got them at all. You are 
a great letter-writer inasmuch as your pen flows on, giving 
out easily such facts and feelings and thoughts as form the 

1 "You have never spent a night under our roof, or eaten a meal in our house!" 
This fictitious charge had become the recognized theme of frequent elaborations. 



Aet. 57 \ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE in 

actual contents of your day, so that one gets a live impres 
sion of concrete reality. My letters, I find, tend to escape 
into humorisms, abstractions and flights of fancy, which 
are not nutritious things to impart to friends thousands 
of miles away who wish to realize the facts of your private 
existence. We are now received into the shelter of H. J. s 
"Lamb House," where we have been a week, having found 
West Malvern (where the doctor sent me after my course of 
baths) rather too bleak a retreat for the drear-nighted 
December. (Heaven be praised! we have just lived down 
the solstice after which the year always seems a brighter, 
hopefuller thing.) Harry s place is a most exquisite collec 
tion of quaint little stage properties, three quarters of an 
acre of brick-walled English garden, little brick courts and 
out-houses, old-time kitchen and offices, paneled chambers 
and tiled fire-places, but all very simple and on a small 
scale. Its host, soon to become its proprietor, leads a very 
lonely life but seems in perfect equilibrium therewith, 
placing apparently his interest more and more in the opera 
tions of his fancy. His health is good, his face calm, his 
spirits equable, and he will doubtless remain here for many 
years to come, with an occasional visit to London. He has 
spoken of you with warm affection and is grateful for the 
letters which you send him in spite of the lapse of years. . . . 
I have resigned my Gifford lectureship, but they will un 
doubtedly grant me indefinite postponement. I have also 
asked for a second year of absence from Harvard, which of 
course will be accorded. If I improve, I may be able to 
give my first Gifford course next year. I can do no work 
whatsoever at present, but through the summer and half 
through the fall was able to do a good deal of reading in 
religious biography. Since July, in fact, my only com 
panions have been saints, most excellent, though sometimes 



ii2 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

rather lop-sided company. In a general manner I can 
see my way to a perfectly bully pair of volumes, the first 
an objective study of the "Varieties of Religious Experi 
ence/ the second, my own last will and testament, setting 
forth the philosophy best adapted to normal religious needs. 
I hope I may be spared to get the thing down on paper. 
So far my progress has been rather downhill, but the last 
couple of days have shown a change which possibly may 
be the beginning of better things. I mean to take great 
care of myself from this time on. In another week or two 
we hope to move to a climate (possibly near Hyeres) where 
I may sit more out of doors. Gathering some strength 
there, I trust to make for Nauheim in May. If I am bene 
fited there, we shall stay over next winter; otherwise we 
return by midsummer. Were Alice not holding the pen, 
I should celebrate her unselfish devotion, etc., and were 
I not myself dictating, I should celebrate my own uncom 
plaining patience and fortitude. As it is, I leave you to 
imagine both. Both are simply beautiful! 

. . . There, dear Fanny, this is all I can do today in 
return for your seven glorious epistles. Take a heartful of 
love and gratitude from both of us. Remember us most 
affectionately to your Mother and Mary. Write again soon, 
I pray you, but always to Brown, Shipley and Co. Stir up 
Jim Putnam to write when he can, and believe me, lovingly 
yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Mrs. Glendower Evans. 

[Dictated to Mrs. James] 

COSTEBELLE, HYERES, Jan. ij, igoo. 

DEAR BESSIE, Don t think that this is the first time 
that my spirit has turned towards you since our departure. 



Aet. 5 S\ TO MRS. GLENDOWER EVANS 113 

Away back in Nauheim I began meaning to write to you, 
and although that meaning was "fulfilled" long before 
you were born, in Royce s Absolute, yet there was a hitch 
about it in the finite which gave me perplexity. I think 
that the real reason why I kept finding myself able to dk> 
tate letters to other persons not many, tis true and 
yet postponing ever until next time my letter unto you, 
was that my sense of your value was so much greater than 
almost anybody else s though I would n t have anything 
in this construed prejudicial to Fanny Morse. Bowed as 
I am by the heaviest of matrimonial chains, ever dependent 
for expression on Alice here, how can my spirit move with 
perfect spontaneity, or "voice itself" with the careless free 
dom it would wish for in the channels of its choice? I am 
sure you understand, and under present conditions of com 
munication anything more explicit might be imprudent. 

She has told you correctly all the outward facts. I feel 
within a week past as if I might really be taking a turn for 
the better, and I know you will be glad. 

I have, in the last days, gone so far as to read Royce s 
book z from cover to cover, a task made easy by the famil 
iarity of the thought, as well as the flow of the style. It is 
a charming production it is odd that the adjectives 
"charming" and "pretty" emerge so strongly to characterize 
my impression. R. has got himself much more organically 
together than he ever did before, the result being, in its 
ensemble, a highly individual and original Weltanschauung, 
well-fitted to be the storm-centre of much discussion, and 
to form a wellspring of suggestion and education for the next 
generation of thought in America. But it makes youthful 
anew the paradox of philosophy so trivial and so pon 
derous at once. The book leaves a total effect on you like 

1 The World and the Individual, vol. i. Mrs. Evans was inclined to contend for 
Royce s philosophy. 



ii 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

a picture a summary impression of charm and grace as 
light as a breath; yet to bring forth that light nothing less 
than Royce s enormous organic temperament and tech 
nical equipment, and preliminary attempts, were required. 
The book consolidates an impression which I have never 
before got except by glimpses, that Royce s system is through 
and through to be classed as a light production. It is a 
charming, romantic sketch; and it is only by handling it 
after the manner of a sketch, keeping it within sketch tech 
nique, that R. can make it very impressive. In the few places 
where he tries to grip and reason close, the effect is rather 
disastrous, to my mind. But I do think of Royce now in a 
more or less settled way as primarily a sketcher in philos 
ophy. Of course the sketches of some masters are worth 
more than the finished pictures of others. But stop! if 
this was the kind of letter I meant to write to you, it is no 
wonder that I found myself unable to begin weeks ago. 
My excuse is that I only finished the book two hours ago, 
and my mind was full to overflowing. 

Next Monday we are expecting to move into the neigh 
boring Chateau de Carqueiranne, which my friend Pro 
fessor Richet of Paris has offered conjointly to us and the 
Fred Myerses, who will soon arrive. A whole country 
house in splendid grounds and a perfect Godsend under the 
conditions. If I can only bear the talking to the Myerses 
without too much fatigue! But that also I am sure will 
come. Our present situation is enviable enough. A large 
bedroom with a balcony high up on the vast hotel facade; 
a terrace below it graveled with white pebbles containing 
beds of palms and oranges and roses; below that a down 
ward sloping garden full of plants and winding walks and 
seats; then a wide hillside continuing southward to the 
plain below, with its gray-green olive groves bordered by 



Aet. 5 8\ TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 115 

great salt marshes with salt works on them, shut in from 
the sea by the causeways which lead to a long rocky island, 
perhaps three miles away, that limits the middle of our 
view due south, and beyond which to the East and West 
appears the boundless Mediterranean. But delightful as 
this is, there is no place like home; Otis Place is better 
than Languedoc and Irving Street than Provence. And 
I am sure, dear Bessie, that there is no maid, wife or widow 
in either of these countries that is half as good as you. But 
here I must absolutely stop; so with a good-night and a 
happy New Year to you, I am as ever, affectionately your 
friend, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

[Dictated to Mrs. James] 

HOTEL D ALBION, 
COSTEBELLE, HYERES, Jan. 18, 1900. 

DARLING MILLER, Last night arrived your pathetically 
sympathetic letter in comment on the news you had just 
received of my dropping out for the present from the active 
career. I want you to understand how deeply I value 
your unflagging feeling of friendship, and how much we 
have been touched by this new expression of it. ... My 
strength and spirits are coming back to me with the open- 
air life, and I begin to feel quite differently towards the 
future. Even if this amelioration does not develop fast, 
it is a check to the deterioration, and shows that curative 
forces are still there. I look perfectly well at present, and 
that of itself is a very favorable sign. In a couple of weeks 
I mean to begin the Gifford lectures, writing, say, a page 
a day, and having all next year before me empty, am very 
likely to get, at any rate, the first course finished. A letter 



n6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

from Seth last night told me that the Committee [on the 
Gifford Lectureship] had refused my resignation and simply 
shoved my appointment forward by one year. So be of 
good cheer, Miller; we shall yet fight the good fight, some 
times side by side, sometimes agin one another, as merrily 
as if no interruption had occurred. Show this to Harry, 
to whom his mother will write today. 

We enjoyed Royce s visit very much, and yesterday I 
finished reading his book, which I find perfectly charming 
as a composition, though as far as cogent reasoning goes, 
it leaks at every joint. It is, nevertheless, a big achieve 
ment in the line of philosophic fancy-work, perhaps the 
most important of all except religious fancy-work. He has 
got himself together far more intricately than ever before, 
and ought, after this, to be recognized by the world accord 
ing to the measure of his real importance. To me, how 
ever, the book has brought about a curious settlement in 
my way of classing Royce. In spite of the great technical 
freight he carries, and his extraordinary mental vigor, he 
belongs essentially among the lighter skirmishers of phi 
losophy. A sketcher and popularizer, not a pile-driver, 
foundation-layer, or wall-builder. Within his class, of 
course, he is simply magnificent. It all goes with his easy 
temperament and rare good-nature in discussion. The 
subject is not really vital to him, it is just fancy-work. All 
the same I do hope that this book and its successor will 
prove a great ferment in our philosophic schools. Only 
with schools and living masters can philosophy bloom in a 
country, in a generation. 

No more, dear Miller, but endless thanks. All you tell 
me of yourself deeply interests me. I am deeply sorry about 
the eyes. Are you sure it is not a matter for glasses ? With 
much love from both of us. Your ever affectionate, 

W. J. 



Aet.tf] TO FRANCIS BOOTT 117 

To Francis Boott. 

[Dictated to Mrs. James] 
CHATEAU DE CARQUEIRANNE, Jan. 31, 1900. 

DEAR OLD FRIEND, Every day for a month past I have 
said to Alice, " Today we must get off a letter to Mr. Boott"; 
but every day the available strength was less than the call 
upon it. Yours of the 28th December reached us duly at 
Rye and was read at the cheerful little breakfast table. I 
must say that you are the only person who has caught the 
proper tone for sympathizing with an invalid s feelings. 
Everyone else says, "We are glad to think that you are by 
this time in splendid condition, richly enjoying your rest, 
and having a great success at Edinburgh" -this, where 
what one craves is mere pity for one s unmerited sufferings! 
You say, "it is a great disappointment, more I should think 
than you can well bear. I wish you could give up the whole 
affair and turn your prow toward home." That, dear Sir, is 
the proper note to strike la voix du coeur qui seul au coeur 
arrive; and I thank you for recognizing that it is a case of 
agony and patience. I, for one, should be too glad to turn 
my prow homewards, in spite of all our present privileges 
in the way of simplified life, and glorious climate. What 
would n t I give at this moment to be partaking of one of 
your recherches dejeuners a la fourchette, ministered to by 
the good Kate. From the bed on which I lie I can "sense" 
it as if present the succulent roast pork, the apple sauce, 
the canned asparagus, the cranberry pie, the dates, the "To 
Kalon," J above all the rire en barbe of the ever-youthful 
host. Will they ever come again? 

Don t understand me to be disparaging our present 
meals which, cooked by a broadbuilt sexagenarian Pro- 

1 The name of an American claret which his correspondent had "discovered" 
and in which it also pleased James to find merit. 



1 18 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

vengale, leave nothing to be desired. Especially is the 
fish good and the artichokes, and the stewed lettuce. Our 
commensauXy the Myerses, form a good combination. The 
house is vast and comfortable and the air just right for one 
in my condition, neither relaxing nor exciting, and floods of 
sunshine. 

Do you care much about the war? For my part I think 
Jehovah has run the thing about right, so far; though on 
utilitarian grounds it will be very likely better if the English 
win. When we were at Rye an interminable controversy 
raged about a national day of humiliation and prayer. I 
wrote to the "Times" to suggest, in my character of travel 
ing American, that both sides to the controversy might be 
satisfied by a service arranged on principles suggested by 
the anecdote of the Montana settler who met a grizzly so 
formidable that he fell on his knees, saying, "O Lord, I 
hain t never yet asked ye for help, and ain t agoin to ask 
ye for none now. But for pity s sake, O Lord, don t help 
the bear." The solemn "Times" never printed my letter 
and thus the world lost an admirable epigram. You, I 
know, will appreciate it. 

Mrs. Gibbens speaks with great pleasure of your friendly 
visits, and I should think you might find Mrs. Merriman 
good company. I hope you are getting through the winter 
without any bronchial trouble, and I hope that neither 
the influenza nor the bubonic plague has got to Cambridge 
yet. The former is devastating Europe. If you see dear 
Dr. Driver, give him our warmest regards. One ought 
to stay among one s own people. I seem to be mending - 
though very slowly, and the least thing knocks me down. 
This noon I am still in bed, a little too much talking with 
the Myerses yesterday giving me a strong pectoral distress 
which is not yet over. This dictation begins to hurt me, 



Aet. 5 8\ TO HUGO MUNSTERBERG 119 

so I will stop. My spirits now are first-rate, which is a 
great point gained. 

Good-bye, dear old man! We both send our warmest love 
and are, ever affectionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Hugo Munsterberg. 

CARQUEIRANNE, March 13, 1900. 

DEAR MUNSTERBERG, Your letter of the yth "ult." 
was a most delightful surprise all but the part of it which 
told of your being ill again and of course the news of poor 
Solomons s death was a severe shock. ... As regards Sol 
omons, it is pathetically tragic, and I hope that you will send 
me full details. There was something so lonely and self-sus 
taining about poor little S. 5 that to be snuffed out like this 
before he had fairly begun to live in the eyes of the world 
adds a sort of tragic dramatic unity to his young career. 
Certainly the keenest intellect we ever had, and one of the 
loftiest characters! But there was always a mysterious 
side to me about his mind: he appeared so critical and de 
structive, and yet kept alluding all the while to ethical and 
religious ideals of his own which he wished to live for, and 
of which he never vouchsafed a glimpse to anyone else. He 
was the only student I have ever had of whose criticisms I 
felt afraid: and that was partly because I never quite under 
stood the region from which they came, and with the au 
thority of which he spoke. His surface thoughts, however, 
of a scientific order, were extraordinarily treffend and clearly 
expressed; in fact, the way in which he went to the heart 
of a subject in a few words was masterly. Of course he 
must have left, apart from his thesis, a good deal of MS. 
fit for publication. I have not seen our philosophical 
periodicals since leaving home. Have any parts of his 



120 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

thesis already appeared? If not, the whole thing should be 
published as "Monograph Supplement" to the "Psycho 
logical Review," and his papers gone over to see what else 
there may be. An adequate obituary of him ought also to 
be written. Who knew him most intimately? I think the 
obituary and a portrait ought also to be posted in the labo 
ratory. Can you send me the address of his mother? I 
think his father is dead. I should also like to write a word 

about him to Miss S , if you can give me her address. 

If we had foreseen this early end to poor little Solomons, how 
much more we should have made of him, and how con 
siderate we should have been! 

It pleases me much to think of so many other good young 
fellows, as you report them, in the laboratory this year. 
How many candidates for Ph.D.? How glad I am to be 
clear of those examinations, certainly the most disagreeable 
part of the year s work. . . . 

To George H. Palmer. 

CARQUEIRANNE, Apr. 2, 1900. 

GLORIOUS OLD PALMER, I had come to the point of 
feeling that my next letter must be to you, when in comes 
your delightful "favor" of the i8th, with all its news, its 
convincing clipping, and its enclosures from Bakewell and 
Sheldon. I have had many impulses to write to Bakewell, 
but they have all aborted my powers being so small and 
so much in Anspruch genommen by correspondence already 
under way. I judge him to be well and happy. What 
think you of his wife? I suppose she is no relation of yours. 
I should n t think any of your three candidates would do 
for that conventional Bryn Mawr. She stoneth the proph 
ets, and I wish she would get X and get stung. He 
made a deplorable impression on me many years ago. The 



Act. 58} TO GEORGE H. PALMER 121 

only comment / heard when I gave my address there lately 

(the last one in my "Talks") was that A had hoped 

for something more technical and psychological! Never 
theless, some good girls seem to come out at Bryn Mawr. 
I am awfully sorry that Perry is out of place. Unless he 
gets something good, it seems to me that we ought to get 
him for a course in Kant. He is certainly the soundest, 
most normal all-round man of our recent production. Your 
list for next year interests me muchly. I am glad of Miin- 
sterberg s and Santayana s new courses, and hope they 11 
be good. I m glad you re back in Ethics and glad that 
Royce has "Epistemology" -portentous name, and small 
result, in my opinion, but a substantive discipline which 
ought, par le temps qui court, to be treated with due for 
mality. I look forward with eagerness to his new volume. 1 
What a colossal feat he has performed in these two years 
all thrown in by the way, as it were. 

Certainly Gifford lectures are a good institution for stim 
ulating production. They have stimulated me so far to pro 
duce two lectures of wishy-washy generalities. What is that 
for a "showing" in six months of absolute leisure? The sec 
ond lecture used me up so that I must be off a good while 
again. 

No ! dear Palmer, the best I can possibly hope for at Cam 
bridge after my return is to be able to carry one half-course. 
So make all calculations accordingly. As for Windelband, 
how can I ascertain anything except by writing to him? 
I shall see no one, nor go to any University environment. 
My impression is that we must go in for budding genius, 
if we seek a European. If an American, we can get a som- 
mitel But who? in either case? Verily there is room at 

1 The second volume of The World and the Individual (Gifford Lectures at the 
University of Aberdeen.) 



122 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

the top. S - - seems to be the only Britisher worth think 
ing of. I imagine we had better train up our own men. 

A , B , C j either would no doubt do, especially 

A - if his health improves. D - is our last card, from 
the point of view of policy, no doubt, but from that of inner 
organization it seems to me that he may have too many 
points of coalescence with both Miinsterberg and Royce, 
especially the latter. 

The great event in my life recently has been the reading 
of Santayana s book. 1 Although I absolutely reject the 
platonism of it, I have literally squealed with delight at the 
imperturbable perfection with which the position is laid down 
on page after page; and grunted with delight at such a 
thickening up of our Harvard atmosphere. If our students 
now could begin really to understand what Royce means 
with his voluntaristic-pluralistic monism, what Miinsterberg 
means with his dualistic scientificism and platonism, what 
Santayana means by his pessimistic platonism (I wonder if he 
and Mg. have had any close mutally encouraging intercourse 
in this line?), what I mean by my crass pluralism, what you 
mean by your ethereal idealism, that these are so many 
religions, ways of fronting life, and worth righting for, we 
should have a genuine philosophic universe at Harvard. 
The best condition of it would be an open conflict and 
rivalry of the diverse systems. (Alas! that I should be out 
of it, just as my chance begins!) The world might ring with 
the struggle, if we devoted ourselves exclusively to belabor 
ing each other. 

I now understand Santayana, the man. I never under 
stood him before. But what a perfection of rottenness in a 
philosophy! I don t think I ever knew the anti-realistic 
view to be propounded with so impudently superior an air. 

1 Interpretations of Poetry and Religion. New York, 1900. 



Aet. 58} TO GEORGE H. PALMER 123 

It is refreshing to see a representative of moribund Latinity 
rise up and administer such reproof to us barbarians in the 
hour of our triumph. I imagine Santayana s style to be 
entirely spontaneous. But it has curious classic echoes. 
Whole pages of pure Hume in style; others of pure Renan. 
Nevertheless, how fantastic a philosophy! as if the 
" world of values" were independent of existence. It is 
only as being, that one thing is better than another. The 
idea of darkness is as good as that of light, as ideas. There 
is more value in light s being. And the exquisite consola 
tion, when you have ascertained the badness of all fact, in 
knowing that badness is inferior to goodness, to the end 
it only rubs the pessimism in. A man whose egg at break 
fast turns out always bad says to himself, "Well, bad and 
good are not the same, anyhow." That is just the trouble! 
Moreover, when you come down to the facts, what do your 
harmonious and integral ideal systems prove to be? in the 
concrete? Always things burst by the growing content of 
experience. Dramatic unities; laws of versification; eccle 
siastical systems; scholastic doctrines. Bah! Give me 
Walt Whitman and Browning ten times over, much as the 
perverse ugliness of the latter at times irritates me, and 
intensely as I have enjoyed Santayana s attack. The bar 
barians are in the line of mental growth, and those who do 
insist that the ideal and the real are dynamically continuous 
are those by whom the world is to be saved. But I m 
nevertheless delighted that the other view, always existing 
in the world, should at last have found so splendidly imper 
tinent an expression among ourselves. I have meant to 
write to Santayana; but on second thoughts, and to save 
myself, I will just ask you to send him this. It saves him 
from what might be the nuisance of having to reply, and 
on my part it has the advantage of being more free-spoken 



i2 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

and direct. He is certainly an extraordinarily distingue 
writer. Thank him for existing! 

As a contrast, read Jack Chapman s "Practical Agitation." 
The other pole of thought, and a style all splinters but a 
gospel for our rising generation I hope it will have its 
effect. 

Send me your Noble lectures. I don t see how you could 
risk it without a MS. If you did fail (which I doubt) you 
deserved to. Anyhow the printed page makes everything 
good. 

I can no more! Adieu! How is Mrs. Palmer this winter? 
I hope entirely herself again. You are impartially silent 
of her and of my wife ! The " Transcript " continues to bless 
us. We move from this hospitable roof to the hotel at 
Costebelle today. Thence after a fortnight to Geneva, 
and in May to Nauheim once more, to be reexamined and 
sentenced by Schott. Affectionately yours, 

W. J. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

COSTEBELLE, Apr. 12, 1900. 

DEAREST FANNY, Your letters continue to rain down 
upon us with a fidelity which makes me sure that, however 
it may once have been, now, on the principle of the immortal 
Monsieur Perrichon, we must be firmly rooted in your affec 
tions. You can never " throw over" anybody for whom you 
have made such sacrifices. All qualms which I might have 
in the abstract about the injury we must be inflicting on so 
busy a Being by making her, through our complaints of 
poverty, agony, and exile, keep us so much "on her mind" 
as to tune us up every two or three days by a long letter to 
which she sacrifices all her duties to the family and state, 
disappear, moreover, when I consider the character of the 



Aet.jS] TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 125 

letters themselves. They are so easy, the facts are so much 
the immediate out-bubblings of the moment, and the deli 
cious philosophical reflexions so much like the spontaneous 
breathings of the soul, that the effort is manifestly at the 
zero-point, and into the complex state of affection which 
necessarily arises in you for the objects of so much loving 
care, there enter none of those curious momentary arrows 
of impatience and vengefulness which might make others 
say, if they were doing what you do for us, that they wished 
we were dead or in some way put beyond reach, so that our 
eternal " appeal" might stop. No, Fanny! we have no re- 
pinings and feel no responsibilites towards you, but accept 
you and your letters as the gifts you are. The infrequency 
of our answering proves this fact; to which you in turn 
must furnish the correlative, if the occasion comes. On the 
day when you temporarily hate us, or don t "feel like" 
the usual letter, don t let any thought of inconsistency with 
your past acts worry you about not taking up the pen. 
Let us go; though it be for weeks and months I shall 
know you will come round again. "Neither heat nor frost 
nor thunder shall ever do away, I ween, the marks of that 
which once hath been." And to think that you should never 
have spent a night, and only once taken a meal, in our house! 
When we get back, we must see each other daily, and may 
the days of both of us be right long in the State of Massa 
chusetts! Bless her! 

I got a letter from J. J. Chapman praising her strongly 
the other day. And sooth to say the "Transcript" and 
the "Springfield Republican," the reception of whose "week 
lies" has become one of the solaces of my life, do make a 
first-rate showing for her civilization. One can t just say 
what "tone" consists in, but these papers hold their own 
excellently in comparison with the English papers. There 



126 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

is far less alertness of mind in the general make-up of the 
latter; and the "respectability" of the English editorial 
columns, though it shows a correcter literary drill, is apt to 
be due to a remorseless longitude of commonplace conven 
tionality that makes them deadly dull. (The "Spectator" 
appears to be the only paper with a nervous system, in 
England that of a carnassier at present!) The English 
people seem to have positively a passionate hunger for this 
mass of prosy stupidity, never less than a column and a 
quarter long. The Continental papers of course are "no 
where." As for our yellow papers every country has its 
criminal classes, and with us and in France, they have simply 
got into journalism as part of their professional evolution, 
and they must be got out. Mr. Bosanquet somewhere 
says that so far from the "dark ages" being over, we are 
just at the beginning of a new dark-age period. He means 
that ignorance and unculture, which then were merely 
brutal, are now articulate and possessed of a literary voice, 
and the fight is transferred from fields and castles and town 
walls to "organs of publicity"; but it is the same fight, of 
reason and goodness against stupidity and passions; and 
it must be fought through to the same kind of success. But 
it means the reeducating of perhaps twenty more gen 
erations; and by that time some altogether new kind of 
institutional opportunity for the Devil will have been 
evolved. 

April i Jth. I had to stop yesterday. . . . Six months 
ago, I should n t have thought it possible that a life de 
liberately founded on pottering about and dawdling through 
the day would be endurable or even possible. I have at 
tained such skill that I doubt if my days ever at any time 
seemed to glide by so fast. But it corrodes one s soul never 
theless. I scribble a little in bed every morning, and have 



Aet. 5 8\ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 127 

reached page 48 of my third Gifford lecture though 
Lecture II, alas! must be rewritten entirely. The condi 
tions don t conduce to an energetic grip of the subject, and I 
am afraid that what I write is pretty slack and not what it 
would be if my vital tone were different. The problem I 
have set myself is a hard one: first, to defend (against all the 
prejudices of my "class") "experience" against "philosophy" 
as being the real backbone of the world s religious life I 
mean prayer, guidance, and all that sort of thing immedi 
ately and privately felt, as against high and noble general 
views of our destiny and the world s meaning; and second, 
to make the hearer or reader believe, what I myself invincibly 
do believe, that, although all the special manifestations of 
religion may have been absurd (I mean its creeds and theo 
ries), yet the life of it as a whole is mankind s most important 
function. A task well-nigh impossible, I fear, and in which 
I shall fail; but to attempt it is my religious act. 

We got a visit the other day from [a Scottish couple here 
who have heard that I am to give the Gifford lectures]; 
and two days ago went to afternoon tea with them at their 
hotel, next door. She enclosed a tract (by herself) in the 
invitation, and proved to be a [mass] of holy egotism and 
conceit based on professional invalidism and self-worship. 
I wish my sister Alice were there to "react" on her with a 
description! Her husband, apparently weak, and the slave 
of her. No talk but evangelical talk. It seemed assumed 
that a Gifford lecturer must be one of Moody s partners, 
and it gave me rather a foretaste of what the Edinburgh 
atmosphere may be like. Well, I shall enjoy sticking a 
knife into its gizzard if atmospheres have gizzards? 
Blessed be Boston probably the freest place on earth, 
that is n t merely heathen and sensual. 

I have been supposing, as one always does, that you "ran 



128 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

in" to the Putnams every hour or so, and likewise they to 
No. 12. But your late allusion to the telephone and the 
rarity of your seeing Jim [Putnam] reminded me of the 
actual conditions absurd as they are. (Really you and 
we are nearer together now at this distance than we have 
ever been.) Well, let Jim see this letter, if you care to, 
flattering him by saying that it is more written for him than 
for you (which it certainly has not been till this moment!), 
and thanking him for existing in this naughty world. His 
account of the Copernican revolution (studento-centric) 
in the Medical School is highly exciting, and I am glad to 
hear of the excellent little Cannon becoming so prominent 
a reformer. Speaking of reformers, do you see Jack Chap 
man s "Political Nursery"? of which the April number 
has just come. (I have read it and taken my bed-break 
fast during the previous page of this letter, though you may 
not have perceived the fact.) If not, do subscribe to it; it 
is awful fun. He just looks at things, and tells the truth 
about them a strange thing even to try to do, and he 
doesn t always succeed. Office 141 Broadway, $1.00 a 
year. 

Fanny, you won t be reading as far as this in this inter 
minable letter, so I stop, though 100 pent-up things are 
seeking to be said. The w r eather has still been so cold 
whenever the sun is withdrawn that we have delayed our 
departure for Geneva to the 22nd a week later. We 
make a short visit to our friends the Flournoys (a couple 
of days) and then proceed towards Nauheim via Heidelberg, 
where I wish to consult the great Erb about the advisability 
of more baths in view of my nervous complications, before 
the great Schott examines me again. I do wish I could 
send for Jim for a consultation. Good-bye, dearest and 
best of Fannys. I hope your Mother is wholly well again. 



Act. 58} TO HIS SON ALEXANDER 129 

Much love to her and to Mary Elliot. It interested me to 
hear of Jack E. s great operation. Yours ever, 

W.J. 

To his Son Alexander. 

[GENEVA, circa May 3, 1900.] 

DEAR FRANCOIS, Here we are in Geneva, at the Flour- 
noys dear people and splendid children. I wish Harry 
could marry Alice, Billy marry Marguerite, and you marry 
Ariane-Dorothee the absolutely jolliest and beauti- 
fullest 3-year old I ever saw. I am trying to get you en 
gaged! I enclose pictures of the dog. Ariane-Dorothee 
r-r-r-olls her r-r-r s like fury. I got your picture of the 
elephant very good. Draw everything you see, no matter 
how badly, trying to notice how the lines run one line 
every day! just notice it and draw it, no matter how 
badly, and at the end of the year you 11 be s prised to see 
how well you can draw. Tell Billy to get you a big blank 
book at the Coop., and every day take one page, just draw 
ing down on it some thing, or dog, or horse, or man or woman, 
or part of a man or woman, which you have looked at that 
day just for the purpose, to see how the lines run. I bet 
the last page of that book will be better than the first! Do 
this for my sake. Kiss your dear old Grandma. PVaps, we 
shall get home this summer after all. In two or three days 
I shall see a doctor and know more about myself. Will 
let you know. Keep motionless and listen as much as you 
can. Take in things without speaking it 11 make you a 
better man. Your Ma thinks you 11 grow up into a filos- 
opher like me and write books. It is easy enuff, all but the 
writing. You just get it out of other books, and write it 
down. Always your loving, 

DAD. 



130 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

At this time James s thirteen-year-old daughter was 
living with family friends the Joseph Thatcher Clarices 
in Harrow, and was going to an English school with their 
children. She had been passing through such miseries as 
a homesick child often suffers, and had written letters which 
evoked the following response. 

To his Daughter. 

VILLA LUISE, 
BAD-NAUHEIM, May 26, 1900. 

DARLING PEG, Your letter came last night and explained 
sufficiently the cause of your long silence. You have evi 
dently been in a bad state of spirits again, and dissatisfied 
with your environment; and I judge that you have been 
still more dissatisfied with the inner state of trying to con 
sume your own smoke, and grin and bear it, so as to carry 
out your mother s behests made after the time when you 
scared us so by your inexplicable tragic outcries in those 
earlier letters. Well! I believe you have been trying to 
do the manly thing under difficult circumstances, but one 
learns only gradually to do the best thing; and the best 
thing for you would be to write at least weekly, if only a 
post-card, and say just how things are going. If you are 
in bad spirits, there is no harm whatever in communicating 
that fact, and defining the character of it, or describing it 
as exactly as you like. The bad thing is to pour out the 
contents of one s bad spirits on others and leave them with 
it, as it were, on their hands, as if it was for them to do some 
thing about it. That was what you did in your other letter 
which alarmed us so, for your shrieks of anguish were so 
excessive, and so unexplained by anything you told us in 
the way of facts, that we did n t know but what you had 
suddenly gone crazy. That is the worst sort of thing you 



Aet. 5 8\ TO HIS DAUGHTER 131 

can do. The middle sort of thing is what you do this time 
- namely, keep silent for more than a fortnight, and when 
you do write, still write rather mysteriously about your 
sorrows, not being quite open enough. 

Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when 
the inward life develops and when some people (and on the 
whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is 
not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves 
of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; and 
dissatisfaction with one s self, and irritation at others, and 
anger at circumstances and stony insensibility, etc., etc., 
which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful 
as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always 
passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to 
learn a great many good things if we react on it rightly. 
[From margin.} (For instance, you learn how good a thing 
your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and 
you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, 
you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and suffer 
ings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in 
hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud 
of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such 
persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That 
is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort 
of disease, whenjve get it strong, arising from the organ 
ism having generated some poison in the blood; and we 
must n t submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but 
jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or 
comic or take part in anything active that will divert us 
from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it 
passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. 
And we must try to make it last as short a time as possible. 
The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don t 



i 3 i LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying 
in it that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves 
like that, we must make ourselves do something different, 
go with people, speak cheerfully, set ourselves to some hard 
work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way 
of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The 
disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the 
way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things 
and of other people no matter what s the -na^mer with 
our self. 

I have no doubt you are doing as well as you know how, 
darling little Peg; but we have to learn everything, and I 
also have no doubt that you 11 manage it better and better 
if you ever have any more of it, and soon it will fade away, 
simply leaving you with more experience. . The great thing 
for you now, I should suppose, would be to enter as friendlily 
as possible into the interest of the Clarke children. If you 
like them, or acted as if you liked them, you need n t trouble 
about the question of whether they like you or not. They 
probably will, fast enough; and if they don t, it will be 
their funeral, not yours. But this is a great lecture, so I 
will stop. The great thing about it is that it is all true. 

The baths are threatening to disagree with me again, so 
I may stop them soon. Will let you know as -quick as any 
thing is decided. Good news from home: the Merrimans 
have taken the Irving Street house for another year, and 
the Wambaughs (of the Law School) have taken Chocorua, 
though at a reduced rent. The weather here is almost con 
tinuously cold and sunless. Your mother is sleeping, and 
will doubtless add a word to this when she wakes. Keep a 
merry heart "time and the hour run through the rough 
est day" - and believe me ever your most loving 

W. J. 



Act. 5 8\ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 133 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

[Post-card] 

ALTDORF, LAKE LUZERN, July 20, [1900]. 
Your last letter was, if anything, a more unmitigated 
blessing than its predecessors; and I, with my curious 
inertia to overcome, sit thinking of letters, and of the soul- 
music with which they might be filled if my tongue could 
only utter the thoughts that arise in me to youward, the 
beauty of the world, the conflict of life and death and youth 
and age and man and woman and righteousness and evil, 
etc., and Europe and America! but it stays all caked within 
and gets no articulation, the power of speech being so non- 
natural a function of our race. We are staying above 
Luzern, near a big spruce wood, at "Gutsch," and today 
being hot and passivity advisable, we came down and took 
the boat, for a whole day on the Lake. The works both of 
Nature and of Man in this region seem too perfect to be 
credible almost, and were I not a bitter Yankee, I would, 
without a moment s hesitation, be a Swiss, and probably 
then glad of the change. The goodliness of this land is 
one of the things I ache to utter to you, but can t. Some 
day I will write, also to Jim P. My condition baffles me. 
I have lately felt better, but been bad again, and altogether 
can do nothing without repentance afterwards. We have 
just lunched in this bowery back verandah, water trickling, 
beautiful old convent sleeping up the hillside. Love to you 
all! 

W. J. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, Sept. 16, 1900. 

DEAREST FANNY, . . . Here I am having a little private 
picnic all by myself, on this effulgent Sunday morning 



i 34 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

real American September weather, by way of a miracle. I 
ordered my bath-chair man to wheel me out to the"Hoch- 
wald," where, he having been dismissed for three hours, 
until two o clock, I am lying in the said luxurious throne, 
writing this on my knee, with nothing between but a num 
ber of Kuno Fischer s "Hegel s Leben, Werke und Lehre," 
now in process of publication, and the flexibility of which ac 
counts for the poor handwriting. I am alone, save for the 
inevitable restaurant which hovers on the near horizon, 
in a beautiful grove of old oak trees averaging some 16 or 
1 8 feet apart, through whose leaves the sunshine filters and 
dapples the clear ground or grass that lies between them. 
Alice is still in England, having finally at my command had 
to give up her long-cherished plan of a run home to see her 
mother, the children, you, and all the other dulcissima 
mundi nomina that make of life a thing worth living for. 
I funked the idea of being alone so long when I came to the 
point. It is not that I am worse, but there will be cold 
weather in the next couple of months; and, unable to sit 
out of doors then, as here and now, I shall probably either 
have to over-walk or over-read, and both things will be 
bad for me. 

As things are now, I get on well enough, for the bath 
business (especially the "bath-chair") carries one through 
a good deal of the day. The great Schott has positively 
forbidden me to go to England as I did last year; so, early 
in October, our faces will be turned towards Italy, and by 
Nov. i we shall, I hope, be ensconced in a pension close 
to the Pincian Garden in Rome, to see how long that resource 
will last. I confess I am in the mood of it, and that there 
is a suggestion of more richness about the name of Rome 
than about that of Rye, which, until Schott s veto, was the 
plan. How the Gifford lectures will fare, remains to be 




"Damn the Absolute! 11 

Chocorua, September, 1903. One morning James and Royce 
strolled into the road and sat down on a wall in earnest discus 
sion. When James heard the camera click, as his daughter took 
the upper snap-shot, he cried, "Royce, you re being photo 
graphed! Look out! I say Damn the Absolute!" 



136 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

the lioness in ^Esop s fable, you give birth to one young 
one only in the year, but that one is a lion. I give birth 
mainly to guinea-pigs in the shape of post-cards; but de 
spite such diversities of epistolary expression, the heart of 
each of us is in the right place. I need not say, my dear 
old boy, how touched I am at your expressions of affection, 
or how it pleases me to hear that you have missed me. I 
too miss you profoundly. I do not find in the hotel waiters, 
chambermaids and bath-attendants with whom my lot is 
chiefly cast, that unique mixture of erudition, originality, 
profundity and vastness, and human wit and leisureliness, 
by accustoming me to which during all these years you have 
spoilt me for inferior kinds of intercourse. You are still 
the centre of my gaze, the pole of my mental magnet. When 
I write, t is with one eye on the page, and one on you. 
When I compose my Gifford lectures mentally, t is with the 
design exclusively of overthrowing your system, and ruining 
your peace. I lead a parasitic life upon you, for my highest 
flight of ambitious ideality is to become your conqueror, 
and go down into history as such, you and I rolled in one 
another s arms and silent (or rather loquacious still) in one 
last death-grapple of an embrace. How then, O my dear 
Royce, can I forget you, or be contented out of your close 
neighborhood? Different as our minds are, yours has 
nourished mine, as no other social influence ever has, and 
in converse with you I have always felt that my life was 
being lived importantly. Our minds, too, are not different 
in the Object which they envisage. It is the whole paradox 
ical physico-moral-spiritual Fatness, of which most people 
single out some skinny fragment, which we both cover 
with our eye. We "aim at him generally "- and most 
others don t. I don t believe that we shall dwell apart for 
ever, though our formulas may. 



Aet. 5 8\ TO JOSIAH ROYCE 137 

Home and Irving Street look very near when seen through 
these few winter months, and tho it is still doubtful what I 
may be able to do in College, for social purposes I shall be 
available for probably numerous years to come. I have n t 
got at work yet only four lectures of the first course 
written (strange to say) but I am decidedly better today 
than I have been for the past ten months, and the matter 
is all ready in my mind; so that when, a month hence, I 
get settled down in Rome, I think the rest will go off fairly 
quickly. The second course I shall have to resign from, 
and write it out at home as a book. It must seem strange 
to you that the way from the mind to the pen should be as 
intraversable as it has been in this case of mine you in 
whom it always seems so easily pervious. But Miller will 
be able to tell you all about my condition, both mental and 
physical, so I will waste no more words on that to me de 
cidedly musty subject. 

I fully understand your great aversion to letters and other 
off-writing. You have done a perfectly Herculean amount 
of the most difficult productive work, and I believe you to 
be much more tired than you probably yourself suppose or 
know. Both mentally and physically, I imagine that a long 
vacation, in other scenes, with no sense of duty, would do 
you a world of good. I don t say the full fifteen months 
for I imagine that one summer and one academic half-year 
would perhaps do the business better you could preserve 
the relaxed and desultory condition as long as that probably, 
whilst later you d begin to chafe, and then you d better be 
back in your own library. If my continuing abroad is hin 
dering this, my sorrow will be extreme. Of course I must 
some time come to a definite decision about my own rela 
tions to the College, but I am reserving that till the end of 
1900, when I shall write to Eliot in full. There is still a thera- 



i 3 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1900 

peutic card to play, of which I will say nothing just now, and 
I don t want to commit myself before that has been tried. 

You say nothing of the second course of Aberdeen lec 
tures, nor do you speak at all of the Dublin course. Strange 
omissions, like your not sending me your Ingersoll lecture! 
I assume that the publication of [your] Gifford Volume II 
will not be very long delayed. I am eager to read them. I 
can read philosophy now, and have just read the first three 
Liejerungen of K. Fischer s " Hegel." I must say I prefer the 
original text. Fischer s paraphrases always flatten and dry 
things out; and he gives no rich sauce of his own to com 
pensate. I have been sorry to hear from Palmer that he 
also has been very tired. One can t keep going forever! P. 
has been like an archangel in his letters to me, and I am 
inexpressibly grateful. Well! everybody has been kinder 
than I deserve. . . . 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

ROME, Dec. 25, 1900. 

. . . Rome is simply the most satisfying lake of pictur- 
esqueness and guilty suggestiveness known to this child. 
Other places have single features better than anything in 
Rome, perhaps, but for an ensemble Rome eems to beat 
the world. Just a FEAST for the eye from the moment you 
leave your hotel door to the moment you return. Those 
who say that beauty is all made up of suggestion are well 
disproved here. For the things the eyes most gloat on, the 
inconceivably corrupted, besmeared and ulcerated surfaces, 
and black and cavernous glimpses of interiors, have no 
suggestions save of moral horror, and their " tactile values," 
as Berenson would say, are pure gooseflesh. Nevertheless 
the sight of them delights. And then there is such a geo 
logic stratification of history! I dote qn the fine equestrian 



Act. 58} TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 139 

statue of Garibaldi, on the Janiculum, quietly bending his 
head with a look half-meditative, half-strategical, but wholly 
victorious, upon Saint Peter s and the Vatican. What 
luck for a man and a party to have opposed to it an enemy 
that stood up for nothing that was ideal, for everything 
that was mean in life. Austria, Naples, and the Mother 
of harlots here, were enough to deify anyone who defied 
them. What glorious things are some of these Italian 
inscriptions for example on Giordano Bruno s statue: 

A BRUNO 

// sec oh da lui divinato 

qui 
dove il rogo arse. 

"here, where the faggots burned." It makes the tears 
come, for the poetic justice; though I imagine B. to have 
been a very pesky sort of a crank, worthy of little sympa 
thy had not the "rogo" done its work on him. Of the aw 
ful corruptions and cruelties which this place suggests there 
is no end. 

Our neighbors in rooms and commensaux at meals are the 
J. G. Frazers he of the "Golden Bough," "Pausanias," 
and other three- and six-volume works of anthropological 
erudition, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a 
sucking babe of humility, unworldliness and molelike sight 
lessness to everything except print. . . . He, after Tylor, 
is the greatest authority now in England on the religious 
ideas and superstitions of primitive peoples, and he knows 
nothing of psychical research and thinks that the trances, 
etc., of savage soothsayers, oracles and the like, are all 
feigned! Verily science is amusing! But he is conscience 



>i 4 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

incarnate, and I have been stirring him up so that I imagine 
he will now proceed to put in big loads of work in the morbid 
psychological direction. 

Dear Fanny ... I can write no more this morning. 
I hope your Christmas is "merry," and that the new year 
will be "happy" for you all. Pray take our warmest love, 
give it to your mother and Mary, and some of it to the 
brothers. I will write better soon. Your ever grateful 
and affectionate 

W. J. 

Don t let up on your own writing, so say we both! Your 
letters are pure blessings. 

To James Sully. 

ROME, Mar. 3, 1901. 

DEAR SULLY, Your letter of Feb. 8th arrived duly and 
gave me much pleasure qua epistolary manifestation of 
sympathy, but less qua revelation of depression on your own 
part. I have been so floundering up and down, now above 
and now below the line of bad nervous prostration, that I 
have written no letters for three weeks past, hoping thereby 
the better to accomplish certain other writing; but the 
other writing had to be stopped so letters and post-cards 
may begin. 

I see you take the war still very much to heart, and I 
myself think that the blundering way in which the Colonial 
Office drove the Dutchmen into it, with no conception 
whatever of the psychological situation, is only outdone by 
our still more anti-psychological blundering in the Philip 
pines. Both countries have lost their moral prestige we 
far more completely than you, because for our conduct 
there is literally no excuse to be made except absolute stu 
pidity, whilst you can make out a very fair case, as such 



Act. 59] TO JAMES SULLY 141 

cases go. But we can, and undoubtedly shall, draw back, 
whereas that for an Empire like yours seems politically im 
possible. Empire anyhow is half crime by necessity of 
Nature, and to see a country like the United States, lucky 
enough to be born outside of it and its fatal traditions and 
inheritances, perversely rushing to wallow in the mire of 
it, shows how strong these ancient race instincts be. And 
that is my consolation! We are no worse than the best of 
men have ever been. We are simply not superhuman; 
and the loud reaction against the brutal business, in both 
countries, shows how the theory of the matter has really 
advanced during the last century. 

Yes! H. Sidgwick is a sad loss, with all his remaining 
philosophic wisdom unwritten. I feel greatly F. W. H. 
Myers s loss also. He suffered terribly with suffocation, 
but bore it stunningly well. He died in this very hotel, 
where he had been not more than a fortnight. I don t 
know how tolerant (or intolerant) you are towards his pur 
suits and speculations. I regard them as fragmentary and 
conjectural of course; but as most laborious and praise 
worthy; and knowing how much psychologists as a rule 
have counted him out from their profession, I have thought 
it my duty to write a little tribute to his service to psy 
chology to be read on March 8th, at a memorial meeting 
of the S. P. R. in his honor. It will appear, whether read 
or not, in the Proceedings, and I hope may not appear to 
you exaggerated. I seriously believe that the general 
problem of the subliminal, as Myers propounds it, promises 
to be one of the great problems, possibly even the greatest 
problem, of psychology. . . . 

We leave Rome in three days, booked for Rye the first of 
April. I must get into the country! If I do more than just 
pass through London, I will arrange for a meeting. My 



i 4 2 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

Edinburgh lectures begin early in May after that I shall 
have freedom. Ever truly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

[Post-card] 

FLORENCE, March 18, 1901. 

Thus far towards home, thank Heaven! after a week 
at Perugia and Assisi. Glorious air, memorable scenes. 
Made acquaintance of Sabatier, author of St. Francis s life 
- very jolly. Best of all, made acquaintance with Francis s 
retreat in the mountain. Navrant! it makes one see 
medieval Christianity face to face. The lair of the individ 
ual wild animal, and that animal the saint! I hope you saw 
it. Thanks for your last letter to Alice. Lots of love. 

W. J. 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

RYE, April 13, 1901. 

DEAR SCHILLER, You are showering benedictions on 
me. I return the bulky ones, keeping the lighter weights. 
I think the parody on Bradley amazingly good if I had 
his book here I would probably revive my memory of his 
discouraged style and scribble a marginal contribution of 
my own. He is, really, an extra humble-minded man, I 
think, but even more humble-minded about his reader than 
about himself, which gives him that false air of arrogance. 
How you concocted those epigrams, a la preface of B., I 
don t see. In general I don t see how an epigram, being a 
pure bolt from the blue, with no introduction or cue, ever 
gets itself writ. On the Limericks, as you call them, I set 
less store, much less. If everybody is to come in for a 
share of allusion, I am willing, but I don t want my name to 



Aet. 59 \ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 143 

figure in the ghostly ballet with but few companions. Royce 
wrote a very funny thing in pedantic German some years 
ago, purporting to be the proof by a distant- future professor 
that I was an habitual drunkard, based on passages culled 
from my writings. He may have it yet. If I ever get any 
animal spirits again, I may get warmed up, by your example, 
into making jokes, and may then contribute. But I beg 
you let this thing mull till you get a lot of matter and then 
sift. It s the only way. But Oxford seems a better climate 
for epigram than is the rest of the world. 

I shall stay here I find myself much more comfortable 
thoracically already than when I came until my Edin 
burgh lectures begin on May i6th, though I shall have to 
run up to London towards the end of the month to get 
some clothes made, and to meet my son who arrives from 
home. I much regret that it will be quite impossible for 
me to go either to Oxford or Cambridge though, if things 
took an unexpectedly good turn, I might indeed do so after 
June 1 8th, when my lecture course ends. Do you mean 
while keep hearty and "funny"! I stopped at Gersau half 
a day and found it a sweet little place. Fondly yours, 

W. J. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

ROXBURGHE HOTEL, 
EDINBURGH, May 15, 1901. 

DEAREST FANNY, You see where we are! I give you 
the first news of life s journey being so far advanced! It 
is a deadly enterprise, I m afraid, with the social entangle 
ments that lie ahead, and I feel a cake of ice in my epigas 
trium at the prospect, but le vin est verse ^ il jaut le boire^ 
and from the other point of view, that it is real life beginning 
once more, it is perfectly glorious, and I feel as if yesterday 



i 44 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

in leaving London I had said good-bye to a rather dreadful 
and death-bound segment of life. As regards the socia 
bility, it is fortunately a time of year in which only the 
medical part of the University is present. The professors 
of the other faculties are already in large part scattered, I 
think, at least the two Seths (who are the only ones I 
directly know) are away, and I have written to the Secretary 
of the Academic Senate, Sir Ludovic Grant of the Law 
Faculty, that I am unable to "dine out" or attend afternoon 
receptions, so we may be pretty well left alone. I always 
hated lecturing except as regular instruction to students, of 
whom there will probably be none now in the audience. 
But to compensate, there begins next week a big convoca 
tion here of all ministers in Scotland, and there will doubt 
less be a number of them present, which, considering the 
matter to be offered, is probably better. 

We had a splendid journey yesterday in an American 
(almost!) train, first-class, and had the pleasure of some 
talk with our Cambridge neighbor, Mrs. Ole Bull, on her 
way to Norway to the unveiling of a monument to her 
husband. She was accompanied by an extraordinarily fine 
character and mind odd way of expressing myself! a 
young Englishwoman named Noble, who has Hinduized 
herself (converted by Vivekananda to his philosophy) and 
lives now for the Hindu people. These free individuals 
who live their own life, no matter what domestic prejudices 
have to be snapped, are on the whole a refreshing sight to me, 
who can do nothing of the kind myself. And Miss Noble x 
is a most deliberate and balanced person no frothy en 
thusiast in point of character, though I believe her philos 
ophy to be more or less false. Perhaps no more so than 
anyone else s! 

1 Sister Nivedita. 



Aet. 59} TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 145 

We are in one of those deadly respectable hotels where 
you have to ring the front-door-bell. Give me a cheerful, 
blackguardly place like the Charing Cross, where we were in 
London. The London tailor and shirtmaker, it being in the 
height of the Season, did n t fulfill their promises; and as I 
sloughed my ancient cocoon at Rye, trusting to pick up my 
iridescent wings the day before yesterday in passing through 
the metropolis, I am here with but two chemises at present 
(one of them now in the wash) and fear that tomorrow, 
in spite of tailors promises to send, I may have to lecture 
in my pyjamas that would give a cachet of American 
originality. The weather is fine we have just finished 
breakfast. 

Our son Harry . . . and his mother will soon sally out 
to explore the town, whilst I lie low till about noon, when I 
shall report my presence and receive instructions from my 
boss, Grant, and prepare to meet the storm. It is astonish 
ing how pusillanimous two years of invalidism can make 
one. Alice and Harry both send love, and so do I in heaps 
and steamer-loads, dear Fanny, begging your mother to 
take of it as much as she requires for her share. I will 
write again doubtless tomorrow. 

May 17. 

It proved quite impossible to write to you yesterday, so 
I do it the first thing this morning. I have made my plunge 
and the foregoing chill has given place to the warm "reac 
tion." The audience was more numerous than had been 
expected, some 250, and exceedingly sympathetic, laughing 
at everything, even whenever I used a polysyllabic word. 
I send you the "Scotsman," with a skeleton report which 
might have been much worse made. I am all right this 
morning again, so have no doubts of putting the job through, 
if only I don t have too much sociability. I have got a 



146 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

week free of invitations so far, and all things considered, 
fancy that we shan t be persecuted. 

Edinburgh is surely the noblest city ever built by man. 
The weather has been splendid so far, and cold and bracing 
as the top of Mount Washington in early April. Everyone 
here speaks of it however as "hot." One needs fires at 
night and an overcoat out of the sun. The full-bodied air, 
half misty and half smoky, holds the sunshine in that way 
which one sees only in these islands, making the shadowy 
side of everything quite black, so that all perspectives and 
vistas appear with objects cut blackly against each other 
according to their nearness, and plane rising behind plane of 
flat dark relieved against flat light in ever-receding grada 
tion. It is magnificent. 

But I mustn t become a Ruskin! the purpose of this 
letter being merely to acquaint you with our well-being and 
success so far. We have found bully lodgings, spacious to 
one s heart s content, upon a cheerful square, and actually 
with a book-shelf fully two feet wide and two stories high, 
upon the wall, the first we have seen for two. years! (There 
were of course book-cases enough at Lamb House, but all 
tight packed already.) We now go out to take the air. I 
feel as if a decidedly bad interlude in the journey of my life 
were closed, and the real honest thing gradually beginning 
again. Love to you all! Your ever affectionate 

W. J. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

EDINBURGH, May 30, 1901. 

DEAREST FANNY, . . . Beautiful as the spring is here, 
the words you so often let drop about American weather 
make me homesick for that article. It is blasphemous, 
however, to pine for anything when one is in Edinburgh in 



9\ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 147 

May, and takes an open drive every afternoon in the sur 
rounding country by way of a constitutional. The green 
is of the vividest, splendid trees and acres, and the air it 
self an object^ holding watery vapor, tenuous smoke, and an 
cient sunshine in solution, so as to yield the most exquisite 
minglings and gradations of silvery brown and blue and 
pearly gray. As for the city, its vistas are magnificent. 

We are combles with civilities, which Harry and Alice are 
to a certain extent enjoying, though I have to hang back 
and spend much of the time between my lectures in bed, 
to rest off the aortic distress which that operation gives. 
I call it aortic because it feels like that, but I can get no 
information from the Drs., so I won t swear I m right. My 
heart, under the influence of that magical juice, tincture of 
digitalis, only 6 drops daily, is performing beautifully 
and gives no trouble at all. The audiences grow instead of 
dwindling, and in spite of rain, being about 300 and just 
crowding the room. They sit as still as death and then 
applaud magnificently, so I am sure the lectures are a success. 
Previous Gifford lectures have had audiences beginning with 
60 and dwindling to 15. In an hour and a half (I write 
this in bed) I shall be beginning the fifth lecture, which will, 
when finished, put me half way through the arduous job. 
I know you will relish these details, which please pass on to 
Jim P. I would send you the reports in the "Scotsman," 
but they distort so much by their sham continuity with 
vast omission (the reporters get my MS.), that the result 
is caricature. Edinburgh is spiritually much like Boston, 
only stronger and with more temperament in the people. 
But we re all growing into much of a sameness everywhere. 

I have dined out once an almost fatal experiment! I 
was introduced to Lord Somebody: "How often do you 
lecture?" "Twice a week." "What do you do between? 



i 4 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

play golf?" Another invitation: " Come at 6 the din 
ner at 7.30 and we can walk or play bowls till dinner so 
as not to fatigue you" I having pleaded my delicacy of 
constitution. 

I rejoice in the prospect of Booker W. s x book, and thank 
your mother heartily. My mouth had been watering for 
just that volume. Autobiographies take the cake. I mean 
to read nothing else. Strange to say, I am now for the first 
time reading Marie Bashkirtseff. It takes hold of me tre- 
menjus. I feel as if I had lived inside of her, and in spite 
of her hatefulness, esteem and even like her for her incor 
ruptible way of telling the truth. I have not seen Hux 
ley s life yet. It must be delightful, only I can t agree to 
what seems to be becoming the conventionally accepted 
view of him, that he possessed the exclusive specialty of 
living for the truth. A good deal of humbug about that! 
at least when it becomes a professional and heroic atti 
tude. 

Your base remark about Aguinaldo is clean forgotten, 
if ever heard. I know you would n t harm the poor man, 
who, unless Malay human nature is weaker than human 
nature elsewhere, has pretty surely some surprises up his 
sleeve for us yet. Best love to you all. Your affectionate 

WM. JAMES. 

To Henry W. Rankin. 

EDINBURGH, June 16, 1901. 

DEAR MR. RANKIN, I have received all your letters 
and missives, inclusive of the letter which you think I must 
have lost, some months back. I professor-ed you because 
I had read your name printed with that title in a newspaper 
letter from East Northfield, and supposed that, by courtesy 

1 Booker T. Washington s Up from Slavery. 



Aet. 59 \ TO HENRY W. RANKIN i 49 

at any rate, that title was conferred on you by a public 
opinion to which I liked to conform. 

I have given nine of my lectures and am to give the tenth 
tomorrow. They have been a success, to judge by the 
numbers of the audience (joo-odd) and their non-diminu 
tion towards the end. No previous "Giffords" have drawn 
near so many. It will please you to know that I am stronger 
and tougher than when I began, too; so a great load is off 
my mind. You have been so extraordinarily brotherly to 
me in writing of your convictions and in furnishing me ideas, 
that I feel ashamed of my churlish and chary replies. You, 
however, have forgiven me. Now, at the end of this first 
course, I feel my "matter" taking firmer shape, and it will 
please you less to hear me say that I believe myself to be 
(probably) permanently incapable of believing the Chris 
tian scheme of vicarious salvation, and wedded to a more 
continuously evolutionary mode of thought. The reasons 
you from time to time have given me, never better expressed 
than in your letter before the last, have somehow failed to 
convince. In these lectures the ground I am taking is this: 
The mother sea and fountain-head of all religions lie in the 
mystical experiences of the individual, taking the word 
mystical in a very wide sense. All theologies and all ecclesi- 
asticisms are secondary growths superimposed; and the 
experiences make such flexible combinations with the in 
tellectual prepossessions of their subjects, that one may 
almost say that they have no proper intellectual deliverance 
of their own, but belong to a region deeper, and more vital 
and practical, than that which the intellect inhabits. For 
this they are also indestructible by intellectual arguments 
and criticisms. I attach the mystical or religious conscious 
ness to the possession of an extended subliminal self, with a 
thin partition through which messages make irruption. We 



150 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

are thus made convincingly aware of the presence of a 
sphere of life larger and more powerful than our usual con 
sciousness, with which the latter is nevertheless continuous. 
The impressions and impulsions and emotions and excite 
ments which we thence receive help us to live, they found 
invincible assurance of a world beyond the sense, they melt 
our hearts and communicate significance and value to every 
thing and make us happy. They do this for the individual 
who has them, and other individuals follow him. Religion 
in this way is absolutely indestructible. Philosophy and 
theology give their conceptual interpretations of this ex 
periential life. The farther margin of the subliminal field 
being unknown, it can be treated as by Transcendental 
Idealism, as an Absolute mind with a part of which we 
coalesce, or by Christian theology, as a distinct deity acting 
on us. Something, not our immediate self, does act on 
our life! So I seem doubtless to my audience to be blow 
ing hot and cold, explaining away Christianity, yet defend 
ing the more general basis from which I say it proceeds. 
I fear that these brief words may be misleading, but let 
them go! When the book comes out, you will get a truer 
idea. 

Believe me, with profound regards, your always truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Charles Eliot Norton. 

RYE, June 26, 1901. 

DEAR CHARLES NORTON, Your delightful letter of 
June ist has added one more item to my debt of gratitude 
to you; and now that the Edinburgh strain is over, I can 
sit down and make you a reply a little more adequate than 
heretofore has been possible. The lectures "went off most 
successfully, and though I got tired enough, I feel that I 



Aet. 59 \ TO CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 151 

am essentially tougher and stronger for the old familiar 
functional activity. My tone is changed immensely, and 
that is the main point. To be actually earning one s salt 
again, after so many months of listless waiting and wonder 
ing whether such a thing will ever again become possible, 
puts a new heart into one, and I now look towards the future 
with aggressive and hopeful eyes again, though perhaps 
not with quite the cannibalistic ones of the youth of the new 
century. 

Edinburgh is great. A strong broad city, and, in its 
spiritual essence, almost exactly feeling to me like old Boston, 
nuclear Boston, though on a larger, more important scale. 
People were very friendly, but we had to dodge invitations 
hqffentlich I may be able to accept more of them next 
year. The audience was extraordinarily attentive and 
reactive I never had an audience so keen to catch every 
point. I flatter myself that by blowing alternately hot and 
cold on their Christian prejudices I succeeded in baffling 
them completely till the final quarter-hour, when I satisfied 
their curiosity by showing more plainly my hand. Then, 
I think, I permanently dissatisfied both extremes, and 
pleased a mean numerically quite small. Qui vivra verra. 
London seemed curiously profane and free-and-easy, not 
exactly shabby,, but go-as-you-please, in aspect, as we came 
down five days ago. Since then I spent a day with poor 
Mrs. Myers. ... I mailed you yesterday a notice I wrote 
in Rome of him. 1 He "looms" upon me after death more 
than he did in life, and I think that his forthcoming book 
about "Human Personality" will probably rank hereafter 
as "epoch-making." 

At London I saw Theodora [Sedgwick] and the W. Dar- 

x " Frederick Myers s Services to Psychology." Reprinted in Memories and 
Studies. 



1 52 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

wins. Theodora was as good and genial as ever, and Sara 
[Darwin] looked, I thought, wonderfully "distinguished" 
and wonderfully little changed considering the length of 
intervening years and the advance of the Enemy. I was 
too tired to look up Leslie Stephen, or anyone else save Mrs. 
John Bancroft when in London, although I wanted much 
to see L. S. The first volume of his "Utilitarians" seems 
to me a wonderfully spirited performance I have n t yet 
got at the other two. 

I am hoping to get off to Nauheim tomorrow, leaving 
Alice and Harry to follow a little later. I confess that the 
Continent "draws" me again. I don t know whether it be 
the essential identity of soul that expresses itself in English 
things, and makes them seem known by heart already and 
intellectually dead and unexciting, or whether it is the 
singular lack of visible sentiment in England, and absence 
of "charm," or the oppressive ponderosity and superfluity 
and prominence of the unnecessary, or what it is, but I m 
blest if I ever wish to be in England again. Any conti 
nental country whatever stimulates and refreshes vastly 
more, in spite of so much strong picturesqueness here, and 
so beautiful a Nature. England is ungracious, unamiable 
and heavy; whilst the Continent is everywhere light and 
amiably quaint, even where it is ugly, as in many elements 
it is in Germany. To tell the truth, I long to steep myself 
in America again and let the broken rootlets make new 
adhesions to the native soil. A man coquetting with too 
many countries is as bad as a bigamist, and loses his soul 
altogether. 

I suppose you are at Ashfield and I hope surrounded, or 
soon to be so, by more children than of late, and all well 
and happy. Don t feel too bad about the country. We ve 
thrown away our old privileged and prerogative position 



Aet.59\ TO NATHANIEL S. SHALER 153 

among the nations, but it only showed we were less sincere 
about it than we supposed we were. The eternal fight of 
liberalism has now to be fought by us on much the same 
terms as in the older countries. We have still the better 
chance in our freedom from all the corrupting influences 
from on top from which they suffer. Good-bye and love 
from both of us, to you all. Yours ever faithfully, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Nathaniel S. Shaler. 

[1901?] 

DEAR SHALER, Being a man of methodical sequence in 
my reading, which in these days is anyhow rather slower 
than it used to be, I have only just got at your book. 1 Once 
begun, it slipped along "like a novel," and I must confess 
to you that it leaves a good taste behind; in fact a sort of 
haunting flavor due to its individuality, which I find it hard 
to explain or define. 

To begin with, it does n t seem exactly like you, but 
rather like some quiet and conscientious old passive con- 
templator of life, not bristling as you are with "points," 
and vivacity. Its light is dampened and suffused and 
all the better perhaps for that. Then it is essentially a con- 
fession of faith and a religious attitude which one does 
n t get so much from you upon the street, although even 
there t is clear that you have that within which passeth 
show. The optimism and healthy-mindedness are yours 
through and through, so is the wide imagination. But the 
moderate and non-emphatic way of putting things is not; 
nor is the absence of any "American humor." So I don t 
know just when or where or how you wrote it. I can t 

1 The Individual, A Study of Life and Death. New York, 1900. This letter is 
reproduced from the Autobiography of N. S. Shaler, where it has already been 
published. 



154 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

place it in the Museum or University Hall. Probably it 
was in Quincy Street, and in a sort of Piperio-Armadan 
trance! Anyhow it is a sincere book, and tremendously 
impressive by the gravity and dignity and peacefulness with 
which it suggests rather than proclaims conclusions on these 
eternal themes. No more than you can I believe that 
death is due to selection; yet I wish you had framed some 
hypothesis as to the physico-chemical necessity thereof, or 
discussed such hypotheses as have been made. I think 
you deduce a little too easily from the facts the existence of 
a general guiding tendency toward ends like those which 
our mind sets. We never know what ends may have been 
kept from realization, for the dead tell no tales. The sur 
viving witness would in any case, and whatever he were, 
draw the conclusion that the universe was planned to make 
him and the like of him succeed, for it actually did so. But 
your argument that it is millions to one that it did n t do 
so by chance does n t apply. It would apply if the witness 
had preexisted in an independent form and framed his 
scheme, and then the world had realized it. Such a coinci 
dence would prove the world to have a kindred mind to his. 
But there has been no such coincidence. The world has 
come but once; the witness is there after the fact and sim 
ply approves, dependently. As I understand improbability, 
it only exists where independents coincide. Where only 
one fact is in question, there is no relation of "probability" 
at all. I think, therefore, that the excellences we have 
reached and now approve may be due to no general design 
but merely to a succession of the short designs we actually 
know of, taking advantage of opportunity, and adding 
themselves together from point to point. We are all you 
say we are, as heirs; we are a mystery of condensation, and 
yet of extrication and individuation, and we must worship 



Aet.59\ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 155 

the soil we have so wonderfully sprung from. Yet I don t 
think we are necessitated to worship it as the Theists do, 
in the shape of one all-inclusive and all-operative designing 
power, but rather like polytheists, in the shape of a collec 
tion of beings who have each contributed and are now con 
tributing to the realization of ideals more or less like those 
for which we live ourselves. This more pluralistic style of 
feeling seems to me both to allow of a warmer sort of loyalty 
to our past helpers, and to tally more exactly with the mixed 
condition in which we find the world as to its ideals. What 
if we did come where we are by chance, or by mere fact, 
with no one general design? What is gained, is gained, all 
the same. As to what may have been lost, who knows of 
it, in any case? or whether it might not have been much 
better than what came? But if it might, that need not 
prevent us from building on what we have. 

There are lots of impressive passages in the book, which 
certainly will live and be an influence of a high order. 
Chapters 8, 10, 14, 15 have struck me most particularly. 

I gave at Edinburgh two lectures on "The Religion of 
Healthy-Mindedness," contrasting it with that of "the 
sick soul." I shall soon have to quote your book as a 
healthy-minded document of the first importance, though 
I believe myself that the sick soul must have its say, and 
probably carries authority too. . . . Ever yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

NAUHEIM, July 10, 1901. 

DEAREST FANNY, Your letter of June 28th comes just 
as I was working myself up to a last European farewell to 
you, anyhow, the which has far more instigative spur now, 
with your magnificent effusion in my hands. Dear Fanny, 



i 5 6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

whatever you do, don t die before our return! In these 
two short years so many of my best friends have been mown 
down, that I feel uncertainty everywhere, and gasp till the 
interval is over. John Ropes, Henry Sidgwick, F. Myers, 
T. Davidson, Carroll Everett, Edward Hooper, John Fiske, 
all intimate and valuable, some of them extremely so, and 
the circle grows ever smaller and will grow so to the end of 
one s own life. Now comes Whitman, whom I never knew 
very well, but whom I always liked thoroughly, and wish I 
had known better. ... It will be interesting to know what 
new turn it will give to S. W. s existence. I have n t the 
least idea how it will affect her outward life. Doubtless 
she will be freer to come abroad; but I hope and trust she 
will not be taking to staying any time in London or Paris, 
in the brutal cynical atmosphere of which places her little 
eagerness and efflorescences and cordialities would receive 
no such sympathetic treatment as they do with us, until 
she had stayed long enough for people to know her thoroughly 
and conquered a position by living down the first impres 
sion. Nothing so anti-English as S. W. s whole "sphere." 
So keep her at home with occasional sallies abroad; and 
if she must ever winter abroad, let it be in delightful slip 
shod old Rome! All which, as you perceive, is somewhat 
confidential. I trust that the present failure of health with 
her is something altogether transient, and that she will keep 
swimming long after everyone else has put into shore. 

Which simile reminds me of Mrs. Holmes s panel, with its 
superb inscription. 1 What a sense she has for such things! 

1 Mrs. O. W. Holmes had used the following translation of an epitaph in the 
Greek Anthology: 

A shipwrecked sailor buried on this coast 
Bids thee take sail. 

Full many a gallant ship, when we were lost, 
Weathered the gale. 



Aet. 59 \ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 157 

and how I thank you for quoting it! With your and her 
permission, I shall make a vital use of it in a future book. 
It sums up the attitude towards life of a good philosophic 
pluralist, and that is what, in my capacity of author of that 
book, I am to be. I thank you also for the reference to I 
Corinthians, i, 28, etc. 1 I had never expressly noticed that 
text; but it will make the splendidest motto for Myers s 
two posthumous volumes, and I am going to write to Mrs. 
Myers to suggest the same. I thank you also for your 
sympathetic remarks about my paper on Myers. Fifty or 
a hundred years hence, people will know better than now 
whether his instinct for truth was a sound one; and perhaps 
will then pat me on the back for backing him. At present 
they give us the cold shoulder. We are righter, in any 
event, than the Miinsterbergs and Jastrows are, because we 
don t undertake, as a condition of our investigating phe 
nomena, to bargain with them that they shan t upset our 
" presuppositions. " 

It is a beautiful summer morning, and I write under an 
awning on the high-perched corner balcony of the bedroom 
in which we live, of a corner house on the edge of the little 
town, with houses on the west of us and the fertile country 
spreading towards the east and south. A lovely region, 
though a climate terribly flat. I expect to take my last 
bath today, and to get my absolution from the terrible 
Schott; whereupon we shall leave tomorrow morning for 
Strassburg and the Vosges, for a week of touring up in 
higher air, and thence, uber Paris, as straight as may be for 
Rye. I keep in a state of subliminal excitement over our 
sailing on the Jist. It seems too good to be really possible. 
Yet the ratchet of time will work along its daily cogs, and 

1 "And base things of the world and things which are despised hath God chosen, 
yes, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are." 



i /5 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

doubtless bring it safe within our grasp. Last year I felt 
no distinctly beneficial effect from the baths. This year 
it is distinct. I have, in other words, continued pretty 
steadily getting better for four months past; so it is evident 
that I am in a genuinely ameliorative phase of my existence, 
of which the acquired momentum may carry me beyond any 
living man of my age. At any rate, I set no limits now! 

When we return I shall go straight up to Chocorua to the 
Salters . What I crave most is some wild American country. 
It is a curious organic-feeling need. One s social relations 
with European landscape are entirely different, everything 
being so fenced or planted that you can t lie down and sprawl. 
Kipling, alluding to the " bleeding raw" appearance of some 
of our outskirt settlements, says, "Americans don t mix 
much with their landscape as yet." But we mix a darned 
sight more than Europeans, so far as our individual organ 
isms go, with our camping and general wild-animal personal 
relations. Thank Heaven that our Nature is so much less 
"redeemed"!. . . 

You see, Fanny, that we are in good spirits on the 
whole, although my poor dear Alice has long sick-headaches 
that consume a good many days she is just emerging 
from a bad one. Happiness, I have lately discovered, is 
no positive feeling, but a negative condition of freedom from 
a number of restrictive sensations of which our organism 
usually seems to be the seat. When they are wiped out, 
the clearness and cleanness of the contrast is happiness. 
This is why anaesthetics make us so happy. But don t 
you take to drink on that account! Love to your mother, 
Mary, and all. Write to us no more. How happy that re 
sponsibility gone must make you! We both send warmest 
love, 

W. T- 



Act. 59] TO E. L. GODKIN 159 

To Henry James. 

[Post-card] 

BAD-NAUHEIM, July u, [1901]. 

Your letter and paper, with the shock of John Fiske s 
death, came yesterday. It is too bad, for he had lots of 
good work in him yet, and is a loss to American letters as 
well as to his family. Singularly simple, solid, honest crea 
ture, he will be hugely missed by many! Everybody seems 
to be going! We stay. Life here is absolutely monotonous, 
but very sweet. The country is so innocently pretty. I sit 
up here on a terrace-restaurant, looking down on park 
and town, with the leaves playing in the warm breeze above 
me, and the little Gothic town of Friedberg only a mile off, 
in the midst of the great fertile plain all chequer-boarded 
with the different tinted crops and framed in a far-off hori 
zon of low hills and woods. Alice and Harry, kept in by the 
heat, come later. He went for a distant walk yesterday 
P.M. and, not returning till near eleven, we thought he might 
have got lost in the woods. Yale beat the University race, 
but Bill s four[-oared crew] beat the Yale four. On such 
things is human contentment based. The baths stir up 
my aortic feeling and make me depressed, but I ve had 6 
of them, and the rest will pass quickly. Love. 

W.J. 

To E. L. Godkin. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, July 25, 1901. 

DEAR GODKIN, Yours of the 9th, which came duly, 
gave me great pleasure, first because it showed that your 
love for me had not grown cold, and, second, because it 
seemed to reveal in you tendencies towards sociability at 
large which are incompatible with a very alarming condi 
tion of health. Nothing can give us greater pleasure than 



160 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

to come and see you before we sail. We shall stick here, 
probably, for a fortnight longer, then go for a week to the 
Hartz mountains to brace up a little the baths being very 
debilitating and the air of Nauheim sedative. Then straight 
to Rye until we sail on August Jist. I hope that you 
enjoy the "New Forest" -the "Children" thereof, by 
Capt. Mayne Reid, I think, was one of my most mysteriously 
impressive books about the age of ten. But I fear that 
there is not much primeval forest to be seen there nowadays. 
Nauheim is a sweet little place. One never sees a soldier 
and would n t know that Militarismus existed. There are 
two policemen, one of them an old fellow of 70 who shuffles 
along to keep his weak knees from giving way. I went on 
business to the police office t other day. The building stood 
in a fine cabbage garden, and over the first door one met 
on entering stood the word Kuche x in large letters. Quite 
like the old idyllic pre-Sadowan German days. My heart 
is getting well! I made an excursion to Homburg yesterday, 
with J. B. Warner of Cambridge, counsellor at law, and 
general disputant. For about six hours we discussed the 
Philippine question, he damning the anti-Imperialists - 
yet my thoracic contents remained as solid as if cast in 
Portland cement. Six months ago I should have had the 
wildest commotion there. Congratulate me! Kindest re 
gards to you both, in which my wife joins. Yours ever 
affectionately, 

WM. JAMES. 

It should perhaps be explained that E. L. Godkin had 
had a cerebral hemorrhage the year before. It had left him 
clear in mind, but a permanent invalid, with little power of 
locomotion. James spent several days with him at Castle 

Kitchen. 




William James and Henry James posing for a Kodak in 1900. 



i62 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1901 

preponderates, one may be well content. Good-bye and 
bless you both. Affectionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

James returned to America in early September, in advance 
of the beginning of the College term. But from this time 
on he limited his teaching to one half-course during the 
year. His intention was to husband his strength for writing. 
The course which he offered during the first half of the 
College year was accordingly announced as a course on 
"The Psychological Elements of Religious Life." By the 
end of the winter, the second series of Gifford lectures, con 
stituting the last half of the "Varieties," had been written 
out. 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark. 

SILVER LAKE, N. H., Sept. 14, 1901. 

DEAR PAULINE, Your kind letter (excuse pencil pen 
won t write) appears to have reached London after our de 
parture and has just followed us hither. I had hoped for a 
word from you, first at Nauheim, then on the steamer, then 
at Cambridge; but this makes everything right. How 
good to think of you as the same old loveress of woods and 
skies and waters, and of your Bryn-Mawr friends. May 
none of the lot of you ever grow insufficient or forsake each 
other! The sight of you sporting in Nature s bosom once 
lifted me into a sympathetic region, and made a better boy 
of me in ways which it would probably amuse and surprise 
you to learn of, so strangely are characters useful to each 
other, and so subtly are destinies intermixed. But with 
you on the mountain-tops of existence still, and me ap 
parently destined to remain grubbing in the cellar, we seem 
far enough apart at present and may have to remain so. 



Aet.59\ TO MISS PAULINE GOLDMARK 163 

Alas! how brief is life s glory, at the best. I can t get to 
Keene Valley this year, and [may] possibly never get there. 
Give a kindly thought, my friend, to the spectre who once 
for a few times trudged by your side, and who would do so 
again if he could. I m a "motor," and morally ill-adapted 
to the game of patience. I have reached home in pretty 
poor case, but I think it s mainly "nerves" at present, and 
therefore remediable; so I live on the future, but keep my 
expectations modest. Two years away has been too long, 
and the "strangeness" which I dreaded (from past experience 
of it) covers all things American as with a veil. Pathetic and 
poverty-stricken is all I see! This will pass away, but I 
don t want good things to pass away also, so I beseech you, 
Pauline, to sit down and write me a good intimate letter 
telling me what your life and interest were in New York 
last winter. 

I am very sorry to hear of your sister Susan s illness, and 
pray that the summer will set her right. Did you see 
much of Miller this summer? I hate to think of his having 
grown so delicate! Did you see Perry again? He was 
at the Putnam Camp? How is Adler after his Cur? or 
is he not yet back? What have you read? What have 
you cared for? Be indulgent to me, and write to me here 
*I stay for 10 days longer the family all well re 
main in Cambridge. I find letters a great thing to keep 
one from slipping out of life. 

Love to you all! Your 

W. J. 

The next letter was written across the back of a circu 
lar invitation to join the American Philosophical Associa 
tion, then being formed, of which Professor Gardiner was 
Secretary. 



164 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

To H. N. Gardiner. 

CAMBRIDGE, Nov. 14, 1901. 

DEAR GARDINER, I am still pretty poorly and can t 
"jine" anything but, apart from that, I don t foresee 
much good from a Philosophical Society. Philosophical 
discussion proper only succeeds between intimates who have 
learned how to converse by months of weary trials and 
failure. The philosopher is a lone beast dwelling in his 
individual burrow. Count me out ! I hope all goes well 
with you. I expect to get well, but it needs patience. 

WM. JAMES. 

On April i, 1902, James sailed for England, to deliver the 
second "course" of his series of Gifford Lectures in Edin 
burgh. 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

HATLEY ST. GEORGE, 
TORQUAY, Apr. 20, 1902. 

MY DEAR SCHILLER, I could shed tears that you should 
have been so near me and yet been missed. I got your big 
envelope on Thursday at the hotel, and your two other 
missives here this morning. Of the Axioms paper I have 
only read a sheet and a half at the beginning and the superb 
conclusion which has just arrived. I shall fairly gloat upon 
the whole of it, and will write you my impressions and 
criticisms, if criticisms there be. It is an uplifting thought 
that truth is to be told at last in a radical and attention- 
compelling manner. I think I know, though, how the 
attention of many will find a way not to be compelled 
their will is so set on having a technically and artificially and 
professionally expressed system, that all talk carried on as 
yours is on principles of common-sense activity is as remote 



Act. 60} TO F. C. S. SCHILLER 165 

and little worthy of being listened to as the slanging each 
other of boys in the street as we pass. Men disdain to 
notice that. It is only after our (i.e. your and my) general 
way of thinking gets organized enough to become a regular 
part of the bureaucracy of philosophy that we shall get a 
serious hearing. Then, I feel inwardly convinced, our day 
will have come. But then, you may well say, the brains 
will be out and the man will be dead. Anyhow, vive the 
Anglo-Saxon amateur, disciple of Locke and Hume, and 
pereaf the German professional! 

We are here for a week with the Godkins poor old G., 
once such a power, and now an utter wreck after a stroke of 
paralysis three years ago. Beautiful place, southeast gale, 
volleying rain and streaming panes and volumes of soft 
sea-laden wind. 

I hope you are not serious about an Oxford degree for your 
humble servant. If you are, pray drop the thought! I 
am out of the race for all such vanities. Write me a degree 
on parchment and send it yourself in any case it would 
be but your award ! and it will be cheaper and more 
veracious. I had to take the Edinburgh one, and accepted 
the Durham one to please my wife. Thank you, no corona 
tion either! I am a poor New Hampshire rustic, in bad 
health, and long to get back, after four summers absence, 
to my own cottage and children, and never come away 
again for lectures or degrees or anything else. It all depends 
on a man s age; and after sixty, if ever, one feels as if one 
ought to come to some sort of equilibrium with one s native 
environment, and by means of a regular life get one s small 
message to mankind on paper. That nowadays is my only 
aspiration. The Gifford lectures are all facts and no philos 
ophy I trust that you may receive the volume by the 
middle of June. 



1 66 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

When, oh, when is your volume to appear? The sheet 
you send me leaves off just at the point where Boyle-Gibson 
begins to me to be most interesting! Ever fondly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

Your ancient President, Schurman, was also at Edinburgh 
getting LL. D d. He is conducting a campaign in favor of 
Philippine independence with masterly tactics, which recon 
cile me completely to him, laying his ringer on just the right 
and telling points. 

To Charles Eliot Norton. 

LAMB HOUSE, RYE, May 4, 1902. 

DEAR NORTON, I hear with grief and concern that you 
have had a bad fall. In a letter received this morning you 
are described as better, so I hope it will have had no un 
toward consequences beyond the immediate shock. We 
need you long to abide with us in undiminished vigor and 
health. Our voyage was smooth, though cloudy, and we 
found Miss Ward a very honest and lovable girl. Henry 
D. Lloyd, whose name you know as that of a state-socialist 
writer, sat opposite to us, and proved one of the most "win 
ning" men it was ever my fortune to know. 

We went to Stratford for the first time. The absolute 
extermination and obliteration of every record of Shake 
speare save a few sordid material details, and the general 
suggestion of narrowness and niggardliness which ancient 
Stratford makes, taken in comparison with the way in which 
the spiritual quantity "Shakespeare" has mingled into the 
soul of the world, was most uncanny, and I feel ready to 
believe in almost any mythical story of the authorship. In 
fact a visit to Stratford now seems to me the strongest 
appeal a Baconian can make. The country round about 
was exquisite. Still more so the country round about 



Act. 60} TO MRS. HENRY WHITMAN 167 

Torquay, where we stayed with the Godkins for eight days - 
he holding his own, as it seemed to me, but hardly improving, 
she earning palms of glory by her strength and virtue. A 
regular little trump! They have taken for the next two 
months the most beautiful country place I ever saw, occupy 
ing an elbow of the Dart, and commanding a view up and 
down. We are here for but a week, my lectures beginning 
on the ijth. H. J. seems tranquil and happy in his work, 
though he has been much pestered of late by gout. 

I suppose you are rejoicing as much as I in the public 
interest finally aroused in the Philippine conquest. A per 
sonal scandal, it seems, is really the only thing that will 
wake the ordinary man s attention up. It should be the 
first aim of every good leader of opinion to rake up one on 
the opposite side. It should be introduced among our 
Faculty methods! 

Don t think, dear Norton, that you must answer this 
letter, which only your accident has made me write. We 
shall be home so soon that I shall see you face to face. The 
wife sends love, as I do, to you all. No warm weather 
whatever as yet I am having chilblains!! Ever affec 
tionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman. 

R.M.S. IVERNIA, June 18, 1902. 

DEAR MRS. WHITMAN, We ought to be off Boston to 
night. After a cold and wet voyage, including two days of 
head-gale and heavy sea, and one of unbroken fog with 
lugubriously moo-ing fog-horn, the sun has risen upon 
American weather, a strong west wind like champagne, 
blowing out of a saturated blue sky right in our teeth, the 
sea all effervescing and sparkling with white caps and lace, 



1 68 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

the strong sun lording it in the sky, and hope presiding in 
the heart. What more natural than to report all this 
happy turn of affairs to you, buried as you probably still 
are in the blankets of the London atmosphere, beautiful 
opalescent blankets though they be, and (when one s vitals 
once are acclimated) yielding more wonderful artistic effects 
than anything to be seen in America. "C est le pays de 
la couleur," as my brother is fond of saying in the words of 
Alphonse Daudet! But no matter for international com 
parisons, which are the least profitable of human employ 
ments. Christ died for us all, so let us all be as we are, 
save where we want to reform ourselves. (The only un 
pardonable crime is that of wanting to reform one another^ 
after the fashion of the U. S. in the Philippines.) . . . Your 
sweet letter of several dates reached us just before we left 
Edinburgh excuse the insipid adjective "sweet," which 
after all does express something which less simple vocables 
may easily miss and gave an impression of harmony and 
inner health which it warms the heart to become sensible 
of. I understand your temptation to stay over, but I also 
understand your temptation to get back; and I imagine 
that more and more you will solve the problem by a good 
deal of alternation in future years. It is curious how utterly 
distinct the three countries of England, Ireland and Scot 
land are, which we so summarily lump together Scotland 
so democratic and so much like New England in many re 
spects. But it would be a waste of time for you to go there. 
Keep to the South and spend one winter in Rome, before 
you die, and a spring in the smaller Italian cities! 

I hope that Henry will have managed to get you and 
Miss Tuckerman to Rye for a day it is so curiously quaint 
and characteristic. I had a bad conscience about leaving 
him, for I think he feels lonely as he grows old, and friends 



Aet. 60} LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 169 

pass over to the majority. He and I are so utterly different 
in all our observances and springs of action, that we can t 
rightly judge each other. I even feel great shrinking from 
urging him to pay us a visit, fearing it might yield him 
little besides painful shocks and, after all, what besides 
pain and shock is the right reaction for anyone to make 
upon our vocalization and pronunciation? The careful 
consonants and musical cadences of the Scotchwomen were 
such a balm to the ear! I wish that you and poor Henry 
could become really intimate. He is at bottom a very 
tender-hearted and generous being! No more paper! so I 
cross! I wish when we once get settled again at Chocorua 
that we might enclose you under our roof, even if only for 
one night, on your way to or from the Merrimans. I should 
like to show you true simplicity. [No signature.] 

The Gifford Lectures were published as "The Varieties 
of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature," in 
June, 1902. The immediate "popularity" of this psy 
chological survey of man s religious propensities was great; 
and the continued sales of the book contributed not a little 
to relieve James of financial anxiety during the last years 
of his life. 

The cordiality with which theological journals and private 
correspondents of many creeds greeted the "Varieties," as 
containing a fair treatment of facts which other writers had 
approached with a sectarian or anti-theological bias, was 
striking. James was amused at being told that the book 
had " supplied the protestant pulpits with sermons for a 
twelve-month." Regarding himself as "a most protestant 
protestant," as he once said, he was especially pleased by 
the manner in which it was received by Roman Catholic 
reviewers. 



1 70 LETTERS OF WLLIAM JAMES [1902 

Certain philosophical conclusions were indicated broadly 
in the "Varieties" without being elaborated. The book 
was a survey, an examination, of the facts. James had 
originally conceived of the Gifford appointment as giving 
him "an opportunity for a certain amount of psychology 
and a certain amount of metaphysics," and so had thought 
of making the first series of lectures descriptive of man s 
religious propensities and the second series a metaphysical 
study of their satisfaction through philosophy. The psy 
chological material had grown to unforeseen dimensions, 
and it ended by filling the book. The metaphysical study 
remained to be elaborated; and to such work James now 
turned. 



XIV 

1902-1905 

The Last Period (I) Philosophical Writing 
Statements of Religious Belief 

JAMES now limited his teaching in Harvard University, as 
has been said, to half a course a year and tried to devote his 
working energies to formulating a statement of his philo 
sophical conceptions. For two years he published almost 
nothing; then the essays which were subsequently collected 
in the volumes called "Pragmatism," "The Pluralistic Uni 
verse," "The Meaning of Truth," and "Essays in Radical 
Empiricism," began to appear in the philosophic journals, or 
were delivered as special lectures. Whenever he accepted 
invitations to lecture outside the College, as he still did 
occasionally, it was with the purpose of getting these con 
ceptions expressed and of throwing them into the arena of 
discussion. But demands which correspondents and callers 
from all parts of the globe now made on his time and sym 
pathy were formidable, for he could not rid himself of the 
habit of treating the most trivial of these with considera 
tion, or acquire the habit of using a secretary. In this way 
there continued to be a constant drain on his strength. 
" It is probably difficult [thus he wrote wearily to Mr. Lutos- 
lawski, who had begged him to collaborate with him on a 
book in 1904] for a man whose cerebral machine works with 
such facility as yours does to imagine the kind of conscious 
ness of men like Flournoy and myself. The background of 
my consciousness, so far as my own achievements go, is 
composed of a sense of impossibility a sense well warranted 
by the facts. For instance, two years ago, the Varieties 



i 7 i LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

being published, I decided that everything was cleared and 
that my duty was immediately to begin writing my meta 
physical system. Up to last October, when the academic 
year began, I had written some 200 pages of notes^ i.e. dis 
connected brouillons. I hoped this year to write 400 or 500 
pages of straight composition, and could have done so 
without the interruptions. As a matter of fact, with the 
best will in the world, I have written exactly 32 pages! 
For an academic year s work, that is not brilliant! You 
see that, when I refuse your request, it is, after a fashion, 
in order to save my own life. My working day is anyhow, 
at best, only three hours long by working I mean writing 
and reading philosophy." This estimate of his "notes" 
was, as always, self-deprecatory; but there was no denying 
a great measure of truth to the statement. Frequently his 
health made it necessary for him to escape from Cambridge 
and his desk. These incidents will be noted separately 
wherever the context requires. 

Yet in spite of these difficulties and notwithstanding his 
complaints of constant frustration, the spirit with which 
James still did his work emerges from the essays of this time 
as well as from his letters. It was as if the years that had 
preceded had been years of preparation for just what he 
was now doing. At the age of sixty-three he turned to the 
formulation of his empirical philosophy with the eagerness of 
a schoolboy let out to play. Misunderstanding disturbed 
him only momentarily, opposition stimulated him, he re 
joiced openly in the controversies which he provoked, and 
engaged in polemics with the good humor and vigor that 
were the essence of his genius. His "truth" must prevail! 
the Absolute should suffer its death-blow! Flournoy, 
Bergson, Schiller, Papini, and others too were "on his side." 
He made merry at the expense of his critics, or bewailed 



Act. 60] TO MISS GRACE NORTON 173 

the perversity of their opposition; but he always encouraged 
them to "lay on." The imagery of contest and battle ap 
peared in the letters which he threw off, and he expressed 
himself as freely as only a man can who has outgrown the 
reserves of his youth. 

To Henry L. Higginson. 

CHOCORUA, July 3, 1902. 

DEAR HENRY, Thanks for your letter of the other day, 
etc. Alice tells me of a queer conversation you and she 
had upon the cars. I am not anxious about money, beyond 
wishing not to live on capital. ... As I have frequently 
said, I mean to support you in your old age. In fact the 
hope of that is about all that I now live for, being surfeited 
with the glory of academic degrees just escaped, like this 
last one which, in the friendliness of its heart, your [Harvard] 
Corporation designed sponging upon me at Commence 
ment. 1 Boil it and solder it up from the microbes, and it 
may do for another year, if I am not in prison! The friend 
liness of such recognition is a delightful thing to a man 
about to graduate from the season of his usefulness. "La 
renomme vient," as I have heard John La Farge quote, 
" a ceux qui ont la patience d attendre, et s accroit a raison 
de leur imbecillite." Best wishes to you all. Yours ever, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Miss Grace Norton. 

CHOCORUA, Aug. 29, 1902. 

MY DEAR GRACE, Will you kindly let me know, by the 
method of effacement, on the accompanying post-card, 

1 Although James had received the usual hint that Harvard intended to confer 
an honorary degree upon him, he had absented himself from both the honors and 
fatigues of Commencement time. The next year he was present, and the LL.D. 
was conferred. 



i 74 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

whether the box from Germany of which I wrote you some 
time ago has or has not yet been left at your house. I paid 
the express, over twenty dollars, on it three weeks ago, 
directing it to be left with you. 

The ice being thus broken, let me ramble on ! How do-ist 
thou? And how is the moist and cool summer suiting thee? 
I hope, well! It has certainly been a boon to most people. 
Our house has been full of company of which tomorrow the 
last boys will leave, and I confess I shall enjoy the change 
to no responsibility. The scourge of life is responsibility 
always there with its scowling face, and when it ceases to 
someone else, it begins to yourself, or to your God, if you 
have one. Consider the lilies, how free they are from it, and 
yet how beautiful the expression of their face. Especially 
should those emerging from "nervous prostration" be suf 
fered to be without it they have trouble enough in any 
case. I am getting on famously, but for that drawback, on 
which my temper is liable to break; but I walk somewhat as 
in old times, and that is the main corner to have turned. 
The country seems as beautiful as ever it is good that, 
when age takes away the zest from so many things, it seems 
to make no difference at all in one s capacity for enjoying 
landscape and the aspects of Nature. We are all well, 
and shall very soon be buzzing about Irving Street as of 
yore. Keep well yourself, dear Grace; and believe me ever 
your friend, 

WM. JAMES. 

To this word about enjoying the aspects of nature may be 
added a few lines from a letter to his son William, which 
James wrote from Europe in 1900: - 

"Scenery seems to wear in one s consciousness better 
than any other element in life. In this year of much solemn 



Aet. 60] TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 175 

and idle meditation, I have often been surprised to find 
what a predominant part in my own spiritual experience it 
has played, and how it stands out as almost the only thing 
the memory of which I should like to carry over with me 
beyond the veil, unamended and unaltered. From the 
midst of every thing else, almost, surgit amari aliquid; but 
from the days in the open air, never any bitter whiff, save 
that they are gone forever." 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

STONEHURST, . 
INTERVALE, N. H., Sept. 18, 1902. 

DEAREST FANNY, How long it is since we have ex 
changed salutations and reported progress! Happy the 
country which is without a history! / have had no history 
to communicate, and I hope that you have had none either, 
and that the summer has glided away as happily for you 
as it has for us. Now it begins to fade towards the horizon 
over which so many ancient summers have slipped, and our 
household is on the point of " breaking up " just when the 
season invites one most imperiously to stay. Dang all 
schools and colleges, say I. Alice goes down tomorrow (I 
being up here with the Merrimans only for one day) to 
start Billy for Europe he will spend the winter at Geneva 
University and to get "the house" ready for our general 
reception on the 26th. I may possibly make out to stay up 
here till the Monday following, and spend the interval of 
a few days by myself among the mountains, having stuck 
to the domestic hearth unusually tight all summer. . . . 

We have had guests too many of them, rather, at one 
time, for me and a little reading has been done, mostly 
philosophical technics, which, by the strange curse laid 
upon Adam, certain of his descendants have been doomed 



i 7 6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

- to invent and others, still more damned, to learn. But 
I ve also read Stevenson s letters, which everybody ought 
vto read just to know how charming a human being can be, 
and I Ve read a good part of Goethe s Gedichte once again, 
which are also to be read, so that one may realize how abso 
lutely healthy an organization may every now and then 
eventuate into this world. To have such a lyrical gift and 
to treat it with so little solemnity, so that most of the out 
put consists of mere escape of the over-tension into bits of 
occasional verse, irresponsible, unchained, like smoke- 
wreaths! it du give one a great impression of personal 
power. In general, though I m a traitor for saying so, it 
seems to me that the German race has been a more massive 
organ of expression for the travail of the Almighty than the 
Anglo-Saxon, though we did seem to have something more 
like it in Elizabethan times. Or are clearness and dapper- 
ness the absolutely final shape of creation? Good-bye! 
dear Fanny you see how mouldy I am temporarily be 
come. The moment I take my pen, I can write in no other 
way. Write thou, and let me know that things are greener 
and more vernal where you are. Alice would send much 
love to you, were she here. Give mine to your mother, 
brother, and sister-in-law, and all. Your loving, 

W. J. 

To Henry L. Higginson. 

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., Nov. i, 1902. 

DEAR HENRY, I am emboldened to the step I am taking 
by the consciousness that though we are both at least sixty 
years old and have known each other from the cradle, I 
have never but once (or possibly twice) traded on your 
well-known lavishness of disposition to swell any "sub 
scription" which I was trying to raise. 



Act. 60} TO HENRY L. HIGGINSON 177 

Now the doomful hour has struck. The altar is ready, 
and I take the victim by the ear. I choose you for a victim 
because you still have some undesiccated human feeling 
about you and can think in terms of pure charity for the 
love of God, without ulterior hopes of returns from the 
investment. 

The subject is a man of fifty who can be recommended 
to no other kind of a benefactor. His story is a long one, 
but it amounts to this, that Heaven made him with no 
other power than that of thinking and writing, and he has 
proved by this time a truly pathological inability to keep 
body and soul together. He is abstemious to an incredible 
degree, is the most innocent and harmless of human beings, 
is n t propagating his kind, has never had a dime to spend 
except for vital necessities, and never has had in his life an 
hour of what such as we call freedom from care or of "pleas 
ure" in the ordinary exuberant sense of the term. He is 
refinement itself mentally and morally; and his writings 
have all been printed in first-rate periodicals, but are too 
scanty to "pay." There s no excuse for him, I admit. But 
God made him; and after kicking and cuffing and prod 
ding him for twenty years, I have now come to believe that he 
ought to be treated in charity pure and simple (even though 
that be a vice) and I want to guarantee him $350 a year as 
a pension to be paid to the Mills Hotel in Bleecker Street, 
New York, for board and lodging and a few cents weekly 
over and above. I will put in $150. I have secured $100 
more. Can I squeeze $50 a year out of you for such a non- 
public cause? If not, don t reply and forget this letter. 
If "ja" and you think you really can afford it, and it is n t 
wicked, let me know, and I will dun you regularly every 
year for the $50. Yours as ever, 

WM. JAMES. 



i 7 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

It is a great compliment that I address you. Most men 
say of such a case, "Is the man deserving?" Whereas the 
real point is, "Does he need us?" What is deserving now 
adays ? 

The beneficiary of this appeal was that same unfulfilled 
promise of a metaphysician who appeared as "X" on page 
292 of the first volume a man upon whom, in Cicero s 
phrase, none but a philosopher could look without a groan. 
There were more parallels to X s case than it would be 
permissible to cite here. James did not often appeal to 
others to help such men with money, but he did things for 
them himself, even after it had become evident that they 
could give nothing to the world in return, and even when 
they had exhausted his patience. " Damn your half-suc 
cesses, your imperfect geniuses!" he exclaimed of another 
who shall be called Z. " I m tired of making allowances for 
them and propping them up. . . . Z has never constrained 
himself in his life. Selfish, conceited, affected, a monster 
of desultory intellect, he has become now a seedy, almost 
sordid, old man without even any intellectual residuum 
from his work that can be called a finished construction; 
only suggestions and a begging old age." But Z, too, 
was helped to the end. 

To Henri Bergson. 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 14, 1902. 

MY DEAR SIR, I read the copy of your "Matiere et 
Memoire" which you so kindly sent me, immediately on 
receiving it, four years ago or more. I saw its great origi 
nality, but found your ideas so new and vast that I could 
not be sure that I fully understood them, although the 



Act. 60] TO HENRI BERGSON 179 

style > Heaven knows, was lucid enough. So I laid the book 
aside for a second reading, which I have just accomplished, 
slowly and carefully, along with that of the "Donnees Im- 
mediates," etc. 

I think I understand the main lines of your system very 
well at present though of course I can t yet trace its 
proper relations to the aspects of experience of which you 
do not treat. It needs much building out in the direction 
of Ethics, Cosmology and Cosmogony, Psychogenesis, etc., 
before one can apprehend it fully. That I should take it 
in so much more easily than I did four years ago shows that 
even at the age of sixty one s mind can grow a pleasant 
thought. 

It is a work of exquisite genius. It makes a sort of Co- 
pernican revolution as much as Berkeley s "Principles" or 
Kant s "Critique" did, and will probably, as it gets better 
and better known, open a new era of philosophical discus 
sion. It fills my mind with all sorts of new questions and 
hypotheses and brings the old into a most agreeable lique 
faction. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

The Hauptpunkt acquired for me is your conclusive dem 
olition of the dualism of object and subject in perception. 
I believe that the "transcendency" of the object will not 
recover from your treatment, and as I myself have been 
working for many years past on the same line, only with 
other general conceptions than yours, I find myself most 
agreeably corroborated. My health is so poor now that 
work goes on very slowly; but I am going, if I live, to write 
a general system of metaphysics which, in many of its funda 
mental ideas, agrees closely with what you have set forth> 
and the agreement inspires and encourages me more than 
you can well imagine. It would take far too many words 



i8o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1902 

to attempt any detail, but some day I hope to send you the 
book. 1 

How good it is sometimes simply to break away from all 
old categories, deny old worn-out beliefs, and restate things 
ab initioy making the lines of division fall into entirely new 
places ! 

I send you a little popular lecture of mine on immor 
tality, 2 no positive theory but merely an argumentum ad 
hominem for the ordinary cerebralistic objection, in which 
it may amuse you to see a formulation like your own that 
the brain is an organ of filtration for spiritual life. 

I also send you my last book, the "Varieties of Religious 
Experience," which may some time beguile an hour. Be 
lieve, dear Professor Bergson, the high admiration and regard 
with which I remain, always sincerely yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Mrs. Louis Agassiz. 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 15, 1902. 

DEAR MRS. AGASSIZ, I never dreamed of your replying 
to that note of mine (of Dec. 5th). If you are replying to 
all the notes you received on that eventful day, it seems to 
me a rather heavy penalty for becoming an octogenarian. 3 
But glad I am that you replied to mine, and so beautifully. 
Indeed I do remember the meeting of those two canoes, 
and the dance, over the river from Manaos; and many an- 

1 " I have been re-reading Bergson s books, and nothing that I have read in years 
has so excited and stimulated my thought. Four years ago I could n t under 
stand him at all, though I felt his power. I am sure that that philosophy has a 
great future. It breaks through old cadres and brings things into a solution from 
which new crystals can be got." (From a letter to Flournoy, Jan. 27, 1902.) 

J The Ingersoll Lecture on Human Immortality. 

3 There had been a celebration of Mrs. Agassiz s eightieth birthday at Radcliffe 
College, of which she was President. 



A*. 60] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 181 

other incident and hour of that wonderful voyage. 1 I 
remember your freshness of interest, and readiness to take 
hold of everything, and what a blessing to me it was to have 
one civilized lady in sight, to keep the memory of cultivated 
conversation from growing extinct. I remember my own folly 
in wishing to return home after I came out of the hospital 
at Rio; and my general greenness and incapacity as a nat 
uralist afterwards, with my eyes gone to pieces. It was all 
because my destiny was to be a "philosopher" a fact 
which then I did n t know, but which only means, I think, 
that, if a man is good for nothing else, he can at least teach 
philosophy. But I m going to write one book worthy of 
you, dear Mrs. Agassiz, and of the Thayer expedition, if 
I am spared a couple of years longer. 

I hope you were not displeased at the applause the other 
night, as you went out. / started it; if I had n t, someone 
else would a moment later, for the tension had grown in 
tolerable. 

How delightful about the Radcliffe building! 

Well, once more, dear Mrs. Agassiz, we both thank you 
for this beautiful and truly affectionate letter. Your affec 
tionate, 

WM. JAMES. 

E. L. Godkin had recently died, and at the date of the 
next letter a movement was on foot to raise money for a 
memorial in commemoration of his public services. The 
money was soon subscribed and the Memorial took shape in 
the endowment of the Godkin Lectureship at Harvard. 
James had started discussion of the project at a meeting of 
the dinner Club and Henry L. Higginson had continued it 
in a letter to which the following replied. 

1 On the Amazon in 1865-66. 



1 82 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

To Henry L. Higginson. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 8, 1903. 

DEAR HENRY, I am sorry to have given a wrong im 
pression, and made you take the trouble of writing nutri 
tious though your letters be to receive. My motive in 
mentioning the Godkin testimonial was pure curiosity, and 
not desire to promote it. We were ten "liberals" together, 
and I wanted to learn how many of us had been alienated 
from Godkin by his temper in spite of having been influenced 
by his writing. I found that it was just about half and 
half. I never said Heaven bear me witness that I had 
learned more from G. than from anyone. I said I had got 
more political education from him. You see the "Nation * 
took me at the age of 22 you were already older and 
wickeder. If you follow my advice now, you don t sub 
scribe a cent to this memorial. / shall subscribe $100, for 
mixed reasons. Godkin s "home life" was very different 
from his life against the world. When a man differed in 
type from him, and consequently reacted differently on 
public matters, he thought him a preposterous monster, 
pure and simple, and so treated him. He could n t imagine 
a different kind of creature from himself in politics. But 
in private relations he was simplicity and sociability and 
affectionateness incarnate, and playful as a young opossum. 
I never knew his first wife well, but I admire the pluck and 
fidelity of the second, and I note your chivalrous remarks 
about the sex, including Mrs. W. J., to whom report has 
been made of them, making her blush with pleasure. 

Don t subscribe, dear Henry. I am not trying to raise 
subscriptions. You left too early Friday eve. Ever affec 
tionately yours, 

W. J. 



Act. 6i\ TO HENRI BERGSON 183 

James s college class finished its work at the end of the 
first half of the academic year, and in early February he 
turned for a few days to the thought of a Mediterranean 
voyage, as a vacation and a means of escape from Cam 
bridge during the bad weather of March. While consider 
ing this plan, he cabled M. Bergson to inquire as to the 
possibility of a meeting in Paris or elsewhere. 

To Henri Bergson. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 25, 1903. 

DEAR PROFESSOR BERGSON, Your most obliging cable 
gram (with 8 words instead of four!) arrived duly a week 
ago, and now I am repenting that I ever asked you to send 
it, for I have been feeling so much less fatigued than I did 
a month ago, that I have given up my passage to the Mediter 
ranean, and am seriously doubting whether it will be neces 
sary to leave home at all. I ought not to, on many grounds, 
unless my health imperatively requires it. Pardon me for 
having so frivolously stirred you up, and permit me at least 
to pay the cost (as far as I can ascertain it) of the despatch 
which you were so liberal as to send. 

There is still a bare possibility (for I am so strongly 
tempted) that I may, after the middle of March, take a 
cheaper vessel direct to England or to France, and spend 
ten days or so in Paris and return almost immediately. In 
that case, we could still have our interview. I think there 
must be great portions of your philosophy which you have 
not yet published, and I want to see how well they combine 
with mine. Writing is too long and laborious a process, 
and I would not inflict on you the task of answering my 
questions by letter, so I will still wait in the hope of a per 
sonal interview some time. 



i8 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

I am convinced that a philosophy of pure experience, 
such as I conceive yours to be, can be made to work, and 
will reconcile many of the old inveterate oppositions of the 
schools. I think that your radical denial (the manner of 
it at any rate) of the notion that the brain can be in any way 
the causa fiendi of consciousness, has introduced a very 
sudden clearness, and eliminated a part of the idealistic 
paradox. But your unconscious or subconscious permanence 
of memories is in its turn a notion that offers difficulties, 
seeming in fact to be the equivalent of the "soul" in another 
shape, and the manner in which these memories "insert" 
themselves into the brain action, and in fact the whole con 
ception of the difference between the outer and inner worlds 
in your philosophy, still need to me a great deal of elucida 
tion. But behold me challenging you to answer me par ecrit! 

I have read with great delight your article in the "Revue 
de Metaphysique" for January, agree thoroughly with all 
its critical part, and wish that I might see in your intuition 
metaphysique the full equivalent for a philosophy of con 
cepts. Neither seems to be a full equivalent for the other, 
unless indeed the intuition becomes completely mystical (and 
that I am willing to believe), but I don t think that that is 
just what you mean. The Syllabus J which I sent you the 
other day is (I fear), from its great abbreviation, somewhat 
unintelligible, but it will show you the sort of lines upon 
which I have been working. I think that a normal philos 
ophy, like a science, must live by hypotheses I think that 
the indispensable hypothesis in a philosophy of pure experi 
ence is that of many kinds of other experience than ours, 

,v J co-consciousness \ r ,. . 

that the question of 1 . . \ (its conditions, etc.) 

i conscious synthesis J 

1 An 8-page Syllabus printed for the use of his students in the course on the 
"Philosophy of Nature" which James was giving during the first half of the college 
year. 



Aet. 61} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 185 

becomes a most urgent question, as does also the question 
of the relations of what is possible only to what is actual, 
what is past or future to what is present. These are all ur 
gent matters in your philosophy also, I imagine. How ex 
quisitely you do write! Believe me, with renewed thanks for 
the telegram, yours most sincerely, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 30, 1903. 

MY DEAR FLOURNOY, I forget whether I wrote you my 
applause or not, on reading your chapter on religious psy 
chology in the "Archives." I thought it a splendid thing, 
and well adapted to set the subject in the proper light before 
students. Abauzit has written to me for authorization to 
translate my book, and both he and W. J., Junior, have 
quoted you as assured of his competency. I myself feel 
confident of it, and have given him the authorization re 
quired. Possibly you may supply him with as much of your 
own translation as you have executed, so that the time you 
have spent on the latter may not be absolutely lost. " Billy " 
also says that you have executed a review of Myers s book, 1 
finding it a more difficult task than you had anticipated. I 
am highly curious to see what you have found to say. I, 
also, wrote a notice of the volumes, and found it exceeding 
difficult to know how to go at the job. At last I decided 
just to skeletonize the points of his reasoning, but on correct 
ing the proof just now, what I have written seems deadly 
flat and unprofitable and makes me wish that I had stuck 
to my original intention of refusing to review the book at 
all. The fact is, such a book need not be criticized at all at 
present. It is obviously too soon for it to be either refuted 

1 Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death, by]F. W. H. Myers. 



z86 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

or established by mere criticism. It is a hypothetical con 
struction of genius which must be kept hanging up, as it 
were, for new observations to be referred to. As the years 
accumulate these in a more favorable or in a more unfavor 
able sense, it will tend to stand or to fall. I confess that 
reading the volumes has given me a higher opinion than 
ever of Myers s constructive gifts, but on the whole a lower 
opinion of the objective solidity of the system. So many 
of the facts which form its pillars are still dubious. 1 

Bill says that you were again convinced by Eusapia, 2 but 
that the conditions were not satisfactory enough (so I un 
derstood) to make the experiments likely to convince absent 
hearers. Forever baffling is all this subject, and I confess 
that I begin to lose my interest. Believe me, in whatever 
difficulties your review of Myers may have occasioned you, 
you have my fullest sympathy! 

Bill has had a perfectly splendid winter in Geneva, thanks 
almost entirely to your introductions, and to the generous 
manner in which you took him into your own family. I 
wish we could ever requite you by similar treatment of 
Henri, or of ces demoiselles. He seems to labor under an 
apprehension of not being able to make you all believe how 
appreciative and grateful he is, and he urges me to "Make 
you understand it" when I write. I imagine that you 
understand it anyhow, so far as he is concerned, so I simply 
assure you that our gratitude here is of the strongest and 
sincerest kind. I imagine that this has been by far the most 
profitable and educative winter of his life, and I rejoice 
exceedingly that he has obtained in so short a time so com- 

1 "The piles driven into the quicksand are too few for such a structure. But it 
is essential as a preliminary attempt at methodizing, and will doubtless keep a very 
honorable place in history." To F. C. S. Schiller, April 8, 1903. 

2 Eusapia Paladino, the Italian "medium." The physical manifestations which 
occurred during her trance had excited much discussion. 



Aet. 61} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 187 

plete a sense of being at home in, and so lively an affection 
for, the Swiss people and country. (As for your family he 
has written more than once that the Flournoy family seems 
to be "the finest family" he has ever seen in his life.) 

His experience is a good measure of the improvement in 
the world s conditions. Thirty years ago / spent nine 
months in Geneva but in how inferior an "Academy," 
and with what inferior privileges and experiences! Never 
inside a private house, and only after three months or more 
familiar enough with other students to be admitted to 
Zofingue. 1 Ignorant of 1000 things which have come to 
my son and yours in the course of education. It is a more 
evolved world, and no mistake. 

I find myself very tired and unable to work this spring, 
but I think it will depart when I get to the country, as we 
soon shall. I am neither writing nor lecturing, and reading 
nothing heavy, only Emerson s works again (divine things, 
some of them!) in order to make a fifteen-minute address 
about him on his centennial birthday. What I want to get 
at, and let no interruptions interfere, is (at last) my system 
of tychistic and pluralistic philosophy of pure experience. 

I wish, and even more ardently does Alice wish, that you 
and Mrs. Flournoy, and all the children, or any of them, 
might pay us a visit. I don t urge you, for there is so little 
in America that pays one to come, except sociological ob 
servation. But in the big slow steamers, the voyage is 
always interesting and once here, how happy we should 
be to harbor you. In any case, perhaps Henri and one of 
his sisters will come and spend a year. From the point of 
view of education, Cambridge is first-rate. Love to you all 
from us both. 

WM. JAMES. 

1 The name of a student-society. 



1 88 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

Late in April came a letter from Henry James in which 
he spoke, as if with many misgivings, of returning to America 
for a six months visit. "I should wish," he said, "to 
write a book of impressions and to that end get quite away 
from Boston and New York really see the country at 
large. On the other hand I don t see myself prowling alone 
in Western cities and hotels or finding my way about by 
myself, and it is all darksome and tangled. Some light may 
break but meanwhile next Wednesday (awful fact) is 
my 6oth birthday." He had not been in America for more 
than twenty years, and had never known anything of the 
country outside of New England and New York. 

To Henry James. 

CAMBRIDGE, May 3, 1903. 

. . . Your long and inhaltsvoll letter of April loth arrived 
duly, and constituted, as usual, an "event." Theodora had 
already given us your message of an intended visit to these 
shores; and your letter made Alice positively overflow with 
joyous anticipations. On my part they are less unmixed, 
for I feel more keenly a good many of the desagrements to 
which you will inevitably be subjected, and imagine the 
sort of physical loathing with which many features of our 
national life will inspire you. It takes a long time to notice 
such things no longer. One thing, for example, which would 
reconcile me most easily to abandoning my native country 
forever would be the certainty of immunity, when traveling, 
from the sight of my fellow beings at hotels and dining-cars 
having their boiled eggs brought to them, broken by a 
negro, two in a cup, and eaten with butter. How irrational 
this dislike is, is proved both by logic, and by the pleasure 
taken in the custom by the elite of mankind over here. . . . 
Yet of such irrational sympathies and aversions (quite con- 



Act. 6i\ TO HENRY JAMES 189 

ventional for the most part) does our pleasure in a country 
depend, and in your case far more than in that of most men. 
The vocalization of our countrymen is really, and not con 
ventionally, so ignobly awful that the process of hardening 
oneself thereto is very slow, and would in your case be im 
possible. It is simply incredibly loathsome. I should hate 
to have you come and, as a result, feel that you had now 
done with America forever, even in an ideal and imagina 
tive sense, which after a fashion you can still indulge in. 
As far as your copyright interests go, could n t they be 
even more effectually and just as cheaply or more cheaply 
attended to by your [engaging an agent] over here. Alice 
foresees Lowell [Institute] lectures; but lectures have such 
an awful side (when not academic) that I myself have fore 
sworn them it is a sort of prostitution of one s person. 
This is rather a throwing of cold water; but it is well to 
realize both sides, and I think I can realize certain things 
for you better than the sanguine and hospitable Alice does. 
Now for the other side, there are things in the American 
out-of-door nature, as well as comforts indoors that can t 
be beat, and from which / get an infinite pleasure. If you 
avoided the banalite of the Eastern cities, and traveled far 
and wide, to the South, the Colorado, over the Canadian 
Pacific to that coast, possibly to the Hawaiian Islands, etc., 
you would get some reward, at the expense, it is true, of a 
considerable amount of cash. I think you ought to come 
in March or April and stay till the end of October or into 
November. The hot summer months you could pass in 
an absolutely quiet way if you wished to at Chocorua 
with us, where you could do as much writing as you liked, 
continuous, and undisturbed, and would (I am sure) grow 
fond of, as you grew more and more intimate with, the sweet 
rough country there. After June, 1904, / shall be free, to 



190 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

go and come as I like, for I have fully decided to resign, and 
nothing would please me so well (if I found then that I could 
afford it) as to do some of that proposed traveling along 
with you. I could take you into certain places that perhaps 
you would n t see alone. Don t come therefore, if you do 
come, before the spring of 1904! 

I have been doing nothing in the way of work of late, and 
consequently have kept my fatigue somewhat at bay. The 
reading of the divine Emerson, volume after volume, has 
done me a lot of good, and, strange to say, has thrown a 
strong practical light on my own path. The incorruptible 
way in which he followed his own vocation, of seeing such 
truths as the Universal Soul vouchsafed to him from day 
to day and month to month, and reporting them in the 
right literary form, and thereafter kept his limits absolutely, 
refusing to be entangled with irrelevancies however urging 
and tempting, knowing both his strength and its limits, and 
clinging unchangeably to the rural environment which he 
once for all found to be most propitious, seems to me a 
moral lesson to all men who have any genius, however small, 
to foster. I see now with absolute clearness, that greatly 
as I have been helped and enlarged by my University busi 
ness hitherto, the time has come when the remnant of my 
life must be passed in a different manner, contemplatively 
namely, and with leisure and simplification for the one re 
maining thing, which is to report in one book, at least, 
such impression as my own intellect has received from the 
Universe. This I mean to stick to, and am only sorry 
that I am obliged to stay in the University one other year. 
It is giving up the inessentials which have grown beyond 
one s powers, for the sake of the duties which, after all, 
are most essentially imposed on one by the nature of one s 
powers. 



Aet. 61] TO HENRY JAMES 191 

Emerson is exquisite! I think I told you that I have 
to hold forth in praise of him at Concord on the 25th in 
company with Senator Hoar, T. W. Higginson, and Charles 
Norton quite a vieille garde, to which I now seem to be 
long. You too have been leading an Emersonian life 
though the environment differs to suit the needs of the 
different psychophysical organism which you present. 

I have but little other news to tell you. Charles Peirce 
is lecturing here queer being. . . . Boott is in good 
spirits, and as sociable as ever. Grace Norton ditto. I 
breakfasted this Sunday morning, as of yore, with Theo 
dora [Sedgwick], who had a bad voyage in length but not 
in quality, though she lay in her berth the whole time. I 
can hardly conceive of being willing to travel under such 
conditions. Otherwise we are well enough, except Peggy, 
whose poor condition I imagine to result from influenza. 
Aleck has been regenerated through and through by "bird 
lore," happy as the day is long, and growing acquainted 
with the country all about Boston. All in consequence of 
a neighboring boy on the street, 14 years old and an orni 
thological genius, having taken him under his protection. 
Yesterday, all day long in the open air, from seven to seven, 
at Wayland, spying and listening to birds, counting them, 
and writing down their names! 

I shall go off tomorrow or next day to the country again, 
by myself, joining Henry Higginson and a colleague at the 
end of the week, and returning by the i4th for Ph.D. exam 
inations which I hate profoundly. H. H. has bought some 
five miles of the shore of Lake Champlain adjoining his own 
place there, and thinks of handing it over to the University 
for the surveying, engineering, forestry and mining school. 
He is as liberal-hearted a man as the Lord ever walloped 
entrails into. , 



i 9 2 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

What a devil of a bore your forced purchase of the un 
necessary neighboring land must have been. / am just 
buying 150 acres more at Chocorua, to round off our second 
estate there. Keep well and prolific everyone speaks 
praise of your "Better Sort," which I am keeping for the 
country. . . . 

To his Daughter. 

FAB VANS, N. H., May 6, 1903. 

SWEET MARY, Although I wrote to thy mother this 
P.M. I can t refrain from writing to thee ere I go up to bed. 
I left Intervale at 3.30 under a cloudy sky and slight rain, 
passing through the gloomy Notch to Crawford s and then 
here, where I am lodged in a house full of working men, 
though with a good clean bedroom. I write this in the 
office, with an enormous air-tight stove, a parrot and some 
gold-fish as my companions. I took a slow walk of an hour 
and a half before supper over this great dreary mountain 
plateau, pent in by hills and woods still free from buds. 
Although it is only 1500 feet high, the air is real mountain 
air, soft and strong at once. I wish that you could have 
taken that four-hour drive with Topsy x and me this morn 
ing. You would already be well it had so healing an 
influence. Poverty-stricken this New Hampshire country 
may be weak in a certain sense, shabby, thin, pathetic - 
say all that, yet, like " Jenny," it kissed me; and it is not 
vulgar even H. J. can t accuse it of that or of "stodgi- 
ness," especially at this emaciated season. It remains pure, 
and clear and distinguished Bless it! Once more, would 
thou hadst been along! I have just been reading Emerson s 
"Representative Men." What luminous truths he com 
municates about their home-life for instance: "Nature 

1 The horse. 



Act. 6i\ TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 193 

never sends a Great Man into the planet without confiding 
the secret to another soul" - namely your mother s! How 
he hits her off, and how I recognized whom he meant im 
mediately. Kiss the dear tender-hearted thing. 

Common men also have their advantages. I have seen 
all day long such a succession of handsome, stalwart, burnt- 
faced, out-of-door workers as made me glad to be, however 
degenerate myself, one of their tribe. Splendid, honest, 
good-natured fellows. 

Good-night! I m now going to bed, to read myself to 
sleep with a tiptop novel sent me by one Barry, an old pupil 
of mine. T is called "A Daughter of Thespis." Is this 
the day of your mother s great and noble lunch ? If so, I 
pray that it may have gone off well. Kisses to her, and all. 
Your loving 

PAPA. 

The next letter describes the Emerson Centenary at 
Concord. The Address which James delivered was pub 
lished in the special volume commemorative of the proceed 
ings, and also in "Memories and Studies." 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

CAMBRIDGE, May 26, 1903. 

DEAREST FANNY, On Friday I called at your house 
and to my sorrow found the blinds all down. I had not 
supposed that you would leave so soon, though I might 
well have done so if I had reflected. It has been a sorrow 
to me to have seen so little of you lately, but so goes the 
train du monde. Collapsed condition, absences, interrup 
tions of all sorts, have made the year end with most of the 
desiderata postponed to next year. I meant to write to 
you on Friday evening, then on Saturday morning. But 



i 94 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

I went to Lincoln on Saturday P.M. and stayed over the 
Emerson racket, without returning home, and have been 
packing and winding up affairs all day in order to get off to 
Chocorua tomorrow at 7.30. These windings up of un 
finished years continue till the unfinished life winds up. 

I wish that you had been at Concord. It was the most 
harmoniously aesthetic or aesthetically harmonious thing! 
The weather, the beauty of the village, the charming old 
meeting-house, the descendants of the grand old man in 
such profusion, the mixture of Concord and Boston heads, 
so many of them of our own circle, the allusions to great 
thoughts and things, and the old-time New England rus 
ticity and rurality, the silver polls and ancient voices of 
the vieille garde who did the orating (including this y er 
child), all made a matchless combination, took one back 
to one s childhood, and made that rarely realized marriage 
of reality with ideality, that usually only occurs in fiction 
or poetry. 

It was a sweet and memorable day, and I am glad that I 
had an active share in it. I thank you for your sweet words 
to Alice about my address. I let R. W. E. speak for him 
self, and I find now, hearing so much from others of him, 
that there are only a few things that can be said of him; 
he was so squarely and simply himself as to impress every 
one in the same manner. Reading the whole of him over 
again continuously has made me feel his real greatness as 
I never did before. He s really a critter to be thankful 
for. Good-night, dear Fanny. I shall be back here by 
Commencement, and somehow we must see you at Cho 
corua this summer. 

Love to your mother as well as to yourself, from your ever 
affectionate 

WM. JAMES. 



Act. 6i\ TO HENRY JAMES 195 

The letter of May jrd drew from Henry James a long reply 
which may be found in the " Letters of Henry James," 
under date of May 24th; the reply, in its turn, elicited this 
response: 

To Henry James. 

CHOCORUA, June 6, 1903. 

DEAREST HENRY, Your long and excitingly interesting 
type-written letter about coming hither arrived yesterday, 
and I hasten to retract all my dampening remarks, now that 
I understand the motives fully. The only ones I had imag 
ined, blindling that I am, were fraternal piety and patriotic 
duty. Against those I thought I ought to proffer the 
thought of "eggs" and other shocks, so that when they 
came I might be able to say that you went not unwarned. 
But the moment it appears that what you crave is millions 
of just such shocks, and that a new lease of artistic life, 
with the lamp of genius fed by the oil of twentieth-century 
American life, is to be the end and aim of the voyage, all 
my stingy doubts wither and are replaced by enthusiasm 
that you are still so young-feeling, receptive and hungry 
for more raw material and experience. It cheers me im 
mensely, and makes me feel more so myself. It is pathetic 
to hear you talk so about your career and its going to seed 
without the contact of new material; but feeling as you do 
about the new material, I augur a great revival of energy 
and internal effervescence from the execution of your pro 
ject. Drop your English ideas and take America and 
Americans as they take themselves, and you will certainly 
experience a rejuvenation. This is all I have to say today 
merely to let you see how the prospect exhilarates us. 

August, 1904, will be an excellent time to begin. I 
should like to go South with you, possibly to Cuba, but 



i 9 6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

as for California, I fear the expense. I am sending you a 
decidedly moving book by a mulatto ex-student of mine, 
Du Bois, professor of history at Atlanta (Georgia) negro 
College. 1 Read Chapters VII to XI for local color, etc. 

We have been up here for ten days; the physical luxury 
of the simplification is something that money can t buy. 
Every breath is a pleasure this in spite of the fact that 
the whole country is drying up and burning up it makes 
one ashamed that one can be so happy. The smoke here 
has been so thick for five days that the opposite shore [of 
the Lake] is hidden. We have a first-rate hired man, a 
good cow, nice horse, dog, cook, second-girl, etc. Come up 
and see us in August, 1904! Your ever loving 

W. J. 

To Henry W. Rankin. 

CHOCORUA, June 10, 1903. 

MY DEAR RANKIN, Once more has my graphophobia 
placed me heavily in your debt. Your two long letters, 
though unanswered, were and are appreciated, in spite of 
the fact that, as you know, I do not (and I fear cannot) 
follow the gospel scheme as you do, and that the Bible it 
self, in both its testaments (omitting parts of John and the 
Apocalypse) seems to me, by its intense naturalness and 
humanness, the most fatal document that one can read 
against the orthodox theology, in so far as the latter claims 
the words of the Bible to be its basis. I myself believe 
that the orthodox theology contains elements that are per 
manently true, and that such writers as Emerson, by reason 
of their extraordinary healthy-mindedness and " once-born "- 
ness, are incapable of appreciating. I believe that they will 
have to be expressed in any ultimately valid religious philos- 

W. E. B. Du Bois: The Souls of Black Folk. 



Act. 61} TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 197 

ophy; and I see in the temper of friendliness of such a man 
as you for such writings as Emerson s and mine (magnus 
comp. parvo) a foretaste of the day when the abstract essen-\ 
tials of belief will be the basis of communion more than the \ 
particular forms and concrete doctrines in which they ar- ! 
ticulate themselves. Your letter about Emerson seemedr 
to me so admirably written that I was on the point of send 
ing it back to you, thinking it might be well that you should 
publish it somewhere. I will still do so, if you ask me. I 
have myself been a little scandalized at the non-resisting 
manner in which orthodox sheets have celebrated his anni 
versary. An " Emerson number" of "Zion s Herald" 
strikes me as tant soit peu of an anomaly, and yet I am told 
that such a number appeared. Rereading him in exfenso, 
almost in toto, lately, has made him loom larger than ever 
to me as a human being, but I feel the distinct lack in him 
of too little understanding of the morbid side of life. 

I have been in the country two weeks, delicious in spite 
of drought and smoke, and still more delicious now that 
rain has come, and I cannot bear to think of you still linger 
ing in Brooklyn. Perhaps you are already at Northfield. 
Indeed I hope so, and that the long Brooklyn winter will 
have put you in a condition for its better enjoyment, and 
for better cooperation with its work. 

I shall get at Shields some day but I m slow in getting 
round! Yours ever faithfully, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Aug. 18, 1903. 

DEAR M., ... I am in good condition, but* in some 
what of a funk about my lectures, 1 now that the audience 

1 These five lectures were delivered at the summer school at " Glenmore," which 
Thomas Davidson had founded. Their subject was "Radical Empiricism as a 
Philosophy"; but they were neither written out nor reported. 



i 9 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

draws near. I have got my mind working on the infernal 
old problem of mind and brain, and how to construct the 
world out of pure experiences, and feel foiled again and 
inwardly sick with the fever. But I verily believe that it 
is only work that makes one sick in that way that has any 
chance of breaking old shells and getting a step ahead. It 
is a sort of madness however when it is on you. The total 
result is to make me admire "Common Sense" as having 
done by far the biggest stroke of genius ever made in philos 
ophy when it reduced the chaos of crude experience to 
order by its luminous Denkmittel of the stable "thing/* 
and its dualism of thought and matter. 

I find Strong s book charming and a wonderful piece of 
clear and thorough work quite classical in fact, and surely 
destined to renown. The Clifford-Prince-Strong theory 
has now full rights to citizenship. 

Nevertheless, in spite of his so carefully blocking every 
avenue which leads sideways from his conclusion, he has 
not convinced me yet. But I can[not] say briefly why. . . . 
Yours in haste, 

W. J. 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman. 

HOTEL , 

PORT HENRY, N.Y., Aug. 22, 1903. 

DEAR FRIEND, Obliged to "stop over" for the night at 
this loathsome spot, for lack of train connexion, what is 
more natural than that I should seek to escape the odious 
actual by turning to the distant Ideal by which term you 
will easily recognize Yourself. I did n t write the conven 
tional letter to you after leaving your house in June, pre 
ferring to wait till the tension should accumulate, and know 
ing your indulgence of my unfashionable ways. I have n t 



Act. 6i\ TO MRS. HENRY WHITMAN 199 

heard a word about you since that day, but I hope that the 
times have treated you kindly, and that you have not been 
"overdoing" in your usual naughty way. I, with the ex 
ception of six days lately with the Merrimans, have been 
sitting solidly at home, and have found myself in much 
better condition than I was in last summer, and consequently 
better than for several years. It is pleasant to find that 
one s organism has such reparative capacities even after 
sixty years have been told out. But I feel as if the remainder 
couldn t be very long, at least for "creative" purposes, 
and I find myself eager to get ahead with work which un 
fortunately won t allow itself to be done in too much of a 
hurry. I am convinced that the desire to formulate truths 
is a virulent disease. It has contracted an alliance lately 
in me with a feverish personal ambition, which I never had 
before, and which I recognize as an unholy thing in such 
a connexion. I actually dread to die until I have settled 
the Universe s hash in one more book, which shall be epoch- 
machend at last, and a title of honor to my children ! Child 
ish idiot as if formulas about the Universe could ruffle 
its majesty, and as if the common-sense world and its duties 
were not eternally the really real ! I am on my way from 
Ashfield, where I was a guest at the annual dinner, to feu 
Davidson s "school" at Glenmore, where, in a sanguine 
hour, I agreed to give five discourses. Apparently they are 
having a good season there. Mrs. Booker Washington was 
the hero of the Ashfield occasion a big hearty handsome 
natural creature, quite worthy to be her husband s mate. 
Fred Pollock made a tip-top speech. . . . Charles Norton 
appeared to great advantage as a benignant patriarch, and 
the place was very pretty. Have you read Loti s "Inde 
sans les Anglais"? If not, then begin. I seem to myself 
to have been doing some pretty good reading this summer, 



200 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1903 

but when I try to recall it, nothing but philosophic works 
come up. Good-bye! and Heaven keep you! Yours 
affectionately, 

W.J. 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

CHOCORUA, Sept. 24, 1903. 

DEAREST FANNY, It is so long since we have held 
communion that I think it is time to recommence. Our 
summer is ending quietly enough, not only you, but Theo 
dora and Mary Tappan, having all together conspired to 
leave us in September solitude, and some young fellows, 
companions of Harry and Billy, having just gone down. 
The cook goes tomorrow for a fortnight of vacation, but 
Alice and I, and probably both the older boys, hope to stay 
up here more or less until the middle of October. My 
"seminary" begins on Friday, October 2nd, and for the 
rest of the year Friday is my only day with a college exercise 
in it an arrangement which leaves me extraordinarily 
free, and of which I intend to take advantage by making 
excursions. Hitherto, during the entire 30 years of my 
College service, I have had a midday exercise every day 
in the week. This has always kept me tied too tight to 
Cambridge. I am vastly better in nervous tone than I was 
a year ago, my work is simplified down to the exact thing 
I want to do, and I ought to be happy in spite of the lopping 
off of so many faculties of activity. The only thing to do, 
as with the process of the suns one finds one s faculties 
dropping away one by one, is to be good-natured about it, 
remember that the next generation is as young as ever, and 
try to live and have a sympathetic share in their activities. 
I spent three days lately (only three, alas!) at the "Shanty" 
[in Keene Valley], and was moved to admiration at the foun- 



Aet. 61] TO MRS. HENRY WHITMAN 201 

dation for a consciousness that was being laid in the children 
by the bare-headed and bare-legged existence "close to 
nature" of which the memory was being stored up in them 
in these years. They lay around the camp-fire at night at 
the feet of their elders, in every attitude of soft recumbency, 
heads on stomachs and legs mixed up, happy and dreamy, 
just like the young of some prolific carnivorous species. 
The coming generation ought to reap the benefit of all this 
healthy animality. What would n t I give to have been 
educated in it! . . . 

To Mrs. Henry Whitman. 

CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 29, 1903. 

MY DEAR "S. W.," On inquiry at your studio last 
Monday I was told that you would be in the country for 
ten days or a fortnight more. I confess that this pleased 
me much for it showed you both happy and prudent. Surely 
the winter is long enough, however much we cut off of this 
end the city winter I mean; and the country this month 
has been little short of divine. 

We came down on the i6th, and I have to get mine (my 
country, I mean) from the "Norton Woods." But they 
are very good indeed, indeed, indeed! 

I am better, both physically and morally, than for years 
past. The whole James family thrives; and were it not 
for one s "duties" one could be happy. But that things 
should give pain proves that something is being effected, so 
I take that consolation. I have the duty on Monday of 
reporting at a "Philosophical Conference" on the Chicago 
School of Thought. Chicago University has during tf 2 
past six months given birth to the fruit of its ten years of 
gestation under John Dewey. The result is wonderful a 
real school, and real Thought. Important thought, too! 



202 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1904 

Did you ever hear of such a city or such a University? Here 
we have thought, but no school. At Yale a school, but no 
thought. Chicago has both. . . . But this, dear Madam, 
is not intended as a letter only a word of greeting and 
congratulation at your absence. I don t know why it 
makes me so happy to hear of anyone being in the country. 
I suppose they must be happy. 

Your last letter went to the right spot but I don t 
expect to hear from you now until I see you. Ever affec 
tionately yours, 

W. J. 

To Henry James. 

NEWPORT, Jan. 20, 1904. 

... I came down here the night before last, to see if a 
change of air might loosen the grip of my influenza, now in 
its sixth week and me still weak as a baby, almost, from its 
virulent effects. . . . Yesterday A.M. the thermometer fell 
to 4 below zero. I walked as far as Tweedy s (I am staying 
at a boarding-house, Mrs. Robinson s, Catherine St., close 
to Touro Avenue, Daisy Waring being the only other 
boarder) the snow loudly creaking under foot and under 
teams however distant, the sky luminously white and 
dazzling, no distance, everything equally near to the eye, 
and the architecture in the town more huddled, discordant, 
cheap, ugly and contemptible than I had ever seen it. It 
brought back old times so vividly. So it did in the evening, 
when I went after sunset down Kay Street to the termina 
tion. That low West that I ve so often fed on, with a 
sombre but intense crimson vestige smouldering close to the 
horizon-line, economical but profound, and the western 
well of sky shading upward from it through infinite shades 
of transparent luminosity in darkness to the deep blue dark- 






Aet. 62} TO FRANgOIS PILLON 203 

ness overhead. It was purely American. You never see 
that western sky anywhere else. Solemn and wonderful. 
I should think you d like to see it again, if only for the sake 
of shuddering at it! . . . 

To Francois Pillon. 

CAMBRIDGE, June 12, 1904. 

DEAR PILLON, Once more I get your faithful and in 
defatigable "Annee" and feel almost ashamed of receiving 
it thus from you, year after year, when I make nothing of 
a return! So you are 75 years old 1 had no idea of it, 
but thought that you were much younger. I am only(!) 62, 
and wish that I could expect another 13 years of such ac 
tivity as you have shown. I fear I cannot. My arteries 
are senile, and none of my ancestors, so far as I know of 
them, have lived past 72, many of them dying much earlier. 
This is my last day in Cambridge; tomorrow I get away 
into the country, where " the family" already is, for my 
vacation. I shall take your "Annee" with me, and shall 
be greatly interested in both Danriac s article and yours. 
What a mercy it is that your eyes, in spite of cataract- 
operations, are still good for reading. I have had a very 
bad winter for work two attacks of influenza, one very 
long and bad, three of gout, one of erysipelas, etc., etc. I 
expected to have written at least 400 or 500 pages of my 
magnum opus, a general treatise on philosophy which has 
been slowly maturing in my mind, but I have written 
only 32 pages! That tells the whole story. I resigned from 
my professorship, but they would not accept my resigna 
tion, and owing to certain peculiarities in the financial situa 
tion of our University just now, I felt myself obliged in 
honor to remain. 

My philosophy is what I call a radical empiricism, a 



204 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1904 

pluralism, a "tychism," which represents order as being 
gradually won and always in the making. It is theistic, 
but not essentially so. It rejects all doctrines of the Abso 
lute. It is finitist; but it does not attribute to the question 
of the Infinite the great methodological importance which 
you and Renouvier attribute to it. I fear that you may 
find my system too bottomless and romantic. I am sure that, 
be it in the end judged true or false, it is essential to the 
evolution of clearness in philosophic thought that someone 
should defend a pluralistic empiricism radically. And all 
that I fear is that, with the impairment of my working 
powers from which I suffer, the Angel of Death may over 
take me before I can get my thoughts on to paper. Life 
here in the University consists altogether of interruptions. 

I thought much of you at the time of Renouvier s death, 
and I wanted to write; but I let that go, with a thousand 
other things that had to go. What a life! and what touch 
ing and memorable last words were those which M. Pratt 
published in the "Revue de Metaphysique" memorable, 
I mean from the mere fact that the old man could dictate 
them at all. I have left unread his last publications, except 
for some parts of the " Monadologie " and the " Personal- 
isme." He will remain a great figure in philosophic history; 
and the sense of his absence must make a great difference to 
your consciousness and to that of Madame Pillon. My own 
wife and children are well. . . . Ever affectionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Henry James. 

CAMBRIDGE, June 28, 1904. 

DEAR H., I came down from Chocorua yesterday A.M. 
to go to 

Mrs. Whitman s funeral! 






Act. 62} TO HENRY JAMES 205 

She had lost ground steadily during the winter. The last 
time I saw her, was five weeks ago, when at noon I went up 
to her studio thinking she might be there. . . . She told me that 
she was to go on the following day to the Massachusetts 
General Hospital, for a cure of rest and seclusion. There 
she died last Friday evening, having improved in her cardiac 
symptoms, but pneumonia supervening a week ago. It s a 
great mercy that the end was so unexpectedly quick. What 
I had feared was a slow deterioration for a year or more to 
come, with all the nameless misery peculiarly so in her 
case of death by heart disease. As it was, she may be 
said to have died standing, a thing she always wished to do. 
She went to every dinner-party and evening party last 
winter, had an extension, a sort of ball-room, built to her 
Mount Vernon house, etc. The funeral was beautiful both 
in Trinity Church and at the grave in Mt. Auburn. I was 
one of the eight pall-bearers the others of whom you would 
hardly know. The flowers and greenery had been arranged 
in absolutely Whitmanian style by Mrs. Jack Gardner, 
Mrs. Henry Parkman, and Sally Fairchild. The scene at 
the grave was beautiful. She had no blood relatives, and 
all Boston I mean the few whom we know had gone 
out, and seemed swayed by an overpowering emotion which 
abolished all estrangement and self-consciousness. It was 
the sort of ending that would please her, could she know of 
it. An extraordinary and indefinable creature! I used 
often to feel coldly towards her on account of her way of 
taking people as a great society "business" proceeding, but 
now that her agitated life of tip-toe reaching in so many 
directions, of genuinest amiability, is over, pure tenderness 
asserts its own. Against that dark background of natural 
annihilation she seems to have been a pathetic little slender 
worm, writhing and curving blindly through its little day, 



206 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1904 

expending such intensities of consciousness to terminate in 
that small grave. 

She was a most peculiar person. I wish that you had 
known her whole life here more intimately, and understood 
its significance. You might then write a worthy article 
about her. For me, it is impossible to define her. She leaves 
a dreadful vacuum in Boston. I have often wondered 
whether I should survive her and here it has come in the 
night, without the sound of a footstep, and the same world 
is here but without her as its witness. . . . 

To Charles Eliot Norton. 

CAMBRIDGE, June 30, 1904. 

DEAR CHARLES, I have just read the July "Atlantic," 
and am so moved by your Ruskin letters that I can t refrain 
from overflowing. They seem to me immortal documents - 
as the clouds clear away he will surely take his stable place 
as one of the noblest of the sons of men. Mere sanity is 
the most philistine and (at bottom) unimportant of a man s 
attributes. The chief "cloud" is the bulk of "Modern 
Painters" and the other artistic writings, which have made 
us take him primarily as an art-connoisseur and critic. 
Regard all that as inessential, and his inconsistencies and 
extravagances fall out of sight and leave the Great Heart 
alone visible. 

Do you suppose that there are many other correspondents 
of R. who will yield up their treasures in our time to the 
light? I wish that your modesty had not suppressed cer 
tain passages which evidently expressed too much regard 
for yourself. The point should have been his expression of 
that sort of thing no matter to whom addressed! I un 
derstand and sympathize fully with his attitude about our 
war. Granted him and his date, that is the way he ought 



Act. 62} TO L. T. HOBHOUSE 207 

to have felt, and I revere him perhaps the more for it. ... 

S. W. s sudden defection is a pathetic thing! It makes 
one feel like closing the ranks. 

Affectionately to all of you including Theodora, 

W. J. 

To L. T. Hobhouse. 

CHOCORUA, Aug. 12, 1904. 

DEAR BROTHER HOBHOUSE, Don t you think it a tant 
soit peu scurvy trick to play on me ( t is true that you don t 
name me, but to the informed reader the reference is trans 
parent I say nothing of poor Schiller s case) to print in 
the "Aristotelian Proceedings" (pages 104 ff.Y a beautiful 
duplicate of my own theses in the "Will to Believe" essay 
(which should have been called by the less unlucky title the 
Right to Believe) in the guise of an alternative and substitute 
for my doctrine, for which latter you, in the earlier pages of 
your charmingly written essay, substitute a travesty for which 
I defy any candid reader to find a single justification in my 
text? My essay hedged the license to indulge in private 
over-beliefs with so many restrictions and signboards of 
danger that the outlet was narrow enough. It made of 
tolerance the essence of the situation; it defined the per 
missible cases; it treated the faith-attitude as a necessity 
for individuals, because the total "evidence," which only the 
race can draw, has to include their experiments among its 
data. It tended to show only that faith could not be abso 
lutely vetoed^ as certain champions of "science" (Clifford, 
Huxley, etc.) had claimed it ought to be. It was a function 
that might lead, and probably does lead, into a wider world. 
You say identically the same things; only, from your special 
polemic point of view, you emphasize more the dangers; 

1 Aristotelian Society Proceedings, vol. iv, pp. 87-110. 



208 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1904 

while I, from my polemic point of view, emphasized more 
the right to run their risk. 

Your essay, granting that emphasis and barring the in 
justice to me, seems to me exquisite, and, taking it as a 
unit, I subscribe unreservedly to almost every positive word. 
-I say " positive, * for I doubt whether you have seen 
enough of the extraordinarily invigorating effect of mind- 
<:#??2-philosophy on certain people to justify your somewhat 
negative treatment of that subject; and I say "almost" 
because your distinction between "spurious" and "genuine" 
courage (page 91) reminds me a bit too much of "true" and 
"false" freedom, and other sanctimonious come-offs. 
Could you not have made an equally sympathetic reading 
of me? 

I should n t have cared a copper for the misrepresentation 
were it not a "summation of stimuli" affair. I have just 
been reading Bradley on Schiller in the July "Mind," and 
A. E. Taylor on the Will to Believe in the "McGill Quar 
terly" of Montreal. Both are vastly worse than you; and 
I cry to Heaven to tell me of what insane root my "leading 
contemporaries" have eaten, that they are so smitten with 
blindness as to the meaning of printed texts. Or are we 
others absolutely incapable of making our meaning clear? 

I imagine that there is neither insane root nor unclear 
writing, but that in these matters each man writes from out 
of a field of consciousness of which the bogey in the back 
ground is the chief object. Your bogey is superstition; 
my bogey is desiccation; and each, for his contrast-effect, 
clutches at any text that can be used to represent the enemy, 
regardless of exegetical proprieties. 

In my essay the evil shape was a vision of "Science" in 
the form of abstraction, priggishness and sawdust, lording 
it over all. Take the sterilest scientific prig and cad you 



Act. 62} TO EDWIN D. STARBUCK 209 

know, compare him with the richest religious intellect you 
know, and you would not, any more than I would, give the 
former the exclusive right of way. But up to page 104 of 
your essay he will deem you altogether on his side. 

Pardon the familiarity of this epistle. I like and admire 
your theory of Knowledge so much, and you re-duplicate 
(I dont mean copy) my views so beautifully in this article, 
that I hate to let you go unchidden. 

Believe me, with the highest esteem (plus some indigna 
tion, for you ought to know better!), Yours faithfully, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Edwin D. Starbuck 

SALISBURY, CONN. Aug. 24, 1904. 

DEAR STARBUCK, ... Of the strictures you make 
[in your review of my " Varieties"], the first one (undue 
emphasis on extreme case) is, I find, almost universally made; 
so it must in some sense be correct. Yet it would never 
do to study the passion of love on examples of ordinary 
liking or friendly affection, or that of homicidal pugnacity 
on examples of our ordinary impatiences with our kind. 
So here it must be that the extreme examples let us more 
deeply into the secrets of the religious life, explain why the 
tamer ones value their religion so much, tame though it be, 
because it is so continuous with a so much acuter ideal. 
But I have long been conscious that there is on this matter 
something to be said which neither my critics have said, nor 
I can say, and which I must therefore commit to the future. 

The second stricture (in your paragraph 4 on pages 104^.) 
is of course deeply important, if true. At present I can see 
but vaguely just what sort of outer relations our inner organ 
ism might respond to, which our feelings and intellect inter 
pret by religious thought. You ought to work your program 



::: LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 



. - :- : - 



for all it is worth in the way of growth in definiteness. I 
look forward with great eagerness to your forthcoming book, 
and meanwhile urge strongly that you should publish die 
advance article you speak of in Hall s new Journal. I 
can t see any possible risk- It will objectify a part of your 
material for you, and possibly, by arousing criticism, enable 
you to strengthen your points. 

Your third stricture, about Higher Powers, is also very 
important, and I am not at all sure that you may not 
be right. I have frankly to confess that my "Varieties " 
carried " theory" as far as I could then carry it, and that I 
can carry it no farther today. I can t see clearly over that 
: ;_7 Yt: - --~- -..--. ".-- :ri:ks r.ivf _ - :: re mif :~ere 
I think that the fixed point with me is the conviction 
that our "rational" consciousness touches but a portion of 
the real universe and that our life is fed by the "mystical " 
region as well. I have no mystical experience of my own, 
but just enough of the germ of mysticism in me to recognize 
the region from which their voice comes when I hear it. 

I was much disappointed in Leuba s review of my book 
in the "International Journal of Ethics." ... I confess 
that the way in which he stamps out all mysticism what 
ever, using the common pathological arguments, seemed to 
me unduly crude. I wrote him an expostulatory letter, 
which evidently made no impression at all, and which he 
possibly might send you if you had the curiosity to apply. 

I am having a happy summer, feeling quite hearty again. 
I congratulate you on being settled, though I know nothing 
of the place. I congratulate you and Mrs. Starbuck also 
on airy fairy Lilian, who makes, I believe, the third. Long 
may they live and make their parents proud. With best 
regards to you both, 1 am yours ever truly, 

WM. JAMES. 



Act. 62} TO JAMES HENRY LEUBA 211 

The "expostulatory" letter to Professor Leuba began 
with a series of objections to statements which he had made, 
and continued with the passage which follows. 

To James Henry Leuba. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 17, 1904. 

. . . My personal position is simple. I have no living 
sense of commerce with a God. I envy those who have, 
for I know the addition of such a sense would help me im 
mensely. The Divine, for my active life, is limited to ab 
stract concepts which, as ideals, interest and determine me, 
but do so but faintly, in comparison with what a feeling of 
God might effect, if I had one. It is largely a question of 
intensity, but differences of intensity may make one s whole 
centre of energy shift. Now, although I am so devoid of 
Gottesbewustsein in the directer and stronger sense, yet 
there is something in me which makes response when I hear 
utterances made from that lead by others. I recognize 
the deeper voice. Something tells me, "thither lies truth" 
and I am sure it is not old theistic habits and prejudices of 
infancy. Those are Christian; and I have grown so out of 
Christianity that entanglement therewith on the part of a 
mystical utterance has to be abstracted from and overcome, 
before I can listen. Call this, if you like, my mystical germ. 
It is a very common germ. It creates the rank and file of 
believers. As it withstands in my case, so it will withstand 
in most cases, all purely atheistic criticism, but interpretative 
criticism (not of the mere " hysteria" and "nerves" order) 
it can energetically combine with. Your criticism seems 
to amount to a pure non possumus: "Mystical deliverances 
must be infallible revelations in every particular, or nothing. 
Therefore they are nothing, for anyone else than their owner." 
Why may they not be something, although not everything? 



212 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1904 

Your only consistent position, it strikes me, would be a 
dogmatic atheistic naturalism; and, without any mystical 
germ in us, that, I believe, is where we all should unhesi 
tatingly be today. 

Once allow the mystical germ to influence our beliefs, and 
I believe that we are in my position. Of course the "sub 
liminal" theory is an inessential hypothesis, and the question 
of pluralism or monism is equally inessential. 

I am letting loose a deluge on you! Don t reply at length, 
or at all. / hate to reply to anybody, and will sympathize 
with your silence. But I had to restate my position more 
clearly. Yours truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

The following document is not a letter, but a series of 
answers to a questionnaire upon the subject of religious 
belief, which was sent out in 1904 by Professor James B. 
Pratt of Williams College, and to which James filled out a 
reply at an unascertained date in the autumn of that year. 



QUESTIONNAIRE 1 

It is being realized as never before that religion, as one of the 
most important things in the life both of the community and of 
the individual, deserves close and extended study. Such study 
can be of value only if based upon the personal experiences of 
many individuals. If you are in sympathy with such study and 
are willing to assist in it, will you kindly write out the answers to 
the following questions and return them with this questionnaire, 
as soon as you conveniently can, to JAMES B. PRATT, 20 Shepard 
Street, Cambridge, Mass. 

Please answer the questions at length and in detail. Do not 
give philosophical generalizations, but your own personal ex 
perience. 

1 James s answers are printed in italics. 



Act. 62} ANSWERS TO QUESTIONNAIRE 213 

1. What does religion mean to you personally? Is it 

(1) A belief that something exists? Yes. 

(2) An emotional experience? Not powerfully so, yet a 
social reality. 

(3) A general attitude of the will toward God or toward 
righteousness! // invokes these. 

(4) Or something else? 

If it has several elements, which is for you the most important? 
The social appeal for corroboration, consolation, etc., when 
things are going wrong with my causes (my truth denied], etc. 

2. What do you mean by God? A combination of Ideality 
and (final} ejficacity. 

(1) Is He a person if so, what do you mean by His being 
a person ? He must be cognizant and responsive in some 
way. 

(2) Or is He only a Force ? He must do. 

(3) Or is God an attitude of the Universe toward you ? Yes, 
but more conscious. "God" to me, is not the only 
spiritual reality to believe in. Religion means primarily 
a universe of spiritual relations surrounding the earthly 
practical ones, not merely relations of " value," but agencies 
and their activities. I suppose that the chief premise for 
my hospitality towards the religious testimony of others is 
my conviction that " normal" or "sane" consciousness is so 
small a part of actual experience. What e er be true, it 
is not true exclusively, as philistine scientific opinion 
assumes. The other kinds of consciousness bear witness 
to a much wider universe of experiences, from which our 
belief selects and emphasizes such parts as best satisfy 
our needs. 

How do you apprehend his relation to mankind 



and to you personally? 



Uncertain. 



If your position on any of these matters is uncer 
tain, please state the fact. 
3. Why do you believe in God? Is it 

(i) From some argument? Emphatically, no. 

Or (2) Because you have experienced His presence? No, 

but rather because I need it so that it "must" be true. 

Or (3) From authority, such as that of the Bible or of some 

prophetic person? Only the whole tradition of religious 

people, to which something in me makes admiring response. 

Or (4) From any other reason? Only for the social reasons. 



2i 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1904 

If from several of these reasons, please indicate carefully the 
order of their importance. 

4. Or do you not so much believe in God as want to use Him ? 
I cant use him very definitely ^ yet I believe. Do you accept Him not 
so much as a real existent Being, but rather as an ideal to live 
by? More as a more powerful ally of my own ideals. If you 
should become thoroughly convinced that there was no God, 
would it make any great difference in your life either in 
happiness, morality, or in other respects? Hard to say. It 
would surely make some difference. 

5. Is God very real to you, as real as an earthly friend, though 
different? Dimly [real]; not [as an earthly friend], 

Do you feel that you have experienced His presence? If so, 
please describe what you mean by such an experience. Never. 

How vague or how distinct is it? How does it affect you 
mentally and physically? 

If you have had no such experience, do you accept the testi 
mony of others who claim to have felt God s presence directly ? 
Please answer this question with special care and in as great 
detail as possible. Yes! The whole line of testimony on this point 
is so strong that I am unable to pooh-pooh it away. No doubt there 
is a germ in me of something similar that makes response. 

6. Do you pray, and if so, why? That is, is it purely from 
habit, and social custom, or do you really believe that God 
hears your prayers? / cant possibly pray I feel foolish and 
artificial. 

Is prayer with you one-sided or two-sided i.e., do you 
sometimes feel that in prayer you receive something such as 
strength or the divine spirit from God? Is it a real com 
munion? 

7. What do you mean by "spirituality"? Susceptibility to 
ideals y but with a certain freedom to indulge in imagination about 
them. A certain amount of "other worldly "fancy. Otherwise you 
have mere morality, or "taste." 

Describe a typical spiritual person. Phillips Brooks. 

8. Do you believe in personal immortality? Never keenly; 
but more strongly as I grow older. If so, why ? Because I am 
just getting fit to live. 

9. Do you accept the Bible as authority in religious matters? 
Are your religious faith and your religious life based on it? If 
so, how would your belief in God and your life toward Him and 
your fellow men be affected by loss of faith in the authority of the 



Aet.62\ TO MISS PAULINE GOLDMARK 215 

Bible? No. No. No. If is so human a book that I don t see 
how belief in its divine authorship can survive the reading of it. 

10. What do you mean by a "religious experience"? Any 
moment of life that brings the reality of spiritual things more 



to one. 



To Miss Pauline Goldmark. 

CHOCORUA, Sept. 21, 1904. 

DEAR PAULINE, Alice went off this morning to Cam 
bridge, to get the house ready for the advent of the rest of 
us a week hence viz., Wednesday the 28th. Having 
breakfasted at 6:30 to bid her God speed, the weather was 
so lordly fine (after a heavy rain in the night) that I trudged 
across lots to our hill-top, which you never saw, and now 
lie there with my back against a stone, scribbling you these 
lines at half-past nine. The vacation has run down with 
an appalling rapidity, but all has gone well with us, and I 
have been extraordinarily well and happy, and mean to be 
a good boy all next winter, to say nothing of remoter futures. 
My brother Henry stayed a delightful fortnight, and seemed 
to enjoy nature here intensely found so much sentiment 
and feminine delicacy in it all. It is a pleasure to be with 
anyone who takes in things through the eyes. Most people 
don t. The two "savans" who were here noticed absolutely 
nothing, though they had never been in America before. 

Naturally I have wondered what things your eyes have 
been falling on. Many views from hill-tops? Many magic 
dells and brooks? I hope so, and that it has all done you 
endless good. Such a green and gold and scarlet morn as 
this would raise the dead. I hope that your sister Susan 
has also got great good from the summer, and that the fair 
Josephine is glad to be at home again, and your mother re 
conciled to losing you. Perhaps even now you are pre- 



216 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1904 

paring to go down. I have only written as a Lebenszeichen 
and to tell you of our dates. I expect no reply, till you 
write a word to say when you are to come to Boston. Un 
happily we can t ask you to Irving St, being mortgaged three 
deep to foreigners. Ever yours, 

W. J. 

It will be recalled that the St. Louis Exposition had oc 
curred shortly before the date of the last letter and had led 
a number of learned and scientific associations to hold in 
ternational congresses in America. James kept away from 
St. Louis, but asked several foreign colleagues to visit him 
at Chocorua or in Cambridge before their return to Europe. 
Among them were Dr. Pierre Janet of Paris and his wife, 
Professor C. Lloyd Morgan of Bristol, and Professor Harold 
Hoffding of Copenhagen. 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Oct. 26, 1904. 

DEAR SCHILLER, . . . Last night the Janets left us a 
few days previous, Lloyd Morgan. I am glad to possess 
my soul for a while alone. Make much of dear old Hoffding, 
who is a good pluralist and irrationalist. I took to him im 
mensely and so did everybody. Lecturing to my class, he 
told against the Absolutists an anecdote of an "American" 
child who asked his mother if God made the world in six 
days. "Yes." "The whole of it?" "Yes." "Then it 
is finished, all done?" "Yes."- "Then in what business 
now is God?" If he tells it in Oxford you must reply: 
"Sitting for his portrait to Royce, Bradley, and Taylor." 

Don t return the "McGill Quarterly"! I have another 
copy. Good-bye ! 

W. J. 



Aet. 63} TO EDWIN D. STARBUCK 217 

To F. J. E. Woodbridge. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 6, 1905. 

DEAR WOODBRIDGE, I appear to be growing into a 
graphomaniac. Truth boils over from my organism as 
muddy water from a Yellowstone Geyser. Here is another 
contribution to my radical empiricism, which I send hot on 
the heels of the last one. I promise that, with the possible 
exception of one post-scriptual thing, not more than eight 
pages of MS. long, I shall do no more writing this academic 
year. So if you accept this, 1 you have not much more to 
fear. ... I think, on the whole, that though the present 
article directly hitches on to the last words of my last article, 
"The Thing and Its Relations," the article called the "Es 
sence of Humanism" had better appear before it. ... 
Always truly yours 

WM. JAMES. 

To Edwin D. Starbuck. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 12, 1905. 

DEAR STARBUCK, I have read your article in No. 2 of 
Hall s Journal with great interest and profit. It makes 
me eager for the book, but pray take great care of your 
style in that it seems to me that this article is less well 
written than your "Psychology of Religion" was, less clear, 
more involved, more technical in language probably the 
result of rapidity. Our American philosophic literature is 
dreadful from a literary point of view. Pierre Janet told 
me he thought it was much worse than German stuff and 
I begin to believe so; technical and semi-technical language, 
half-clear thought, fluency, and no composition! Turn 
your face resolutely the other way! But I did n t start to 

1 "How Two Minds Can Know One Thing," Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, 
and Scientific Methods, 1905, vol. n, p. 176. 



2i 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

say this. Your thought in this article is both important and 
original, and ought to be worked out in the clearest possible 
manner. . . . Your thesis needs to be worked out with 
great care, and as concretely as possible. It is a difficult 
one to put successfully, on account of the vague character 
of all its terms. One point you should drive home is that 
the anti-religious attitudes (Leuba s, Huxley s, Clifford s), 
so far as there is any "pathos" in them, obey exactly the 
same logic. The real crux is when you come to define ob 
jectively the ideals to which feeling reacts. "God is a 
Spirit" - darauf geht es an on the last available defini 
tion of the term Spirit. It may be very abstract. 
Love to Mrs. Starbuck. Yours always truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

To F. J. E. Woodbridge. 

[Feb. 22, 1905.] 

DEAR WOODBRIDGE, Here s another! But I solemnly 
swear to you that this shall be my very last offense for some 
months to come. This is the "postscriptual" article 1 of 
which I recently wrote you, and I have now cleaned up the 
pure-experience philosophy from all the objections im 
mediately in sight. . . . Truly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

1 "Is Radical Empiricism Solipsistic?" Journal of Philosophy , Psychology v and 
Scientific Methods \ 1905, vol. n, p. 235. 



XV 

1905-1907 

The Last Period (IT) Italy and Greece Philosophical 
Congress in Rome Stanford University The 
Earthquake Resignation of Professorship 

IN the spring of 1905 an escape from influenza, from Cam 
bridge duties, and from correspondents, became impera 
tive. James had long wanted to see Athens with his own 
eyes, and he sailed on April 3 for a short southern holiday. 
During the journey he wrote letters to almost no one except 
his wife. On his way back from Athens he stopped in Rome 
with the purpose of seeing certain young Italian philoso 
phers. A Philosophical Congress was being held there at 
the time; and James, though he had originally declined the 
invitation to attend it, inevitably became involved in its 
proceedings and ended by seizing the occasion to discuss his 
theory of consciousness. It was obvious that the appro 
priate language in which to address a full meeting of the 
Congress would be French, and so he shut himself up in 
his hotel and composed "La Notion de Conscience." His 
experience in writing this paper threw an instructive side 
light on his process of composition. Ordinarily when he 
was writing in English twenty-five sheets of manuscript, 
written in a large hand and corrected, were a maximum 
achievement for one day. The address in Rome was not 
composed in English and then translated, but was written 
out in French. When he had finished the last lines of one 
day s work, James found to his astonishment that he had 
completed and corrected over forty pages of manuscript. 



2 2o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

The inhibitions which a habit of careful attention to points 
of style ordinarily called into play were largely inoperative 
when he wrote in a language which presented to his mind 
a smaller variety of possible expressions, and thus imposed 
limits upon his self-criticism. 

In the following year (1906), James took leave of absence 
from Harvard in January and accepted an invitation from 
Stanford University to give a course during its spring term. 
He planned the course as a general introduction to Philos 
ophy. Had he not been interrupted by the San Francisco 
earthquake, he would have rehearsed much of the projected 
"Introductory Textbook of Philosophy," in which he meant 
to outline his metaphysical system. But the earthquake 
put an end to the Stanford lectures in April, as the reader 
will learn more fully. In the ensuing autumn and winter 
(1907), James made the same material the basis of a half- 
year s work with his last Harvard class. 

In November, 1906, the lectures which compose the 
volume called "Pragmatism" were written . out and de 
livered in November at the Lowell Institute in Boston. In 
January, 1907, they were repeated at Columbia University, 
and then James published them in the spring. 

The time had now come for him to stop regular teaching 
altogether. He had been continuing to teach, partly in 
deference to the wishes of the College; but it had become 
evident that he must have complete freedom to use his 
strength and time for writing when he could write, for 
special lectures, like the series on Pragmatism, when such 
might serve his ends, and for rest and change when recupera 
tion became necessary. So, in February, 1907, he sent his 
resignation to the Harvard Corporation. The last meeting 
of his class ended in a way for which he was quite unpre 
pared. His undergraduate students presented him with a 



Aet. 63] TO MRS. JAMES 221 

silver loving-cup, the graduate students and assistants with 
an inkwell. There were a couple of short speeches, and 
words were spoken by which he was very much moved. Un 
fortunately there was no record of what was said. 

To Mrs. James. 

AMALFI, Mar. 30, 1905. 

... It is good to get something in full measure, without 
haggling or stint, and today I have had the picturesque 
ladled out in buckets full, heaped up and running over. I 
never realized the beauties of this shore, and forget (in my 
habit of never noticing proper names till I have been there) 
whether you have ever told me of the drive from Sorrento 
to this place. Anyhow, I wish that you could have taken 
it with me this day. "Thank God for this day!" We 
came to Sorrento by steamer, and at 10:30 got away in a 
carriage, lunching at the half-way village of Positano; 
and proceeding through Amalfi to Ravello, high up on the 
mountain side, whence back here in time for a 7:15 o clock 
dinner. Practically six hours driving through a scenery of 
which I had never realized the beauty, or rather the in- 
.terest, from previous descriptions. The lime-stone moun 
tains are as strong as anything in Switzerland, though of 
course much smaller. The road, a Cornice affair cut for the 
most part on the face of cliffs, and crossing little ravines 
(with beaches) on the side of which nestle hamlets, is posi 
tively ferocious in its grandeur, and on the side of it the 
azure sea, dreaming and blooming like a bed of violets. 
I did n t look for such Swiss strength, having heard of 
naught but beauty. It seems as if this were a race such 
that, when anyone wished to express an emotion of any 
kind, he went and built a bit of stone-wall and limed it 
onto the rock, so that now, when they have accumulated, 



222 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

the works of God and man are inextricably mixed, and it 
is as if mankind had been a kind of immemorial coral in 
sect. Every possible square yard is terraced up, reclaimed 
and planted, and the human dwellings are the fiercest ex 
amples of cliff-building, cave-habitation, staircase and foot 
path you can imagine. How I do wish that you could have 
been along today. . . . 

Mar. 31, 1905. 

From half-past four to half-past six I walked alone through 
the old Naples, hilly streets, paved from house to house and 
swarming with the very poor, vocal with them too (their 
voices carry so that every child seems to be calling to the 
whole street, goats, donkeys, chickens, and an occasional 
cow mixed in), and no light of heaven getting indoors. The 
street floor composed of cave-like shops, the people doing 
their work on chairs in the street for the sake of light, and 
in the black inside, beds and a stove visible among the 
implements of trade. Such light and shade, and grease and 
grime, and swarm, and apparent amiability would be hard 
to match. I have come here too late in life, when the 
picturesque has lost its serious reality. Time was when 
hunger for it haunted me like a passion, and such sights 
would have then been the solidest of mental food. I put 
up then with such inferior substitutional suggestions as 
Geneva and Paris afforded but these black old Naples 
streets are not suggestions, they are the reality itself full 
orchestra. I have got such an impression of the essen 
tial sociability of this race, especially in the country. A 
smile will go so far with them even without the accom 
panying copper. And the children are so sweet. Tell 
Aleck to drop his other studies, learn Italian (real Italian, 
not the awful gibberish I try to speak), cultivate his beauti 
ful smile, learn a sentimental song or two, bring a tarn- 



AeL 63} TO HIS DAUGHTER 223 

bourine or banjo, and come down here and fraternize with 
the common people along the coast he can go far, and 
make friends, and be a social success, even if he should go 
back to a clean hotel of some sort for sleep every night. . . . 

To his Daughter. 

On board S. S. Orenogne, approaching 
PIRAEUS, GREECE, Apr. 3, 1905. 

DARLING PEG, Your loving Dad is surely in luck sailing 
over this almost oily sea, under the awning on deck, past 
the coast of Greece (whose snow-capped mountains can be 
seen on the horizon), towards the Piraeus, where we are due 
to arrive at about two. I had some misgivings about the 
steamer from Marseilles, but she has turned out splendid, 
and the voyage perfect. A 4oco-ton boat, bran new as to 
all her surface equipment, stateroom all to myself, by a 
happy stroke of luck (the boat being full), clean absolutely, 
large open window, sea like Lake Champlain, with the color 
of Lake Leman, about a hundred and twenty first-class 
passengers of the most interesting description, one sixth 
English archeologists, one sixth English tourists, one third 
French archeologists, etc., an international archeological 
congress opens at Athens this week, the rest Dagoes 
quelconques, many distinguished men, almost all educated 
and pronounced individualities, and so much acquaintance 
and sociability, that the somewhat small upper deck on 
which I write resounds with conversation like an afternoon 
tea. The meals are tip-top, and the whole thing almost 
absurdly ideal in its kind. I only wish your mother could 
be wafted here for one hour, to sit by my side and enjoy 
the scene. The best feature of the boat is little Miss Boyd, 
the Cretan excavatress, from Smith College, a perfect little 
trump of a thing, who has been through the Greco-Turkish 



224 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

war as nurse (as well as being nurse at Tampa during our 
Cuban war), and is the simplest, most generally intelligent 
little thing, who knows Greece by heart and can smooth 
one s path beautifully. Waldstein of Cambridge is on 
board, also M. Sylvain of the Theatre Frangais, and his 
daughter going to recite prologues or something at the 
representation of Sophocles s "Antigone/ which is to take 
place he looking just like your uncle Henry both 
eminent comedians I mean the two Sylvains. On the 
bench opposite me is the most beautiful woman on board, 
a sort of Mary Salter translated into French, though she is 
with rather common men. Well, now I will stop, and use 
my Zeiss glass on the land, which is getting nearer. My 
heart wells over with love and gratitude at having such a 
family meaning Alice, you, Harry, Bill, Aleck, and 
Mother-in-law and resolutions to live so as to be more 
worthy of them. I will finish this on land. 

Well, dear family, We got in duly in an indescribable 
embrouillement of small boats (our boatman, by the way, 
when Miss Boyd asked him his name, replied "Dionysos"; 
our wine-bottle was labelled "John Solon and Co."), sailing 
past the Island of ^Egina and the Bay of Salamis, with the 
Parthenon visible ahead a worthy termination to a 
delightful voyage. We drove the three miles from the Piraeus 
in a carriage, common and very dusty country road, also 
close by the Parthenon, through the cheap little town to 
this hotel, after which George Putnam and I, washing our 
hands, strolled forth to see what we could, the first thing 
being Mrs. Sam Hoar at the theatre of Bacchus. Then 
the rest of the Acropolis, which is all and more than all the 
talk. There is a mystery of Tightness about that Parthenon 
that I cannot understand. It sets a standard for other 



Act. 63} TO MRS. JAMES 225 

human things, showing that absolute Tightness is not out 
of reach. But I am not in descriptive mood, so I spare you. 
Suffice it that I could n t keep the tears from welling into 
my eyes. "J ai vu la beaute parfaite." Santayana is in a 
neighboring hotel, but we have missed each other thrice. 
The Forbeses are on the Peloponnesus, but expected back 
tomorrow. Well, dear ones all, good-night! Thus far, and 
no farther! Hence I turn westward again. The Greek 
lower orders seem far less avid and rapacious than the 
Southern Italians. God bless you all. I must get to 
another hotel, and be more to myself. Good and dear as 
the Putnams are and extremely helpful as they Ve been, 
it keeps me too much in company. Good-night again. 
Your loving father, respective husband, 

W. J. 

To Mrs. James. 

ROME, Apr. 25, 1905. 

. . . Strong telegraphed me yesterday from Lausanne 
that he ... expected to be at Cannes on the 4th of May. 
I was glad of this, for I had been feeling more and more as 
if I ought to stay here, and it makes everything square out 
well. This morning I went to the meeting-place of the 
Congress to inscribe myself definitely, and when I gave my 
name, the lady who was taking them almost fainted, saying 
that all Italy loved me, or words to that effect, and called 
in poor Professor de Sanctis, the Vice President or Secretary 
or whatever, who treated me in the same manner, and 
finally got me to consent to make an address at one of the 
general meetings, of which there are four, in place of Sully, 
Flournoy, Richet, Lipps, and Brentano, who were announced 
but are not to come. I fancy they have been pretty un 
scrupulous with their program here, printing conditional 
futures as categorical ones. So I m in for it again, having 



226 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

no power to resist flattery. I shall try to express my " Does 
Consciousness Exist?" in twenty minutes and possibly 
in the French tongue! Strange after the deep sense of 
nothingness that has been besetting me the last two weeks 
(mere fatigue symptom) to be told that my name was at 
tracting many of the young professors to the Congress! 
Then I went to the Museum in the baths of Diocletian or 
whatever it is, off there by the R. R., then to the Capitol, 
and then to lunch off the Corso, at a restaurant, after buying 
a French book whose author says in his preface that Sully, 
W. J., and Eergson are his masters. And I am absolute 
O in my own home! . . . 

Apr. 30, 1905. 7 P.M. 

... If you never had a tired husband, at least you Ve 
got one now! The ideer of being in such delightful condi 
tions and interesting surroundings, and being conscious of 
nothing but one s preposterous physical distress, is too 
ridiculous! I have just said good-bye to my circle of ad 
mirers, relatively youthful, at the hotel door, under the 
pretext (a truth until this morning) that I had to get ready 
to go to Lausanne tonight, and I taper off my activity by 
subsiding upon you. Yesterday till three, and the day before 
till five, I was writing my address, which this morning I 
gave in French. I wrote it carefully and surprised my 
self by the ease with which I slung the Gallic accent and 
intonation, being excited by the occasion. 1 Janet expressed 
himself as stupefait, from the linguistic point of view. The 
thing lasted 40 minutes, and was followed by a discussion 
which showed that the critics with one exception had wholly 
failed to catch the point of view; but that was quite en 
regie > so I don t care; and I have given the thing to Clapa- 

1 This address, "La Notion de Conscience," was printed first in the Archives de 
Psychologic, 1905, vol. v, p. I. It will also be found in the Essays in Radical Em 
piricism, 



Aet. 63} TO MRS. JAMES 227 

rede to print in Flournoy s "Archives." The Congress was 
far too vast, but filled with strange and interesting creatures 
of all sorts, and socially very nutritious to anyone who can 
stand sociability without distress. A fete of some sort 
every day this P.M. I have just returned from a great 
afternoon tea given us by some "Minister" at the Borghese 
Palace in the Museum. (The King, you know, has 
bought the splendid Borghese park and given it to the City 
of Rome as a democratic possession in perpetuo. A splendid 
gift.) The pictures too! Tonight there is a great banquet 
with speeches, to which of course I can t go. I lunched at 
the da Vitis, a big table full, she very simple and nice, 
and I have been having this afternoon a very good and 
rather intimate talk with the little band of "pragmatists," 
Papini, Vailati, Calderoni, Amendola, etc., most of whom 
inhabit Florence, publish the monthly journal "Leonardo" 
at their own expense, and carry on a very serious philosophic 
movement, apparently really inspired by Schiller and my 
self (I never could believe it before, although Ferrari had 
assured me), and show an enthusiasm, and also a literary 
swing and activity that I know nothing of in our own land, 
and that probably our damned academic technics and 
Ph.D. -machinery and university organization prevents from 
ever coming to a birth. These men, of whom Ferrari is one, 
are none of them Fach-philosophers, and few of them teachers 
at all. It has given me a certain new idea of the way in 
which truth ought to find its way into the world. 

I have seen such a lot of important-looking faces, prob 
ably everything in the stock in the shop-window, and 
witnessed such charmingly gracious manners, that it is a 
lesson. The woodenness of our Anglo-Saxon social ways ! I 
had a really splendid audience for quality this A.M. (about 
200), even though they did n t understand. . . . 



228 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

To George Santayana. 

ORVIETO, May 2, 1905. 

DEAR SANTAYANA, I came here yesterday from Rome 
and have been enjoying the solitude. I stayed at the ex 
quisite Albergo de Russie, and did n t shirk the Congress 
in fact they stuck me for a "general" address, to fill the 
vacuum left by Flournoy and Sully, who had been announced 
and came not (I spoke agin "consciousness," but nobody 
understood) and I got fearfully tired. On the whole it was 
an agreeable nightmare agreeable on account of the 
perfectly charming gentillezza of the bloody Dagoes, the 
way they caress and flatter you "il piu grand psicologo 
del mondo," etc., and of the elaborate provisions for general 
entertainment nightmare, because of my absurd bodily 
fatigue. However, these things are "neither here nor 
there." What I really write to you for is to tell you to 
send (if not sent already) your "Life of Reason" to the 
"Revue de Philosophic," or rather to its editor, M. Peillaube, 
Rue des Revues 160, and to the editor of "Leonardo" (the 
great little Florentine philosophical journal), Sig. Giovanni 
Papini, 14 Borgo Albizi, Florence. The most interesting, 
and in fact genuinely edifying, part of my trip has been 
meeting this little cenacle y who have taken my own writings, 
entre autres, au grand serieux, but who are carrying on their 
philosophical mission in anything but a technically serious 
way, inasmuch as "Leonardo" (of which I have hitherto 
only known a few odd numbers) is devoted to good and 
lively literary form. The sight of their belligerent young 
enthusiasm has given me a queer sense of the gray-plaster 
temperament of our bald-headed young Ph.D. s, boring 
each other at seminaries, writing those direful reports of 
literature in the "Philosophical Review" and elsewhere, 
fed on "books of reference," and never confounding "JEs- 



Act. 63} TO MRS. JAMES 229 

thetik" with "Erkentnisstheorie." Faugh! I shall never 
deal with them again on those terms! Can t you and I, 
who in spite of such divergence have yet so much in common 
in our Weltanschauung, start a systematic movement at 
Harvard against the desiccating and pedantifying process? 
I have been cracking you up greatly to both Peillaube and 
Papini, and quoted you twice in my speech, which was in 
French and will be published in Flournoy s "Archives de 
Psychologic. " I hope you re enjoying the Eastern Empire 
to the full, and that you had some Grecian "country life." 
Miinsterberg has been called to Koenigsberg and has re 
fused. Better be America s ancestor than Kant s successor! 
Ostwald, to my great delight, is coming to us next year, 
not as your replacer, but in exchange with Germany for 
F. G. Peabody. I go now to Cannes, to meet Strong, back 
from his operation. Ever truly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Mrs. James. ~ , , 

CANNES, May 13, 1905. 

... I came Sunday night, and this is Saturday. The 
six days have been busy ones in one sense, but have rested 
me very much in another. No sight-seeing fatigues, but 
more usual, and therefore more normal occupations. ... I 
have written some 25 letters, long and short, to European 
correspondents since being here, have walked and driven 
with Strong, and have had philosophy hot and heavy with 
him almost all the time. I never knew such an unremitting, 
untiring, monotonous addiction as that of his mind to truth. 
He goes by points, pinning each one definitely, and has, I 
think, the very clearest mind I ever knew. Add to it his 
absolute sincerity and candor and it is no wonder that he 
is a "growing" man. I suspect that he will outgrow us all, 
for his rate accelerates, and he never stands still. He is an 



23 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

admirable philosophic figure, and I am glad to say that in 
most things he and I are fully in accord. He gains a great 
deal from such talks, noting every point down afterwards, 
and I gain great stimulation, though in a vaguer way. I 
shall be glad, however, on Monday afternoon, to relax. . . . 

To Mrs. James. 

[Post-card! 

GENEVA, May 17, 1905. 

So far, thank Heaven, on my way towards home! A 

rather useful time with the superior, but sticky X , at 

Marseilles, and as far as Lyons in the train, into which an 
hour beyond Lyons there came (till then I was alone in my 
compartment) a Spanish bishop, canon and "familar," an 
aged holy woman, sister of the bishop, a lay-brother and 
sister, a dog, and more baggage than I ever saw before, in 
cluding a feather-bed. They spoke no French the bishop 
about as much Italian as I, and the lay-sister as much of 
English as I of Spanish. They took out their rosaries and 
began mumbling their litanies forthwith, whereon I took off 
my hat, which seemed to touch them so, when they dis 
covered I was a Protestant, that we all grew very affec 
tionate and I soon felt ashamed of the way in which I had 
at first regarded their black and superstitious invasion of 
my privacy. Good, saintly people on their way to Rome. 
I go now to our old haunts and to the Flournoys . . . . 

W. 
To H. G. Wells. 

S. S. CEDRIC, June 6, 1905. 

MY DEAR MR. WELLS, I have just read your " Utopia" 
(given me by F. C. S. Schiller on the one day that I spent in 
Oxford on my way back to Cambridge, Mass., after a few 
weeks on the Continent), and "Anticipations," and "Man- 



Aet. 63} TO HENRY L. HIGGINSON 231 

kind in the Making" having duly preceded, together with 
numerous other lighter volumes of yours, the " summation 
of stimuli " reaches the threshold of discharge and I can t 
help overflowing in a note of gratitude. You "have your 
faults, as who has not?" but your virtues are unparalleled 
and transcendent, and I believe that you will prove to have 
given a shove to the practical thought of the next genera 
tion that will be amongst the greatest of its influences for 
good. All in the line of the English genius too, no wire 
drawn French doctrines, and no German shop technicalities 
inflicted in an unerbittlich consequent manner, but every 
where the sense of the full concrete, and the air of freedom 
playing through all the joints of your argument. You 
have a tri-dimensional human heart, and to use your own 
metaphor, don t see different levels projected on one plane. 
In this last book you beautifully soften cocksureness by the 
penumbra of the outlines in fact you re a trump and a 
jewel, and for human perception you beat Kipling, and for 
hitting off a thing with the right word, you are unique. 
Heaven bless and preserve you! You are now an eccentric; 
perhaps 50 years hence you will figure as a classic! Your 
Samurai chapter is magnificent, though I find myself wonder 
ing what developments in the way of partisan politics those 
same Samurai would develop, when it came to questions of 
appointment and running this or that man in. That I 
believe to be human nature s ruling passion. Live long! 
and keep writing; and believe me, yours admiringly and sin 
cerely, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Henry L. Higginson. <v / r 

CAMBRIDGE, July 18 [1905]. 

DEAR H., You asked me how rich I was getting by my 
own (as distinguished from your) exertions. . . . 



232 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

I find on reaching home today a letter from Longmans, 
Green & Co. with a check . . . which I have mailed to your 
house in State Street. . . . 

This ought to please you slightly; but don t reply! In 
stead, think of the virtues of Roosevelt, either as permanent 
sovereign of this great country, or as President of Harvard 
University. I ve been having a discussion with Fanny 
Morse about him, which has resulted in making me his 
faithful henchman for life, Fanny was so violent. Think of 
the mighty good-will of him, of his enjoyment of his post, 
of his power as a preacher, of the number of things to which 
he gives his attention, of the safety of his second thoughts, 
of the increased courage he is showing, and above all of the 
fact that he is an open, instead of an underground leader, 
whom the voters can control once in four years, when he 
runs away, whose heart is in the right place, who is an enemy 
of red tape and quibbling and everything that in general 
the word "politician" stands for. That significance of him 
in the popular mind is a great national asset, and it would 
be a shame to let it run to waste until it has done a lot more 
work for us. His ambitions are not selfish he wants to 
do good only ! Bless him and damn all his detractors 
like you and F. M. ! * 

Don t reply, but vote! Your affectionately 

WM. JAMES. 

To T. S. Perry. 

CAMBRIDGE, Aug. 24, 1905. 

DEAR THOS ! You re a philosophe sans le s avoir and, 
when you write your treatise against philosophy, you will 
be classed as the arch-metaphysician. Every philosopher 

1 "My own desire to see Roosevelt president here for a limited term of years was 
quenched by a speech he made at the Harvard Union a couple of years ago." (To 
D. S. Miller, Jan. 2, 1908.) 



Act. 63} TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 233 

(W. J., e.g.) pretends that all the others are metaphysicians 
against whom he is simply defending the rights of common 
sense. As for Nietzsche, the worst break of his I recall was 
in a posthumous article in one of the French reviews a few 
months back. In his high and mighty way he was laying 
down the law about all the European countries. Russia, 
he said, is "the only one that has any possible future and 
that she owes to the strength of the principle of autocracy 
to which she alone remains faithful." Unfortunately one 
can t appeal to the principle of democracy to explain Japan s 
recent successes. 

I am very glad you Ve done something about poor dear 
old John Fiske, and I should think that you would have no 
difficulty in swelling it up to the full "Beacon Biography" 
size. If you want an extra anecdote, you might tell how, 
when Chauncey Wright, Chas. Peirce, St. John Green, 
Warner and I appointed an evening to discuss the "Cosmic 
Philosophy," just out, J. F. went to sleep under our noses. 

I hope that life as a farmer agrees with you, and that 
your "womenkind" wish nothing better than to be farmers 
wives, daughters or other relatives. Unluckily we let our 
farm this summer; so I am here in Cambridge with Alice, 
both of us a prey to as bad an attack of grippe as the winter 
solstice ever brought forth. Today, the loth day, I am 
weaker than any kitten. Don t ever let your farm! Affec 
tionately, 

W. J. 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Nov. 10, 1905. 

DEAR MILLER, W. R. Warren has just been here and 
says he has just seen you; the which precipitates me into a 
letter to you which has long hung fire. I hope that all goes 



234 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAiMES [1905 

well. You must be in a rather cheerful quarter of the City. 
Do you go home Sundays, or not? I hope that the work is 
:ongenial. How do you like your students as compared 
with those here? I reckon you get more out of your col 
leagues than you did here barring of course der Einzige. 
We are all such old stories to each other that we say nothing. 
Santayana is the only [one] about whom we had any curi 
osity, and he has now quenched that. Perry and Holt 
have some ideas in reserve. . . . The fact is that the class 
room exhausts our powers of speech. Royce has never 
made a syllable of reference to all the stuff I wrote last 
year to me, I mean. He may have spoken of it to others, 
if he has read, it, which I doubt. So we live in parallel 
trenches and hardly show our heads. 

Santayana s book x is a great one, if the inclusion of op- 
posites is a measure of greatness. I think it will probably 
be reckoned great by posterity. It has no rational founda 
tion, being merely one man s way of viewing things: so much 
of experience admitted and no more, so much criticism and 
questioning admitted and no more. He is a paragon of 
Emersonianism, declare your intuitions, though no other 
man share them; and the integrity with which he does it 
is as fine as it is rare. And his naturalism, materialism, 
Platonism, and atheism form a combination of which the 
centre of gravity is, I think, very deep. But there is some 
thing profoundly alienating in his unsympathetic tone, his 
" preciousness " and superciliousness. The book is Emer 
son s first rival and successor, but how different the reader s 
feeling! The same things in Emerson s mouth would sound 
entirely different. E.^ceptivj^e^a^siYej as_jf .handling 
life through ._ a_wide funnel with a_great indraught; S. as if 
through a pin-point orifice that emits his cooling spray out- 

1 The Life of Reason. New York, 1905. 



Act. 63} TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 235 

ward over the universe like a nose-disinfectant from an 
" atomizer. " ... I fear that the real originality of the book 
will be lost on nineteen- twentieths of the members of the PhiU 
osophical and Psychological Association!! The enemies of 
Harvard will find lots of blasphemous texts in him to in 
jure us withal. But it is a great feather in our cap to harbor 
such an absolutely free expresser of individual convictions. 
But. enough! 

"Phil. 9" is going well. I think I lecture better than I 
ever did; in fact I know I do. But this professional evolu 
tion goes with an involution of all miscellaneous faculty. I 
am well, and efficient enough, but purposely going slow so 
as to keep efficient into the Palo Alto summer, which means 
that I have written nothing. I am pestered by doubts 
as to whether to put my resignation through this year, in 
spite of opposition, or to drag along another year or two. I 
think it is inertia against energy, energy in my case mean 
ing being my own man absolutely. American philosophers, 
young and old, seem scratching where the wool is short. 
Important things are being published; but all of them 
too technical. The thing will never clear up satisfactorily 
till someone writes out its resultant in decent English. . . . 

The reader will have understood "the Palo Alto summer" 
to refer to the lectures to be delivered at Stanford Uni 
versity during the coming spring. The Stanford engage 
ment was again in James s mind when he spoke, in the next 
letter, of "dreading the prospect of lecturing till mid-May." 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 6, 1905. 

DEAR MILLER, . . . You seem to take radical empiri 
cism more simply than I can. What I mean by it is the 



236 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1905 

thesis that there is no fact "not actually experienced to be 
such." In other words, the concept of "being" or "fact" 
is not wider than or prior to the concept "content of ex 
perience"; and you can t talk of experiences being this or 
that, but only of things experienced as being this or that. 
But such a thesis would, it seems to me, if literally taken, 
force one to drop the notion that in point of fact one ex 
perience is ex another, so long as the ^.v-ness is not itself a 
"content" of experience. In the matter of two minds 
not having the same content, it seems to me that your view 
commits you to an assertion about their experiences; and 
such an assertion assumes a realm in which the experi 
ences lie, which overlaps and surrounds the "content" of 
them. This, it seems to me, breaks down radical empiricism, 
which I hate to do; and I can t yet clearly see my way out 
of the quandary. I am much boggled and muddled; and 
the total upshot with me is to see that all the hoary errors 
and prejudices of man in matters philosophical are based on 
something pretty inevitable in the structure of our think 
ing, and to distrust summary executions by conviction of 
contradiction. I suspect your execution of being too sum 
mary; but I have copied the last paragraph of the sheets 
(which I return with heartiest thanks) for the extraor 
dinarily neat statement. .... 

I dread the prospect of lecturing till mid-May, but the 
wine being ordered, I must drink it. I dislike lecturing more 
and more. Have just definitely withdrawn my candidacy 
for the Sorbonne job, with great internal relief, and wish 
I could withdraw from the whole business, and get at writ 
ing. 1 Not a line of writing possible this year except of 
course occasional note-making. All the things that one is 

T He had been "sounded" regarding an appointment as Harvard Exchange 
Lecturer at the Sorbonne, and had at first been inclined to accept. 



Act. 63} TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 237 

really concerned with are too nice and fine to use in lectures. 
You remember the definition of T. H. Greene s student: 
"The universe is a thick complexus of intelligible relations." 
Yesterday I got my system similarly defined in an exami 
nation-book, by a student whom I appear to have converted 
to the view that "the Universe is a vague pulsating mass of 
next-to-next movement, always feeling its way along to a 
good purpose, or trying to." That is about as far as lec 
tures can carry them. I particularly like the "trying to." 

I wish I could have been at your recent discussion. I am 
getting impatient with the awful abstract rigmarole in 
which our American philosophers obscure the truth. It 
will be fatal. It revives the palmy days of Hegelianism. 
It means utter relaxation of intellectual duty, and God will 
smite it. If there s anything he hates, it is that kind of 
oozy writing. 

I have just read Busse s book, in which I find a lot of 
reality by the way, but a pathetic waste of work on side 
issues for against the Strong-Heymans view of things, 
it seems to me that he brings no solid objection whatever. 
Heymans s book is a wonder. 1 Good-bye, dear Miller. 
Come to us, if you can, as soon as your lectures are over. 

Your affectionate 

W. J. 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

[Post-card] 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 9. 1905. 

"My idea of Algebra," says a non-mathematically- 
minded student, "is that it is a sort of form of low cunning." 

W. J. 

1 Busse, Leib und Seek, Geist und Korper; Heymans, Einfiihrung in die Meta- 
physik. 



238 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

To Daniel Merriman. 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 9, 1905. 

No, dear Merriman, not "e en for thy sake." After an 
unblemished record of declining to give addresses, success 
fully maintained for four years (I have certainly declined 
100 in the past twelve-month), I am not going to break down 
now, for Abbot Academy, and go dishonored to my grave. 
It is better, as the "Bhagavat-Gita" says, to lead your own 
life, however bad, than to lead another s, however good. 
Emerson teaches the same doctrine, and I live by it as bad 
and congenial a life as I can. If there is anything that God 
despises more than a man who is constantly making speeches, 
it is another man who is constantly accepting invitations. 
What must he think, when they are both rolled into one? 
Get thee behind me, Merriman, I m sure that your 
saintly partner would never have sent me such a request, 
and believe me, as ever, fondly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark. _ 

JtLL 1OVAR, 

GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA, Jan. 3, 1906. 
DEAR PAOLINA, I am breaking my journey by a day 
here, and it seems a good place from which to date my New 
Year s greeting to you. But we correspond so rarely that 
when it comes to the point of tracing actual words with 
the pen, the last impressions of one s day and the more 
permanent interest of one s life block the way for each other. 
I think, however, that a word about the Canyon may fitly 
take precedence. It certainly is equal to the brag; and, 
like so many of the more stupendous freaks of nature, seems 
at first-sight smaller and more manageable than one had 
supposed. But it grows in immensity as the eye penetrates 
it more intimately. It is so entirely alone in character, 



Act. 64} TO HENRY JAMES 239 

that one has no habits of association with "the likes" of 
it, and at first it seems a foreign curiosity; but already in 
this one day I am feeling myself grow nearer, and can well 
imagine that, with greater intimacy, it might become the 
passion of one s life so far as "Nature" goes. The con 
ditions have been unfavorable for intimate communion. 
Three degrees above zero, and a spring overcoat, prevent 
that forgetting of "self" which is said to be indispensable to 
absorption in Beauty. Moreover, I have kept upon the 
"rim," seeing the Canyon from several points some miles 
apart. I meant to go down, having but this day; but they 
could n t send me or any one today; and I confess that, 
with my precipice-disliking soul, I was relieved, though it 
very likely would have proved less uncomfortable than I 
have been told. (I resolved to go, in order to be worthy of 
being your correspondent.) As Chas. Lamb says, there is 
nothing so nice as doing good by stealth and being found 
out by accident, so I now say it is even nicer to make heroic 
decisions and to be prevented by "circumstances beyond 
your control" from even trying to execute them. But if 
ever I get here in summer, I shall go straight down and live 
there. I m sure that it is indispensable. But it is vain tc 
waste descriptive words on the wondrous apparition, with 
its symphonies of architecture and of color. I have just 
been watching its peaks blush in the setting sun, and slowly 
lose their fire. Night nestling in the depths. Solemn, 
solemn! And a unity of design that makes it seem like an 
individual, an animated being. Good-night, old chasm! . . . 

To Henry James. 

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Feb. i, 1906. 

BELOVED H., Verily t is long since I have written to 
thee, but I have had many and mighty things to do, and 



24 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

lately many business letters to write, so I came not at it. 
Your last was your delightful reply to my remarks about 
your "third manner," wherein you said that you would 
consider your bald head dishonored if you ever came to 
pleasing me by what you wrote, so shocking was my taste. 1 
Well! only write for me, and leave the question of pleasing 
open! I have to admit that in "The Golden Bowl" and 
"The Wings of the Dove," you have succeeded in getting 
there after a fashion, in spite of the perversity of the method 
and its longness^ which I am not the only one to deplore. 

But enough ! let me tell you of my own fortunes ! 

I got here (after five pestilentially close-aired days in the 
train, and one entrancing one off at the Grand Canyon of 
the Colorado) on the 8th, and have now given nine lectures, 
to 300 enrolled students and about 150 visitors, partly col 
leagues. I take great pains, prepare a printed syllabus, 
very fully; and really feel for the first time in my life, as if 
I were lecturing well. High time, after 30 years of practice ! 
It earns me $5000, if I can keep it up till May 2yth; but 
apart from that, I think it is a bad way of expending energy. 
I ought to be writing my everlastingly postponed book, 
which this job again absolutely adjourns. I can t write a 
line of it while doing this other thing. (A propos to which, 
I got a telegram from Eliot this A.M., asking if I would be 
Harvard Professor for the first half of next year at the 
University of Berlin. I had no difficulty in declining that, 
but I probably shall not decline Paris, if they offer it to me 
year after next.) I am expecting Alice to arrive in a fort 
night. I have got a very decent little second story, just 
enough for the two of us, or rather amply enough, sunny, 
good fire-place, bathroom, little kitchen, etc., on one of the 
three residential streets of the University land, and with a 

1 Vide Letters of Henry James t vol. n, p. 43. 



Act. 64} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 241 

boarding-house for meals just opposite, we shall have a 
sort of honeymoon picnic time. And, sooth to say, Alice 
must need the simplification. . . . 

You ve seen this wonderful spot, so I needn t describe it. 
It is really a miracle; and so simple the life and so benign 
the elements, that for a young ambitious professor who 
wishes to leave his mark on Pacific civilization while it is 
most plastic, or for any one who wants to teach and work 
under the most perfect conditions for eight or nine months, 
and who is able to get to the East, or Europe, for the remaining 
three, I can t imagine anything finer. It is Utopian. Per 
fection of weather. Cold nights, though above freezing. 
Fire pleasant until 10 o clock A.M., then unpleasant. In 
short, the "simple life" with all the essential higher elements 
thrown in as communal possessions. The drawback is, of 
course, the great surrounding human vacuum the his 
toric silence fairly rings in your ears when you listen and 
the social insipidity. I m glad I came, and with God s 
blessing I may pull through. One calendar month is over, 
anyway. Do you know aught of G. K. Chesterton? I ve 
just read his "Heretics." A tremendously strong writer 
and true thinker, despite his mannerism of paradox. Wells s 
"Kipps" is good. Good-bye. Of course you re breathing 
the fog of London while I am bathed in warmest lucency. 
Keep well. Your loving, 

W. J. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Feb. 9, 1906. 

DEAR FLOURNOY. Your post-card of Jan. 22nd arrives 
and reminds me how little I have communicated with you 
during the past twelve months. . . . 

Let me begin by congratulating Mile. Alice, but more 



242 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

particularly Mr. Werner, on the engagement which you an 
nounce. Surely she is a splendid prize for anyone to cap 
ture. I hope that it has been a romantic love-affair, and 
will remain so to the end. May her paternal and maternal 
example be the model which their married life will follow ! 
They could find no better model. You do not tell the day 
of the wedding probably it is not yet appointed. 

Yes! [Richard] Hodgson s death was ultra-sudden. He 
fell dead while playing a violent game of "hand-ball." He 
was tremendously athletic and had said to a friend only a 
week before that he thought he could reasonably count on 
twenty-five years more of life. None of his work was fin 
ished, vast materials amassed, which no one can ever get 
acquainted with as he had gradually got acquainted; so now 
good-bye forever to at least two unusually solid and instruct 
ive books which he would have soon begun to write on 
" psychic " subjects. As a man, Hodgson was splendid, a real 
man; as an investigator, it is my private impression that he 
lately got into a sort of obsession about Mrs. Piper, cared 
too little for other clues, and continued working with her 
when all the sides of her mediumship were amply exhibited. 
I suspect that our American Branch of the S. P. R. will 
have to dissolve this year, for lack of a competent secretary. 
Hodgson was our only worker, except Hyslop, and he is 
engaged in founding an "Institute" of his own, which will 
employ more popular methods. To tell the truth, I m 
rather glad of the prospect of the Branch ending, for the 
Piper-investigation and nothing else had begun to 
bore me to extinction. . . . 

To change the subject you ought to see this extraor 
dinary little University. It was founded only fourteen 
years ago in the absolute wilderness, by a pair of rich Cali- 
fornians named Stanford, as a memorial to their only child, 



Aet. 64} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 243 

a son who died at 16. Endowed with I know not how many 
square miles of land, which some day will come into the 
market and yield a big income, it has already funds that 
yield $7 50,000 yearly, and buildings, of really beautiful 
architecture, that have been paid for out of income, and 
have cost over $5,000,000. (I mention the cost to let you 
see that they must be solid.) There are now 1500 students 
of both sexes, who pay nothing for tuition, and a town of 
15,000 inhabitants has grown up a mile away, beyond the 
gates. The landscape is exquisite and classical, San Fran 
cisco only an hour and a quarter away by train; the climate 
is one of the most perfect in the world, life is absolutely 
simple, no one being rich, servants almost unattainable 
(most of the house-work being done by students who come 
in at odd hours), many of them Japanese, and the profes 
sors wives, I fear, having in great measure to do their own 
cooking. No social excesses or complications therefore. 
In fact, nothing but essentials, and all the essentials. 
Fine music, for example, every afternoon, in the Church of 
the University. There could n t be imagined a better en 
vironment for an intellectual man to teach and work in, for 
eight or nine months in the year, if he were then free to 
spend three or four months in the crowded centres of civili 
zation for the social insipidity is great here, and the 
historic vacuum and silence appalling, and one ought to be 
free to change. 

Unfortunately the authorities of the University seem not 
to be gifted with imagination enough to see its proper role. 
Its geographical environment and material basis being 
unique, they ought to aim at unique quality all through, 
and get sommites to come here to work and teach, by offering 
large stipends. They might, I think, thus easily build up 
something very distinguished. Instead of which, they pay 



244 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

small sums to young men who chafe at not being able to 
travel, and whose wives get worn out with domestic drudg 
ery. The whole thing might be Utopian; it is only half- 
Utopian. A characteristic American affair! But the half- 
success is great enough to make one see the great advantages 
that come to this country from encouraging public-spirited 
millionaires to indulge their freaks, however eccentric. In 
what the Stanfords have already done, there is an assured 
potentiality of great things of some sort for all future time. 
My coming here is an exception. They have had psy 
chology well represented from the first by Frank Angell and 
Miss Martin; but no philosophy except for a year at a time. 
I start a new regime next year they will have two good 
professors. 

I lecture three times a week to 400 listeners, printing a 
syllabus daily, and making them read Paulsen s textbook 
for examinations. I find it hard work, 1 and only pray that 
I may have strength to run till June without collapsing. 
The students, though rustic, are very earnest and whole 
some. 

I am pleased, but also amused, by what you say of Wood- 
bridge s Journal: "la palme est maintenant a I Amerique." 
It is true that a lot of youngsters in that Journal are doing 
some real thinking, but of all the bad writing that the world 
has seen, I think that our American writing is getting to 

be the worst. X s ideas have unchained formlessness 

of expression that beats the bad writing of the Hegelian 
epoch in Germany. I can hardly believe you sincere when 
you praise that journal as you do. I am so busy teaching 

1 "Also outside addresses, impossible to refuse. Damn them! Four in this 
Hotel [in San Francisco] where I was one of four orators who spoke for two hours 
on Reason and Faith, before a Unitarian Association of Pacific Coasters. Con 
sequence: gout on waking this morning! Unitarian gout was such a thing ever 
heard of?" (To T. S. Perry, Feb. 6, 1906.) 



Aet. 64] TO F. C. S. SCHILLER i 45 

that I do no writing and but little reading this year. I have 
declined to go to Paris next year, and also declined an invi 
tation to Berlin, as "International Exchange" [Professor]. 
The year after, if asked, I may go to Paris but never to 
Berlin. We have had Ostwald, a most delightful human 
Erscheinung, as international exchange at Harvard this 
year. But I don t believe in the system. . . . 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

HOTEL DEL MONTE, 
MONTEREY, CAL., Apr. 7, 1906. 

. . . What I really want to write about is Papini, the 
concluding chapter of his "Crepuscolo dei Filosofi," and the 
February number of the "Leonardo." Likewise Dewey s 
"Beliefs and Realities," in the "Philosophical Review" for 
March. I must be very damp powder, slow to burn, and I 
must be terribly respectful of other people, for I confess 
that it is only after reading these things (in spite of all you 
have written to the same effect, and in spite of your tone of 
announcing judgment to a sinful world), that I seem to have 
grasped the full import for life and regeneration, the great 
perspective of the programme, and the renovating character 
for all things , of Humanism; and the outwornness as of a 
scarecrow s garments, simulating life by flapping in the 
wind of nightfall, of all intellectualism, and the blindness 
and deadness of all who worship intellectualist idols, the 
Royces and Taylors, and, worse than all, their followers, 
who, with no inward excuse of nature (being too unoriginal 
really to prefer anything), just blunder on to the wrong scent, 
when it is so easy to catch the right one, and then stick to 
it with the fidelity of inorganic matter. Ha! ha! would 
that I were young again with this inspiration! Papini is 
a jewel ! To think of that little Dago putting himself ahead 



246 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

of every one of us (even of you, with his Uomo-Dio) at a 
single stride. And what a writer! and what fecundity! 
and what courage (careless of nicknames, for it is so easy to 
call him now the Cyrano de Bergerac of Philosophy) ! and 
what humor and what truth! Dewey s powerful stuff 
seems also to ring the death-knell of a sentenced world. 
Yet none of them will see it Taylor will still write his 
refutations, etc., etc., when the living world will all be 
drifting after us. It is queer to be assisting at the eclosion 
of a great new mental epoch, life, religion, and philosophy 
in one I wish I did n t have to lecture, so that I might 
bear some part of the burden of writing it all out, as we must 
do, pushing it into all sort of details. But I must for one 
year longer. We don t get back till June, but pray tell 
Wells (whose address/^// mir) to make our house his head 
quarters if he gets to Boston and finds it the least convenient 
to do so. Our boys will hug him to their bosoms. Ever 
thine, 

W. J. 

The San Francisco earthquake occurred at about five 
o clock in the morning on April 18. Rumors of the destruc 
tion wrought in the city reached Stanford within a couple of 
hours and were easily credited, for buildings had been shaken 
down at Stanford. Miss L. J. Martin, a member of the 
philosophical department, was thrown into great anxiety 
about relatives of hers who were in the city, and James 
offered to accompany her in a search for them, and left 
Stanford with her by an early morning train. He also 
promised Mrs. Wm. F. Snow to try to get her news of her 
husband. Miss Martin found her relatives, and James 
met Dr. Snow early in the afternoon, and then spent several 
hours in wandering about the stricken city. He subse- 



Aet. 64} TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 247 

quently wrote an account of the disaster, which may be 
found in "Memories and Studies." 1 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Apr. 22, 1906. 

DEAREST FANNY, Three letters from you and nary one 
from us in all these weeks! Well, I have been heavily 
burdened, and although disposed to write, have kept post 
poning; and with Alice cooking, washing dishes and 
doing housework, as well as keeping up a large social life 
it has been very much the same. All is now over, since the 
earthquake; I mean that lectures and syllabuses are called 

1 Dr. Snow kindly wrote an account of the afternoon that he spent in James s 
company in the city and it may here be given in part. 

"When I met Professor James in San Francisco early in the afternoon of the 
day of the earthquake, he was full of questions about my personal feelings and 
reactions and my observations concerning the conduct and evidences of self-control 
and fear or other emotions of individuals with whom I had been closely thrown, 
not only in the medical work which I did, but in the experiences I had on the fire- 
lines in dragging hose and clearing buildings in advance of the dynamiting squads. 

"I described to him an incident concerning a great crowd of people who desired 
to make a short cut to the open space of a park at a time when there was danger of 
all of them not getting across before certain buildings were dynamited. Several 
of the city s police had stretched a rope across this street and were volubly and 
vigorously combating the onrush of the crowd, using their clubs rather freely. 
Some one cut the rope. At that instant, a lieutenant of the regular army with 
three privates appeared to take up guard duty. The lieutenant placed his guard 
and passed on. The three soldiers immediately began their beat, dividing the width 
of the street among themselves. The crowd waited, breathless, to see what the 
leaders of the charge upon the police would now do. One man started to run 
across the street and was knocked down cleverly by the sentry, with the butt of 
his gun. This sentry coolly continued his patrol and the man sat up, apparently 
thinking himself wounded, then scuttled back into the crowd, drawing from every 
one a laugh which was evidently with the soldiers. Immediately, the crowd began 
to melt away and proceed up a side street in the direction laid out for them. 

"In connection with this story Professor James casually mentioned that not 
long before, where there were no soldiers or police, he had run on to a crowd string 
ing a man to a lamp-post because of his endeavor to rob the body of a woman of 
some rings. At the time, I did not learn other details of this particular incident, 
as Professor James was so full of the many scenes he had witnessed and was par 
ticularly intent on gathering from me impressions of what I had seen. I suppose 
he had similarly been gathering observations from others whom he met. 

"An incident which struck me as humorous at the time was that he should have 



248 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

off, and no more exams, to be held ("ill-wind," etc.), so one 
can write. We shall get East again as soon as we can manage 
it, and tell you face to face. We can now pose as experts on 
Earthquakes pardon the egotistic form of talking about 
the latter, but it makes it more real. The last thing Bake- 
well said to me, while I was leaving Cambridge, was: "I 
hope they 11 treat you to a little bit of an earthquake while 
you re there. It s a pity you should n t have that local 
experience." Well, when I lay in bed at about half-past 
five that morning, wide-awake, and the room began to sway, 
my first thought was, "Here s Bakewell s earthquake, after 
all"; and when it went crescendo and reached fortissimo 
in less than half a minute, and the room was shaken like a 
rat by a terrier, with the most vicious expression you can 
possibly imagine, it was to my mind absolutely an entity 
that had been waiting all this time holding back its ac 
tivity, but at last saying, "Now,0 it!" and it was impossible 
not to conceive it as animated by a will, so vicious was the 
temper displayed everything down, in the room, that 
could go down, bureaus, etc., etc., and the shaking so rapid 
and vehement. All the while no fear, only admiration for 
the way a wooden house could prove its elasticity, and glee 
over the vividness of the manner in which such an "ab 
stract idea" as "earthquake" could verify itself into sensible 
reality. In a couple of minutes everybody was in the 
street, and then we saw, what I had n t suspected in my room, 

gathered up a box of "Zu-zu gingersnaps," and, as I recall it, some small pieces of 
cheese. I do not now recall his comment on where he had obtained these, but 
there was some humorous incident connected with the transaction, and he was 
quite happy and of opinion that he was enjoying a nourishing meal. 

"Professor James told me vividly and in a few words the circumstances of the 
damage done by the earthquake at Stanford University, and I left him to make 
arrangements for going down to the University that night to provide for my family. 
As it turned out, Professor James returned to the campus before I did, and true to 
his promise thoughtfully hunted up Mrs. Snow and told her that he had seen me 
and that I was alive and well." 



Act. 64} TO MISS FRANCES R. MORSE 249 

the extent of the damage. Wooden houses almost all intact, 
but every chimney down but one or two, and the higher 
University buildings largely piles of ruins. Gabble and 
babble, till at last automobiles brought the dreadful news 
from San Francisco. 

I boarded the only train that went to the City, and got 
out in the evening on the only train that left. I should n t 
have done it, but that our co-habitant here. Miss Martin, 
became obsessed by the idea that she must see what had 
become of her sister, and I had to stand by her. Was very 
glad I did; for the spectacle was memorable, of a whole 
population in the streets with what baggage they could 
rescue from their houses about to burn, while the flames 
and the explosions were steadily advancing and making 
everyone move farther. The fires most beautiful in the 
effulgent sunshine. Every vacant space was occupied by 
trunks and furniture and people, and thousands have been 
sitting by them now for four nights and will have to longer. 
The fire seems now controlled, but the city is practically 
wiped out (thank Heaven, as to much of its architecture!). 
The order has been wonderful, even the criminals struck 
solemn by the disaster, and the military has done great 
service. 

But you will know all these details by the papers better 
than I know them now, before this reaches you, and in three 
weeks we shall be back. 

I am very glad that Jim s [Putnam] lectures went off so 
well. He wrote me himself a good letter won t you, by 
the way, send him this one as a partial answer? and his 
syllabus was first-rate and the stuff must have been help 
ful. It is jolly to think of both him and Marian really 
getting off together to enjoy themselves! ELut between 
Vesuvius and San Francisco enjoyment has small elbow- 



25 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

room. Love to your mother, dearest Fanny, to Mary and 
the men folks, from us both. Your ever affectionate, 

W. J. 

A few days after the eathquake, train-service from Stan 
ford to the East was reestablished and James and his wife 
returned to Cambridge. The reader will infer correctly 
from the next letter that Henry James (and William James, 
Jr., who was staying with him in Rye) had been in great 
anxiety and had been by no means reassured by the brief 
cablegram which was the only personal communication that 
it was possible to send them during the days immediately 
following the disaster. 

To Henry James and William James, Jr. 

CAMBRIDGE, May 9, 1906. 

DEAREST BROTHER AND SON, Your cablegram of re 
sponse was duly received, and we have been also "joyous" 
in the thought of your being together. I knew, of course, 
Henry, that you would be solicitous about us in the earth 
quake, but did n t reckon at all on the extremity of your 
anguish as evinced by your frequent cablegrams home, and 
finally by the* 1 letter to Harry which arrived a couple of days 
ago and told how you were unable to settle down to any 
other occupation, the thought of our mangled forms, hollow 
eyes, starving bodies, minds insane with fear, haunting you 
so. We never reckoned on this extremity of anxiety on 
your part, I say, and so never thought of cabling you direct, 
as we might well have done from Oakland on the day we 
left, namely April 2yth. I much regret this callousness on 
our part. For all the anguish was yours; and in general 
this experience only rubs in what I have always known, 
that in battles, sieges and other great calamities, the pathos 



Aet. 64} TO H. JAMES AND W. JAMES, JR. 251 

and agony is in general solely felt by those at a distance; 
and although physical pain is suffered most by its immediate 
victims, those at the scene of action have no sentimental 
suffering whatever. Everyone at San Francisco seemed in 
a good hearty frame of mind; there was work for every 
moment of the day and a kind of uplift in the sense of a 
"common lot" that took away the sense of loneliness that 
(I imagine) gives the sharpest edge to the more usual kind 
of misfortune that may befall a man. But it was a queer 
sight, on our journey through the City on the 26th (eight 
days after the disaster), to see the inmates of the houses of 
the quarter left standing, all cooking their dinners at little 
brick camp-fires in the middle of the streets, the chimneys 
being condemned. If such a disaster had to happen, some 
how it could n t have chosen a better place than San Fran 
cisco (where everyone knew about camping, arid was familiar 
with the creation of civilizations out of the bare ground), 
and at five-thirty in the morning, when few fires were lighted 
and everyone, after a good sleep, was in bed. Later, there 
would have been great loss of life in the streets, and the more 
numerous foci of conflagration would have burned the city 
in one day instead of four, and made things vastly worse. 

In general you may be sure that when any disaster be 
falls our country it will be you only who are wringing of 
hands, and we who are smiling with "interest or laughing 
with gleeful excitement." I did n t hear one pathetic word 
uttered at the scene of disaster, though of course the crop 
of "nervous wrecks" is very likely to come in a month or so. 

Although we have been home six days, such has been the 
stream of broken occupations, people to see, and small 
urgent jobs to attend to, that I have written no letter till 
now. Today, one sees more clearly and begins to rest. 
"Home" looks extraordinarily pleasant, and though damp 



252 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 90 6 

and chilly, it is the divine budding moment of the year. 
Not, however, the lustrous light and sky of Stanford Uni 
versity. . . . 

I have just read your paper on Boston in the "North 
American Review." I am glad you threw away the scab 
bard and made your critical remarks so straight. What 
you say about "pay" here being the easily won "salve" 
for privations, in view of which we cease to "mind" them, 
is as true as it is strikingly pat. Les intellectuels, wedged 
between the millionaires and the handworkers, are the really 
pinched class here. They feel the frustrations and they 
can t get the salve. My attainment of so much pay in the 
past few years brings home to me what an all-benumbing 
salve it is. That whole article is of your best. We long to 
hear from W. 3 Jr. No word yet. Your ever loving, 

W. J. 

In "The Energies of Men" there is a long quotation from 
an unnamed European correspondent who had been sub 
jecting himself to Yoga disciplinary exercise. What follows 
is a comment written upon the first receipt of the report 
quoted in the "Energies." 

To W. Lutoslawski. 

CAMBRIDGE, May 6, 1906. 

. . . Your long and beautiful letter about Yoga, etc., 
greets me on my return from California. It is a most pre 
cious human document, and some day, along with that 
sketch of your religious evolution and other shorter letters 
of yours, it must see the light of day. What strikes me first 
in it is the evidence of improved moral "tone" a calm, 
firm, sustained joyousness, hard to describe, and striking a 
new note in your epistles which is already a convincing 



Act. 64} TO W. LUTOSLAWSKI 253 

argument of the genuineness of the improvement wrought 
in you by Yoga practices. . . . 

You are mistaken about my having tried Yoga discipline 
I never meant to suggest that. I have read several books 
(A. B., by the way, used to be a student of mine, but in 
spite of many noble qualities, he always had an unbalanced 
mind obsessed by certain morbid ideas, etc.), and in the 
slightest possible way tried breathing exercises. These go 
terribly against the grain with me, are extremely disagree 
able, and, even when tried this winter (somewhat perse- 
veringly), to put myself asleep, after lying awake at night, 
failed to have any soporific effect. What impresses me most 
in your narrative is the obstinate strength of will shown 
by yourself and your chela in your methodical abstentions 
and exercises. When could I hope for such will-power? I 
find, when my general energy is in Anspruch genommen by 
hard lecturing and other professional work, that then par 
ticularly what little ascetic energy I have has to be remitted, 
because the exertion of inhibitory and stimulative will 
required increases my general fatigue instead of "tonifying" 
me. 

But your sober experience gives me new hopes. Your 
whole narrative suggests in me the wonder whether the 
Yoga discipline may not be, after all, in all its phases, 
simply a methodical way of waking up deeper levels of will 
power than are habitually used> and thereby increasing the 
individual s vital tone and energy. I have no doubt what 
ever that most people live, whether physically, intellect 
ually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential 
being. They make use of a very small portion of their pos 
sible consciousness, and of their soul s resources in general, 
much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, 
should get into a habit of using and moving only his little 



254 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [ I90 6 

finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much 
greater our vital resources are than we had supposed. 
Pierre Janet discussed lately some cases of pathological 
impulsion or obsession in what he has called the "psychas- 
thenic" type of individual, bulimia, exaggerated walking, 
morbid love of feeling pain, and explains the phenomenon 
as based on the underlying sentiment d incompletude, as he 
calls it, or sentiment de Virreel with which these patients are 
habitually afflicted, and which they find is abolished by 
the violent appeal to some exaggerated activity or other, 
discovered accidentally perhaps, and then used habitually. 
I was reminded of his article in reading your descriptions 
and prescriptions. May the Yoga practices not be, after 
all, methods of getting at our deeper functional levels? 
And thus only be substitutes for entirely different crises 
that may occur in other individuals, religious crises, indig 
nation-crises, love-crises, etc.? 

What you say of diet is in striking accordance with the 
views lately made popular by Horace Fletcher I dare 
say you have heard of them. You see I am trying to gen 
eralize the Yoga idea, and redeem it from the pretension 
that, for example, there is something intrinsically holy in 
the various grotesque postures of Hatha Yoga. I have 
spoken with various Hindus, particularly with three last 
winter, one a Yogi and apostle of Vedanta; one a "Chris 
tian" of scientific training; one a Bramo-Somaj professor. 
The former made great claims of increase of "power," but 
admitted that those who had it could in no way demon 
strate it ad oculos, to outsiders. The other two both said 
that Yoga was less and less frequently practised by the more 
intellectual, and that the old-fashioned Guru was becoming 
quite a rarity. 

I believe with you, fully, that the so-called "normal man" 



Aet. 64} TO JOHN JAY CHAPMAN 255 

of commerce, so to speak, the healthy philistine, is a mere 
extract from the potentially realizable individual whom he 
represents, and that we all have reservoirs of life to draw 
upon, of which we do not dream. The practical problem is 
"how to get at them." And the answer varies with the 
individual. Most of us never can, or never do get at them. 
You have indubitably got at your own deeper levels by the 
Yoga methods. I hope that what you have gained will 
never again be lost to you. You must keep there! My 
deeper levels seem very hard to find I am so rebellious 
at all formal and prescriptive methods a dry and bony 
individual, repelling fusion, and avoiding voluntary exer 
tion. No matter, art is long! and qui vivra verra. I shall 
try fasting and again try breathing discovering perhaps 
some individual rhythm that is more tolerable. . . . 

To John Jay Chapman. 

CAMBRIDGE, May 18, 1906. 

DEAR OLD JACK C., Having this minute come into the 
possession of a new type-writer, what can I do better than 
express my pride in the same by writing to you? x 

I spent last night at George Dorr s and he read me sev 
eral letters from you, telling me also of your visit, and of 
how well you seemed. For years past I have been on the 
point of writing to you to assure [you] of my continued love 
and to express my commiseration for your poor wife, who 
has had so long to bear the brunt of your temper you 
see I have been there already and I know how one s irri 
tability is exasperated by conditions of nervous prostration 
- but now I can write and congratulate you on having 
recovered, temper and all. (As I write, it bethinks me that 

1 James had not used a type-writer since the time when his eyes troubled him 
in the seventies. The machine now had the fascination of a strange toy again. 



256 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

in a previous letter I have made identical jokes about your 
temper which, I fear, will give Mrs. Chapman a very low 
opinion of my humoristic resources, and in sooth they are 
small; but we are as God makes us and must not try to be 
anything else, so pray condone the silliness and let it pass.) 
The main thing is that you seem practically to have recov 
ered, in spite of everything; and I am heartily glad. 

I too am well enough for all practical purposes, but I 
have to go slow and not try to do too many things in a day. 
Simplification of life and consciousness I find to be the great 
thing, but a hard thing to compass when one lives in city 
conditions. How our dear Sarah Whitman lived in the 
sort of railroad station she made of her life I confess it s a 
mystery to me. If I lived at a place called Barry town, it 
would probably go better don t you ever go back to 
New York to live ! 

Alice and I had a jovial time at sweet little Stanford 
University. It was the simple life in the best sense of the 
term. I am glad for once to have been part of the working 
machine of California, and a pretty deep part too, as it 
afterwards turned out. The earthquake also was a memor 
able bit of experience, and altogether we have found it mind- 
enlarging and are very glad we ben there. But the whole 
intermediate West is awful a sort of penal doom to have 
to live there; and in general the result with me of having 
lived 65 years in America is to make me feel as if I had at 
least bought the right to a certain capriciousness, and were 
free now to live for the remainder of my days wherever I 
prefer and can make my wife and children consent it is 
more likely to be in rural than in urban surroundings, and 
in the maturer than in the rawrer parts of the world. But 
the first thing is to get out of the treadmill of teaching, 
which I hate and shall resign from next year. After that, 



Aet. 64} TO JOHN JAY CHAPMAN 257 

I can use my small available store of energy in writing, 
which is not only a much more economical way of working 
it, but more satisfactory in point of quality, and more 
lucrative as well. 

Now, J. C., when are you going to get at writing again? 
The world is hungry for your wares. No one touches cer 
tain deep notes of moral truth as you do, and your humor 
is kostlich and impayable. You ought to join the band of 
"pragmatistic" or "humanistic" philosophers. I almost 
fear that Barrytown may not yet have begun to be dis 
turbed by the rumor of their achievements, the which are , 
of the greatest, and seriously I du think that the world of 
thought is on the eve of a renovation no less important than 
that contributed by Locke. The leaders of the new move 
ment are Dewey, Schiller of Oxford, in a sense Bergson of 
Paris, a young Florentine named Papini, and last and least 
worthy, W. J. H. G. Wells ought to be counted in, and if 
I mistake not G. K. Chesterton as well. 1 I hope you know 
and love the last-named writer, who seems to me a great 
teller of the truth. His systematic preference for contra 
dictions and paradoxical forms of statement seems to me 
a mannerism somewhat to be regretted in so wealthy a 
mind; but that is a blemish from which some of our very 
greatest intellects are not altogether free the philosopher 
of Barrytown himself being not wholly exempt. Join us, 
O Jack, and in the historic and perspective sense your fame 
will be secure. All future Histories of Philosophy will 
print your name. 

But although my love for you is not exhausted, my type 
writing energy is. It communicates stiffness and cramps, 
both to the body and the mind. Nevertheless I think I 
have been doing pretty well for a first attempt, don t you? 

1 He did mistake, as Mr. Chesterton s subsequent utterances showed. 



258 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 90 6 

If you return me a good long letter telling me more par 
ticularly about the process of your recovery, I will write 
again, even if I have to take a pen to do it, and in any case 
I will do it much better than this time. 

Believe me, dear old J. C., with hearty affection and de 
light at your recovery all these months I have been on 
the brink of writing to find out how you were and with 
very best regards to your wife, whom some day I wish we 
may be permitted to know better. Yours very truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

Everyone dead ! Hodgson, Shaler, James Peirce this winter 
to go no further afield ! Resserrons les rangs! 

To Henry James. 

CAMBRIDGE, Sept. 10, 1906. 

DEAREST H., I got back from the Adirondacks, where 
I had spent a fortnight, the night before last, and in three 
or four hours Alice, Aleck and I will be spinning towards 
Chocorua, it being now five A.M. Elly [Temple] Hunter 
will join us, with Grenville, in a few days; but for the most 
part, thank Heaven, we shall be alone till the end of the 
month. I found two letters from you awaiting me, and 
two from Bill. They all breathed a spirit of happiness, 
and brought a waft of the beautiful European summer with 
them. It has been a beautiful summer here too; and 
now, sad to say, it is counting the last beads of its chaplet 
of hot days out the hot days which are really the abso 
lutely friendly ones to man you wish they would get 
cooler when you have them, and when they are departed, 
you wish you could have their exquisite gentleness again. 
I have just been reading in the volume by Richard Jefferies 
called the "Life of the Fields" a wonderful rhapsody, "The 
Pageant of Summer." It needs to be read twice over and 



Aet. 64} TO H. G. WELLS 259 

very attentively, being nothing but an enumeration of all 
the details visible in the corner of an old field with a hedge 
and ditch. But rightly taken in, it is probably the highest 
flight of human genius in the direction of nature-worship. 
I don t see why it should not count as an immortal thing. 
You missed it, when here, in not getting to Keene Valley, 
where I have just been, and of which the sylvan beauty, 
especially by moonlight, is probably unlike aught that 
Europe has to show. Imperishable freshness! . . . 

This is definitely my last year of lecturing, but I wish it 
were my first of non-lecturing. Simplification of the field 
of duties I find more and more to be the summum bonum 
for me; and I live in apprehension lest the Avenger should 
cut me off before I get my message out. Not that the 
message is particularly needed by the human race, which 
can live along perfectly well without any one philosopher; 
but objectively I hate to leave the volumes I have already 
published without their logical complement. It is an es 
thetic tragedy to have a bridge begun, and stopped in the 
middle of an arch. 

But I hear Alice stirring upstairs, so I must go up and 
finish packing. I hope that you and W. J., Jr., will again 
form a harmonious combination. I hope also that he will 
stop painting for a time. He will do all the better, when he 
gets home, for having had a fallow interval. 

Good-bye! and my blessing upon both of you. Your 
ever loving, 

W. J. 

To H. G. Wells. 

CHOCORUA, Sept. n, 1906. 

DEAR MR. WELLS, I ve read your "Two Studies in 
Disappointment" in "Harper s Weekly," and must thank 



2 6o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1906 

you from the bottom of my heart. Rem acu tetegisti! Ex 
actly that callousness to abstract justice is the sinister fea 
ture and, to me as well as to you, the incomprehensible 
feature, of our U. S. civilization. How you hit upon it so 
neatly and singled it out so truly (and talked of it so tact 
fully!) God only knows: He evidently created you to do 
such things! I never heard of the MacQueen case before, 
but I ve known of plenty of others. When the ordinary 
American hears of them, instead of the idealist within him 
beginning to "see red" with the higher indignation, instead 
of the spirit of English history growing alive in his breast, 
he begins to pooh-pooh and minimize and tone down the 
thing, and breed excuses from his general fund of optimism 
and respect for expediency. "It s probably right enough"; 
"Scoundrelly, as you say," but understandable, "from the 
point of view of parties interested"- but understandable 
in onlooking citizens only as a symptom of the moral flabbi- 
ness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess 
SUCCESS. That with the squalid cash interpretation put 
on the word success is our national disease. Hit it hard! 
Your book must have a great effect. Do you remember 
the glorious remarks about success in Chesterton s "Here 
tics"? You will undoubtedly have written the medicinal 
book about America. And what good humor! and what 
tact! Sincerely yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Miss Theodora Sedgwick. 

CHOCORUA, Sept. 13, 1906. 

DEAR THEODORA, Here we are in this sweet delicate 
little place, after a pretty agitated summer, and the quiet 
seems very nice. Likewise the stillness. I have thought 
often of you, and almost written; but there never seemed 



Aet. 64} TO MISS THEODORA SEDGWICK 261 

exactly to be time or place for it, so I let the sally of the 
heart to-you-ward suffice. A week ago, I spent a night 
with H. L. Higginson, whom I found all alone at his house 
by the Lake, and he told me your improvement had been 
continuous and great, which I heartily hope has really been 
the case. I don t see why it should not have been the case, 
under such delightful conditions. What good things friends 
are! And what better thing than lend it, can one do with 
one s house? I was struck by Henry Higginson s high level 
of mental tension, so to call it, which made him talk inces 
santly and passionately about one subject after another, 
never running dry, and reminding me more of myself when 
I was twenty years old. It isn t so much a man s eminence 
of elementary faculties that pulls him through. They may 
be rare, and he do nothing. It is the steam pressure to 
the square inch behind that moves the machine. The 
amount of that is what makes the great difference between 
us. Henry has it high. Previous to seeing him I had spent 
ten days in beautiful Keene Valley, dividing them between 
the two ends. The St. Hubert s end is, I verily believe, 
one of the most beautiful things in this beautiful world 
too dissimilar to anything in Europe to be compared there 
with, and consequently able to stand on its merits all alone. 
But the great [forest] fire of four years ago came to the very 
edge of wiping it out! And any year it may go. 

I also had a delightful week all alone on the Maine Coast, 
among the islands. 

Back here, one is oppressed by sadness at the amount of 
work waiting to be done on the place and no one to be hired 
to do it. The entire meaning and essence of "land" is 
something to be worked over even if it be only a wood- 
lot, it must be kept trimmed and cleaned. And for one 
who can work and who likes work with his arms and hands, 



262 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 907 

there is nothing so delightful as a piece of land to work 
over it responds to every hour you give it, and smiles 
with the "improvement" year by year. I neither can work 
now, nor do I like it, so an irremediable bad conscience 
afflicts my ownership of this place. With Cambridge as 
headquarters for August, and a little lot of land there, I 
think I could almost be ready to give up this place, and trust 
to the luck of hotels, and other opportunities of rustication 
without responsibility. But perhaps we can get this place 
[taken care of?] some day! 

I don t know how much you read. I ve taken great 
pleasure this summer in Bielshowski s "Life of Goethe" 
(a wonderful piece of art) and in Birukoff s "Life of Tolstoy." 

Alice is very well and happy in the stillness here. Elly 
Hunter is coming this evening, tomorrow the Merrimans 
for a day, and then Mrs. Hodder till the end of the month. 

Faithful love from both of us, dear Theodora. Your 
affectionate 

W. J. 

To his Daughter. ~ ^ 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 20, 1907, 6.15 P.M. 

SWEET PEGLEIN, Just before tea! and your Grandam, 
Mar, and I going to hear the Revd. Percy Grant in the 
College chapel just after. We are getting to be great 
church-goers. T will have to be Crothers next. He, sweet 
man, is staying with the Brookses. After him, the Chris 
tian Science Church, and after that the deluge! 

I have spent all day preparing next Tuesday s lecture, 
which is my last before a class in Harvard University, so 
help me God amen! I am almost afraid at so much free 
dom. Three quarters of an hour ago Aleck and I went for 
a walk in Somerville; warm, young moon, bare trees, clear 
ing in the west, stars out, old-fashioned streets, not sordid 



Aet. 65} TO H. JAMES AND W. JAMES, JR. 263 

- a beautiful walk. Last night to Bernard Shaw s ex- 
quis-ite play of "Caesar and Cleopatra" exquisitely acted 
too, by F. Robertson and Maxine Elliot s sister Gert. 
Your Mar will have told you that, after these weeks of per 
sistent labor, culminating in New York, I am going to take 
sanctuary on Saturday the 2nd of Feb. in your arms at 
Bryn Mawr. I do not want, wish, or desire to "talk" to 
the crowd, but your mother pushing so, if you and the 
philosophy club also pull, I mean pull hard^ Jimmy J will 
try to articulate something not too technical. But it will 
have to be, if ever, on that Saturday night. It will also 
have to be very short; and the less of a "reception," the 
better, after it. 

Your two last letters were tiptop. I never seen such 
growth! 

I go to N. Y., to be at the Harvard Club, on Monday 
the 28th. Kuhnemann left yesterday. A most dear man. 
Your loving 

DAD. 

To Henry James and William James> Jr. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 14, 1907. 

DEAR BROTHER AND SON, I dare say that you will be 
together in Paris when you get this, but I address it to 
Lamb House all the same. You twain are more "blessed" 
than I, in the way of correspondence this winter, for you 
give more than you receive, Bill s letters being as remark 
able for wit and humor as Henry s are for copiousness, 
considering that the market value of what he either writes 
or types is so many shillings a word. When / write other 
things, I find it almost impossible to write letters. I ve 
been at it stiddy^ however, for three days, since my return 

1 As to "Jimmy," vide vol. i, p. 301 supra. 



264 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

from New York, finding, as I did, a great stack of corre 
spondence to attend to. The first impression of New York, 
if you stay there not more than 36 hours, which has been 
my limit for twenty years past, is one of repulsion at the 
clangor, disorder, and permanent earthquake conditions. 
But this time, installed as I was at the Harvard Club 
(44th St.) in the centre of the cyclone, I caught the pulse 
of the machine, took up the rhythm, and vibrated mit, and 
found it simply magnificent. I m surprised at you, Henry, 
not having been more enthusiastic, but perhaps that su 
perbly powerful and beautiful subway was not opened when 
you were there. It is an entirely new New York, in soul as 
well as in body, from the old one, which looks like a village 
in retrospect. The courage, the heaven-scaling audacity 
of it all, and the lightness withal, as if there was nothing 
that was not easy, and the great pulses and bounds of prog 
ress, so many in directions all simultaneous that the coordi 
nation is indefinitely future, give a kind of drumming back 
ground of life that I never felt before. I m sure that once 
in that movement, and at home, all other places would 
seem insipid. I observe that your book, "The American 
Scene, "- dear H., is just out. I must get it and devour 
again the chapters relative to New York. On my last 
night, I dined with Norman Hapgood, along with men who 
were successfully and happily in the vibration. H. and his 
most winning-faced young partner, Collier, Jerome, Peter 
Dunne, F. M. Colby, and Mark Twain. (The latter, poor 
man, is only good for monologue, in his old age, or for dia 
logue at best, but he s a dear little genius all the same.) I 
got such an impression of easy efficiency in the midst of their 
bewildering conditions of speed and complexity of adjust 
ment. Jerome, particularly, with the world s eyes on his 
court-room, in the very crux of the Thaw trial, as if he had 



Act. 65} TO MOORFIELD STOREY 265 

nothing serious to do. Balzac ought to come to life again. 
His Rastignac imagination sketched the possibility of it long 
ago. I lunched, dined, and sometimes breakfasted, out, 
every day of my stay, vibrated between 44th St., seldom 
going lower, and i49th, with Columbia University at n6th 
as my chief relay station, the magnificent space-devouring 
Subway roaring me back and forth, lecturing to a thousand 
daily, 1 and having four separate dinners at the Columbia 
Faculty Club, where colleagues severally compassed me 
about, many of them being old students of mine, wagged 
their tongues at me and made me explain. 2 It was cer 
tainly the high tide of my existence, so far as energizing and 
being "recognized" were concerned, but I took it all very 
"easy" and am hardly a bit tired. Total abstinence from 
every stimulant whatever is the one condition of living at 
a rapid pace. I am now going whack at the writing of the 
rest of the lectures, which will be more original and (I believe) 
important than my previous works. . . . 

To Moorfield Storey. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 21, 1907. 

DEAR MOORFIELD, Your letter of three weeks ago has 
inadvertently lain unnoticed not because it did n t do 

1 C/. pp. 16, 17, and 110 supra. 

3 Dr. Miller writes: "These four evenings at the Faculty Club were singularly 
interesting occasions. One was a meeting of the Philosophical Club of New York, 
whose members, about a dozen in number, were of different institutions. The 
others were impromptu meetings arranged either by members of the Depart 
ment of Philosophy at Columbia or a wider group. At one of them Mr. James 
sat in a 7iteral circle of chairs, with professors of Biology, Mathematics, etc., as 
well as Philosophy, and answered in a particularly friendly and charming way 
the frank objections of a group that were by no means all opponents. At the close, 
when he was thanked for his patience, he remarked in his humorously disclaim 
ing manner that he was not accustomed to be taken so seriously. Privately he 
remarked how pleasantly such an unaffected, easy meeting contrasted with a 
certain formal and august dinner club, the exaggerated amusement of the diners 
at each other s jokes, etc." 



266 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 907 

me good, but because I went to New York for a fortnight, 
and since coming home have been too druv to pay any 
tributes to friendship. I have n t got many letters either 
of condolence or congratulation on my retirement, which, 
by the way, does n t take place till the end of the year, 
the papers have railroaded me out too soon. 1 But I con 
fess that the thought is sweet to me of being able to hear 
the College bell ring without any tendency to "move" in 
consequence, and of seeing the last Thursday in September 
go by, and remaining in the country careless of what be 
comes of its youth. It s the harness and the hours that are 
so galling! I expect to shed truths in dazzling profusion on 
the world for many years. 

As for you, retire too! Let you, Eliot, Roosevelt and me, 
first relax; then take to landscape painting, which has a 
very soothing effect; then write out all the truths which a 
long life of intimacy with mankind has recommended to 
each of us as most useful. I think we can use the ebb tide 
of our energies best in that way. I m sure that your con 
tributions would be the most useful of all. Affectionately 
yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mar. 26, 1907. 

DEAR FLOURNOY, Your dilectissime letter of the i6th 
arrived this morning and I must scribble a word of reply. 
That s the way to write to a man! Caress him! flatter him! 
tell him that all Switzerland is hanging on his lips! You 
have made me really happy for at least twenty-four hours! 

1 His resignation did not take effect until the end of the Academic year, although 
his last meeting with the class to which he was giving a "half-course," occurred at 
the mid-year. 



Aet. 6 5 \ TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 267 

My dry and businesslike compatriots never write letters 
like that. They write about themselves you write about 
me. You know the definition of an egotist: "a person 
who insists on talking about himself ", when you want to 
talk about yourself." Reverdin has told me of the success 
of your lectures on pragmatism, and if you have been com 
muning in spirit with me this winter, so have I with you. 
I have grown more and more deeply into pragmatism, and 
I rejoice immensely to hear you say, "je m y sens tout 
gagne." It is absolutely the only philosophy with no hum 
bug in it, and I am certain that it is your philosophy. Have 
you read Papini s article in the February "Leonardo"? 
That seems to me really splendid. You say that my ideas 
have formed the real centre de ralliment of the pragmatist 
tendencies. To me it is the youthful and empanache Papini 
who has best put himself at the centre of equilibrium whence 
all the motor tendencies start. He (and Schiller) has given 
me great confidence and courage. I shall dedicate my book, 
however, to the memory of J. S. Mill. 

I hope that you are careful to distinguish in my own work 
between the pragmatism and the "radical empiricism" 
(Conception de Conscience, 1 etc.) which to my own mind 
have no necessary connexion with each other. My first 
proofs came in this morning, along with your letter, and 
the little book ought to be out by the first of June. You 
shall have a very early copy. It is exceedingly untech- 
nical, and I can t help suspecting that it will make a real im 
pression. Miinsterberg, who hitherto has been rather pooh- 
poohing my thought, now, after reading the lecture on truth 
which I sent you a while ago, says I seem to be igno 
rant that Kant ever wrote, Kant having already said all 

x "La Notion de Conscience," Archives de Psychologic^ vol. v, No. 17, June, 
1905. Later included in Essays in Radical Empiricism. 



268 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

that I say. I regard this as a very good symptom. The 
third stage of opinion about a new idea, already arrived: 
1st: absurd! 2nd: trivial! jrd: we discovered it! I don t 
suppose you mean to print these lectures of yours, but I wish 
you would. If you would translate my lectures, what could 
make me happier? But, as I said apropos of the "Varie 
ties," I hate to think of you doing that drudgery when 
you might be forrm ating your own ideas. But, in one 
way or the other, I hope you will join in the great strategic 
combination against the forces of rationalism and bad ab 
stractionism! A good coup de collier all round, and I verily 
believe that a new philosophic movement will begin. . . . 

I thank you for your congratulations on my retirement. 
It makes me very happy. A professor has two functions: 
(i) to be learned and distribute bibliographical informa 
tion; (2) to communicate truth. The 1st function is the 
essential one, officially considered. The 2nd is the only one 
I care for. Hitherto I have always felt like a humbug as a 
professor, for I am weak in the first requirement. Now I 
can live for the second with a free conscience. I envy you 
now at the Italian Lakes! But good-bye! I have already 
written you a long letter, though I only meant to write a 
line! Love to you all from 

W. J. 

To Charles A. Strong. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 9, 1907. 

DEAR STRONG, Your tightly woven little letter reached 
me this A.M., just as I was about writing to you to find out 
how you. are. Your long silence had made me apprehensive 
about your condition, and this news cheers me up very 
much. Rome is great; and I like to think of you there; 
if I spend another winter in Europe, it shall be mainly in 



Act. 6s] TO CHARLES A. STRONG 269 

Rome. You don t say where you re staying, however, so 
my imagination is at fault. I hope it may be at the Russie, 
that most delightful of hotels. I am overwhelmed with 
duties, so I must be very brief in re re/igionis. Your warn 
ings against my superstitious tendencies, for such I suppose 
they are, this is the second heavy one I remember, 
touch me, but not in the prophetic way, for they don t 
weaken my trust in the healthiness, of my own attitude, 
which in part (I fancy) is less remote from your own than 
you suppose. For instance, my "God of things as they 
are," being part of a pluralistic system, is responsible for 
only such of them as he knows enough and has enough power 
to have accomplished. For the rest he is identical with your 
"ideal" God. The "omniscient" and "omnipotent" God 
of theology I regard as a disease of the philosophy-shop. 
But, having thrown away so much of the philosophy-shop, 
you may ask me why I don t throw away the whole? That 
would mean too strong a negative will-to-believe for me. 
It would mean a dogmatic disbelief in any extant conscious 
ness higher than that of the "normal" human mind; and 
this in the teeth of the extraordinary vivacity of man s 
psychological commerce with something ideal that feels as 
if it were also actual (I have no such commerce I wish I 
had, but I can t close my eyes to its vitality in others); 
and in the teeth of such analogies as Fechner uses to show 
that there may be other-consciousness than man s. If 
other, then why not higher and bigger? Why may we not 
be in the universe as our dogs and cats are in our drawing- 
rooms and libraries? It s a will-to-believe on both sides: 
I am perfectly willing that others should disbelieve: why 
should you not be tolerantly interested in the spectacle of 
my belief? What harm does the little residuum or germ of 
actuality that I leave in God do? If ideal, why (except on 



27 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

epiphenomenist principles) may he not have got himself 
at least partly real by this time? I do not believe it to be 
healthy-minded to nurse the notion that ideals are self- 
sufficient and require no actualization to make us content. 
It is a quite unnecessarily heroic form of resignation and 
sour grapes. Ideals ought to aim at the transformation of 
reality no less ! When you defer to what you suppose a 
certain authority in scientists as confirming these negations, 
I am surprised. Of all insufficient authorities as to the 
total nature of reality, give me the "scientists," from Miin- 
sterberg up, or down. Their interests are most incomplete 
and their professional conceit and bigotry immense. I 
know no narrower sect or club, in spite of their excellent 
authority in the lines of fact they have explored, and their 
splendid achievement there. Their only authority at large 
is for method and the pragmatic method completes and 
enlarges them there. When you shall have read my whole 
set of lectures (now with the printer, to be out by June 1st) 
I doubt whether you will find any great harm in the God I 
patronize the poor thing is so largely an ideal possibility. 
Meanwhile I take delight, or shall take delight, in any 
efforts you may make to negate all superhuman conscious 
ness, for only by these counter-attempts can a finally satis 
factory modus vivendi be reached. I don t feel sure that 
I know just what you mean by " freedom,"-- but no matter. 
Have you read in Schiller s new Studies in Humanism what 
seem to me two excellent chapters, one on "Freedom," and 
the other on the "making of reality"? . . . 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 19, 1907. 

DEAR SCHILLER, Two letters and a card from you within 
ten days is pretty good. I have been in New York for a 



Act. 6s] TO F. C. S. SCHILLER 271 

week, so have n t written as promptly as I should have done. 

All right for the Gilbert Murrays! We shall be glad to 
see them. 

Too late for "humanism" in my book all in type! I 
dislike "pragmatism," but it seems to have the interna 
tional right of way at present. Let s both go ahead God 
will know his own! 

When your book first came I lent it to my student Kallen 
(who was writing a thesis on the subject), thereby losing it 
for three weeks. Then the grippe, and my own proofs 
followed, along with much other business, so that I Ve only 
read about a quarter of it even now. The essays on Freedom 
and the Making of Reality seem to be written with my own 
heart s blood it s startling that two people should be 
found to think so exactly alike. A great argument for the 
truth of what they say, too! I find that my own chapter 
on Truth printed in the J. of P. already, 1 convinces no one 
as yet, not even my most gleichgesinnten cronies. It will 
have to be worked in by much future labor, for I know that 
I see all round the subject and they don t, and I think that 
the theory of truth is the key to all the rest of our positions. 

You ask what I am going to "reply" to Bradley. But 
why need one reply to everything and everybody? B. s 
article is constructive rather than polemic, is evidently 
sincere, softens much of his old outline, is difficult to read, 
and ought, I should think, to be left to its own destiny. 
How sweetly, by the way, he feels towards me as compared 
with you! All because you have been too bumptious. I 
confess I think that your gaudium certaminis injures your 
influence. We Ve got a thing big enough to set forth now 
affirmatively, and I think that readers generally hate minute 
polemics and recriminations. All polemic of ours should, 

1 "Pragmatism s Conception of Truth." Included in Selected Essays and 
Reviews. 



272 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

I believe, be either very broad statements of contrast, or 
fine points treated singly, and as far as possible imper 
sonally. Inborn rationalists and inborn pragmatists will 
never convert each other. We shall always look on them 
as spectral and they on us as trashy irredeemably both! 
As far as the rising generation goes, why not simply express 
ourselves positively, and trust that the truer view quietly 
will displace the other. Here again "God will know his 
own." False views don t need much direct refutation 
they get superseded, and I feel absolutely certain of the 
supersessive power of pragmato-humanism, if persuasively 
enough set forth. . . . The world is wide enough to harbor 
various ways of thinking, and the present Bradley s units 
of mental operation are so diverse from ours that the labor 
of reckoning over from one set of terms to the other does n t 
bring reward enough to pay for it. Of course his way of 
treating "truth" as an entity trying all the while to identify 
herself with reality, while reality is equally trying to identify 
herself with the more ideal entity truth, is n t false. It s 
one way, very remote and allegorical, of stating the facts, 
and it "agrees" with a good deal of reality, but it has so 
little pragmatic value that its tottering form can be left for 
time to deal with. The good it does him is small, for it 
leaves him in this queer, surly, grumbling state about the 
best that can be done by it for philosophy. His great vice 
seems to me his perversity in logical activities, his bad 
reasonings. I vote to go on, from now on, not trying to 
keep account of the relations of his with our system. He 
can t be influencing disciples, being himself nowadays so 
difficult. And once for all, there will be minds who cannot 
help regarding our growing universe as sheer trashy meta 
physically considered. Yours ever, 

W. J. 



Aet. 65} TO CLIFFORD W. BEERS 273 

The next letter is addressed to an active promoter of re 
form in the treatment of the insane, the author of "A Mind 
that Found Itself." The Connecticut Society for Mental 
Hygiene and the National Committee for Mental Hygiene 
have already performed so great a public service, that any 
one may now see that in 1907 the time had come to employ 
such instrumentalities in improving the care of the insane. 
But when Mr. Beers, just out of an asylum himself, ap 
peared with the manuscript of his own story in his hands, 
it was not so clear that these agencies were needed, nor yet 
evident to anyone that he was a person who could bring 
about their organization. 

James s own opinion as to the treatment of the insane is 
not in the least overstated in the following letter. He rec 
ognized the genuineness of Mr. Beers s personal experience 
and its value for propaganda, and he immediately helped 
to get it published. From his first acquaintance with Mr. 
Beers, he gave time, counsel, and money to further the 
organization of the Mental Hygiene Committee; and he 
even departed, in its interest, from his fixed policy of "keep 
ing out of Committees and Societies." He lived long enough 
to know that the movement had begun to gather mo 
mentum; and he drew great satisfaction from the knowledge. 

To Clifford W. Beers. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 21, 1907. 

DEAR MR. BEERS, You ask for my opinion as to the 
advisability and feasibility of a National Society, such as 
you propose, for the improvement of conditions among the 
insane. 

I have never ceased to believe that such improvement is 
one of the most "crying" needs of civilization; and the 
functions of such a Society seem to me to be well drawn up 



274 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

by you. Your plea for its being founded before your book 
appears is well grounded, you being an author who naturally 
would like to cast seed upon a ground already prepared for 
it to germinate practically without delay. 

I have to confess to being myself a very impractical man, 
with no experience whatever in the details, difficulties, etc., 
of philanthropic or charity organization, so my opinion as 
to the feasibility of your plan is worth nothing, and is un 
decided. Of course the first consideration is to get your 
money, the second, your Secretary and Trustees. All that 
/ wish to bear witness to is the great need of a National 
Society such as you describe, or failing that, of a State 
Society somewhere that might serve as a model in other 
States. 

Nowhere is there massed together as much suffering as in 
the asylums. Nowhere is there so much sodden routine, 
and fatalistic insensibility in those who have to treat it. 
Nowhere is an ideal treatment more costly. The officials 
in charge grow resigned to the conditions under which they 
have to labor. They cannot plead their cause as an auxil 
iary organization can plead it for them. Public opinion is 
too glad to remain ignorant. As mediator between officials, 
patients, and the public conscience, a society such as you 
sketch is absolutely required, and the sooner it gets under 
way the better. 1 Sincerely yours, 

WILLIAM JAMES. 

At the date of the next letter William James, Jr., was 
studying painting in Paris. 

1 The story of the Committee for Mental Hygiene is interestingly told in Part 
V of the 4th Edition of C. W. Beers s A Mind that Found Itself. Several let 
ters from James are incorporated in the story. Vide pp. 339 and 340; also pp. 
320, 352. 



Act. 65} TO HIS SON WILLIAM 275 

To his Son William. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 24, 1907. 

DEAREST BILL, I have n t written to you for ages, yet 
you keep showering the most masterly and charming epistles 
upon all of us in turn, including the fair Rosamund. 1 Be 
sure they are appreciated! Your Ma and I dined last 
night at Ellen and Loulie Hooper s to meet Rosalind Huide- 
koper and her swain. Loulie had heard from Bancel [La 
Farge] of your getting a "mention"- - if for the model, 
I m not surprised ; if for the composition, I m im 
mensely pleased. Of course you ll tell us of it! We ve 
had a very raw cold April, and today it s blowing great 
guns from all quarters of the sky, preparatory to clearing 
from the N.W., I think. We are rooting up the entire lawn 
to a depth of 18 inches to try to regenerate it. Four diggers 
and two carts have been at it for a week, with your mother, 
bareheaded and cloaked, and ruddy-cheeked, sticking to 
them like a burr. She does n t handle pick or shovel, but 
she stands there all day long in a way it would do your heart 
good to see; and so democratic and hearty withal that I m 
sure they like it, though working under such a great task 
master s eye deprives them of those intervals of stolen 
leisure so dear to "workers" of every description. She 
makes it up to them by inviting them to an afternoon tea 
daily, with piles of cake and doughnuts. I fancy they like 
her well. 

We Ve let Chocorua to the Goldmarks. Aleck took his 
April recess along with his schoolmate Henderson and 
Gerald Thayer, partly on the summit, partly around the 
base, of Monadnock. The weather was fiercely wintry, 
and your mother and I said "poor blind little Aleck he s 
got to learn thru experience." [She said "through"!] 

1 Mrs. James s niece, Rosamund Gregor, age 6. 



276 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

He came back happier and more exultant than I Ve ever 
seen him, and six months older morally and intellectually 
for the week with Gerald and Abbott Thayer. A great 
step forward. They burglarized the Thayer house, and 
were tracked and arrested by the posse, and had a paragraph 
in the Boston "Globe" about the robbery. As the thing 
involved an ascent of Monadnock after dark, with their 
packs, in deep snow, a day and a night there in snowstorm, 
a 1 6-mile walk and out of bed till 2 A.M. the night of the 
burglary, a "lying low" indoors all the next day at the 
Hendersons empty house, three in a bed and the police 
waking them at dawn, I ventured to suggest a doubt as to 
whether the Thayer household were the greatest victims of 
the illustrious practical joke. "What," cries Aleck, start 
ing to his feet, "nine men with revolvers and guns around 
your bed, and a revolver pointed close to your ear as you 
wake don t you call that a success, I should like to know ? " 
The Tom Sawyer phase of evolution is immortal! Gerald, 
who is staying with us now, is really a splendid fellow. I m 
so glad he s taken to Aleck, who now is aflame with plans 
for being an artist. I wish he might it would certainly 
suit his temperament better than "business." 

There s the lunch bell. 

I have got my "Pragmatism" proofs all corrected. The 
most important thing I ve written yet, and bound, I am 
sure, to stir up a lot of attention. But I m dog-tired; and, 
in order to escape the social engagements that at this time 
of year grow more frequent than ever, I m going off on 
Friday (this is Wednesday) to the country somewhere for 
ten days. If only there might be warm weather! We Ve 
just backed out from a dinner to William Leonard Darwin 
and his wife, and the Geo. Hodgeses, etc. W. T. Stead 
spent three hours here on Sunday and lectured in the Union 



Act. 6 5 \ TO HENRY JAMES 277 

on Monday a splendid fellow whom I could get along with 
after a fashion. Let no one run him down to you. I Ve 
been to New York to the Peace Congress. Interesting but 
tiresome. 

Mary Salter is with us. Margaret and Rosamund just 
arrived at 107. No news else! Yours, 

W. J. 

To Henry James. 

SALISBURY, CONN., May 4, 1907. 

DEAREST H. . . . I Ve been so overwhelmed with work, 
and the mountain of the Unread has piled up so, that only 
in these days here have I really been able to settle down to 
your "American Scene," which in its peculiar way seems 
to me supremely great. You know how opposed your whole 
"third manner" of execution is to the literary ideals which 
animate my crude and Orson-like breast, mine being to say 
a thing in one sentence as straight and explicit as it can be 
made, and then to drop it forever; yours being to avoid 
naming it straight, but by dint of breathing and sighing all 
round and round it, to arouse in the reader who may have 
had a similar perception already (Heaven help him if he 
has n t!) the illusion of a solid object, made (like the "ghost" 
at the Polytechnic) wholly out of impalpable materials, air, 
and the prismatic interferences of light, ingeniously focused 
by mirrors upon empty space. But you do it, that s the 
queerness! And the complication of innuendo and asso 
ciative reference on the enormous scale to which you give 
way to it does so build out the matter for the reader that 
the result is to solidify, by the mere bulk of the process, 
the like perception from which he has to start. As air, by 
dint of its volume, will weigh like a corporeal body; so his 
own poor little initial perception, swathed in this gigantic 



278 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

envelopment of suggestive atmosphere, grows like a germ 
into something vastly bigger and more substantial. But 
it s the rummest method for one to employ systematically 
as you do nowadays; and you employ it at your peril. In 
this crowded and hurried reading age, pages that require 
such close attention remain unread and neglected. You 
can t skip a word if you are to get the effect, and 19 out of 
20 worthy readers grow intolerant. The method seems 
perverse: "Say it out, for God s sake," they cry, "and have 
done with it." And so I say now, give us one thing in your 
older directer manner, just to show that, in spite of your 
paradoxical success in this unheard-of method, you can still 
write according to accepted canons. Give us that interlude; 
and then continue like the "curiosity of literature" which 
you have become. For gleams and innuendoes and felicitous 
verbal insinuations you are unapproachable, but the core of 
literature is solid. Give it to us once again! The bare per 
fume of things will not support existence, and the effect of 
solidity you reach is but perfume and simulacrum. 

For God s sake don t answer these remarks, which (as 
Uncle Howard used to say of Father s writings) are but the 
peristaltic belchings of my own crabbed organism. For one 
thing, your account of America is largely one of its omis 
sions, silences, vacancies. You work them up like solids, 
for those readers who already germinally perceive them 
(to others you are totally incomprehensible). I said to 
myself over and over in reading: "How much greater the 
triumph, if instead of dwelling thus only upon America s 
vacuities, he could make positive suggestion of what in 
Europe or Asia may exist to fill them." That would be 
nutritious to so many American readers whose souls are 
only too ready to leap to suggestion, but who are now too 
inexperienced to know what is meant by the contrast-effect 



Aet. 65} TO HENRY JAMES 279 

from which alone your book is written. If you could supply 
the background which is the foil, in terms more full and 
positive! At present it is supplied only by the abstract 
geographic term "Europe." But of course anything of 
that kind is excessively difficult; and you will probably say 
that you are supplying it all along by your novels. Well, 
the verve and animal spirits with which you can keep your 
method going, first on one place then on another, through 
all those tightly printed pages is something marvelous; and 
there are pages surely doomed to be immortal, those on the 
drummers," e.g., at the beginning of "Florida." They are 
in the best sense Rabelaisian. 

But a truce, a truce! I had no idea, when I sat down, 
of pouring such a bath of my own subjectivity over you. 
Forgive! forgive! and don t reply, don t at any rate in the 
sense of defending yourself, but only in that of attacking 
me, if you feel so minded. I have just finished the proofs of 
a little book called "Pragmatism" which even you may 
enjoy reading. It is a very "sincere" and, from the point 
of view of ordinary philosophy-professorial manners, a very 
unconventional utterance, not particularly original at any 
one point, yet, in the midst of the literature of the way of 
thinking which it represents, with just that amount of 
squeak or shrillness in the voice that enables one book to 
tell, when others don t, to supersede its brethren, and be 
treated later as "representative." I shouldn t be sur 
prised if ten years hence it should be rated as "epoch- 
making," for of the definitive triumph of that general way 
of thinking I can entertain no doubt whatever I believe 
it to be something quite like the protestant reformation. 

You can t tell how happy I am at having thrown off 
the nightmare of my "professorship." As a "professor" I 
always felt myself a sham, with its chief duties of being a 



2 8o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

walking encyclopedia of erudition. I am now at liberty 
to be a reality, and the comfort is unspeakable literally 
unspeakable, to be my own man, after 35 years of being 
owned by others. I can now live for truth pure and simple, 
instead of for truth accommodated to the most unheard-of 
requirements set by others. . . . Your affectionate 

W. J. 

This letter appears never to have been answered, although 
Henry James wrote on May 31, 1907: "You shall have, 
after a little more patience, a reply to your so rich and 
luminous reflections on my book a reply almost as in 
teresting as, and far more illuminating than, your letter 
itself." 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

CAMBRIDGE, May 18, 1907. 

. . . One word about the said proof [of your article]. 
It convinces me that you ought to be an academic personage, 
a "professor." For thirty-five years I have been suffering 
from the exigencies of being one, the pretension and the 
duty, namely, of meeting the mental needs and difficulties 
of other persons, needs that I could n t possibly imagine and 
difficulties that I could n t possibly understand; and now 
that I have shuffled off the professorial coil, the sense of 
freedom that comes to me is as surprising as it is exquisite. 
I wake up every morning with it. What! not to have to 
accommodate myself to this mass of alien and recalcitrant 
humanity, not to think under resistance, not to have to 
square myself with others at every step I make hurrah! 
it is too good to be true. To be alone with truth and God! 
Es ist nicht zu glauben! What a future! What a vision of 
ease! But here you are loving it and courting it unneces- 



Aet. 65} TO F. C. S. SCHILLER 281 

sarily. You re fit to continue a professor in all your suc 
cessive reincarnations, with never a release. It was so 
easy to let Bradley with his approximations and grumblings 
alone. So few people would find these last statements of 
his seductive enough to build them into their own thought. 
But you, for the pure pleasure of the operation, chase him 
up and down his windings, flog him into and out of his 
corners, stop him and cross-reference him and counter on 
him, as if required to do so by your office. It makes very 
difficult reading, it obliges one to re-read Bradley, and I 
don t believe there are three persons living who will take 
it in with the pains required to estimate its value. B. him 
self will very likely not read it with any care. It is subtle 
and clear, like everything you write, but it is too minute. 
And where a few broad comments would have sufficed, it is 
too complex, and too much like a criminal conviction in 
tone and temper. Leave him in his dunklem Drange he is 
drifting in the right direction evidently, and when a certain 
amount of positive construction on our side has been added, 
he will say that that was what he had meant all along and 
the world will be the better for containing so much difficult 
polemic reading the less. 

I admit that your remarks are penetrating, and let air 
into the joints of the subject; but I respectfully submit that 
they are not called for in the interests of the final triumph 
of truth. That will come by the way of displacement of 
error, quite effortlessly. I can t help suspecting that you 
unduly magnify the influence of Bradleyan Absolutism on 
the undergraduate mind. Taylor is the only fruit so far 
at least within my purview. One practical point: I don t 
quite like your first paragraph, and wonder if it be too late 
to have the references to me at least expunged. I can t 
recognize the truth of the ten-years change of opinion about 



2 82 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

my "Will to Believe." I don t find anyone not even my 
dearest friends, as Miller and Strong one whit persuaded. 
Taylor s and Hobhouse s attacks are of recent date, etc. 
Moreover, the reference to Bradley s relation to me in this 
article is too ironical not to seem a little "nasty" to some 
readers; therefore out with it, if it be not too late. 

See how different our methods are! All that Humanism 
needs now is to make applications of itself to special prob 
lems. Get a school of youngsters at work. Refutations 
of error should be left to the rationalists alone. They are 
a stock function of that school. . . . 

I m fearfully tired y but expect the summer to get me right 
again. Affectionately thine, 

W. J. 



XVI 

1907-1909 

The Last Period (III} HMert Lectures in Oxford 
The Hodgson Report 

THE story of the remaining years is written so fully in the 
letters themselves as to require little explanation. 

Angina pectoris and such minor ailments as are only too 
likely to afflict a man of sixty-five years and impaired con 
stitution interrupted the progress of reading and writing 
more and more. Physical exertion, particularly that in 
volved in talking long to many people, now brought on pain 
and difficulty in breathing. But James still carried himself 
erect, still walked with a light step, and until a few weeks 
before his death wore the appearance of a much younger and 
stronger man than he really was. None but those near to 
him realized how often he was in discomfort or pain, or how 
constantly he was using himself to the limit of his endurance. 
He bore his ills without complaint and ordinarily without 
mention; although he finally made up his mind to try to 
discourage the appeals and requests of all sorts that still 
harassed him, by proclaiming the fact that he was an invalid. 
As his power of work became more and more reduced, frus 
trations became harder to bear, and the sense that they were 
unavoidable oppressed him. When an invitation to deliver 
a course of lectures on the Hibbert Foundation at Manchester 
College, Oxford, arrived, he was torn between an impulse to 
clutch at this engagement as a means of hastening the 
writing-out of certain material that v/as in his mind, and 



284 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907-09 

the fear, only too reasonable, that the obligation to have the 
lectures ready by a certain date would strain him to the 
snapping point. After some hesitation he agreed, however, 
and the lectures were, ultimately, prepared and delivered 
successfully. 

In proportion as the number of hours a day that he could 
spend on literary work and professional reading decreased, 
James s general reading increased again. He began for the 
first time to browse in military biographies, and commenced 
to collect material for a study which he sometimes spoke 
of as a "Psychology of Jingoism," sometimes as a "Varieties 
of Military Experience." What such a work would have 
been, had he ever completed it, it is impossible to tell. It 
was never more than a rather vague project, turned to oc 
casionally as a diversion. But it is safe to reckon that two 
remarkable papers the "Energies of Men" (written in 
1906) and the "Moral Equivalent of War" (written in 
1909) would have appeared to be related to this study. 
That it would not have been a Utopian flight in the direc 
tion of pacifism need hardly be said. However he might 
have described it, James was not disposed to underesti 
mate the "fighting instinct." He saw it as a persistent and 
highly irritable force, underlying the society of all the 
dominant races; and he advocated international courts, 
reduction of armaments, and any other measures that might 
prevent appeals to the war-waging passion as commendable 
devices for getting along without arousing it. 

"The fatalistic view of the war-function is to me non 
sense, for I know that war-making is due to definite motives 
and subject to prudential checks and reasonable criticisms, 
just like any other form of enterprise. . . . All these beliefs 
of mine put me squarely into the anti-militarist party. But 
I do not believe that peace either ought to be or will be per- 



1907-09] LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 285 

manent on this globe, unless the states pacifically organized 
preserve some of the old elements of army-discipline. . . . 
In the more or less socialistic future towards which mankind 
seems drifting, we must still subject ourselves collectively 
to those severities which answer to our real position upon 
this only partly hospitable globe. We must make new 
energies and hardihoods continue the manliness to which the 
military mind so faithfully clings. Martial virtues must 
be the enduring cement; intrepidity, contempt of softness, 
surrender of private interest, obedience to command, must 
still remain the rock upon which states are built unless, 
indeed, we wish for dangerous reactions against common 
wealths fit only for contempt, and liable to invite attack 
whenever a centre of crystallization for military-minded 
enterprise gets formed anywhere in their neighborhood." x 

Any utterances about war, arbitration, and disarmament, 
are now likely to have their original meaning distorted by 
reason of what may justly be called the present fevered 
state of public opinion on such questions. It should be 
clear that the foregoing sentences were not directed to any 
particular question of domestic or foreign policy. They 
were part of a broad picture of the fighting instinct, and 
led up to a suggestion for diverting it into non-destructive 
channels. As to particular instances, circumstances were 
always to be reckoned with. James believed in organizing 
and strengthening the machinery of arbitration, but did not 
think that the day for universal arbitration had yet come. 
He saw a danger in military establishments, went so far 
in the presence of the "jingoism" aroused by Cleveland s 
Venezuela message as to urge opposition to any increase 
of the American army and navy, encouraged peace-societies, 
and was willing to challenge attention by calling himself a 

1 Memories and Studies, pp. 286 ft seq. 



2 86 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

pacifist. 1 "The first thing to learn in intercourse with 
others is non-interference with their own peculiar ways of 
being happy, provided those ways do not presume to inter 
fere by violence with ours." 2 Tolerance social, religious, 
and political was fundamental in his scheme of belief; 
but he took pains to make a proviso, and drew the line at 
tolerating interference or oppression. Where he recognized 
a military danger, there he would have had matters so 
governed as to meet it, not evade it. Writing of the British 
garrison in Halifax in 1897, he said: "By Jove, if England 
should ever be licked by a Continental army, it would only 
be Divine justice upon her for keeping up the Tommy 
Atkins recruiting system when the others have compulsory 
service." 

In the case of one undertaking, which was much too 
troublesome to be reckoned as a diversion, he let himself be 
drawn away from his metaphysical work. He had taken 
no active part in the work of the Society for Psychical Re 
search since 1896. In December, 1905, Richard Hodgson, 
the secretary of the American Branch, had died suddenly, 
and almost immediately thereafter Mrs. Piper, the medium 
whose trances Hodgson had spent years in studying, had 
purported to give communications from Hodgson s departed 
spirit. In 1909 James made a report to the S. P. R. on 
"Mrs. Piper s Hodgson control." The full report will be 
found in its Proceedings for 1 909,3 and the concluding pages, 
in which James stated, more analytically than elsewhere, 
the hypotheses which the phenomena suggested to him, 

1 The reader need hardly be reminded that new meanings and associations have 
attached themselves to this word in particular. 

3 Talks to Teachers, p. 265. 

3 Proceedings of (English) S. P. R., vol. xxm, pp. 1-121. Also, Proc. American 
S. P. R., vol. in, p. 470. 



Aet. 6 5 \ TO CHARLES LEWIS SLATTERY 287 

have been reprinted in the volume of "Collected Essays and 
Reviews." At the same time he wrote out a more popular 
statement, in a paper which will be found in "Memories and 
Studies." As to his final opinion of the spirit-theory, the 
following letter, given somewhat out of its chronological 
place, states what was still James s opinion in 1910. 

To Charles Lewis S lattery. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 21, 1907. 

DEAR MR. SLATTERY, My state of mind is this: Mrs. 
Piper has supernormal knowledge in her trances; but 
whether it comes from "tapping the minds" of living people, 
or from some common cosmic reservoir of memories, or 
from surviving "spirits" of the departed, is a question im 
possible for me to answer just now to my own satisfaction. 
The spirit-theory is undoubtedly not only the most natural, 
but the simplest, and I have great respect for Hodgson s 
and Hyslop s arguments when they adopt it. At the same 
time the electric current called belief has not yet closed in 
my mind. 

Whatever the explanation be, trance-mediumship is an 
excessively complex phenomenon, in which many concurrent 
factors are engaged. That is why interpretation is so hard. 

Make any use, public or private, that you like of this. 

In great haste, yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

The next letter should be understood as referring to the 
abandonment of an excursion to Lake Champlain with 
Henry L. Higginson. The celebration alluded to in the 
last part of the letter had been arranged by the Cambridge 
Historical Society in honor of the hundredth anniversary of 
the birth of Louis Agassiz. 



2 88 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

To Henry L. Higginson. 

CHOCORUA, N. H., circa, June I, 1907. 

DEAR HENRY, On getting your resignation by tele 
phone, I came straight up here instead, without having 
time to write you my acceptance as I meant to; and now 
comes your note of the fourth, before I have done so. 

I am exceedingly sorry, my dear old boy, that it is the 
doctor s advice that ha s made you feat to go. I hope the 
liability to relapse will soon fade out and leave you free 
again; for say what they will of Alters Schwache and resig 
nation to decay, and entbehren sollst du> soils t entbehren, it 
means only sour grapes, and the insides of one always want 
to be doing the free and active things. However, a river 
can still be lively in a shrunken bed, and we must not pay 
too much attention to the difference of level. If you should 
summon me again this summer, I can probably respond. I 
shall be here for a fortnight, then back to Cambridge again 
for a short time. 

I thought the Agassiz celebration went off very nicely in 
deed, did n t you? John Gray s part in it being of course 

the best. X was heavy, but respectable, and the heavy 

respectable ought to be one ingredient in anything of the 
kind. But how well Shaler would have done that part of 
the job had he been there! Love to both of you! 

W. J. 

To W. Cameron Forbes. 

CHOCORUA, June n, 1907. 

DEAR CAMERON FORBES, Your letter from Baguio of 
the 1 8th of April touches me by its genuine friendliness, 
and is a tremendous temptation. Why am I not ten years 
younger? Even now I hesitate to say no, and the only 
reason why I don t say yes, with a roar, is that certain rather 



Aet. 65} TO W. CAMERON FORBES 289 

serious drawbacks in the way of health of late seem to make 
me unfit for the various activities which such a visit ought 
to carry in its train. I am afraid my program from now on 
wards ought to be sedentary. I ought to be getting out a 
book next winter. Last winter I could hardly do any 
walking, owing to a trouble with my heart. 

Does your invitation mean to include my wife? And 
have you a good crematory so that she might bring home 
my ashes in case of need? 

I think if you had me on the spot you would find me a 
less impractical kind of an anti-imperialist than you have 
supposed me to be. I think that the manner in which the 
McKinley administration railroaded the country into its 
policy of conquest was abominable, and the way the country 
pucked up its ancient soul at the first touch of temptation, 
and followed, was sickening. But with the establishment 
of the civil commission McKinley did what he could to 
redeem things and now what the Islands want is CONTI 
NUITY OF ADMINISTRATION to form new habits that may to 
some degree be hoped to last when we, as controllers, are 
gone. WHEN? that is the question. And much difference 
of opinion may be fair as to the answer. That we can t 
stay forever seems to follow from the fact that the educated 
Philippines differ from all previous colonials in having been 
inoculated before our occupation with the ideas of the French 
Revolution; and that is a virus to which history shows as 
yet no anti-toxine. As I am at present influenced, I think 
that the U. S. ought to solemnly proclaim a date for our 
going (or at least for a plebiscitum as to whether we should 
go) and stand by all the risks. Some date, rather than in 
definitely drift. And shape the whole interval towards 
securing things in view of the change. As to this, I may 
be wrong, and am always willing to be convinced. I wish 



29 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

I could go, and see you all at work. Heaven knows I 
admire the spirit with which you are animated a new 
thing in colonial work. 

It must have been a great pleasure to you to see so many 
of the family at once. I have seen none of them since their 
return, but hope to do so ere the summer speeds. The 
only dark spot was poor F s death. 

Believe me, with affectionate regards, yours truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

I am ordering a little book of mine, just out, to be sent 
to you. Some one of your circle may find entertainment 
in it. 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

[Post-card] 

CHOCORUA, June 13, 1907. 

Yours of the 27th ult. received and highly appreciated. 
I m glad you relish my book so well. You go on playing 
the Boreas and I shedding the sunbeams, and between us 
we ll get the cloak off the philosophic traveler! But have 
you read Bergson s new book? x It seems to me that noth 
ing is important in comparison with that divine apparition. 
All our positions, real time, a growing world, asserted magis 
terially, and the beast intellectualism killed absolutely dead! 
The whole flowed round by a style incomparable as it seems 
to me. Read it, and digest it if you can. Much of it I 
can t yet assimilate. [No signature.] 

To Henri Bergson. 

CHOCORUA, June 13, 1907. 

O my Bergson, you are a magician, and your book is a 
marvel, a real wonder in the history of philosophy, making, 

1 L Evolution Creatrice. 



Aet. 65} TO HENRI BERGSON 291 

if I mistake not, an entirely new era in respect of matter, 
but unlike the works of genius of the "transcendentalist" 
movement (which are so obscurely and abominably and 
inaccessibly written), a pure classic in point of form. You 
may be amused at the comparison, but in finishing it I 
found the same after-taste remaining as after finishing 
"Madame Bovary," such a flavor of persistent euphony , 
as of a rich river that never foamed or ran thin, but steadily 
and firmly proceeded with its banks full to the brim. Then 
the aptness of your illustrations, that never scratch or 
stand out at right angles, but invariably simplify the thought 
and help to pour it along! Oh, indeed you are a magician! 
And if your next book proves to be as great an advance on 
this one as this is on its two predecessors, your name will 
surely go down as one of the great creative names in 
philosophy. 

There! have I praised you enough? What every genuine 
philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is 
praise although the philosophers generally call it "rec 
ognition"! If you want still more praise, let me know, and 
I will send it, for my features have been on a broad smile 
from the first page to the last, at the chain of felicities that 
never stopped. I feel rejuvenated. 

As to the content of it, I am not in a mood at present to 
make any definite reaction. There is so much that is ab 
solutely new that it will take a long time for your contem 
poraries to assimilate it, and I imagine that much of the 
development of detail will have to be performed by younger 
men whom your ideas will stimulate to coruscate in man 
ners unexpected by yourself. To me at present the vital 
achievement of the book is that it inflicts an irrecoverable 
death-wound upon Intellectualism. It can never resusci 
tate! But it will die hard, for all the inertia of the past is 



292 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

in it, and the spirit of professionalism and pedantry as 
well as the aesthetic-intellectual delight of dealing with 
categories logically distinct yet logically connected, will rally 
for a desperate defense. The elan vital, all contentless and 
vague as you are obliged to leave it, will be an easy substi 
tute to make fun of. But the beast has its death-wound 
now, and the manner in which you have inflicted it (inter 
val versus temps d arret, etc.) is masterly in the extreme. 
I don t know why this later redaction of your critique of the 
mathematics of movement has seemed to me so much more 
telling than the early statement I suppose it is because 
of the wider use made of the principle in the book. You 
will be receiving my own little "pragmatism" book simul 
taneously with this letter. How jejune and inconsiderable 
it seems in comparison with your great system! But it is 
so congruent with parts of your system, fits so well into 
interstices thereof, that you will easily understand why I 
am so enthusiastic. I feel that at bottom we are fighting 
the same fight, you a commander, I in the ranks. The 
position we are rescuing is "Tychism" and a really growing 
world. But whereas I have hitherto found no better way 
of defending Tychism than by affirming the spontaneous 
addition of discrete elements of being (or their subtraction), 
thereby playing the game with intellectualist weapons, you 
set things straight at a single stroke by your fundamental 
conception of the continuously creative nature of reality. 
I think that one of your happiest strokes is your reduction 
of "finality," as usually taken, to its status alongside of 
efficient causality, as the twin-daughters of intellectualism. 
But this vaguer and truer finality restored to its rights will 
be a difficult thing to give content to. Altogether your 
reality lurks so in the background, in this book, that I am 
wondering whether you could nt give it any more develop- 



Act. 6 S ] TO HENRI BERGSON 293 

ment in concrete here, or whether you perhaps were holding 
back developments, already in your possession, for a future 
volume. They are sure to come to you later anyhow, and 
to make a new volume; and altogether, the clash of these 
ideas of yours with the traditional ones will be sure to make 
sparks fly that will illuminate all sorts of dark places and 
bring innumerable new considerations into view. But the 
process may be slow, for the ideas are so revolutionary. 
Were it not for your style, your book might last 100 years 
unnoticed; but your way of writing is so absolutely com 
manding that your theories have to be attended to im 
mediately. I feel very much in the dark still about the 
relations of the progressive to the regressive movement, 
and this great precipitate of nature subject to static cate 
gories. With a frank pluralism of beings endowed with 
vital impulses you can get oppositions and compromises 
easily enough, and a stagnant deposit; but after my one 
reading I don t exactly "catch on" to the way in which 
the continuum of reality resists itself so as to have to 
act, etc., etc. 

The only part of the work which I felt like positively 
criticising was the discussion of the idea of nonentity, which 
seemed to me somewhat overelaborated, and yet did n t 
leave me with a sense that the last word had been said on the 
subject. But all these things must be very slowly digested 
by me. I can see that, when the tide turns in your favor, 
many previous tendencies in philosophy will start up, cry 
ing "This is nothing but what we have contended for 
all along." Schopenhauer s blind will, Hartmann s uncon 
scious, Fichte s aboriginal freedom (reedited at Harvard in 
the most "unreal" possible way by Miinsterberg) will all 
be claimants for priority. But no matter all the better 
if you are in some ancient lines of tendency. Mysticism 



294 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

also must make claims and doubtless just ones. I say 
nothing more now this is just my first reaction; but I 
am so enthusiastic as to have said only two days ago, "I 
thank heaven that I have lived to this date that I have 
witnessed the Russo-Japanese war, and seen Bergson s 
new book appear the two great modern turning-points of 
history and of thought!" Best congratulations and cordial- 
est regards! 

WM. JAMES. 

To T. S. Perry. 

SILVER LAKE, N.H., June 24, 1907. 

DEAR THOS., Yours of the nth is at hand, true phi 
losopher that you are. No one but one bawn & bred in 
the philosophic briar-patch could appreciate Bergson as 
you do, without in the least understanding him. I am in 
an identical predicament. This last of his is the divinest 
book that has appeared in my life-time, and (unless I am 
the falsest prophet) it is destined to rank with the greatest 
works of all time. The style of it is as wonderful as the 
matter. By all means send it to Chas. Peirce, but address 
him Prescott Hall, Cambridge. I am sending you my 
"Pragmatism," which Bergson s work makes seem like 
small potatoes enough. 

Are you going to Russia to take Stolypin s place i* or to 
head the Revolution? I would I were at Giverny to talk 
metaphysics with you, and enjoy a country where I am not 
responsible for the droughts and the garden. Have been 
here two weeks at Chocorua, getting our place ready for a 
tenant. 

Affectionate regards to you all. 

W.J. 



Act. 65} TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 295 

To Dickinson S. Miller. 

LINCOLN, MASS., Aug. 5, 1907. 

DEAR MILLER, I got your letter about "Pragmatism," 
etc., some time ago. I hear that you are booked to review it 
for the "Hibbert Journal." Lay on, Macduff ! as hard as 
you can I want to have the weak places pointed out. I 
sent you a week ago a "Journal of Philosophy" 1 with a 
word more about Truth in it, written at you mainly; but 
I hardly dare hope that I have cleared up my position. A 
letter from Strong, two days ago, written after receiving a 
proof of that paper, still thinks that I deny the existence of 
realities outside of the thinker; and [R. B.] Perry, who seems 
to me to have written far and away the most important criti 
cal remarks on Pragmatism (possibly the only important 
ones), accused Pragmatists (though he does n t name me) of 
ignoring or denying that the real object plays any part in 
deciding what ideas are true. I confess that such misunder 
standings seem to me hardly credible, and cast a "lurid 
light" on the mutual understandings of philosophers gener 
ally. Apparently it all comes from the word Pragmatism 
and a most unlucky word it may prove to have been. I am 
a natural realist. The world per se may be likened to a 
cast of beans on a table. By themselves they spell nothing. 
An onlooker may group them as he likes. He may simply 
count them all and map them. He may select groups and 
name these capriciously, or name them to suit certain ex 
trinsic purposes of his. Whatever he does, so long as he 
takes account of them, his account is neither false nor irrel 
evant. If neither, why not call it true? \tfits the beans- 
minus-h\m y and expresses the total fact, of beans-p/#.r-him. 
Truth in this total sense is partially ambiguous, then. If 

1 "A Word More about Truth," reprinted in Collected Essays and Reviews. 



296 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [ I90? 

he simply counts or maps, he obeys a subjective interest as 
much as if he traces figures. Let that stand for pure "in 
tellectual" treatment of the beans, while grouping them 
variously stands for non-intellectual interests. All that 
Schiller and I contend for is that there is no "truth" without 
some interest, and that non-intellectual interests play a part 
as well as intellectual ones. Whereupon we are accused of 
denying the beans, or denying being in anyway constrained 
by them! It s too silly! . . . 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark. 

PUTNAM SHANTY, 
KEENE VALLEY, Sept. 14, 1907. 

DEAR PAULINE, . . . No "camping" for me this side 
the grave! A party of fourteen left here yesterday for 
Panther Gorge, meaning to return by the Range, as they 
call your "summit trail." Apparently it is easier than 
when on that to me memorable day we took it, for Charley 
Putnam swears he has done it in five and a half hours. I 
don t well understand the difference, except that they don t 
reach Haystack over Marcy as we did, and there is now a 
good trail. Past and future play such a part in the way 
one feels the present. To these youngsters, as to me long 
ago, and to you today, the rapture of the connexion with 
these hills is partly made of the sense of future power over 
them and their like. That being removed from me, I can 
only mix memories of past power over them with the pres 
ent. But I have always observed a curious fading in what 
Tennyson calls the "passion" of the past. Memories 
awaken little or no sentiment when they are too old; and 
I have taken everything here so prosily this summer that 
I find myself wondering whether the time-limit has been 
exceeded, and whether for emotional purpose I am a new 



Act. 6 5 \ TO W. JERUSALEM 297 

self. We know not what we shall become; and that is 
what makes life so interesting. Always a turn of the kalei 
doscope; and when one is utterly maimed for action, then 
the glorious time for reading other men s lives! I fairly 
revel in that prospect, which in its full richness has to be 
postponed, for I m not sufficiently maimed-for-action yet. 
By going slowly and alone, I find I can compass such things 
as the Giant s Washbowl, Beaver Meadow Falls, etc., and 
they make me feel very good. I have even been dallying 
with the temptation to visit Cameron Forbes at Manila; 
but I have put it behind me for this year at least. I think 
I shall probably give some more lectures (of a much less 
"popular" sort) at Columbia next winter so you see 
there s life in the old dog yet. Nevertheless, how different 
from the life that courses through your arteries and capil 
laries! Today is the first honestly fine day there has been 
since I arrived here on the 2nd. (They must have been heav 
ily rained on at Panther Gorge yesterday evening.) After 
writing a couple more letters I will take a book and repair 
to "Mosso s Ledge" for the enjoyment of the prospect. . . . 

To W. Jerusalem (Vienna). 

ST. HUBERT S, N.Y. Sept. 15, 1907. 

DEAR PROFESSOR JERUSALEM, Your letter of the ist 
of September, forwarded from Cambridge, reaches me here 
in the Adirondack Mountains today. I am glad the pub 
lisher is found, and that you are enjoying the drudgery of 
translating ["Pragmatism"]. Also that you find the book 
more and more in agreement with your own philosophy. I 
fear that its untechnicality of style or rather its delib 
erate ^//-technicality will make the German Gelehrtes 
Publikum? as well as the professors, consider it oberfldch- 

1 Learned public. 



298 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1907 

liches Zeug l which it assuredly is not, although, being only 
a sketch, it ought to be followed by something tighter and 
abounding in discriminations. Pragmatism is an unlucky 
word in some respects, and the two meanings I give for it 
are somewhat heterogeneous. But it was already in vogue 
in France and Italy as well as in England and America, and 
it was tactically advantageous to use it. ... 

To Henry James. 

STONEHURST, INTERVALE, N.H., Oct. 6, 1907. 

DEAREST BROTHER, I write this at the [James] Bryces , 
who have taken the Merrimans house for the summer, and 
whither I came the day before yesterday, after closing our 
Chocorua house, and seeing Alice leave for home. We had 
been there a fortnight, trying to get some work done, and 
having to do most of it with our own hands, or rather with 
Alice s heroic hands, for mine are worth almost nothing in 
these degenerate days. It is enough to make your heart 
break to see the scarcity of "labor," and the whole country 
tells the same story. Our future at Chocorua is a some 
what problematic one, though I think we shall manage to 
pass next summer there and get it into better shape for good 
renting, thereafter, at any cost (not the renting but the shap 
ing). After that what / want is a free foot, and the children 
are now not dependent on a family summer any longer. . . . 

I spent the first three weeks of September warm ones 
- in my beloved and exquisite Keene Valley, where I was 
able to do a good deal of uphill walking, with good rather 
than bad effects, much to my joy. Yesterday I took a three 
hours walk here, three quarters of an hour of it uphill. I 
have to go alone, and slowly; but it s none the worse for 
that and makes one feel like old times. I leave this P.M. for 
two more days at Chocorua at the hotel. The fall is 

1 Superficial stuff. 

X 



Act. 6 5 \ TO HENRY JAMES 299 

late, but the woods are beginning to redden beautifully. 
With the sun behind them, some maples look like stained- 
glass windows. But the penury of the human part of this 
region is depressing, and I begin to have an appetite for 
Europe again. Alice too! To be at Cambridge with no 
lecturing and no students to nurse along with their thesis- 
work is an almost incredibly delightful prospect. I am 
going to settle down to the composition of another small 
book, more original and ground-breaking than anything I 
have yet put forth (!), which I expect to print by the spring; 
after which I can lie back and write at leisure more routine 
things for the rest of my days. 

The Bryces are wholly unchanged, excellent friends and 
hosts, and I like her as much as him. The trouble with 
him is that his insatiable love of information makes him 
try to pump you all the time instead of letting you pump 
him, and I have let my own tongue wag so, that, when 
gone, I shall feel like a fool, and remember all kinds of things 
that I have forgotten to ask him. I have just been reading 
to Mrs. B., with great gusto on her part and renewed gusto 
on mine, the first few pages of your chapter on Florida in 
"The American Scene." Kostlich stuff! I had just been 
reading to myself almost 50 pages of the New England part 
of the book, and fairly melting with delight over the Cho- 
corua portion. Evidently that book will last, and bear 
reading over and over again a few pages at a time, which 
is the right way for "literature" fitly so called. It all 
makes me wish that we had you here again, and you will 
doubtless soon come. I must n t forget to thank you for 
the gold pencil-case souvenir. I have had a plated silver 
one for a year past, now worn through, and experienced 
what a "comfort" they are. Good-bye, and Heaven bless 
you. Your loving 

W. J. 



3 oo LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 90 8 

Td^Theodore F/ournoy. 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 2, 1908. 

... I am just back from the American Philosophical 
Association, which had a really delightful meeting at Cor 
nell University in the State of New York. Mostly episte- 
mological. We are getting to know each other and under 
stand each other better, and shall do so year by year. 
Everyone cursed my doctrine and Schiller s about "truth." 
I think it largely is misunderstanding, but it is also due to 
our having expressed our meaning very ill. The general 
blanket-word pragmatism covers so many different opin 
ions, that it naturally arouses irritation to see it flourished 
as a revolutionary flag. I am also partly to blame here; but 
it was tactically wise to use it as a title. Far more persons 
have had their attention attracted, and the result has been 
that everybody has been forced to think. Substantially I 
have nothing to alter in what I have said. . . . 

I have just read the first half of Fechner s "Zend-Avesta," 
a wonderful book, by a wonderful genius. He had his 
vision and he knows how to discuss it, as no one s vision 
ever was discussed. 

I may tell you in confidence (I don t talk of it here be 
cause my damned arteries may in the end make me give 
it up for a year past I have a sort of angina when I make 
efforts) that I have accepted an invitation to give eight 
public lectures at Oxford next May. I was ashamed to 
refuse; but the work of preparing them will be hard (the 
title is "The Present Situation in Philosophy" x ) and they 
doom me to relapse into the "popular lecture" form just 
as I thought I had done with it forever. (What I wished 
to write this winter was something ultra dry in form, im 
personal and exact.) I find that my free and easy and per 
sonal way of writing, especially in "Pragmatism," has 

1 The lectures were published as A Pluralistic Universe. 



Act. 66} TO HIS DAUGHTER 301 

made me an object of loathing to many respectable a:a- 
demic minds, and I am rather tired of awakening that feel 
ing, which more popular lecturing on my part will probably 
destine me to increase. 

... I have been with Strong, who goes to Rome this 
month. Good, truth-loving man! and a very penetrating 
mind. I think he will write a great book. We greatly 
enjoyed seeing your friend Schwarz, the teacher. A fine 
fellow who will, I hope, succeed. 

A happy New Year to you now, dear Flournoy, and 
loving regards from us all to you all. Yours as ever 

WM. JAMES. 

To Norman Kemp Smith. 

[Post-card] 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 31, 1908. 

I have only just "got round" to your singularly solid and 
compact study of Avenarius in "Mind." I find it clear and 
very clarifying, after the innumerable hours I have spent 
in trying to dishevel him. I have read the "Weltbegriff" 
three times, and have half expected to have to read both 
books over again to assimilate his immortal message to 
man, of which I have hitherto been able to make nothing. 
You set me free! I shall not re-read him! but leave him to 
his spiritual dryness and preposterous pedantry. His only 
really original idea seems to be that of the Vitalreihe y and 
that, so far as I can see, is quite false, certainly no improve 
ment on the notion of adaptive reflex actions. 

WM. JAMES. 

To his Daughter. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 2, 1908. 

DARLING PEG, You must have wondered at my silence 
since your dear mother returned. I hoped to write to you 



302 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 90 8 

each day, but the strict routine of my hours now crowded 
it out. I write on my Oxford job till one, then lunch, then 
nap, then to my . . . doctor at four daily, and from then 
till dinner-time making calls, and keeping "out" as much as 
possible. To bed as soon after 8 as possible all my odd 
reading done between 3 and 5 A.M., an hour not favorable 
for letter-writing so that my necessary business notes 
have to get in just before dinner (as now) or after dinner, 
which I hate and try to avoid. I think I see my way clear 
to go [to Oxford] now, if I don t get more fatigued than at 
present. Four and a quarter lectures are fully written, and 
the rest are down-hill work, much raw material being ready 
now. . . . 

To Henry James. 

CAMBRIDGE, April 15, 1908. 

DEAREST HENRY, Your good letter to Harry has brought 
news of your play, of which I had only seen an enigmatic 
paragraph in the papers. I m right glad it is a success, 
and that such good artists as the Robertsons are in it. I 
hope it will have a first-rate run in London. Your apologies 
for not writing are the most uncalled-for things your 
assiduity and the length of your letters to this family are a 
standing marvel especially considering the market-value 
of your "copy"! So waste no more in that direction. T is 
I who should be prostrating myself silent as I ve been 
for months in spite of the fact that I m so soon to descend 
upon you. The fact is I ve been trying to compose the 
accursed lectures in a state of abominable brain-fatigue a 
race between myself and time. I Ve got six now done 
out of the eight, so I m safe, but sorry that the infernal 
nervous condition that with me always accompanies literary 
production must continue at Oxford and add itself to the 



Aet. 66} TO MISS PAULINE GOLDMARK 303 

other fatigues a fixed habit of wakefulness, etc. I ought 
not to have accepted, but they Ve panned out good, so far, 
and if I get through them successfully, I shall be very glad 
that the opportunity came. They will be a good thing to 
have done. Previously, in such states of fatigue, I have had 
a break and got away, but this time no day without its half 
dozen pages but the thing hangs on so long! . . . 

To Henry James. 

R. M. S. IVERNIA, 
[Arriving at Liverpool], Apr. 29, 1908. 

DEAR H., Your letter of the 26th, unstamped or post 
marked, has just been wafted into our lap I suppose 
mailed under another cover to the agent s care. 

I m glad you re not hurrying from Paris I feared you 
might be awaiting us in London, and wrote you a letter 
yesterday to the Reform Club, which you will doubtless 
get ere you get this, telling you of our prosperous though 
tedious voyage in good condition. 

We cut out London and go straight to Oxford, via Chester. 
I have been sleeping like a top, and feel in good fighting trim 
again, eager for the scalp of the Absolute. My lectures will 
put his wretched clerical defenders fairly on the defensive. 
They begin on Monday. Since you 11 have the whole 
months of May and June, if you urge it, to see us, I pray 
you not to hasten back from "gay Paree" for the pur 
pose. . . . Up since two A.M. 

W. J. 

To Miss Pauline Goldmark. 

PATTERDALE, ENGLAND, July 2, 1908. 

Your letter, beloved Pauline, greeted me on my arrival 
here three hours ago. . . . How I do wish that I could be in 



3 o 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1908 

Italy alongside of you now, now or any time! You could 
do me so much good, and your ardor of enjoyment of the 
country, the towns and the folk would warm up my cold 
soul. I might even learn to speak Italian by conversing 
in that tongue with you. But I fear that you d find me 
betraying the coldness of my soul by complaining of the 
heat of my body a most unworthy attitude to strike. 
Dear Paolina, never, never think of whether your body is 
hot or cold; live in the objective world, above such miserable 
considerations. I have been up here eight days, Alice 
having gone down last Saturday, the 27th, to meet Peggy 
and Harry at London, after only two days of it. After all 
the social and other fever of- the past six and a half weeks 
(save for the blessed nine days at Bibury), it looked like the 
beginning of a real vacation, and it would be such but for 
the extreme heat, and the accident of one of my recent 
malignant "colds" beginning. I have been riding about 
on stage-coaches for five days past, but the hills are so tree 
less that one gets little shade, and the sun s glare is tre 
mendous. It is a lovely country, however, for pedestrian- 
izing in cooler weather. Mountains and valleys compressed 
together as in the Adirondacks, great reaches of pink and 
green hillside and lovely lakes, the higher parts quite fully 
alpine in character but for the fact that no snow mountains 
form the distant background. A strong and noble region, 
well worthy of one s life-long devotion, if one were a Briton. 
And on the whole, what a magnificent land and race is this 
Britain! Every thing about them is of better quality than 
the corresponding thing in the U.S. with but few excep 
tions, I imagine. And the equilibrium is so well achieved, 
and the human tone so cheery, blithe and manly! and the 
manners so delightfully good. Not one unwholesome-looking 
man or woman does one meet here for 250 that one meets 



Aet. 66} TO MISS PAULINE GOLDMARK 305 

in America. Yet I believe (or suspect) that ours is event 
ually the bigger destiny, if we can only succeed in living 
up to it, and thou in 22nd St. and I in Irving St. must do 
our respective strokes, which after 1000 years will help to 
have made the glorious collective resultant. Meanwhile, as 
my brother Henry once wrote, thank God for a world that 
holds so rich an England, so rare an Italy! Alice is entirely 
aufgegangen in her idealization of it. And truly enough, 
the gardens, the manners, the manliness are an excuse. 

But profound as is my own moral respect and admiration, 
for a vacation give me the Continent! The civilization here 
is too heavy, too stodgy ^ if one could use so unamiable a 
word. The very stability and good-nature of all things 
(of course we are leaving out the slum-life!) rest on the 
basis of the national stupidity, or rather unintellectuality, 
on which as on a safe foundation of non-explosible material, 
the magnificent minds of the elite of the race can coruscate 
as they will, safely. Not until those weeks at Oxford, and 
these days at Durham, have I,, had any sense of what a 
part the Church plays in the national life. So massive and 
all-pervasive, so authoritative, and on the whole so decent, 
in spite of the iniquity and farcicality of the whole thing. 
Never were incompatibles so happily yoked together. Talk 
about the genius of Romanism! It s nothing to the genius 
of Anglicanism, for Catholicism still contains some haggard 
elements, that ally it with the Palestinian desert, whereas 
Anglicanism remains obese and round and comfortable and 
decent with this world s decencies, without an acute note in 
its whole life or history, in spite of the shrill Jewish words 
on which its ears are fed, and the nitro-glycerine of the 
Gospels and Epistles which has been injected into its veins. 
Strange feat to have achieved! Yet the success is great 
the whole Church-machine makes for all sorts of graces and 



3 o6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1908 

decencies, and is not incompatible with a high type of 
Churchman, high, that is, on the side of moral and worldly 
virtue. . . . 

How I wish you were beside me at this moment! A 
breeze has arisen on the Lake which is spread out before the 
"smoking-room" window at which I write, and is very 
grateful. The lake much resembles Lake George. Your 
ever grateful and loving 

W. J. 

To Charles Eliot Norton. 

PATTERDALE, ENGLAND, July 6, 1908. 

DEAR CHARLES, Going to Coniston Lake the other day 
and seeing the moving little Ruskin Museum at Coniston 
(admission a penny) made me think rather vividly of you, 
and make a resolution to write to you on the earliest op 
portunity. It was truly moving to see such a collection of 
R. s busy handiwork, exquisite and loving, in the way of 
drawing, sketching, engraving and note-taking, and also 
such a varied lot of photographs of him, especially in his 
old age. Glorious old Don Quixote that he was! At 
Durham, where Alice and I spent three and a half delightful 
days at the house of F. B. Jevons, Principal of one of the 
two colleges of which the University is composed, I had a 
good deal of talk with the very remarkable octogenarian 
Dean of the Cathedral and Lord of the University, a 
thorough liberal, or rather radical, in his mind, with a voice 
like a bell, and an alertness to match, who had been a 
college friend of Ruskin s and known him intimately all his 
life, and loved him. He knew not of his correspondence with 
you, of which I have been happy to be able to order Kent of 
Harvard Square to send him a copy. His name is Kitchin. 

The whole scene at Durham was tremendously impres- 



Aet. 66} TO CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 307 

sive (though York Cathedral made the stronger impression 
on me). It was so unlike Oxford, so much more American 
in its personnel, in a way, yet nestling in the very bosom 
of those mediaeval stage-properties and ecclesiastical-prin 
cipality suggestions. Oxford is all spread out in length and 
breadth, Durham concentrated in depth and thickness. 
There is a great deal of flummery about Oxford, but I think 
if I were an Oxonian, in spite of my radicalism generally, I 
might vote against ail change there. It is an absolutely 
unique fruit of human endeavor, and like the cathedrals, 
can never to the end of time be reproduced, when the 
conditions that once made it are changed. Let other places 
of learning go in for all the improvements! The world can 
afford to keep her one Oxford unreformed. I know that 
this is a superficial judgment in both ways, for Oxford does 
manage to keep pace with the utilitarian spirit, and at the 
same time preserve lots of her flummery unchanged. On 
the whole it is a thoroughly democratic place, so far as 
aristocracy in the strict sense goes. But I m out of it, and 
doubt whether I want ever to put foot into it again. . . . 

England has changed in many respects. The West End 
of London, which used at this season to be so impressive 
from its splendor, is now a mixed and mongrel horde of 
straw hats and cads of every description. Motor-buses 
of the most brutal sort have replaced the old carriages, 
Bond and Regent Streets are cheap-jack shows, everything 
is tumultuous and confused and has run down in quality. 
I have been "motoring" a good deal through this "Lake 
District," owing to the kindness of some excellent people 
in the hotel, dissenters who rejoice in the name of Squance 
and inhabit the neighborhood of Durham. It is wondrous 
fine, but especially adapted to trampers, which I no longer 
am. Altogether England seems to have got itself into a 



3 o8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 90 8 

magnificently fine state of civilization, especially in regard 
to the cheery and wholesome tone of manners of the people, 
improved as it is getting to be by the greater infusion of the 
democratic temper. Everything here seems about twice 
as good as the corresponding thing with us. But 1 suspect 
we have the bigger eventual destiny after all; and give us 
a thousand years and we may catch up in many details. 
I think of you as still at Cambridge, and I do hope that 
physical ills are bearing on more gently. Lily, too, I hope 
is her well self again. You must n t think of answering this, 
which is only an ejaculation of friendship I shall be home 
almost before you can get an answer over. Love to all your 
circle, including Theodora, whom I miss greatly. Affec 
tionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Henri Bergson. 

LAMB HOUSE, July 28, 1908. 

DEAR BERGSON, (can t we cease "Professor "-ing each 
other? that title establishes a "disjunctive relation" 
between man and man, and our relation should be "endos- 
motic" socially as well as intellectually, I think), 

Jacta est alea> I am not to go to Switzerland! I find, after 
a week or more here, that the monotony and simplification is 
doing my nervous centres so much good, that my wife has 
decided to go off with our daughter to Geneva, and to leave 
me alone with my brother here, for repairs. It is a great 
disappointment in other ways than in not seeing you, but 
I know that it is best. Perhaps later in the season the 
Zusammenkunft may take place, for nothing is decided 
beyond the next three weeks. 

Meanwhile let me say how rarely delighted your letter 
made me. There are many points in your philosophy which 



Act. 66} LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES 309 

I don t yet grasp, but I have seemed to myself to under 
stand your anti-intellectualistic campaign very clearly, and 
that I have really done it so well in your opinion makes me 
proud. I am sending your letter to Strong, partly out of 
vanity, partly because of your reference to him. It does 
seem to me that philosophy is turning towards a new orien 
tation. Are you a reader of Fechner? I wish that you 
would read his "Zend-Avesta," which in the second edition 
(1904, I think) is better printed and much easier to read 
than it looks at the first glance. He seems to me of the real 
race of prophets, and I cannot help thinking that you, in 
particular, if not already acquainted with this book, would 
find it very stimulating and suggestive. His day, I fancy, 
is yet to come. I will write no more now, but merely ex 
press my regret (and hope) and sign myself, yours most 
warmly and sincerely, 

WM. JAMES. 

The subject of the next letter was a volume of "Essays 
Philosophical and Psychological, in Honor of William 
James," x by nineteen contributors, which had been issued 
by Columbia University in the spring of 1908. A note at 
the beginning of the book said: "This volume is intended 
to mark in some degree its authors sense of Professor James s 
memorable services in philosophy and psychology, the vital 
ity he has added to those studies, and the encouragement 
that has flowed from him to colleagues without number. 
Early in 1907, at the invitation of Columbia University, he 
delivered a course of lectures there, and met the members of 
the Philosophical and Psychological Departments on several 
occasions for social discussion. They have an added motive 
for the present work in the recollections of this visit." 

1 New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1908. 



3 io LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [ I9o8 

To John Dewey. 

RYE, SUSSEX, Aug. 4, 1908. 

DEAR DEWEY, I don t know whether this will find you 
in the Adirondacks or elsewhere, but I hope t will be on 
East Hill. My own copy of the Essays in my "honor," 
which took me by complete surprise on the eve of my de 
parture, was too handsome to take along, so I have but 
just got round to reading the book, which I find at my 
brother Henry s, where I have recently come. It is a 
masterly set of essays of which we may all be proud, dis 
tinguished by good style, direct dealing with the facts, and 
hot running on the trail of truth, regardless of previous con 
ventions and categories. I am sure it hitches the subject 
of epistemology a good day s journey ahead, and proud 
indeed am I that it should be dedicated to my memory. 

Your own contribution is to my mind the most weighty 
unless perhaps Strong s should prove to be so. I rejoice 
exceedingly that you should have got it out. No one yet 
has succeeded, it seems to me, in jumping into the centre 
of your vision. Once there, all the perspectives are clear 
and open; and when you or some one else of us shall have 
spoken the exact word that opens the centre to everyone, 
mediating between it and the old categories and prejudices, 
people will wonder that there ever could have been any 
other philosophy. That it is the philosophy of the future, 
I 11 bet my life. Admiringly and affectionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

LAMB HOUSE, RYE, Aug. 9, 1908. 

DEAR FLOURNOY, I can t make out from my wife s 
letters whether she has seen you face to face, or only heard 
accounts of you from Madame Flournoy. She reports you 



Aet.66\ TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 311 

very tired from the "Congress"-- but I don t know what 
Congress has been meeting at Geneva just now. I don t 
suppose that you will go to the philosophical congress at 
Heidelberg I certainly shall not. I doubt whether philos 
ophers will gain so much by talking with each other as 
other classes of Gelehrten do. One needs to frequenter a 
colleague daily for a month before one can begin to under 
stand him. It seems to me that the collective life of philos 
ophers is little more than an organization of misunder 
standings. I gave eight lectures at Oxford, but besides 
Schiller and one other tutor, only two persons ever men 
tioned them to me, and those were the two heads of Man 
chester College by whom I had been invited. Philosophical 
work it seems to me must go on in silence and in print 
exclusively. 

You will have heard (either directly or indirectly) from 
my wife of my reasons for not accompanying them to Gen 
eva. I have been for more than three weeks now at my 
brother s, and am much better for the simplification. I am 
very sorry not to have met with you, but I think I took the 
prudent course in staying away. 

I have just read Miss Johnson s report in the last S. P. R. 
"Proceedings," and a good bit of the proofs of Piddington s 
on cross-correspondences between Mrs. Piper, Mrs. Verrall, 
and Mrs. Holland, which is to appear in the next number. 
You will be much interested, if you can gather the philo 
sophical energy, to go through such an amount of tiresome 
detail. It seems to me that these reports open a new chap 
ter in the history of automatism; and Piddington s and 
Johnson s ability is of the highest order. Evidently " autom 
atism" is a word that covers an extraordinary variety of 
fact. I suppose that you have on the whole been gratified 
by the "vindication" of Eusapia [Paladino] at the hands of 



3 i2 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 90 8 

Morselli et al. in Italy. Physical phenomena also seem to 
be entering upon a new phase in their history. 

Well, I will stop, this is only a word of greeting and regret 
at not seeing you. I got your letter of many weeks ago when 
we were at Oxford. Don t take the trouble to write now 
my wife will bring me all the news of you and your family, 
and will have given you all mine. Love to Madame F. and 
all the young ones, too, please. Your ever affectionate 

W. J. 

To Shadworth H. Hodgson. 

PAIGNTON, S. DEVON, Oct. 3, 1908. 

DEAR HODGSON, I have been five months in England 
(you have doubtless heard of my lecturing at Oxford) yet 
never given you a sign of life. The reason is that I have 
sedulously kept away from London, which I admire, but at 
my present time of life abhor, and only touched it two or 
three times for thirty-six hours to help my wife do her 
"shopping" (strange use for an elderly philosopher to be 
put to). The last time I was in London, about a month ago, 
I called at your affectionately remembered No. 45, only to 
find you gone to Yorkshire, as I feared I should. I go back 
in an hour, en route for Liverpool, whence, with wife and 
daughter, I sail for Boston in the Saxonia. I am literally 
enchanted with rural England, yet I doubt whether I ever 
return. I never had a fair chance of getting acquainted 
with the country here, and if I were a stout pedestrian, which 
I no longer am, I think I should frequent this land every 
summer. But in my decrepitude I must make the best of 
the more effortless relations which I enjoy with nature in 
my own country. I have seen many philosophers, at 
Oxford, especially, and James Ward at Cambridge; but, 
apart from very few conversations, did n t get at close 



Aet. 66} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 313 

quarters with any of them, and they probably gained as 
little from me as I from them. "We are columns left alone, 
of a temple once complete." The power of mutual mis 
understanding in philosophy seems infinite, and grows dis 
couraging. Schiller of course, and his pragmatic friend Cap 
tain Knox, James Ward, and McDougall, stand out as the 
most satisfactory talkers. But there is too much fencing and 
scoring of "points" at Oxford to make construction active. 
Good-bye! dear Hodgson, and pray think of me with a 
little of the affection and intellectual interest with which I 
always think of you. My Oxford lectures won t appear till 
next April. Don t read the extracts which the "Hibbert 
Journal" is publishing. They are torn out of their natural 
setting. I have, as you probably know, ceased teaching and 
am enjoying a Carnegie pension. Yours ever fondly, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Theodore Flo urn oy. 

LONDON, Oct. 4, 1908. 

DEAR FLOURNOY, I got your delightful letter duly two 
weeks ago, or more. I always have a bad conscience on 
receiving a letter from you, because I feel as if I forced you 
to write it, and I know too well by your own confessions (as 
well as by my own far less extreme experience of reluctance 
to write) what a nuisance and an effort letters are apt to 
be. But no matter! this letter of yours was a good one 
indeed. . . . 

We sail from Liverpool the day after tomorrow, and to 
morrow will be a busy day winding up our affairs and mak 
ing some last purchases of small things. Alice has an in 
satiable desire (as Mrs. Flournoy may have noticed at 
Geneva) to increase her possessions, whilst I, like an Amer 
ican Tolstoy, wish to diminish them. The most convenient 



3 i 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [ I90 s 

arrangement for a Tolstoy is to have an anti-Tolstoyan 
wife to "run the house" for him. We have been for three 
days in Devonshire, and for four days at Oxford previous 
to that. Extraordinary warm summer weather, with ex 
quisite atmospheric effects. I am extremely glad to leave 
England with my last optical images so beautiful. In any 
case the harmony and softness of the landscape of rural 
England probably excels everything in the world in that 
line. 

At Oxford I saw McDougall and Schiller quite intimately, 
also Schiller s friend, Capt. Knox, who, retired from the 
army, lives at Griindelwald, and is an extremely acute 
mind, and fine character, I should think. He is a militant 
"Pragmatist." Before that I spent three days at Cam 
bridge, where again I saw James Ward intimately. I 
prophesy that if he gets his health again ... he will become 
also a militant pluralist of some sort. I think he has worked 
out his original monistic-theistic vein and is steering straight 
towards a "critical point" where the umbrella will turn 
inside out, and not go back. I hope so! I made the ac 
quaintance of Boutroux here last week. He came to the 
"Moral Education Congress" where he made a very fine 
address. I find him very simpatico. 

But the best of all these meetings has been one of three 
hours this very morning with Bergson, who is here visit 
ing his relatives. So modest and unpretending a man, but 
such a genius intellectually! We talked very easily to 
gether, or rather he talked easily, for he talked much more 
than I did, and although I can t say that I follow the folds 
of his system much more clearly than I did before, he 
has made some points much plainer. I have the strong 
est suspicions that the tendency which he has brought to 
a focus will end by prevailing, and that the present epoch 




William James and Henry Clement, at the "Putnam Shanty," 
in the Adirondacks (1907?). 



Aet.66] TO HENRI BERGSON 315 

will be a sort of turning-point in the history of philoso 
phy. So many things converge towards an anti-rational 
istic crystallization. 

Qui vivra verra! 

I am very glad indeed to go on board ship. For two 
months I have been more than ready to get back to my own 
habits, my own library and writing-table and bed. ... I 
wish you, and all of you, a prosperous and healthy and 
resultful winter, and am, with old-time affection, your ever 
faithful friend, 

WM. JAMES. 

If the duty of writing weighs so heavily on you, why 
obey it? Why, for example, write any more reviews? I 
absolutely refuse to, and find that one great alleviation. 

To Henri Bergs on. 

LONDON, Oct. 4, 1908. 

DEAR BERGSON, My brother was sorry that you 
could n t come. He wishes me to say that he is returning 
to Rye the day after tomorrow and is so engaged tomorrow 
that he will postpone the pleasure of meeting you to some 
future opportunity. 

I need hardly repeat how much I enjoyed our talk today. 
You must take care of yourself and economize all your 
energies for your own creative work. I want very much 
to see what you will have to say on the Substanzbegrijff! 
Why should life be so short? I wish that you and I and 
Strong and Flournoy and McDougall and Ward could live 
on some mountain-top for a month, together, and whenever 
we got tired of philosophizing, calm our minds by taking 
refuge in the scenery. 

Always truly yours, 

WM. JAMES. 



3 i6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 90 8 

To H. G. Wells. 

CAMBRIDGE, Nov. 28, 1908. 

DEAR WELLS, "First and Last Things" is a great 
achievement. The first two "books" should be entitled 
"philosophy without humbug" and used as a textbook in 
all the colleges of the world. You have put your finger 
accurately on the true emphases, and in the main on 
what seem to me the true solutions (you are more monis 
tic in your faith than I should be, but as long as you only 
call it "faith," that s your right and privilege), and the sim 
plicity of your statements ought to make us "professionals" 
blush. I have been 35 years on the way to similar conclu 
sions simply because I started as a professional and 
had to debrouiller them from all the traditional school rub 
bish. 

The other two books exhibit you in the character of 
the Tolstoy of the English world. A sunny and healthy- 
minded Tolstoy, as he is a pessimistic and morbid-minded 
Wells. Where the "higher synthesis" will be born, who 
shall combine the pair of you, Heaven only knows. But 
you are carrying on the same function, not only in that 
neither of your minds is boxed and boarded up like the 
mind of an ordinary human being, but all the contents down 
to the very bottom come out freely and unreservedly and 
simply, but in that you both have the power of contagious 
speech, and set the similar mood vibrating in the reader. 
Be happy in that such power has been put into your hands! 
This book is worth any 100 volumes on Metaphysics and 
any 200 of Ethics, of the ordinary sort. 

Yours, with friendliest regards to Mrs. Wells, most sin 
cerely, 

WM. JAMES. 



Aet. 66} TO HENRY JAMES 317 

To Henry James. 

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 19, 1908. 

DEAREST H., ... I write this at 6.30 [A.M.], in the 
library, which the blessed hard-coal fire has kept warm all 
night. The night has been still, thermometer 20, and the 
dawn is breaking in a pure red line behind Grace Norton s 
house, into a sky empty save for a big morning star and 
the crescent of the waning moon. Not a cloud a true 
American winter effect. But somehow "le grand puits de 
1 aurore" doesn t appeal to my sense of life, or challenge 
my spirits as formerly. It suggests no more enterprises to 
the decrepitude of age, which vegetates along, drawing 
interest merely on the investment of its earlier enterprises. 
The accursed "thoracic symptom" is a killer of enterprise 
with me, and I dare say that it is little better with you. 
But the less said of it the better it does n t diminish! 

My time has been consumed by interruptions almost 
totally, until a week ago, when I finally got down seriously 
to work upon my Hodgson report. It means much more 
labor than one would suppose, and very little result. I 
wish that I had never undertaken it. I am sending off a 
preliminary installment of it to be read at the S. P. R. 
meeting in January. That done, the rest will run off easily, 
and in a month I expect to actually begin the "Introduc 
tion to Philosophy," which has been postponed so long, 
and which I hope will add to income for a number of years 
to come. Your Volumes XIII and XIV arrived the other 
day many thanks. We re subscribing to two copies of 
the work, sending them as wedding presents. I hope it 
will sell. Very enticing-looking, but I can t settle down 
to the prefaces as yet, the only thing I have been able to 
read lately being Lowes Dickinson s last book, "Justice and 
Liberty," which seems to me a decidedly big achievement 



3 i 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1909 

from every point of view, and probably destined to have a 
considerable influence in moulding the opinion of the edu 
cated. Stroke upon stroke, from pens of genius, the compet 
itive regime, so idolized 75 years ago, seems to be getting 
wounded to death. What will follow will be something 
better, but I never saw so clearly the slow effect of [the] 
accumulation of the influence of successive individuals in 
changing prevalent ideals. Wells and Dickinson will un 
doubtedly make the biggest steps of change. . . . 

Well dear brother! a merry Christmas to you to you 
both, I trust, for I fancy Aleck will be with you when this 
arrives and a happy New Year at its tail! Your loving 

W. J. 

To T. S. Perry. 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 29, 1909. 

BELOVED THOMAS, cher maitre et confrere, Your de 
lightful letter about my Fechner article and about your 
having become a professional philosopher yourself came to 
hand duly, four days ago, and filled the heart of self and 
wife with joy. I always knew you was one, for to be a real 
philosopher all that is necessary is to hate some one else s 
type of thinking, and if that some one else be a represent 
ative of the "classic" type of thought, then one is a prag- 
matist and owns the fulness of the truth. Fechner is in 
deed a dear, and I am glad to have introduced, so to speak, 
his speculations to the English world, although the Revd. 
Elwood Worcester has done so in a somewhat more limited 
manner in a recent book of his called "The Living Word" 
- (Worcester of Emmanuel Church, I mean, whom every 
one has now begun to fall foul of for trying to reanimate 
the Church s healing virtue). Another case of newspaper 
crime! The reporters all got hold of it with their mega- 



Act. 67} TO T. & PERRY 319 

phones, and made the nation sick of the sound of its name. 
Whereas in former ages men strove hard for fame, obscurity 
is now the one thing to be striven for. orfame, all one need 
do is to exist; and the reporter will do the rest especially 
if you give them the address of your fotographer. I hope 
you re a spelling reformer I send you the last publication 
from that quarter. I m sure that simple spelling will make 
a page look better, just as a crowd looks better if everyone s 
clothes fit. 

Apropos of pragmatism, a learned Theban named 

has written a circus-performance of which he is the clown, 
called "Anti-pragmatisme." It has so much verve and 
good spirit that I feel like patting him on the back, and 
"sicking him on," but Lord! what a fool! I think I shall 
leave it unnoticed. I m tired of reexplaining what is already 
explained to satiety. Let them say, now, for it is their turn, 
what the relation called truth consists in, what it is known as! 

I have had you on my mind ever since Jan. ist, when 
we had our Friday evening Club-dinner, and I was deputed 
to cable you a happy New Year. The next day I could n t 
get to the telegraph office; the day after I said to myself, 
"I ll save the money, and save him the money, for if he 
gets a cable, he 11 be sure to cable back; so I ll write"; the 
following day, I forgot to; the next day I postponed the 
act; so from postponement to postponement, here I am. 
Forgive, forgive! Most affectionate remarks were made 
about you at the dinner, which generally does n t err by wast 
ing words on absentees, even on those gone to eternity. . . . 

I have just got off my report on the Hodgson control, 
which has stuck to my fingers all this time. It is a hedging 
sort of an affair, and I don t know what the Perry family 
will think of it. The truth is that the "case" is a particu 
larly poor one for testing Mrs. Piper s claim to bring back 



320 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [ I909 

spirits. It is leakier than any other case, and intrinsically, 
I think, no stronger than many of her other good cases, 
certainly weaker than the G. P. case. I am also now en 
gaged in writing a popular article, "the avowals of a psychi 
cal researcher," for the "American Magazine," in which 
I simply state without argument my own convictions, and 
put myself on record. I think that public opinion is just 
now taking a step forward in these matters vide the 
Eusapian boom! and possibly both these Schriften of mine 
will add their influence. Thank you for the Charmes re 
ception and for the earthquake correspondence! I envy 
you in clean and intelligent Paris, though our winter is 
treating us very mildly. A lovely sunny day today! Love 
to all of you ! Yours fondly, 

W. J. 

The "Charmes reception" was a report of the speeches 
at the French Academy s reception of Francis Charmes. 
The "Eusapian boom" will have been understood to refer 
to current discussions of the medium Eusapia Paladino. 

The next letter refers to a paper in which both James 
and Miinsterberg had been "attacked" in such a manner 
that Miinsterberg proposed to send a protest to the Ameri 
can Psychological Association. 

To Hugo Miinsterberg. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mar. 16, 1909. 

DEAR MUNSTERBERG, Witmer has sent me the corpus 
delicti, and I find myself curiously unmoved. In fact he 
takes so much trouble over me, and goes at the job with 
such zest that I feel like "sicking him on," as they say to 
dogs. Perhaps the honor of so many pages devoted to one 



Aet. 67} TO JOHN JAY CHAPMAN 321 

makes up for the dishonor of their content. It is really a 
great compliment to have anyone take so much trouble 
about one. Think of copying all Wundt s notes! 

But, dear Miinsterberg, I hope you ll withdraw a second 
time your protest. I think it undignified to take such an 
attack seriously. Its excessive dimensions (in my case at 
any rate), and the smallness and remoteness of the provo 
cation, stamp it as simply eccentric, and to show sensitive 
ness only gives it importance in the eyes of readers who 
otherwise would only smile at its extravagance. Besides, 
since these temperamental antipathies exist why is n t it 
healthy that they should express themselves? For my 
part, I feel rather glad than otherwise that psychology is 
so live a subject that psychologists should "go for" each 
other in this way, and I think it all ought to happen inside 
of our Association. We ought to cultivate tough hides 
there, so I hope that you will withdraw the protest. I have 
mentioned it only to Royce, and will mention it to no one 
else. I don t like the notion of Harvard people seeming 
"touchy"! Your fellow victim, 

W. J. 

To John Jay Chapman. 

CAMBRIDGE, Apr. 30, 1909. 

DEAR JACK C., I m not expecting you to read my 
book, but only to "give me a thought" when you look at 
the cover. A certain witness at a poisoning case was asked 
how the corpse looked. " Pleasant-like and foaming at the 
mouth," was the reply. A good description of you, describ 
ing philosophy, in your letter. All that you say is true, 
and yet the conspiracy has to be carried on by us professors. 
Reality has to be returned to, after this long circumbendibus, 
though Gavroche has it already. There are concepts, any- 



322 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 909 

how. I am glad you lost the volume. It makes one less 
in existence and ought to send up the price of the remainder. 
Blessed spring! blessed spring! Love to you both from 
yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

The next post-card was written in acknowledgment of 
Professor Palmer s comments on "A Pluralistic Universe." 

To G. H. Palmer. 

[Post-card] 

CAMBRIDGE, May 13, 1909. 

"The finest critical mind of our time!" No one can mix 
the honey and the gall as you do! My conceit appropriates 
the honey for the gall it makes indulgent allowance, as the 
inevitable watering of a pair of aged rationalist eyes at the 
effulgent sunrise of a new philosophic day ! Thanks ! thanks ! 
for the honey. 

W. J. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

CHOCORUA, June 18, 1909. 

MY DEAR FLOURNOY, You must have been wondering 
during all these weeks what has been the explanation of my 
silence. It has had two simple causes: ist, laziness; and 
2nd, uncertainty, until within a couple of days, about 
whether or not I was myself going to Geneva for the Uni 
versity Jubilee. I have been strongly tempted, not only 
by the "doctorate of theology," which you confidentially 
told me of (and which would have been a fertile subject of 
triumph over my dear friend Royce on my part, and of 
sarcasm on his part about academic distinctions, as well as 
a diverting episode generally among my friends, I being 



Act. 67] TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 323 

so essentially profane a character), but by the hope of seeing 
you, and by the prospect of a few weeks in dear old Switzer 
land again. But the economical, hygienic and domestic 
reasons were all against the journey; so a few days ago I 
ceased coquetting with the idea of it, and have finally given 
it up. This postpones any possible meeting with you till 
next summer, when I think it pretty certain that Alice and 
I and Peggy will go to Europe again, and probably stay 
there for two years. . . . 

What with the Jubilee and the Congress, dear Flournoy, 
I fear that your own summer will not yield much healing 
repose. "Go through it like an automaton" is the best 
advice I can give you. I find that it is possible, on occa 
sions of great strain, to get relief by ceasing all voluntary 
control. Do nothing, and I find that something will do 
itself! and not so stupidly in the eyes of outsiders as in one s 
own. Claparede will, I suppose, be the chief executive 
officer at the Congress. It is a pleasure to see how he is 
rising to the top among psychologists, how large a field he 
covers, and with both originality and "humanity" (in the 
sense of the omission of the superfluous and technical, and 
preference for the probable). When will the Germans learn 
that part? I have just been reading Driesch s Gifford lec 
tures, Volume II. Very exact and careful, and the work of a 
most powerful intellect. But why lug in, as he does, all 
that Kantian apparatus, when the questions he treats of are 
real enough and important enough to be handled directly 
and not smothered in that opaque and artificial veil? I 
find the book extremely suggestive, and should like to be 
lieve in its thesis, but I can t help suspecting that Driesch 
is unjust to the possibilities of purely mechanical action. 
Candle-flames, waterfalls, eddies in streams, to say nothing 
of "vortex atoms," seem to perpetuate themselves and 



3 2 4 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 909 

repair their injuries. You ought to receive very soon my 
report on Mrs. Piper s Hodgson control. Some theoretic 
remarks I make at the end may interest you. I rejoice in 
the triumph of Eusapia all along the line also in Ochoro- 
wicz s young Polish medium, whom you have seen. It looks 
at last as if something definitive and positive were in sight. 
I am correcting the proofs of a collection of what I have 
written on the subject of "truth" -it will appear in Sep 
tember under the title of "The Meaning of Truth, a Sequel 
to Pragmatism." It is already evident from the letters I 
am getting about the "Pluralistic Universe" that that book 
will ist, be read; 2nd, be rejected almost unanimously at 
first, and for very diverse reasons; but, jrd, will continue 
to be bought and referred to, and will end by strongly 
influencing English philosophy. And now, dear Flournoy, 
good-bye! and believe me with sincerest affection for Mrs. 
Flournoy and the young people as well as for yourself, 
yours faithfully, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Miss Theodora Sedgwick. 

CHOCORUA, July 12, 1909. 

DEAR THEODORA, We got your letter a week ago, and 
were very glad to hear of your prosperous installation, and 
good impressions of the place. I am sorry that Harry 
could n t go to see you the first Sunday, but hope, if he 
did n t go for yesterday, that he will do so yet. When your 
social circle gets established, and routine life set up, I am 
sure that you will like Newport very much. As for ourselves, 
the place is only just beginning to smooth out. The instru 
ments of labor had well-nigh all disappeared, and had to 
come piecemeal, each forty-eight hours after being ordered, 
so we have been using the cow as a lawn-mower, silver knives 



Act. 67} TO F. C. S. SCHILLER 325 

to carve with, and finger-nails for technical purposes gen 
erally. There is no labor known to man in which Alice 
has not indulged, and I have sought safety among the 
mosquitoes in the woods rather than remain to shirk my 
responsibilities in full view of them. We have hired a little 
mare, fearless of automobiles, we get our mail daily, we had 
company to dinner yesterday, relatives of Alice, the children 
will be here by the middle of the week, the woods are deli- 
ciously fragrant, and the weather, so far, cool in fact we 
are launched and the regular summer equilibrium will soon 
set in. The place is both pathetic and irresistible; I want 
to sell it, Alice wants to enlarge it we shall end by doing 
neither, but discuss it to~: the end of our days. 

I have just read Shaler s autobiography, and it has fairly 
haunted me with the overflowing impression of his myriad- 
minded character. Full of excesses as he was, due to his 
intense vivacity, impulsiveness, and imaginativeness, his 
centre of gravity was absolutely steady, and I knew no man 
whose sense of the larger relation of things was always so 
true and right. Of all the minds I have known, his leaves the 
largest impression, and I miss him more than I have missed 
anyone before. You ought to read the book, especially the 
autobiographic half. Good-bye, dear Theodora. Alice joins 
her love to mine, and I am, as ever, yours affectionately, 

WM. JAMES. 

To F. C. S. Schiller. 

CHOCORUA, Aug. 14, 1909. 

DEAR SCHILLER, ... I got the other day a very candid 
letter from A. S. Pringle-Pattison, about my "Pluralistic 
Universe," in which he said: "It is supremely difficult to 
accept the conclusion of an actually growing universe, an 
actual addition to the sum of being or (if that expression 



326 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1909 

be objectionable) to the intensity and scope of existence, 
to a growing God, in fact." This seems to me very signif 
icant. On such minute little snags and hooks, do all the 
"difficulties" of philosophy hang. Call them categories, 
and sacred laws, principles of reason, etc., and you have the 
actual state of metaphysics, calling all the analogies of 
phenomenal life impossibilities. 

No more lecturing from W. J., thank you! either at Ox 
ford or elsewhere. Affectionately thine, 

W. J. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

CHOCORUA, Sept. 28, 1909. 

DEAR FLOURNOY, We had fondly hoped that before 
now you might both, accepting my half-invitation, half- 
suggestion, be with us in this uncared-for-nature, so different 
from Switzerland, and you getting strengthened and re 
freshed by the change. Dieu dispose, indeed! The fact 
that is never entered into our imagination! I give up all 
hope of you this year, unless it be for Cambridge, where, 
however, the conditions of repose will be less favorable for 
you. ... I am myself going down to Cambridge on the 
fifth of October for two days of "inauguration" ceremonies 
of our new president, Lawrence Lowell. . . . There are so 
many rival universities in our country that advantage has 
to be taken of such changes to make the newspaper talk, 
and keep the name of Harvard in the public ear, so the 
occasion is to be almost as elaborate as a "Jubilee"; but I 
shall keep as much out of it as is officially possible, and 
come back to Chocorua on the 8th, to stay as late into 
October as we can, though probably not later than the 2oth, 
after which the Cambridge winter will begin. It has n t 
gone well with my health this summer, and beyond a little 



Aet. 67} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 327 

reading, I have done no work at all. I have, however, 
succeeded during the past year in preparing a volume on 
the "Meaning of Truth" already printed papers for the 
most part which you will receive in a few days after 
getting this letter, and which I think may help you to set 
the "pragmatic" account of Knowledge in a clearer light. 
I will also send you a magazine article on the mediums, 
which has just appeared, and which may divert you. 1 Eu- 
sapia Paladino, I understand, has just signed a contract to 
come to New York to be at the disposition of Hereward 
Carrington, an expert in medium s tricks, and author of a 
book on the same, who, together with Fielding and Bagally, 
also experts, formed the Committee of the London S. P. R., 
who saw her at Naples. . . . After Courtier s report on 
Eusapia, I don t think any "investigation" here will be 
worth much "scientifically" -the only advantage of her 
coming may possibly be to get some scientific men to believe 
that there is really a problem. Two other cases have been 
reported to me lately, which are worth looking up, and I 
shall hope to do so. 

How much your interests and mine keep step with each 
other, dear Flournoy. "Functional psychology," and the 
twilight region that surrounds the clearly lighted centre of 
experience! Speaking of "functional" psychology, Clark 
University, of which Stanley Hall is president, had a little 
international congress the other day in honor of the twentieth 
year of its existence. I went there for one day in order to 
see what Freud was like, and met also Yung of Zurich, who 
professed great esteem for you, and made a very pleasant 
impression. I hope that Freud and his pupils will push their 
ideas to their utmost limits, so that we may learn what they 

1 "The Confidences of a Psychical Researcher," reprinted in Memories and 
Studies under the title " Final Impressions of a Psychical Researcher. " 



328 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 9IO 

are. They can t fail to throw light on human nature; but 
I confess that he made on me personally the impression of 
a man obsessed with fixed ideas. I can make nothing in 
my own case with his dream theories, and obviously "sym 
bolism" is a most dangerous method. A newspaper report 
of the congress said that Freud had condemned the Amer 
ican religious therapy (which has such extensive results) as 
very "dangerous" because so "unscientific." Bah! 

Well, it is pouring rain and so dark that I must close. 
Alice joins me, dear Flournoy, in sending you our united 
love, in which all your children have a share. Ever yours, 

W. J. 

To Shadworth H. Hodgson. 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. I, 1910. 

A happy New Year to you, dear Hodgson, and may it 
bring a state of mind more recognizant of truth when you 
see it! Your jocose salutation of my account of truth is 
an epigrammatic commentary on the cross-purposes of 
philosophers, considering that on the very day (yesterday) 
of its reaching me, I had replied to a Belgian student writing 
a thesis on pragmatism, who had asked me to name my 
sources of inspiration, that I could only recognize two, 
Peirce, as quoted, and " S. H. H." with his method of attack 
ing problems, by asking what their terms are "Known-as." 
Unhappy world, where grandfathers can t recognize their 
own grandchildren! Let us love each other all the same, 
dear Hodgson, though the grandchild be in your eyes a 
"prodigal." Affectionately yours, 

WM. JAMES. 

The news of James s election as Associe Stranger of the 
Academic des Sciences Morales et Politiques, which had 



Aet. 68} TO JOHN JAY CHAPMAN 3*9 

appeared in the Boston "Journal" a day or two before the 
next letter, had, of course, reached the American news 
papers directly from Paris. The unread book by Bergson 
of which Mr. Chapman was to forward his manuscript- 
review was obviously "Le Rire," and Mr. Chapman s review 
may be found, not where the next letter but one might lead 
one to seek it, but in the files of the "Hibbert Journal." 

To John Jay Chapman. 

CAMBRIDGE, Jan. 30, 1910. 

DEAR JACK, Invincible epistolary laziness and a con 
science humbled to the dust have conspired to retard this 
letter. God sent me straight to you with my story about 
Bergson s cablegram the only other person to whom I 
have told it was Henry Higginson. One of you must have 
put it into the Boston "Journal" of the next day, you of 
course, to humiliate me still the more, so now I lie in the 
dust, spurning all the decorations and honors under which 
the powers and principalities are trying to bury me, and 
seeking to manifest the naked truth in my uncomely form. 
Never again, never again! Naked came I into life, and this 
world s vanities are not for me! You, dear Jack, are the 
only reincarnation of Isaiah and Job, and I praise God that 
he has let me live in your day. Real values are known only 
to you! 

As for Bergson, I think your change of the word "comic" 
into the word "tragic" throughout his book is impayable y 
and I have no doubt it is true. I have only read half of 
him, so don t know how he is coming out. Meanwhile 
send me your own foolishness on the same subject, com 
mend me to your liege lady, and believe me, shamefully 
yours, 

W.J. 



330 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1910 

To John Jay Chapman. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 8, 1910. 

DEAR JACK, Wonderful! wonderful! Shallow, inco 
herent, obnoxious to its own criticism of Chesterton and 
Shaw, off its balance, accidental, whimsical, false; but with 
central fires of truth "blazing fuliginous mid murkiest con 
fusion," telling the reader nothing of the Comic except that 
it s smaller than the Tragic, but readable and splendid, 
showing that the man who wrote it is more than anything he 
can write! 

Pray patch some kind of a finale to it and send it to the 
"Atlantic"! Yours ever fondly, 

W. J. 
(Membre de 1 Institut!) 

The "specimen" which was enclosed with the following 
note has been lost. It was perhaps a bit of adulatory verse. 
What is said about "Harris and Shakespeare," as also in a 
later letter to Mr. T. S. Perry on the same subject, was 
written apropos of a book entitled "The Man Shakespeare, 
His Tragic Life-Story." 1 

To John Jay Chapman. 

CAMBRIDGE, Feb. 15, 1910. 

DEAR JACK, Just a word to say that it pleases me to 
hear you write this about Harris and Shakespeare. H. is 
surely false in much that he claims; yet tis the only way 
in which Shakespeare ought to be handled, so his is the best 
book. The trouble with S. was his intolerable fluency. 
He improvised so easily that it kept down his level. It is 
hard to see how the man that wrote his best things could 
possibly have let himself do ranting bombast and compli- 

1 By Frank Harris; New York: 1909. 



Act. 68} 



TO DICKINSON S. MILLER 



331 



cation on such a large scale elsewhere. T is mighty fun 
to read him through in order. 

I send you a specimen of the kind of thing that tends to 
hang upon me as the ivy on the oak. When will the day 
come? Never till, like me, you give yourself out as a 
poetry-hater. Thine ever, 




To Dickinson S. Miller. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mar. 26, 1910. 

DEAR MILLER, Your study of me arrives! and I have 
pantingly turned the pages to find the eulogistic adjectives, 
and find them in such abundance that my head swims. 
Glory to God that I have lived to see this day! to have so 
much said about me, and to be embalmed in literature like 
the great ones of the past! I did n t know I was so much, 
was all these things, and yet, as I read, I see that I was 
(or am?), and shall boldly assert myself when I go abroad. 

To speak in all dull soberness, dear Miller, it touches me 
to the quick that you should have hatched out this elabo 
rate description of me with such patient and loving incuba 
tion. I have only spent five minutes over it so far, meaning 
to take it on the steamer, but I get the impression that it 
is" almost unexampled in our literature as a piece of pro 
found analysis of an individual mind. I m sorry you stick 



332 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 9 i 

so much to my psychological phase, which I care little for, 
now, and never cared much. This epistemological and 
metaphysical phase seems to me more original and impor 
tant, and I have n t lost hopes of converting you entirely 
yet. Meanwhile, thanks! thanks! pfimile] Boutroux, who 
is a regular angel, has just left our house. I ve written an 
account of his lectures which the "Nation" will print on 
the 3 1 st. I should like you to look it over, hasty as it is. 

... I hope that all these lectures on contemporaries 
(What a live place Columbia is!) will appear together in a 
volume. I can t easily believe that any will compare with 
yours as a thorough piece of interpretative work. 

We sail on Tuesday next. My thorax has been going 
the wrong way badly this winter, and I hope that Nauheim 
may patch it up. 

Strength to your elbow! Affectionately and gratefully 
yours, 

WM. JAMES. 



XVII 

1910 
Final Months The End 

SEVERAL reasons combined to take James to Europe in 
the early spring of 1910. His heart had been giving him 
more discomfort. He wished to consult a specialist in 
Paris from whom an acquaintance of his, similarly afflicted, 
had received great benefit. He believed that another 
course of Nauheim baths would be helpful. Last, and not 
least, he wished to be within reach of his brother Henry, 
who was ill and concerning whose condition he was much 
distressed. In reality it was he, not his brother, who al 
ready stood in the shadow of Death s door. 

Accordingly he sailed for England with Mrs. James, and 
went first to Lamb House. Thence he crossed alone to 
Paris, and thence went on to Nauheim, leaving Mrs. James 
to bring his brother to Nauheim to join him. The Pari 
sian specialist could do nothing but confirm previous diag 
noses. 

Too much "sitting up and talking" with friends in Paris 
exhausted him seriously, and, after leaving Paris, he failed 
for the first time to shake off his fatigue. The immediate 
effect of the Nauheim baths proved to be very debilitating, 
and, again, he failed to rally and improve when he had 
finished them. By July, after trying the air of Lucerne 
and Geneva, only to find that the altitude caused him un 
bearable distress, he despaired of any relief beyond what 
now looked like the incomparable consolations of being at 
rest in his own home. So he turned his face westward. 



334 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1910 

The next letters bid good-bye for the summer to two 
tried friends. Five months later it seemed as if James had 
been at more pains to make his adieus than he usually put 
himself to on account of a summer s absence. When Mrs. 
James returned to the Cambridge house in the autumn, 
after he had died, and had occasion to open his desk copy 
of the Harvard Catalogue, she found these words jotted 
at the head of the Faculty List: "A thousand regrets 
cover every beloved name." It grieved him that life was 
too short and too full for him to see many of them as often 
as he wanted to. One day before he sailed, his eye had 
been caught by the familiar names and, as a throng of 
comradely intentions filled his heart, he had had a moment 
of foreboding, and he had let his hand trace the words that 
cried this needless "Forgive me!" and recorded an incom 
municable Farewell. 

To Henry L. Higginson. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mar. 28, 1910. 

BELOVED HENRY, I had most positive hopes of driving 
in to see you ere the deep engulfs us, but the press is too great 
here, and it remains impossible. This is just a word to say 
that you are not forgotten, or ever to be forgotten, and that 
(after what Mrs. Higginson said) I am hoping you may sail 
yourself pretty soon, and have a refreshing time, and cross 
our path. We go straight to Rye, expecting to be in Paris 
for the beginning of April for a week, and then to Nauheim, 
whence Alice, after seeing me safely settled, will probably 
return to Rye for the heft of the summer. It would pay 
you to turn up both there and at Nauheim and see the mode 
of life. 

Hoping you 11 have a good [Club] dinner Friday night, 
and never need any surgery again, I am ever thine, 

w.j. 



Act. 68] TO T. S. PERRY 335 

To Miss Frances R. Morse. 

CAMBRIDGE, March 29, 1910. 

DEAREST FANNY, Your beautiful roses and your card 
arrived duly the roses were not deserved, not at least by 
W. J. I have about given up all visits to Boston this winter, 
and the racket has been so incessant in the house, owing to 
foreigners of late, that we have n t had the strength to send 
for you. I sail on the 29th in the Megantic, first to see 
Henry, who has been ill, not dangerously, but very miser 
ably. Our Harry is with him now. I shall then go to 
Paris for a certain medical experiment, and after that 
report at Nauheim, where they probably will keep me for 
some weeks. I hope that I may get home again next fall 
with my organism in better shape, and be able to see more 
of my friends. 

After Thursday, when the good Boutrouxs go, I shall try 
to arrange a meeting with you, dear Fanny. At present 
we are "contemporaries," that is all, and the one of us who 
becomes survivor will have regrets that we were no more! 

What a lugubrious ending! With love to your mother, 
and love from Alice, believe me, dearest Fanny, most af 
fectionately yours, 

W.J. 

To T. S. Perry. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, May 22, 1910. 

BELOVED THOS., I have two letters from you one 
about . . . Harris on Shakespeare. Re Harris, I did think 
you were a bit supercilious a priori, but I thought of your 
youth and excused you. Harris himself is horrid, young and 
crude. Much of his talk seems to me absurd, but never 
theless that s the way to write about Shakespeare, and I am 
sure that, if Shakespeare were a Piper-control, he would 



336 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1910 

say that he relished Harris far more than the pack of rev 
erent commentators who treat him as a classic moralist. 
He seems to me to have been a professional amuser^ in the 
first instance, with a productivity like that of a Dumas, 
or a Scribe; but possessing what no other amuser has pos 
sessed, a lyric splendor added to his rhetorical fluency, 
which has made people take him for a more essentially serious 
human being than he was. Neurotically and erotically, he 
was hypersesthetic, with a playful graciousness of character 
never surpassed. He could be profoundly melancholy; 
but even then was controlled by the audience s needs. A 
cork in the rapids, with no ballast of his own, without re 
ligious or ethical ideals, accepting uncritically every theat 
rical and social convention, he was simply an aeolian harp 
passively resounding to the stage s call. Was there ever 
an author of such emotional importance whose reaction 
against false conventions of life was such an absolute zero 
as his? I know nothing of the other Elizabethans, but 
could they have been as soulless in this respect? But 
halte-lal or I shall become a Harris myself! . . . With 
love to you all, believe me ever thine, 

W. J. 

Read Daniel Halevy s exquisitely discreet "Vie de 
Nietzsche," if you have n t already done so. Do you know 
G. Courtelines "Les Marionettes de la Vie" (Flammarion) ? 
It beats Labiche. 

To Francois Pillon. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, May 25, 1910. 

MY DEAR PILLON, I have been here a week, taking the 
baths for my unfortunate cardiac complications, and shall 
probably stay six weeks longer. I passed through Paris, 
where I spent a week, partly with my friend the philosopher 



Act. 68} TO FRANgOIS PILLON 337 

Strong, partly at the Fondation Thiers with the Boutrouxs, 
who had been our guests in America when he lectured a 
few months ago at Harvard. Every day I said: "I will get 
to the Pillons this afternoon"; but every day I found it im 
possible to attempt your four flights of stairs, and finally had 
to run away from the Boutrouxs to save my life from the 
fatigue and pectoral pain which resulted from my seeing so 
many people. I have a dilatation of the aorta, which causes 
anginoid pain of a bad kind whenever I make any exer 
tion, muscular, intellectual, or social, and I should not have 
thought at all of going through Paris were it not that I 
wished to consult a certain Dr. Moutier there, who is strong 
on arteries, but who told me that he could do nothing for my 
case. I hope that these baths may arrest the disagreeable 
tendency to pejoration from which I have suffered in the 
past year. This is why I didn t come to see the dear Pillons; 
a* loss for which I felt, and shall always feel, deep regret. 

The sight of the new "Annee Philosophique" at Bou- 
troux s showed me how valiant and solid you still are for 
literary work. I read a number of the book reviews, but 
none of the articles, which seemed uncommonly varied and 
interesting. Your short notice of Schinz s really bouffon 
book showed me to my regret that even you have not yet 
caught the true inwardness of my notion of Truth. You 
speak as if I allowed no valeur de connaissance proprement 
dite, which is a quite false accusation. When an idea 
"works" successfully among all the other ideas which relate 
to the object of which it is our mental substitute, associat 
ing and comparing itself with them harmoniously, the work 
ings are wholly inside of the intellectual world, and the 
idea s value purely intellectual, for the time, at least. This 
is my doctrine and Schiller s, but it seems very hard to 
express it so as to get it understood! 



33 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 9IO 

I hope that, in spite of the devouring years, dear Madame 
Pillon s state of health may be less deplorable than it has 
been so long. In particular I wish that the neuritis may have 
ceased. I wish! I wish! but what s the use of wishing, 
against the universal law that "youth s a stuff will not 
endure," and that we must simply make the best of it? 
Boutroux gave some beautiful lectures at Harvard, and is 
the gentlest and most lovable of characters. Believe me, 
dear Pillon, and dear Madame Pillon, your ever affectionate 
old friend, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, May 29, 1910. 

. . . Paris was splendid, but fatiguing. Among other 
things I was introduced to the Academic des Sciences 
Morales, of which you may likely have heard that I am now 
an associe etr anger (!!). Boutroux says that Renan, when 
he took his seat after being received at the Academic Fran- 
aise, said: "Qu on est bien dans c.e fauteuil" (it is nothing 
but a cushioned bench with no back!). " Peut-etre n y a-t-il 
que cela de vrai!" Delicious Renanesque remark! . . . 

W. J. 

The arrangement by which Mrs. James and Henry James 
were to have arrived at Nauheim had been upset. The 
two, who were to come from England together, were delayed 
by Henry s condition; and for a while James was at Nauheim 
alone. 

To his Daughter. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, May 29, 1910. 

BELOVED PEGUY, The very fust thing I want you to 
do is to look in the drawer marked " Blood" in my tall filing 



Aet. 68] TO HIS DAUGHTER 339 

case in the library closet, and find the date of a number of 
the "Journal of Speculative Philosophy" there that con 
tains an article called "Philosophic Reveries." Send this 
date (not the article) to the Revd. Prof. L. P. Jacks, 28 
Holywell, Oxford, if you find it, immediately. He will 
understand what to do with it. If you don t find the article, 
do nothing! Jacks is notified. I have just corrected the 
proofs of an article on Blood for the "Hibbert Journal," 
which, I think, will make people sit up and rub their eyes 
at the apparition of a new great writer of English. I want 
Blood himself to get it as a surprise. 

/ got as a surprise your finely typed copy of the rest of 
my MS., the other day. I thank you for it; also for your 
delightful letters. The type-writing seems to set free both 
your and Aleck s genius more than the pen. (If you need 
a new ribbon it must be got from the agency in Milk St. 
just above Devonshire but you 11 find it hard work to get 
it into its place.) You seem to be leading a very handsome 
and domestic life, avoiding social excitements, and hearing 
of them only from the brethren. It is good sometimes to 
face the naked ribs of reality as it reveals itself in homes. I 
face them here> with no one but the blackbirds and the trees 
for my companions, save some rather odd Americans at the 
Mittagstisch and Abendessen^ and the good smiling Diensf- 
madchen who brings me my breakfast in the morning. . . . 
I went to my. bath at 6 o clock this morning, and had 
the Park all to the blackbirds and myself. This was 
because I am expecting a certain Prof. Goldstein from 
Darmstadt to come to see me this morning, and I had to 
get the bath out of the way. He is a powerful young writer, 
and is translating my "Pluralistic Universe." But the 
weather has grown so threatening that I hope now that he 
won t come till next Sunday. It is a shame to converse 
here and not be in the open air. I would to Heaven thou 



34 o LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 9 io 

wert mit I think thou wouldst enjoy it very much for a 
week or more. The German civilization is good! Only 
this place would give a very false impression of our wicked 
earth to a Mars-Bewohner who should descend and leave 
and see nothing else. Not a dark spot (save what the pa 
tients hearts individually conceal), no poverty, no vice, noth 
ing but prettiness and simplicity of life. I snip out a con 
cert-program (the afternoon one unusually good) which I 
find lying on my table. The like is given free in the open 
air every day. The baths weaken one so that I have little 
brain for reading, and must write letters to all kinds of people 
every day. A big quarrel is on in Paris between my would- 
be translators and publishers. I wish translators would 
let my books alone they are written for my own people 
exclusively! You will have received Hewlett s delightful 
"Halfway House," sent to our steamer by Pauline Gold- 
mark, I think. I have been reading a charmingly discreet 
life of Nietzsche by D. Halevy, and have invested in a 
couple more of his (N. s) books, but have n t yet begun to 
read them. I am half through " Waffen-nieder!" a. first-rate 
anti-war novel by Baroness von Suttner. It has been 
translated, and I recommend it as in many ways instruc 
tive. How are Rebecca and Maggie [the cook and house 
maid]? You don t say how you enjoy ordering the bill of 
fare every day. You can t vary it properly unless you 
make a list and keep it. A good sweet dish is rothe Grutze, 
a form of fine sago consolidated by currant-jelly juice, and 
sauced with custard, or, I suppose, cream. 

Well! no more today! Give no end of love to the good 
boys, and to your Grandam, and believe me, ever thy 
affectionate, 

W.J. 



Act. 68} TO HENRY P. BOWDITCH 341 

To Henry P. Bowditch. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, June 4, 1910. 

DEAREST HEINRICH, The envelope in which this letter 
goes was addrest in Cambridge, Mass., and expected to 
go towards you with a letter in it, long before now. But 
better late than never, so here goes! I came over, as you 
may remember, for the double purpose of seeing my brother 
Henry, who had been having a sort of nervous breakdown, 
and of getting my heart, if possible, tuned up by foreign 
experts. I stayed upwards of a month with Henry, and then 
came hither uber Paris, where I stayed ten days. I have 
been here two and a half weeks, taking the baths, and en 
joying the feeling of the strong, calm, successful, new Ger 
man civilization all about me. Germany is great, and no 
mistake! But what a contrast, in the well-set-up, well- 
groomed, smart-looking German man of today, and his 
rather clumsily drest, dingy, and unworldly-looking father 
of forty years ago! But something of the old Gemiithlichkeit 
remains, the friendly manners, and the disposition to talk 
with you and take you seriously and to respect the serious 
side of whatever comes along. But I can write you more 
interestingly of physiology than I can of sociology. . . . 
The baths may or may not arrest for a while the downward 
tendency which has been so marked in the past year but 
at any rate it is a comfort to know that my sufferings have 
a respectable organic basis, and are not, as so many of my 
friends tell me, due to pure "nervousness." Dear Henry, 
you see that you are not the only pebble on the beach, or 
toad in the puddle, of senile degeneration! I admit that 
the form of your tragedy beats that of that of most of us; 
but youth s a stuff that won t endure, in any one, and to 
have had it, as you and I have had it, is a good deal gained 
anyhow, while to see the daylight still under any conditions 



342 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1910 

is perhaps also better than nothing, and meanwhile the 
good months are sure to bring the final relief after which, 
"when you and I behind the veil are passed, Oh, but the 
long, long time the world shall last!" etc., etc. Rather 
gloomy moralizing, this, to end an affectionate family letter 
with; but the circumstances seem to justify it, and I know 
that you won t take it amiss. 

Alice is staying with Henry, but they will both be here in 
a fortnight or less. I find it pretty lonely all by myself, 
and the German language does n t run as trippingly off the 
tongue as it did forty years ago. Passage back is taken for 
August 1 2th. . . . 

Well, I must stop! Pray give my love to Selma, the 
faithful one. Also to Fanny, Harold, and Friedel. With 
Harold s engagement you are more and more of a patriarch. 
Heaven keep you, dear Henry. 

Believe me, ever your affectionately sympathetic old 
friend, 

WM. JAMES. 

To Francois Pi lion. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, June 8, 1910. 

MY DEAR PILLON, I have your good letter of the 4th - 
which I finally had to take a magnifying-glass to read (!) - 
and remained full of admiration for the nervous centres 
which, after 80 years of work, could still guide the fingers 
to execute, without slipping or trembling, that masterpiece 
of microscopic calligraphy! Truly your nervous centres are 
"well preserved" - the optical ones also, in spite of the 
cataracts and loss of accommodation! How proud I should 
be if now, at the comparatively youthful age of 68, I could 
flatter myself with the hope of doing what you have done, 
and living down victoriously twelve more devouring ene- 



Act. 68} TO FRANgOIS PILLON 343 

mies of years! With a fresh volume produced, to mark each 
year by! I give you leave, as a garland and reward, to 
misinterpret my doctrine of truth ad libitum and to your 
heart s content, in all your future writings. I will never 
think the worse of you for it. 

What you say of dear Madame Pillon awakens in me 
very different feelings. She has led, indeed, a life of suf 
fering for many years, and it seems to me a real tragedy 
that she should now be confined to the house so absolutely. 
If only you might inhabit the country, where, on fine days, 
with no stairs to mount or descend, she could sit with 
flowers and trees around her! The city is not good when 
one is confined to one s apartment. Pray give Madame 
Pillon my sincerest love I never think of her without 
affection. I am almost ashamed to accept year after year 
your "Annee Philosophique, and to give you so little in 
return for it. I am expecting my wife and brother to ar 
rive here from England this afternoon, and we shall prob 
ably all return together through Paris, by the middle of 
July. I will then come and see you, with the wife, so please 
keep the "Annee" till then, and put it into my hands. I 
can read nothing serious here the baths destroy one s 
strength so. Whether they will do any good to my circula 
tory organs remains to be seen there is no good effect 
perceptible so far. Believe me, dear old friend, with every 
message of affection to you both, yours ever faithfully, 

WM. JAMES. 

The letters which follow concern Henry Adams s "Letter 
to American Teachers, " originally printed for private circula 
tion, but recently published, with a preface by Mr. Brooks 
Adams, under the title: "The Degradation of Democratic 
Dogma." 



344 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 9IO 

To Henry Adams. 

BAD-NAUHEIM, June 17, 1910. 

DEAR HENRY ADAMS, I have been so "slim" since see 
ing you, and the baths here have so weakened my brain, 
that I have been unable to do any reading except trash, 
and have only just got round to finishing your "letter," 
which I had but half-read when I was with you at Paris. 
To tell the truth, it does n t impress me at all, save by its 
wit and erudition; and I ask you whether an old man soon 
about to meet his Maker can hope to save himself from the 
consequences of his life by pointing to the wit and learning 
he has shown in treating a tragic subject. No, sir, you 
can t do it, can t impress God in that way. So far as our 
scientific conceptions go, it may be admitted that your 
Creator (and mine) started the universe with a certain 
amount of "energy" latent in it, and decreed that every 
thing that should happen thereafter should be a result of 
parts of that energy falling to lower levels; raising other 
parts higher, to be sure, in so doing, but never in equiva 
lent amount, owing to the constant radiation of unrecov 
erable warmth incidental to the process. It is customary 
for gentlemen to pretend to believe one another, and until 
some one hits upon a newer revolutionary concept (which 
may be tomorrow) all physicists must play the game by 
holding religiously to the above doctrine. It involves of 
course the ultimate cessation of all perceptible happening, 
and the end of human history. With this general concep 
tion as surrounding everything you say in your "letter," 
no one can find any fault in the present stage of scien 
tific conventions and fashions. But I protest against your 
interpretation of some of the specifications of the great 
statistical drift downwards of the original high-level energy. 
If, instead of criticizing what you seem to me to say, I 



Act. 68} TO HENRY ADAMS 345 

express my own interpretation dogmatically, and leave you 
to make the comparison, it will doubtless conduce to brevity 
and economize recrimination. 

To begin with, the amount of cosmic energy it costs to buy 
a certain distribution of fact which humanly we regard as 
precious, seems to me to be an altogether secondary matter 
as regards the question of history and progress. Certain 
arrangements of matter on the same energy-level are, from 
the point of view of man s appreciation, superior, while 
others are inferior. Physically a dinosaur s brain may show 
as much intensity of energy-exchange as a man s, but it can 
do infinitely fewer things, because as a force of detent it can 
only unlock the dinosaur s muscles, while the man s brain, 
by unlocking far feebler muscles, indirectly can by their 
means issue proclamations, write books, describe Chartres 
Cathedral, etc., and guide the energies of the shrinking sun 
into channels which never would have been entered other 
wise in short, make history. Therefore the man s brain 
and muscles are, from the point of view of the historian, the 
more important place of energy-exchange, small as this may 
be when measured in absolute physical units.. 

The "second law" is wholly irrelevant to "history" 
save that it sets a terminus for history is the course of 
things before that terminus, and all that the second law 
says is that, whatever the history, it must invest itself be 
tween that initial maximum and that terminal minimum of 
difference in energy-level. As the great irrigation-reservoir 
empties itself, the whole question for us is that of the dis 
tribution of its effects, of which rills to guide it into; and 
the size of the rills has nothing to do with their significance. 
Human cerebration is the most important rill we know of, 
and both the "capacity" and the "intensity" factor thereof 
may be treated as infinitesimal. Yet the filling of such rills 



34 6 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [, 9IO 

would be cheaply bought by the waste of whole sums spent 
in getting a little of the down-flowing torrent to enter them. 
Just so of human institutions their value has in strict 
theory nothing whatever to do with their energy-budget 
being wholly a question of the form the energy flows through. 
Though the ultimate state of the universe may be its vital 
and psychical extinction, there is nothing in physics to 
interfere with the hypothesis that the penultimate state 
might be the millennium in other words a state in which 
a minimum of difference of energy-level might have its 
exchanges so skillfully canalises that a maximum of happy 
and virtuous consciousness would be the only result. In 
short, the last expiring pulsation of the universe s life might 
be, "I am so happy and perfect that I can stand it no 
longer. * You don t believe this and I don t say I do. But 
I can find nothing in "Energetik" to conflict with its possi 
bility. You seem to me not to discriminate, but to treat 
quantity and distribution of energy as if they formed one 
question. 

There! that s pretty good for a brain after 18 Nauheim 
baths so I won t write another line, nor ask you to reply 
to me. In case you can t help doing so, however, I will 
gratify you now by saying that I probably won t jaw back. 
- It was pleasant at Paris to hear your identically un 
changed and "undegraded" voice after so many years of 
loss of solar energy. Yours ever truly, 

WM. JAMES. 

[Post-card] 

NAUHEIM, June 19, 1910. 

P. S. Another illustration of my meaning: The clock of 
the universe is running down, and by so doing makes the 
hands move. The energy absorbed by the hands and the 






W/v; 

> 



fa _._. 

<p/c^ t <*-^ A^ 






A 




y*^v, 

^ 




Facsimile of Post-card addressed to Henry Adams. 



Act. 68] TO BF-NJAMIN PAUL BLOOD 347 

mechanical work they do is the same day after day, no 
matter how far the weights have descended from the posi 
tion they were originally wound up to. The history which 
the hands perpetrate has nothing to do with the quantity 
of this work, but follows the significance of the figures which 
they cover on the dial. If they move from O to XII, there 
is "progress," if from XII to O, there is "decay," etc. etc. 

W. J. 

To Henry Adams. 

[Post-card] 

CONSTANCE, June 26, [1910]. 

Yours of the 2oth, just arriving, pleases me by its docility 
of spirit and passive subjection to philosophic opinion. 
Never, never pretend to an opinion of your own ! that way 
lies every annoyance and madness ! You tempt me to offer 
you another illustration that of the hydraulic ram (thrown 
back to me in an exam, as a "hydraulic goat" by an in 
sufficiently intelligent student). Let this arrangement of 
metal, placed in the course of a brook, symbolize the machine 
of human life. It works, clap, clap, clap, day and night, so 
long as the brook runs at all, and no matter how full the 
brook (which symbolizes the descending cosmic energy) may 
be, it works always to the same effect, of raising so many 
kilogrammeters of water. What the value of this work as 
history may be, depends on the uses to which the water is 
put in the house which the ram serves. 

W.J. 

To Benjamin Paul Blood. 

CONSTANCE, June 25, 1910. 

MY DEAR BLOOD, About the time you will receive this, 
you will also be surprised by receiving the "Hibbert Journal" 



34 8 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [i 9IO 

for July, with an article signed by me, but written mainly by 
yourself. 1 Tired of waiting for your final synthetic pro- 
nunciamento, and fearing I might be cut off ere it came, I 
took time by the forelock, and at the risk of making ducks 
and drakes of your thoughts, I resolved to save at any rate 
some of your rhetoric, and the result is what you see. For 
give! forgive! forgive! It will at any rate have made 
you famous, for the circulation of the H. J. is choice, as well 
as large (12,000 or more, I m told), and the print and paper 
the best ever yet. I seem to have lost the editor s letter, 
or I would send it to you. He wrote, in accepting the 
article in May, "I have already 40 articles accepted, and 
some of the writers threaten lawsuits for non-publication, 
yet such was the exquisite refreshment Blood s writing 
gave me, under the cataract of sawdust in which editorially 
I live, that I have this day sent the article to the printer. 
Actions speak louder than words! Blood is simply great ^ 
and you are to be thanked for having dug him out. L. P. 
JACKS." Of course I ve used you for my own purposes, 
and probably misused you; but I m sure you will feel more 
pleasure than pain, and perhaps write again in the "Hibbert" 
to set yourself right. You re sure of being printed, what 
ever you may send. How I wish that I too could write 
poetry, for pluralism is in its Sturm und Drang period, and 
verse is the only way to express certain things. I ve just 
been taking the "cure" at Nauheim for my unlucky heart 
no results so far! 

Sail for home again on August I2th. Address always 
Cambridge, Mass.; things are forwarded. Warm regards, 
fellow pluralist. Yours ever, 

WM. JAMES. 

1 See the footnote on p. 39 supra. 



Act. 68} TO THEODORE FLOURNOY 349 

To Theodore Flournoy. 

GENEVA, July 9, 1910. 

DEAREST FLOURNOY, Your two letters, of yesterday, 
and of July 4th sent to Nauheim, came this morning. I am 
sorry that the Nauheim one was not written earlier, since 
you had the trouble of writing it at all. I thank you for all 
the considerateness you show you understand entirely 
my situation. My dyspnoea gets worse at an accelerated 
rate, and all I care for now is to get home doing nothing 
on the way. It is partly a spasmodic phenomenon I am 
sure, for the aeration of my tissues, judging by the color of 
my lips, seems to be sufficient. I will leave Geneva now 
without seeing you again better not come, unless just to 
shake hands with my wife! Through all these years I have 
wished I might live nearer to you and see more of you and 
exchange more ideas, for we seem two men particularly well 
fait s pour nous comprendre. Particularly, now, as my own 
intellectual house-keeping has seemed on the point of work 
ing out some good results, would it have been good to work 
out the less unworthy parts of it in your company. But 
that is impossible! I doubt if I ever do any more writing 
of a serious sort; and as I am able to look upon my life 
rather lightly, I can truly say that "I don t care" don t 
care in the least pathetically or tragically, at any rate. I 
hope that Ragacz will be a success, or at any rate a whole 
some way of passing the month, and that little by little you 
will reach your new equilibrium. Those dear daughters, 
at any rate, are something to live for to show them Italy 
should be rejuvenating. I can write no more, my very 
dear old friend, but only ask you to think of me as ever 
lovingly yours, 

W.J. 



350 LETTERS OF WILLIAM JAMES [1910 

After leaving Geneva James rested at Lamb House for a 
few days before going to Liverpool to embark. Walking, 
talking and writing had all become impossible or painful. 
The short northern route to Quebec was chosen for the home 
voyage. When he and Mrs. James and his brother Henry 
landed there, they went straight to Chocorua. The after 
noon light was fading from the familiar hills on August I9th, 
when the motor brought them to the little house, and James 
sank into a chair beside the fire, and sobbed, "It s so good 
to get home!" 

A change for the worse occurred within forty-eight hours 
and the true situation became apparent. The effort by 
which he had kept up a certain interest in what was going 
on about him during the last weeks of his journey, and a 
certain semblance of strength, had spent itself. He had 
been clinging to life only in order to get home. 

Death occurred without pain in the early afternoon of 
August 26th. 

His body was taken to Cambridge, where there was a 
funeral service in the College Chapel. After cremation, his 
ashes were placed beside the graves of his parents in the 
Cambridge Cemetery. 



THE END 



APPENDIXES 



APPENDIX I 

THREE CRITICISMS FOR STUDENTS 

IN his smaller classes, made up of advanced students, James 
found it possible to comment in detail on the work of individuals. 
Three letters have come into the hands of the editor, from which 
extracts may be taken to illustrate such comments. They were 
written for persons with whom he could communicate only by 
letter, and are extended enough to suggest the viva voce comments 
which many a student recalls, but of which there is no record. 
The first is from a letter to a former pupil and refers to work of 
Bertrand Russell and others which the pupil was studying at the 
time. The second and third comment on manuscripts that had 
been prepared as "theses" and had been submitted to James for 
unofficial criticism. They exhibit him, characteristically, as en 
couraging the student to formulate something more positive. 

Jan. 26, 1908. 

Those propositions or supposals which [Russell, Moore and 
Meinong] make the exclusive vehicles of truth are mongrel curs 
that have no real place between realities on the one hand and 
beliefs on the other. The negative, disjunctive and hypothetic 
truths which they so conveniently express can all, perfectly well 
(so far as I see), be translated into relations between beliefs 
and positive realities. "Propositions" are- expressly devised for 
quibbling between realities and beliefs. They seem to have the 
objectivity of the one and the subjectivity of the other, and he 
who uses them can straddle as he likes, owing to the ambiguity 
of the word that, which is essential to them. " That Caesar existed " 
is "true," sometimes means the/#<r/ that he existed is real, some 
times the belief that he existed is true. You can get no honest 
discussion out of such terms. . . . 

Aug. 15, 1908. 

Dear K , ... [I have] read your thesis once through. I 

only finished it yesterday. It is a big effort, hard to grasp at a 



354 APPENDIX 

single reading, and I m too lazy to go over it a second time in its 
present physically inconvenient shape. It is obvious that parts 
of it have been written rapidly and not boiled down; and my im 
pression is that you have left over in it too much of the compli 
cation of form in which our ideas, our critical ideas especially, 
first come to us, and which has, with much rewriting, to be 
straightened out. You were dealing with dialecticians and logic- 
choppers, and you have met them on their own ground with a 
logic-chopping even more diseased than theirs. So far as I can 
see, you have met them, though your own expressions are often 
far from lucid ( result of haste?); but in some cases I doubt 
whether they themselves would think that they were met at all. 
I fear a little that both Bradley and Royce will think that your 
reductiones ad absurdum are too fine spun and ingenious to have 
real force. Too complicated, too complicated! is the verdict of 
my horse-like mind on much of this thesis. Your defense will be, 
of course, that it is a thesis, and as such, expected to be barbaric. 
But then I point to the careless, hasty writing of much of it. You 
must simplify yourself, if you hope to have any influence in print. 
The writing becomes more careful and the style clearer, the 
moment you tackle Russell in the 6th part. And when you come 
to your own dogmatic statement of your vision of things in the 
last 30 pages or so, I think the thesis splendid, prophetic in tone 
and very felicitous, often, in expression. This is indeed the philo 
sophic de I avenir, and a dogmatic expression of it will be far more 
effective than critical demolition of its alternatives. It will 
render that unnecessary if able enough. One will simply feel 
them to be diseased. My total impression is that the critter 
K has a really magnificent vision of the lay of the land in philos 
ophy, of the land of bondage, as well as of that of promise, 
but that he has a tremendous lot of work to do yet in the way of 
getting himself into straight and effective literary shape. He has 
elements of extraordinary literary power, but they are buried in 
much sand and shingle. . . . 

May. 26, 1900. 

Dear Miss S , I am a caitiff! I have left your essay on my 

poor self unanswered. . . . It is a great compliment to me to be 
taken so philologically and importantly; and I must say that 



APPENDIX 355 

from the technical point of view you may be proud of your pro 
duction. I like greatly the objective and dispassionate key in 
which you keep everything, and the number of subdivisions and 
articulations which you make gives me vertiginous admiration. 
Nevertheless, the tragic fact remains that I don t feel wounded 
at all by all that output of ability, and for reasons which I think 
I can set down briefly enough. It all comes, in my eyes, from too 
much philological method as a Ph.D. thesis your essay is su 
preme, but why don t you go farther? You take utterances of 
mine written at different dates, for different audiences belonging 
to different universes of discourse, and string them together as the 
abstra.ct elements of a total philosophy which you then show to 
be inwardly incoherent. This is splendid philology, but is it live 
criticism of anyone s Weltanschauung? Your use of the method 
only strengthens the impression I have got from reading criti 
cisms of my "pragmatic" account of "truth," that the whole 
Ph.D. industry of building up an author s meaning out of separate 
texts leads nowhere, unless you have first grasped his centre of 
vision, by an act of imagination. That, it seems to me, you lack 
in my case. 

For instance: [Seven examples are next dealt with in two and 
a half pages of type-writing. These pages are omitted.] 

... I have been unpardonably long; and if you were a man, I 
should assuredly not expect to influence you a jot by what I 
write. Being a woman, there may be yet a gleam of hope! 
which may serve as the excuse for my prolixity. (It is not for 
the likes of you, however, to hurl accusations of prolixity!) Now 
if I may presume to give a word of advice to one so much more 
accomplished than myself in dialectic technique, may I urge, 
since you have shown what a superb mistress you are in that 
difficult art of discriminating abstractions and opposing them to 
each other one by one, since in short there is no university extant 
that would n t give you its summa cum laude, / should cer 
tainly so reward your thesis at Harvard, may I urge, I say, 
that you should now turn your back upon that academic sort of 
artificiality altogether, and devote your great talents to the 
study of reality in its concreteness? In other words, do some 
positive work at the problem of what truth signifies, substitute a 
definitive alternative for the humanism which I present, as the 



356 APPENDIX 

latter s substitute. Not by proving their inward incoherence 
does one refute philosophies every human being is incoherent 
but only by superseding them by other philosophies more satis 
factory. Your wonderful technical skill ought to serve you in 
good stead if you would exchange the philological kind of criticism 
for constructive work. I fear however that you won t the iron 
may have bitten too deeply into your soul!! 

Have you seen Knox s paper on pragmatism in the Quarterly 
Review" for April perhaps the deepest-cutting thing yet written 
on the pragmatist side? On the other side read Bertrand Russell s 
paper in the "Edinburgh Review" just out. A thing after your 
own heart, but ruined in my eyes by the same kind of vicious ab 
stractionism which your thesis shows. It is amusing to see the 
critics of the will to believe furnish such exquisite instances of it in 
their own persons. E.g., Russell s own splendid atheistic-titanic 
confession of faith in that volume of essays on "Ideals of Science 

and of Faith" edited by one Hand. X , whom you quote, 

has recently worked himself up to the pass of being ordained in 
the Episcopal church. ... I justify them both; for only by such 
experiments on the part of individuals will social man gain the 
evidence required. They meanwhile seem to think that the only 
"true" position to hold is that everything not imposed upon a 
will-less and non-cooperant intellect must count as false a 
preposterous principle which no human being follows in real life. 

Well! There! that is all! But, dear Madam, I should like to 
know where you come from, who you are, what your present 
"situation" is, etc., etc. It is natural to have some personal 
curiosity about a lady who has taken such an extraordinary amount 
of pains for me ! 

Believe me, dear Miss S , with renewed apologies for the 

extreme tardiness of this acknowledgment, yours with mingled ad 
miration and abhorrence, 

WM. JAMES. 



APPENDIX II 

BOOKS BY WILLIAM JAMES 

THE following chronological list includes books only, but it 
gives the essays and chapters contained in each. 

Professor R. B. Perry s "Bibliography" (see below) lists a great 
number of contributions to periodicals, which have never been re 
printed, and includes notes indicative of the matter of each. 

(No attempt has been made to compile a list of references to 
literature about William James, but the following may be men 
tioned as easily obtainable: William James ^ by EMILE Bou- 
TROUX. Paris, 1911. Translation: Longmans, Green & Co., New 
York and London, 1912. La Philosophic de William James ^ by 
THEODORE FLOURNOY. St. Blaise, 1911. Translation: The Philos 
ophy of William James. Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1917.) 

Literary Remains of Henry James,, Sr., with an Introduction by 
WILLIAM JAMES. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1884. 

The Principles of Psychology. New York: Henry Holt & Co.; 

London: Macmillan & Co., 1890. 

Volume I. Scope of Psychology Functions of the Brain 
Conditions of Brain Activity Habit The Automaton 
Theory The Mind-Stuff Theory Methods and Snares 
of Psychology Relations of Minds to Other Things 
The Stream of Thought The Consciousness of Self 
Attention Conception Discrimination and Compari 
son Association The Perception of Time Memory. 
Volume II. Sensation Imagination Perception of Things 
The Perception of Space The Perception of Reality 

- Reasoning The Production of Movement Instinct 

- The Emotions Will Hypnotism Necessary Truth 
and the Effects of Experience. 

A Text-Book of Psychology. Briefer Course. New York: Henry 
Holt & Co.; London: Macmillan & Co., 1892. 



358 APPENDIX 

Introductory Sensation Sight Hearing Touch 
Sensations of Motion Structure of the Brain Func 
tions of the Brain Some General Conditions of Neural 
Activity Habit Stream of Consciousness The Self 

Attention Conception Discrimination Associa 
tion Sense of Time Memory Imagination Per 
ception The Perception of Space Reasoning Con 
sciousness and Movement Emotion Instinct Will 

Psychology and Philosophy. 

The Will to Believe, and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy. New 

York and London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1897. 
The Will to Believe Is Life Worth Living? The Senti 
ment of Rationality Reflex Action and Theism The 
Dilemma of Determinism The Moral Philosopher and 
the Moral Life Great Men and their Environment 
The Importance of Individuals On Some Hegelisms 
What Psychical Research has Accomplished. 

Human Immortality, Two Supposed Objections to the Doctrine. 
London: Constable & Co., also Dent & Sons; Boston: 
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1898. 

The Same. A New Edition with Preface in Reply to His Critics. 
Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1899. 

Talks to Teachers on Psychology, and to Students on Some of Life s 
Ideals. New York: Henry Holt & Co.; London: Long 
mans, Green & Co., 1899. 

Psychology and the Teaching Art The Stream of Con 
sciousness The Child as a Behaving Organism Educa 
tion and Behavior The Necessity of Reactions Native 
and Acquired Reactions What the Native Reactions Are 

The Laws of Habit Association of Ideas Interest 
Attention Memory Acquisition of Ideas Appercep 
tion The Will. 

Talks to Students: The Gospel of Relaxation On a Cer 
tain Blindness in Human Beings What Makes Life Sig 
nificant? 

The Varieties of Religious Experience. A Study in Human Nature. 
The GifTord Lectures on Natural Religion, Edinburgh, 
1901-1902. New York and London: Longmans, Green & 
Co., 1902. 



APPENDIX 359 

Religion and Neurology Circumscription of the Topic 
The Reality of the Unseen The Religion of Healthy- 
Mindedness The Sick Soul The Divided Self, and the 
Process of its Unification Conversion Saintliness 
The Value of Saintliness Mysticism Philosophy - 
Other Characteristics Conclusions Postscript. 

Pragmatism. A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking. New 

York and London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1907. 
The Present Dilemma in Philosophy What Pragmatism 
Means Some Metaphysical Problems Pragmatically Con 
sidered The One and the Many Pragmatism and 
Common Sense Pragmatism s Conception of Truth 
Pragmatism and Humanism Pragmatism and Religion. 

A Pluralistic Universe. Hibbert Lectures at Manchester College. 

New York and London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1909. 
The Types of Philosophic Thinking Monistic Idealism 
Hegel and his Method Concerning Fechner Com 
pounding of Consciousness Bergson and his Critique of 
Intellectualism The Continuity of Experience Con 
clusions Appendixes: A. The Thing and its Relations. 
B. The Experience of Activity. C. On the Notion of 
Reality as Changing. 

The Meaning of Truth. A Sequel to Pragmatism. New York and 

London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1909. 
The Function of Cognition The Tigers in India Human 
ism and Truth The Relation between Knower and 
Known The Essence of Humanism A Word More 
about Truth Professor Pratt on Truth The Pragma- 
tist Account of Truth and its Misunderstanders The 
Meaning of the Word Truth The Existence of Julius 
Csesar The Absolute and the Strenuous Life Hebert 
on Pragmatism Abstractionism and " Relativismus " 
Two English Critics A Dialogue. 

Some Problems of Philosophy. A Beginning of an Introduction to 
Philosophy. New York and London: Longmans, Green & 
Co., 1911. 

Philosophy and its Critics The Problems of Metaphysics 
The Problem of Being Percept and Concept The One 
and the Many The Problem of Novelty Novelty and 






360 APPENDIX 

the Infinite Novelty and Causation Appendix: Faith 

and the Right to Believe. 

Memories and Studies. New York and London : Longmans, Green 

& Co., 1911. 

Louis Agassiz Address at the Emerson Centenary in Con 
cord Robert Gould Shaw Francis Boott Thomas 
Davidson Herbert Spencer s Autobiography Frederick 
Myers s Services to Psychology Final Impressions of a 
Psychical Researcher On Some Mental Effects of the 
Earthquake The Energies of Men The Moral Equiva 
lent of War Remarks at the Peace Banquet The Social 
Value of the College-bred The Ph.D. Octopus The 
True Harvard Stanford s Ideal Destiny A Pluralistic 
Mystic (B. P. Blood). 

Essays in Radical Empiricism. Edited by RALPH BARTON PERRY. 

New York and London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1912. 
Introduction Does Consciousness Exist? A World of Pure 
Experience The Thing and its Relations How Two 
Minds can Know One Thing The Place of Affectional 
Facts in a World of Pure Experience The Experience of 
Activity The Essence of Humanism La Notion de Con 
science Is Radical Empiricism Solipsistic? Mr. Pitkin s 
Refutation of Radical Empiricism Humanism and Truth 
Once More Absolutism and Empiricism. 

Collected Essays and Reviews. Edited by RALPH BARTON PERRY. 

New York and London: Longmans, Green & Co., 192,0. 
Review of E. Sargent s Planchette (1869) Review of G. H. 
Lewes s Problems of Life and Mind (1875) Review entitled 
"German Pessimism" (1875) Chauncey Wright (1875) 
Review of "Bain and Renouvier" (1876) Review of 
Renan s Dialogues (1876) Review of G. H. Lewes s 
Physical Basis of Mind (1877) Remarks on Spencer s 
Definition of Mind as Correspondence (1878) Quelques 
Considerations sur la Methode Subjective (1878) The 
Sentiment of Rationality (1879) Review (unsigned) of 
W. K. Clifford s Lectures and Essays (1879) Review 
of Herbert Spencer s Data of Ethics (1879) The Feeling 
of Effort (1880) The Sense of Dizziness in Deaf Mutes 
(1882) What is an Emotion? (1884) Review of 



APPENDIX 361 

Royce s The Religious Aspect of Philosophy (1885) The 
Consciousness of Lost Limbs (1887) Reponse de W. 
James aux Remarques de M. Renouvier sur sa theorie de la 
volonte (1888) The Psychological Theory of Extension 
(1889) A Plea for Psychology as a Natural Science 
(1892) The Original Datum of Space Consciousness 
( J 893) Mr. Bradley on Immediate Resemblance (1893) 

Immediate Resemblance Review of G. T. Ladd s 
Psychology (1894) The Physical Basis of Emotion (1894) 

The Knowing of Things Together (1895) Review of 
W. Hirsch s Genie und Entartung (1895) Philosophical 
Conceptions and Practical Results (1898) Review of 
R. Hodgson s A Further Record of Observations of Certain 
Phenomena of Trance (1898) Review of Sturt s Personal 
Idealism (1903) The Chicago School (1904) Review 
of F. C. S. Schiller s Humanism (1904) Laura Bridg- 
man (1904) G. Papini and the Pragmatist Movement in 
Italy (1906) The Mad Absolute (1906) Controversy 
about Truth with John E. Russell (1907) Report on 
Mrs. Piper s Hodgson Control; Conclusion (1909) 
Bradley or Bergson? (1910) A Suggestion about Mysti 
cism (1910). 

A List of the Published Writings of William James ^ with notes, and 
an index; by RALPH BARTON PERRY. New York and 
London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1920. 



INDEX 



INDEX 



THROUGHOUT the index the initial J. stands for William James. 
In the list of references to his own writings, arranged alphabeti 
cally at the end of the entries under his name, the titles of separate 
papers are set in roman and quoted, those of volumes in italics. 

The words "See Contents" under a name indicate that letters 
addressed to the person in question are to be sought in the Table 
of Contents, where all letters are listed. 



Abauzit, F., 1, 145, 2, 185. 

Abbot, F. E., Scientific Theism, 1, 247. 

Absolute, Philosophy of the, 1, 238. 

Absolute Unity, 1, 231. 

Academic Franchise, 2, 338. 

Academic des Sciences Morales, et 
Politiques, J. a corresponding mem 
ber of, 2, 75; J. an associe etranger 
of, 328, 329, 338. 

Adams, Brooks, 2, 343. 

Adams, Henry, Letter to American 
Teachers, 2, 343 f.; mentioned, 10. 
See Contents. 

Adirondack range, 1, 194, 195. 

Adirondacks. See Keene Valley. 

Adler, Waldo, 2, 75, 76, 163. 

Esthetics, Study of, and Art, 2, 87. 

Agassiz, Alexander, 1, 31. 

Agassiz, Louis, J. joins his Brazilian 
expedition, 1, 54 jf., J. quoted on, 
55; quoted, on J., 56; on the 
Brazilian expedition, 56, 57, 59, 61, 
67, 68, 69; described by J., 65, 66; 
centenary of, 2, 287, 288; mentioned, 

1. 34, 35, 37, 42, 47, 48, 7^, 2, 2. 
Agassiz, Mrs. Louis, her 8oth birthday, 

2, 1 80 and n., 181; mentioned, 1, 60, 
65, 67. See Contents. 

Aguinaldo, Emilio, 2, 148. 

Alcott, A. Bronson, 1, 18 n. 

Allen, John A., 1, 74. 

Amalfi, Sorrento to, 2, 221, 222. 

Amazon, the, Agassiz s expedition to. 

See Brazil. 
America, general aspect of the country, 

1, 346, 347 and n. And see United 

States. 
American Philosophical Association, 2, 

163, 164, 300. 

Americans, in Germany, 1, 87. 
Angell, James R-, 1, 345, 2, 14. 



Anglican Church, 2, 305. 

Anglicanism and Romanism, 2, 305. 

Anglophobia in U. S. revealed by Ven 
ezuela incident, 2, 27, 31, 32. 

Annunzio, Gabriele d , 2, 63. 

"Anti-pragmatisme," 2, 319. 

Aristotle, 1, 283. 

Aristotelian Society Proceedings, 2, 207. 

Arnim, Gisela von. See Grimm, Mrs. 
Herman. 

Ashburner, Anne, 1, 179, 181, 315. 

Ashburner, Grace, 1, 181, 315. See 
Contents. 

Ashfield, annual dinner at, 2, 199. 

Athens, 2, 224, 225. And see Parthe 
non, the. 

Atkinson, Charles, 1, 35. 

Ausable Lakes, 1, 194. 

Austria, political conditions in (1867), 

1,95: 
Avenanus, 2, 301. 

Baginsky, Dr., 1, 214. 
Bain, Alexander, 1, 143, 164. 
Bakewell, Charles M., 2, 14, 81, 85, 

120, 248. 

Baldwin, James M., 2, 20. 

Baldwin, William, 1, 337. 

Balfour, A. J., Foundations of Belief, 

2, 20. 

Balzac, Honore" de, 1, 106, 2, 265. 

Bancroft, George, 1, 107, 109. 

Bancroft, Mrs. George, 1, 135. 

Bancroft, John C., 1, 70. 

Baring Bros., 1, 73. 

Barber, Catherine, marries William 

James I, 1, 4; her ancestry, 4 and n. 

And see James, Mrs. Catherine 

(Barber). 

Barber, Francis, 1, 5. 
Barber, Jannet, 1, 4 n. 



366 



INDEX 



Barber, John, J. s great-grandfather, 
in the Revolutionary army, 1, 4 and 
n.; H. James, Senior, on, 5. 
Barber, Mrs. John, 1, 5. 
Barber, Patrick, 1, 4 n. 
Barber family, the, 1, 4, 5. 
Bashkirtseff, Marie, Diary of, 1, 307, 

2, 148. 

Bastien-Lepage, Jules, 1, 210 and n. 
" Bay." See Emmet, Ellen. 
Bayard, Thomas F., 2, 27 n. 
Beers, Clifford W., A Mind that Found 
Itself, 2, 273, 274 and n. See Con 
tents. 

Beethoven, Ludwig von, Fidelia, 1, 112. 
Belgium, philosophers in, 1, 216. 
Benn, A. W., 1, 333, 334. 
Berenson, Bernhard, 2, 138. 
Bergson, Henri, Matiere et Memoire, 2, 
178, 179; his system, 179; J. s 
enthusiasm for, 179, 180 n.; L Evo 
lution CrSatrice, 290 f.; Le Rire, 329; 
mentioned, 172, 226, 257, 314, 315. 
See Contents. 

Berkeley, Sir W., Principles, 2, 179. 
Berlin, 1, 100, 105, 106, 112, 122. 
Berlin, University of, 1, 118, 120, 121. 
Bernard, Claude, 1, 72, 156. 
Bhagavat-Gita, the, 2, 238. 
Bible, the, and orthodox theology, 2, 

196. 

Bielshowski, A., Life of Goethe, 2, 262. 
Bigebw, Henry J., 1, 72. 
Bigelow, W. Sturgis, 2, 10. 
Birukoff, Life of Tolstoy, 2, 262. 
Black, W., Strange Adventures of a 

Phaeton, 1, 173. 

Blood, Benjamin Paul, The Flaw in 
Supremacy, 2, 39; J. s article on, in 
Hibbert Journal, 39 n., 347, 348; 
his Anesthetic Revolution reviewed 
by J., 40 and n.\ his strictures on 
J. s English, 59; mentioned, 22, 338, 
339. See Contents. 
Bocher, Ferdinand, 1, 337. 
Boer War, the, 2, 118, 140. 
Bonn-am-Rhein, 1, 20. 
Boott, Elizabeth (Mrs. Frank Duve- 

neck), 1, 153, 155.^ 

Boott, Francis, J. s commemorative 
address on, 1, 153; mentioned, 155, 
341 n., 2, 191. See Contents. 
Bornemann, Fraulein, 1, 116, 135. 
Bosanquet, B., quoted, 2, 126. . 
Boston Journal, 2, 329. 
Boston Transcript, J. s letter to, on 
Medical License bill, 2, 68-70; 72 
and ., 124, 125. 



Boulogne, College de, 1, 20. 

Bourget, Paul, Idylle Tragique, 2, 37; 
and Tolstoy, 37, 38; mentioned, 1, 
348. 

Bourget, Mme. Paul, 1, 348. 

Bourkhardt, James, 1, 64, 70. 

Bourne, Ansel, 1, 294. 

Boutroux, Lmile, 2, 314, 332, 335, 337, 
33- 

Bowditch, Henry I., 1, 124. 

Bowditch, Henry P., 1, 71, 102, 138, 
J39> H7, 167, 169, 195. See Contents. 

Bowen, Francis, 1, 53. 

Boyd, Harriet A. (Mrs. C. H. Hawes), 
2, 223, 224. 

Bradley, Francis H., Logic, 1, 258; 
mentioned, 2, 142, 208, 216, 271, 
272, 281, 282. 

Brazil, Agassiz s expedition to, 1, 54^".; 
letters written by J., 56-70; re 
called, on Mrs. Agassiz s 8oth birth 
day, 2, 181. 

Brazilians, the, 1, 59, 66. 

Brighton (England) Aquarium, 1, 287. 

British Guiana, 2, 26. 

British intellectuality, 1, 270. 

Brown-Sequard, Charles E., 1, 71. 

Browning, Robert, "A Grammarian s 
Funeral," 1, 129, 130; mentioned, 
2, 123. 

Bruno, Giordano, inscription on statue 
of, 2, 139. 

Bryce, James, 1, 303, 345, 2, 65, 298, 
299. 

Bryce, Mrs. James, 2, 298, 299. 

Bryn Mawr College, 2, 120, 121. 

Bull, Mrs. Ole, 2, 144. 

Bunch, a dog, 1, 183. 

Burkhardt, Jacob, Renaissance in Italy, 

1, 176. 

Busse, Leib und Seele, Geist und Korper, 

2, 237 and n. 

Butler, Joseph, Analogy, 1, 189. 
Butler, Samuel, 1, 283. 

Cabot, J. Elliot, 1, 204. 
Caird, Edward, 1, 205, 305. 
California, impressions of, 2, 82. 
California, Northern, 2, 80. 
California, University of, 2, 5. 
California Champagne, Gift of, 1, 291. 
Canadian Pacific Ry., 2, 80. 
Carlyle, "Jenny," 2, 192. 
Carlyle, Thomas, and H. James, Senior, 

compared, 1, 241; mentioned, 220. 
Carnegie, Andrew, 2, 18. 
Carpenter, William B., 1, 143. 
Carqueiranne, Chateau de, 2, 114. 



INDEX 



367 



Carrington, Hereward, 2, 327. 

Cams, Karl G., 1, 96. 

Casey, Silas, 1, 155. 

Castle Mai wood, 2, 160. 

Catholic Church, J. s attitude toward, 

1, 296, 297. 

Catholics, "concrete," differentiated 

i from their church, 1, 297. 

Cattell, J. M., quoted, 1, 300; men 
tioned, 2, 32. 

Census of Hallucinations in America, 
conducted by J., 1, 228, 229, 2, 50. 

Chamberlain, Joseph, 1, 303. 

Chambers, Dr., Clinical Lectures, 1, 150. 

Chanzy, Antoine E. A., 1, 160. 

Chapman, John J., Practical Agitation, 

2, 124; Political Nursery, 128; men 
tioned, 125, 329. See Contents. 

Chapman, Mrs. John J., 2, 256. 

Charmes, Francis, 2, 320. 

Chatrian, L. G. C. A. See Erckmann- 
Chatrian. 

Chautauqua, J. s lectures at, and im 
pressions of, 2, 40 ff. 

Chesterton, Gilbert K., Heretics,2, 241, 
260; mentioned, 257 and n., 330. 

Chicago, anarchist riot in, and English 
newspapers, 1, 252. 

Chicago University, School of Thought, 

2, 201, 202. 

Child, Francis J., death of, 2, 52; men 
tioned, 1, 51, 169, 195, 291, 315 and 
n., 317. See Contents. 

Child, Mrs. F. J., 1, 51, 197, 2, 52. 

Chocorua, J. s summer home at, 1, 267, 
268; life at, 271, 272; J. s life ends 
at, 2, 350; 1, 261, 323. 

Christian Scientists, and the Medical 
License bill, 2, 68, 69. 

Christian Theology, position with refer 
ence to, 2, 213, 214. 

Clairvoyance. See Psychic phenomena. 

Claparede, Edward, 2, 226, 227, 323. 

Clark University, 2, 327. 

Clarke, Joseph Thatcher, 2, 130. 

Clemens, Samuel L. See Twain, Mark. 

Cleveland, Grover, his Venezuela Mes 
sage, and its reaction on J., 2, 26 f., 
31, 32, 33, 2, 285. 

Clifford, W. K., 2, 218. 

Club, the, 2, 9, 10. 

Colby, F. M., 2, 264. 

Collier, Robert J. F., 2, 264. 

Colorado Springs, summer school at, 2, 
24. 

Columbia Faculty Club, J. s talks at, 
2, 265 and n. 

Columbia University, 2, 332. 



Columbus, Christopher, and Dr. Bow- 
ditch, 1, 124. 
Common sense, 2, 198. 
Concord, Mass., Emerson centenary at, 

2, 194- 
Concord Summer School of Philosophy, 

1, 230, 255. 
Congress of the U. S., and the Spanish 

War, 2, 73, 74. 

Coniston, Ruskin Museum at, 2, 306. 
Continent, the, and England, contrasts 

between, 2, 152, 305. 
Conversion, 2, 57. 
Correggio, Antonio de, his Shepherds 

Adoration, 1, 90; and Rafael, 90. 
Corruption, in Europe and America, 2, 

101. 
Courtelines, G., Les Marionettes de la 

Vie. 2, 336. 
Courtier, M., 2, 327. 
Cousin, Victor, 1, 117. 
Crafts, James W., 2, 10. 
Cranch, Christopher P., 1, 131. 
Critique Philosophique, 1, 188, 207. 
Crothers, Samuel M., 2, 262. 
Cuba, and the Spanish War, 2, 73, 74. 

Danriac, Lionel, 2, 45, 203. 

Dante Alighieri, 1, 331. 

Darwin, Charles R., 1, 225. 

Darwin, Mrs. W. E. (Sara Sedgwick), 
1, 76, 179,2, 152. 

Darwin, William E., 2, 152. 

Darwin, William Leonard, 2, 276. 

Daudet, Alphonse, 2, 168. 

Davidson, Thomas, J. s essay on, 2, 107 
n.; J. lectures at his summer school, 
!97> T 99; mentioned, 1, 192, 202, 
204, 249, 255, 2, 156. See Contents. 

Davis, Jefferson, 1, 66, 67. 

Death, reflections concerning, 2, 154. 

Delboeuf, J., 1, 216, 217. 

Demoniacal possession, 2, 56, 57. 

Derby, Richard, 1, 122. 

Descartes, Rene C., 1, 188, 2, 13. 

Determinism, 1, 245, 246. 

Dewey, John, Beliefs and Realities, 2, 
245, 246; mentioned, 202, 257. See 
Contents. 

Dexter, Newton, 1, 68, 73. 

Dibblee, Anita, 2, 82, 84. 

Dibblee, B. H., 2, 82. 

Dibblee, Mrs., 2, 82, 84. 

Dickinson, G. Lowes, Justice and Lib 
erty, 2, 317, 318. 

Diderot, Denis, GEuvres Choisis, 1, 106, 
107; mentioned, 142. 

Dilthey, W., 1, 109, no, in. 



3 68 



INDEX 



Divonne, 1, 137, 138. 

Dixwell, Epes S., 1, 124. 

Dixwell, Fanny, 1, 76 and n. And see 

Holmes, Mrs. Fanny Dixwell. 
Dooley, Mr. See Dunne, Finley P. 
Dorr, George B., 2, 255. 
Dorrs, the, 2, 63. 
Dresden, 1, 86, 92, 93, 104. 
Dresden Gallery, 1, 90. 
Dreyfus Case, the, 2, 89, 97^"., 102. 
Driesch, Hans, Gtfford Lectures, 2, 323. 
Driver, Dr., 2, 118. 
Du Bois, W. E. B., The Souls of Black 

Folk, 2, 196 and . 
Du Bois-Raymond, Emil, 1, 121. 
Dudevant, Mme. Aurore. See Sand, 

George. 
Du Maurier, George, Peter Ibbetson, 1, 

3i8. 

Dunne, Finley P., 2, 94, 264. 
Durham, 2, 306, 307. 
Duveneck, Frank, 1, 153, 337 and n., 

341- 
Duveneck, Mrs. Frank. See Boott, 

Elizabeth. 
Dwight, Thomas, 1, 97, 98, 122, 124, 

165, 1 66, 170. 

Edinburgh, praise of, 2, 146, 147, 150; 
social amenities in, 147, 148. 

Education, importance of, 1, 119. 

Eliot, Charles W., quoted, on J. in 
Scientific School, 1, 31, 32 and n.; 
on J. Wyman, 47, 48; on courses 
given by J., 2, 4 n.; mentioned, 1, 
35, 165, 1 66, 202, 262, 2, 3, 15, 86, 
137, 266. 

Eliot, George, Daniel Deronda, 1, 185. 

Elliot, Gertrude, 2, 263. 

Elliot, John W., 2, 129. 

Elliot, Mrs. John W. (Mary Morse), 

1, 197 i 99 ,2, 129. 
Ellis, Rufus, 1, 192. 

Emerson, Edward W., on H. James, 
Senior, 1, 17, 18 and n.; mentioned, 

Emerson, Mary Moody, and H. James, 
Senior, 1, 18 . 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, letters of H. 
James, Senior, to, quoted, 1, n; cen 
tenary of, 2, 187, 190, 193, 194 (J. s 
address at); "the divine," 190, 191; 
his devotion to truth, 190; Represen 
tative Men, 192, 193; and Santayana, 
2 34> 235; mentioned, 1, 9, 18 n. y 125, 

2, 23, 196, 197. 

Emmet, Ellen, 1, 316, 2, 61, 82, 83, 84. 
See Contents. 



Emmet, Mrs. Temple (Ellen Temple), 
2, 64. 

Emmet, Rosina H., 2, 38, 61, 62, 64. 
See Contents. 

Emmet, Temple, 2, 61. 

Empiricism, 1, 152. And see Radical 
Empiricism. 

England, in 1871, 1, 161; gardens in, 
288; impressions of, in 1901, 2, 152; 
contrasted with Continental coun 
tries, 152, 305; and the U. S., 304, 
305; changes in, 307; high state of 
civilization in, 307, 308. 

English, in Germany, 1, 87. 

English language, the teaching of the, 
1 341. 

English newspapers, and the anarchist 
riot in Chicago, 1, 252; attitude of, 
on Venezuela Message, 2, 33; men 
tioned, 125, 126. 

English people, one aspect of the great 
ness of, 1, 288. 

English social and political system, 1, 
232, 233. 

Erb, Dr., 2, 128. 

Erckmann (Emile)-Chatrian (L. G. C. 
A.), L Ami Fritz, 1, 101; Les Confes 
sions d un Joueur de Clarinette, 101; 
Histoire d un Sous-Maitre, 162; men 
tioned, 1 06, 136. 

Erdmann, Johann E., 1, 345. 

Erie Canal, the, 1, 3. 

Essays Philosophical and Philological 
in Honor of William James, 2, 309, 
310. 

Esterhazy M. (Dreyfus case), 2, 98, 100. 

Evans, Mrs. Glendower. See Contents. 

Evans, Mary Anne. See Eliot, George. 

Everett, Charles Carroll, 1, 202, 2, 156. 

Everett, William, 1, 51. 

Experience, The philosophy of, 2, 184, 
185, 187. 

Faidherbe, Louis L. C., 1, 160. 

Fairchild, Sally, 2, 205. 

Faith-curers, and the Medical License 

bill, 2, 68, 69, 70, 71. 
Farlow, William G., 1, 71. 
Fechner, Gustav T., Zend-Avesta, 2, 

300, 309; mentioned, 1, 160, 2, 269, 

318. 

Fichte, Johann G., 1, 141, 2, 293. 
Field, Kate, Washington, 1, 308. 
Figaro, 2, 97, 99. 
Fischer, Kuno, Essay on Lessing s 

Nathan der Weise, 1, 94; Hegel s 

Leben, Werke und Lehre, 2, 134, 135, 

138. 



INDEX 



369 



Fiske, John, death of, 2, 156, 157; 

Cosmic Philosophy , 2, 233; men 

tioned, 1, 347, 2, 10. 
Fitz, Reginald H., 1, 162. 
Flaubert, Gustave, Madame Bovary, 

2, 291; mentioned, 1, 182. 
Fletcher, Horace, 2, 254. 
Flint, Austin, 1, 167. 
Florence, Boboli Garden, 1, 177; 180, 

i8i,328/., 340, 342. 
Flournoy, Theodore, William James, 

1, 145 and n.; beginnings of J. s 
friendship with, 320; Metaphysique 
et Psychologic, 2, 25; on religious 
psychology, 185; reviews Myers s 
Human Personality, 185; lectures on 
pragmatism, 267; mentioned, 129, 
172, 1 80 n., 227, 228,, 315. His chil 
dren referred to: Alice, 2, 129, 241, 
242; Ariane-Dorothee, 129; Henri, 
1 86, 187; Marguerite, 129. See Con 
tents. 

Flournoy, Mme. Theodore, 1, 325, 326, 

2, 23, 25, 46, 48, 53, 55, 129, 187, 



>3 I 3- 
, He 



Foote, Henry W., 1, in, 112, 113, 

153- 
Forbes, W. Cameron, 2, 297. See 

Contents. 

Forbes-Robertson, J., 2, 263. 
Fouillee, Alfred, Renouvier s articles 

on, 1, 231; mentioned, 324. 
France, and Prussia (1867), 1,95; relig 

ious and revolutionary parties in, 161, 

162; influence of Catholic education 

in, 162; and the Dreyfus case, 2, 89; 

decadence of, 105, 106. 
France, Anatole, 2, 63. 
Francis of Assisi, St., 2, 142. 
Francis Joseph, Emperor, 1, 88. 
Franco-Prussian War, J. s views on, 1, 

159, 160, 161. 
Frazer, J. G., 2, 139. 
Free will, influence on J. of Renou 

vier s writings on, 1, 147, 164, 165, 

169; and determinism, 186; S. H. 

Hodgson s paper on, 244, 245. 
French language, 1, 341. 
Freud, Sigmund, 2, 327, 328. 

Galileo, 2, i n. 

Galileo anniversary at Padua, 1, 333. 
Gardiner, H. N., 2, 163. See Contents. 
Gardner, Mrs. John L., 2, 205. 
Garibaldi, statue of, 2, 139. 
Gautier, Theophile, 1, 106. 
Geneva, "Academy" of, 1, 20, 2, 187; 
Museum at, 21. 



German art, 1, 105. 

German character, 1, 126. 

German education, 1, 121. 

German essayists, discussed, 1, 94, 95. 

German genius, its massiveness, 2, 176. 

German language, J. s progress in 
learning, 1, 87, 101, 108, 116, 121; 
mentioned, 87, 88, 89, 92, 341. 

German motto, the, 1, 213. 

German universities, and Harvard, 1, 
217, 218 and n. 

Germans, J. s opinion of, 1, loo, 101, 
121, 122, 2, 104. 

Germany, J. s impressions of, 1, 86, 
105; peasant-women in, 21 1; phi 
losophers in, 216, 217; in 1910, 2, 341. 

Gibbens, Alice H., early life, 1, 192; 
marries J., 192. And see James, 
Mrs. William. 

Gibbens, Mrs. E. P., 1, 192, 222, 247, 
248, 260, 339, 2, 1 1 8. See Contents. 

Gibbens, Margaret, 1, 248, 260, 279, 
281, 318. And see Gregor, Mrs. 
Leigh R. See Contents. 

Gibbens, Mary, marries W. M. Salter, 
1, 248. 

Gifford Lectures. See this title under 
James, William, Works of. 

Gilman, Daniel Coit, 1, 202, 203. 

Gizycki, Herr von, 1, 214, 248. 

Gladstone, William E., 2, 31. 

Glenmore, Davidson s summer school 
of philosophy at, 2, 197 n., 199. 

God,conceptionsof,2, 211,213,269, 270. 

Goddard, George A., 1, 274. 

Godkin, E. L., Life of, quoted, 1, 17, 
115 n.; J. s opinion of, 284, 285; 
Comments and Reflections, 2, 30; ill 
ness of, 1 60, 161; his death, 181; 
proposed memorial to, 181, 182; his 
home life and his "life against the 
world," 182; mentioned, 1, 118, 
239, 2, 167. See Contents. 

Godkin, Mrs. E. L., 1, 240, 241, 2, 30, 
167. 

Godkin, Lawrence, 2, 30. 

Goethe, Johann W. von, quoted, 1, 54; 
Italienische Reise, 91; Vischer on 
Faust, 94; Gedichte, 2, 176; men 
tioned, 1, 104, 107. 

Goldmark, Charles, 2, 75, 77. 

Goldmark, Josephine, 2, 215. 

Goldmark, Pauline, 2, 75, 76, 94. See 
Contents. 

Goldmarks, the, 2, 275. 

Goldstein, Julius, 2, 339. 

Goodwin, William W., 1, 51. 

Gordon, George A., 1, 277. 



INDEX 



Grand Canyon of Arizona, 2, 238, 239. 

Grandfather Mountain, 1, 316, 317. 

Grant, Sir Ludovic, 2, 144. 

Grant, Percy, 2, 262. 

Grant, Ulysses S., 1, 155. 

Gray, John C, Jr., 1, 102/127, 154, 155, 
1 68, 169, 2, 9, 10, 288. See Contents. 

Gray, Roland, 2, 109. 

Great Britain, and Venezuela, 2, 26, 
27; and the Boer War, 140, 141. 
And see England. 

Greeks, the, 2, 225. 

Green, St. John, 2, 233. 

Greene, T. H., 2, 237. 

Gregor, Mrs. Leigh R. (Margaret Gib- 
bens), 1, 338, 2, 1 06. And see Gib- 
bens, Margaret. 

Gregor, Rosamund, 2, 275 and n. 

Grimm, Herman, his Uniiberwindliche 
Mdchte, reviewed by J., 1, 103, 104 
and n.; his arrant moralism, 104; 
"suckled by Goethe," 104; J. dines 
with, 109 f.; his costume, no; on 
Homer, in; mentioned, 107, 108, 
125. 

Grimm, Mrs. Herman (Gisela von 
Arnim), 1, in, 116. 

Grimm Brothers, 1, 107, no. 

Grinnell, Charles E., 2, 10. 

Gryon, Switzerland, 1, 321, 322. 

Gurney, Edmund, Phantasms of the 
Living, 1, 267; his death, 279; J. s 
regard for, 280 and n.; mentioned, 

222, 22 9 n., 2 4 2, 251. 255, 2, 30. 

Gurney, Mrs. Edmund, 1, 279, 287. 
Gurney, Ephraim W., 1, 76 n., 151. 
Gurney, Mrs. Ephraim W. (Ellen 
Hooper), 1, 76 n. 

Habit, Chapter on, in the Psychology, 

1, 297. 

Halevy, Daniel, Vie de Nietzsche, 2, 336, 

34. 
Hall, G. Stanley, quoted, 1, 188, 189, 

307; his new Journal, 2, 210, 217; 

mentioned, 1, 255, 269, 2, 327. 
Hallucinations, Census of. See Census. 
Hamilton, Alexander, 1, 5. 
Hamilton, Sir W., 1, 189. 
Hampton Court, 1, 287. 
Hapgood, Norman, 2, 264. 
Harris, Frank, The Man Shakespeare, 

2, 330, 335, 33 6 - 

Harris, William T., 1, 201, 202, 204. 
Hartmann, Karl R. E. von, 1, 191, 2, 

293- 

Harvard Medical School, in the sixties, 
1 7 1 ff-y an d the Medical License 
Bill, 2, 67. 



Harvard Psychological Laboratory, 
beginning of, 1, 179 n.; Miinsterberg 
in charge of, 301, 302. 

Harvard Summer School, 2, 4. 

Harvard University, beginning of J. s 
service in, 1, 165; courses in philos 
ophy offered by, 191; Hegelism at, 
208; contrasted with German uni 
versities, 217, 218 and n.; Depart 
ment of Philosophy, J. on the future 
f> 3 I 7y 3 r .8; J- s new courses at, 2, 
3, 4; routine business of professors, 
45 and n.; a possible genuine philo 
sophic universe at, 122; confers 
LL.D. on J., 173 and n.; J. resigns 
professorship at, 220, 266 and n.; 
Roosevelt as possible President of, 
232 and n. 

Havens, Kate, 1, 85 n. 

Hawthorne Julian, Bressant, 1, 167. 

Hay, John, 1, 251. 

Hegel, Georg W. F., Aesthetik, 1, 87; 
mentioned, 202, 205, 208, 305. 

Hegelianism (Hegelism), at Harvard, 1, 
208; in the Psychology, 304 and ., 
305; mentioned, 2, 237. 

Hegelians, 1, 205. 

Heidelberg, 1, 137. 

Helmholtz, H. L. F. von, Optics, 1, 
266; mentioned, 72, 119, 123, 137, 
224, 225, 347. 

Helmholtz, Frau von, 1, 347. 

Henderson, Gerard C., 2, 275. 

Henry, Joseph, 1, 7. 

Henry, Colonel (Dreyfus case), 2, 98. 

Herder, Johann G. von, 1, 141. 

Hering, Ewald, 1, 212. 

Hewlett, Maurice, Halfway House, 2, 

34- 

Heymans, G., Einfiihrung in die Meta- 
physiK, 2, 237 and n. 

Hibbert Foundation lectures (Man 
chester College), 2, 283, 284. 

Hibbert Journal, 2, 313, 348. 

Higginson, Henry L., takes charge of 
J. s patrimony, 1, 233; and the Har 
vard Union, 2, 108 and n.; men 
tioned, 9, 10, 181, 191, 261, 287, 329. 
See Contents. 

Higginson, James J., 1, 102, 127. 

Higginson, Storrow, 1, 35. 

Higginson, T. W., 2, 191. 

Hildreth, J. L., 1, 275, 277. 

Hildreth, Mrs. J. L., 1, 276. 

Hoar, George F., 2, 191. 

Hobhouse, L. T., and "The Will to 
Believe," 2, 207, 209; mentioned, 
282. See Contents. 

Hodder, Alfred, 2, 14. 



INDEX 



Hodges, George, 2, 276. 

Hodgson, Richard, death of, 2, 242, 
258; his work and character, 242; and 
Mrs. Piper, 242; J. investigates Mrs. 
Piper s claim to give communica 
tions from his spirit, 286, 287; J. s 
report thereon, 317, 319, 324; men 
tioned, 1, 228, 229 n., 254, 281. 

Hodgson, Shadworth H., "Time and 
Space," 1, 1 88; "Theory of Prac 
tice," 1 88; "Philosophy and Ex 
perience," and "Dialogue on the 
Will," 243-245; mentioned, 143, 191, 
202, 203, 204, 205, 208, 222. See 
Contents. 

Hoffding, Harold, 2, 216. 

Holland, Mrs. See Mediums. 

Holmes, O. W., 1, 71. 

Holmes, O. W., Jr., 1, 60, 73, 76, 80, 
154, 155, 2, 10, 51. See Contents. 

Holmes, Mrs. O. W., Jr. (Fanny Dix- 
well), her "panel" and its inscrip 
tion, 2, 156 and n., 157. 

Holt, Edwin B., 2, 234. 

Holt, Henry, 2, 18. See Contents. 

Holt, Henry, & Co., J. contracts to 
write volume on Psychology for, 1, 
194. 

Homer, 1, in. 

Hooper, Edward W., 2, 156. 

Hooper, Ellen, 1, 76 and n. 

Hooper, Ellen (Mrs. John Potter), 2, 
275. 

Hooper, Louisa, 2, 275. 

Hopkins, Woolsey R., describes acci 
dent to H. James, Senior, 1, 7, 8. 

Horace Mann Auditorium, 2, 17. 

Horse-swapping, 1, 271. 

House of Commons, 1, 345, 346. 

Howells, W. D., Indian Summer ; 1, 253; 
Shadow of a Dream, 298; Hazard of 
New Fortunes, 298, 299; Rise of Silas 
Lapham, 307; Minister s Charge, 307, 
308; Lemuel Barker, 308; Criticism 
and Fiction, 308; mentioned, 1, 158, 
2, 10. See Contents. 

Howells, Mrs. W. D., 1, 253, 298, 299. 

Howison, George H., 1, 239 n., 304, 2, 
78. See Contents. 

Hugo, Victor, Les Miserables, 1, 263; 
La Legende des Siecles, 2, 63; men 
tioned, 1, 90, 2, 51. 
Huidekoper, Rosamund, 2, 275. 
Humanism, 2, 245, 282. 
Humboldt, H. A. von, Travels, 1, 62. 
Humboldt, W., letters of, 1, 141. 
Hume, David, 1, 187, 2, 18, 123, 165. 
Hunnewell, Walter, 1, 68. 
Hunt, William M., 1, 24. 



Hunter, Ellen (Temple), 2, 258, 262. 
Huxley, Thomas H., J. quoted on, 1, 

226 n.; his Life and Letters, 226 n., 2, 

248; mentioned, 2, 218. 
Hyatt, Alpheus, 1, 31. 
Hyslop, James H., 2, 242, 287. 

Ideal, the, 1, 238^ -v 

Idealism, Absolute, Royce s argument \ 

for, 1, 242. ^_} 

Immortality, 1, 310, 2, 214, 287. 
Imperialism, 2, 74. 
Indians, in Brazil, 1, 66, 67, 70. 
Indifferentism, 1, 238. 
Insane, proposed national society to 

improve condition of, 2, 273, 274. 
Intellectualism, 2, 291, 292. 
Italian language, 1, 341, 2, 222. 
Italy, 1, 175, 1 80, 181. 

Jacks, L. P., 2, 339, 348. 

Jackson, Henry, 1, 274, 275. 

Jacobi, Friedrich H., 1, 141. 

James, Alexander R. (J. s son), 2, 37, 

43, 92. See Contents. 
James, Alice (J. s sister), her diary 
quoted, 1, 16, in England with H. 
James, Jr., from 1885 on, 258; her 
illness, 258, 259, 284; her diary 
quoted, 259 n.; quoted, on J. s 
European trip in 1889, 289, 290; her 
death, 319; mentioned, 18, 47, 60, 
69, 91, 103, 142, 172, 183, 217, 220, 
281, 285, 286, 2, 127. See Contents. 
James, Mrs. Catherine (Barber), third 
wife of W. James I, (J. s paternal 
grandmother), "a dear gentle lady," 
1, 6; her house in Albany, 105; men 
tioned, 4, 5 n., j. 

James, Garth Wilkinson (J. s brother), 
wounded at Fort Wagner, 1, 43, 44, 
49; mentioned, 1, 17, 33, 35, 36, 40, 
41, 42, 51, 52, 60, 69, 70, 88, 135 ., 
136, 192. 

James, Henry, Senior (J. s father), 
quoted, on his father, 1, 4, his grand 
father, 5, and his mother, 5 and n.; his 
habit of thought expressed in his de 
scription of his mother, 5 n.; sketch of 
his life and character, 7-19; maimed 
for life by accident, 7, 8; his discon 
tent with orthodox dispensation, 8; 
marries Mary Walsh, 8; J. s strik 
ing resemblance to, 10; relations with 
his children, 10, 18, 19; J. s introduc 
tion to his. Literary Remains, 10, 13; 
letters of, to Emerson, n; effect of 
Swedenborg s works on, 1 2; the only 
business of his later life, 12, 13; J. s 



372 



INDEX 



estimate of, 13 ; Henry James quoted 
on, 14; letter of, to editor of New 
Jerusalem Messenger, 14-16; his di 
rections regarding his funeral service, 
16; Godkin quoted on, 17; E. W. 
Emerson quoted on, 17, 18 and n.; 
and Miss Emerson, 18 .; influence 
of his "full and homely idiom" on 
the conversation of his sons, 18; 
his philosophy, discussed by J., 96, 
97; his essay on Swedenborg, 117; 
letter of, to Henry James, 169; 
dangerously ill, 218; J. ; last let 
ter to, 218-220; his Secret of Swe 
denborg, 220; his death, 221; J. s 
memories of, 221, 222; his mentality 
described, 241, 242; compared with 
Carlyle, 241; mentioned, 2, 6, 7, 27, 
36, 53, 68, 80, 92, 103, 104, 115 and 
n., 118, 135 n., 153, 157, 158 and ., 
175, 217, 260, 289, 290, 316, 2, 39, 
278. See Contents. 

Literary Remains of, edited by J., 
1, 4 and n., 5 n., 10, 13, 236, 239, 240, 
241. 

James, Mrs. Henry, Senior (Mary 
Walsh), (J. s mother), her character, 
1, 9; her death, 218; mentioned, 8, 
69, 80, 103, 117, 156, 175, 183, 219, 
220. See Contents. 

James, Henry, Jr. (J. s brother), im 
pressions of an elder generation re 
flected in The Wings of the Dove, 1, 
7; and his mother, 9; his birth, 9; 
quoted, on his father, 14; influence 
of his father s "idiom" on his speech, 
1 8; at the College de Boulogne, 20; 
early secret passion for authorship, 
21; his "meteorological blunder," 21 ; 
quoted, on J., as "he sits drawing," 
22, 23; letter of his father to, 169; 
his feeling for Europe, 209; its reac 
tion on him and on J., contrasted, 
209, 210; described by J., 288; his 
"third manner" of writing criticized 
by J., 2, 240, 277-279; his paper on 
Boston, 252; mentioned, 1, 17, 25, 
33, 36, 40, 4 1 , 45, 5i, 53, 68, 70, 76, 
80, 90, 94, 95, 99, ico, 115, 117, 11 8, 
136, 138, 141, 148 n., 174, 175, 177, 
178, 1 80, 218, 219, 240, 258, 260, 262, 
269, 283, 284, 286, 287, 289, 290, 319, 
2, 10, 35, 61, 62, 84, 105, 106, 1 10, 
161, 167, 168, 169, 170, 192, 193, 215, 
224, 250, 280, 315, 333, 335, 338, 341, 
350. See Contents.. 

Works of: The American, 1, 185; 
The American Scene, 2, 264, 277, 299; 



The Bostonians, 1, 250, 251. 252, 20- 
The Golden Bowl, 2, 240; Notes of a 
Son and Brother, 1, 10, 11 n., 24, 32, 
36, 135 n.; Partial Portraits, 280; The 
Portrait of a Lady, 36; Princess Cas- 
samassima, 251; The Reverberator, 
280; Roderick Hudson, 184; W. IV. 
Story, Life of, 27 n.; The Tragic Muse, 
299; A Small Boy and Others, 4 n., 
8 n., 9, 10, 14, 20, 21, 22, 23; The 
Wings of the Dove, 7, 36, 2, 240. 
James, Henry, 3d (J. s son), 1, 275, 278, 
279, 282, 329, 330, 336, 343, 2, 30, 31, 
84, 129, 143, 145, i 47j 1 59) 324 . See 
Contents. 
James, Hermann (J. s son), birth of, 1, 

2 34, 235; death of, 247. 
James, Margaret M. (J. s daughter), 
birth of, 1, 267; mentioned, 275, 276, 
279, 281, 322, 332, 336, 2, 43, 54, 98, 
102, 1 10, 130, 191. See Contents. 
James, Robertson (J. s brother), in 
Union army, 1, 43, 44; mentioned, 
17, 33, 41, 43, 52, 60, 69, 70, 81, 136. 
James, William, J. s grandfather, his 
career, from penury to great wealth, 
1, 2, 3; a leading citizen of Albany, 
3; personal appearance, 3; anec 
dotes of, 3, 4; H. James, Senior, 
quoted on, 4; his stiff Presbyterian- 
ism and its results, 4; his will disal 
lowed by court, 4, 6; marries Cath 
erine Barber, 4. 

James, William, J. s uncle, 1, 6. 
JAMES, WILLIAM. 

His ancestors in America, 1, i; 
recurrence of his father s habit of 
thought in, 5 n.; and his mother, 9; 
resemblance of, to his father, 10; 
quoted, on his father, 13; influence 
of his father s "idiom," 18 and n.; 
frequent changes of schools and 
tutors, 19; in Europe, 1855 to 1858, 
19; at the College de Boulogne, and 
the "Academy" of Geneva, 20; 
quoted, on his education, 20; in 
terest in exact knowledge, 20; be 
gins study of anatomy at Geneva, 
21; his cosmopolitanism of con 
sciousness, 22; widely read in three 
languages, 22; effect of his early 
training, 22; takes up painting, 22- 
24; portrait of Katharine Temple, 
24; physique, personal appear 
ance and dress, 24, 25; temperament 
and conversation, 26; "smiting" 
quality of his best talk, 27; keen 
about new things, 28; disadvantage 



INDEX 



373 



of being too encouraging to "little 
geniuses," 28, 29; freer criticism of 
those who had arrived, 29; influ 
ence as a teacher at Harvard, 29, 30; 
in Lawrence Scientific School, 31 
and n.; physical condition keeps him 
out of army in Civil War, 47; trans 
fers from Chemistry to Comparative 
Anatomy, 47; and Jeffries Wyman, 
48, 49; begins course at Medical 
School, 53; philosophy begins to 
beckon, 53; joins Agassiz s expedi 
tion to the Amazon, 54; his nine 
months with Agassiz not wasted, 
55, 56; has small-pox at Rio, 60, 61, 
63 and n.; interne at Mass. General 
Hospital, 71; again in Medical 
School, 71-84. 

Impaired health causes his visit 
to Germany, 84, 85; in Dresden, 
Berlin and Teplitz, 85, 86; describes 
his condition in letter to his father, 
95, 96; returns to U. S., 139; takes 
degree of M.D. (1869), 140; eye- 
weakness, 140, 141; scope of his 
reading, 141, 142 and ., 143; his 
note-books, 143, 144; relation be 
tween earlier and later writings, 144 
and n.; morbid depression, 145; 
chapter on the "sick soul" the story 
of his own case, 145-147; return of 
resolution and self-confidence, 147, 
148; Instructor in Physiology, 165; 
his real subject, physiological psy 
chology, 165, 1 66; his deepest incli 
nation always toward philosophy, 166; 
H. James, Senior s, letter on the 
change in J. s mental tone and out 
look, 169, 170; decides to devote him 
self to biology, 171; Europe again, 
171; end of the period of morbid de 
pression, 171; gives course in Psy 
chology and organizes Psychological 
Laboratory, 179 and n.; contribu 
tions to periodicals, 180; on teaching 
of philosophy in American colleges, 
189^. 

Marries Alice H. Gibbens, 192; 
effect of his new domesticity, 193; 
importance of his wife s companion 
ship and understanding, 193; con 
tracts to write a volume on Psy 
chology, 194; vacations in Keene 
Valley, 195; his mode of life there, 
195; a bit of self-analysis, 199, 200; 
first work on Psychology, 203, 223; 
declines invitation to teach at Johns 
Hopkins, 203; in Europe, 1880-83, 



208 ff.; and Henry James, 209, 210; 
"reaction" on Europe, 209, 210; 
death of his mother, 218, and of his 
father, 221; his memories of them, 
221, 222; corresponding member of 
English Society for Psychical Re 
search, 227; an organizer and officer 
of the American Society, 227; inves 
tigates psychic phenomena, 227 ff.; 
conducts American Census of Hallu 
cinations, 228, 229; edits his father s 
Literary Remains, 236, 239 ff.; his life 
at Chocorua, 271, 272, 273. 

Abroad in 1889, 286 ff.; at Inter 
national Congress of Physiological 
Psychology, 288, 289, 290; his new 
house in Cambridge, 290, 291; his 
inclination toward the under-dog, 
292, 293, 2, 178; completion of the 
Psychology, 1, 293 ff.; effect of its 
publication on his reputation, 300; 
prepares an abridgment (Briefer 
Course), 300, 301; turns his attention 
more fully toward philosophy, 301; 
raises money for Harvard Labora 
tory, 301, and recommends Miinster- 
berg as its head, 301; his sabbatical 
year abroad, 302, 320 ff.; beginning 
of his friendship with Flournoy, 320; 
receives honorary degree at Padua, 

333- 

How his mind was moving during 
the nineties, 2, 2 ff.; his opinion of 
psychology, 2; new courses at Har 
vard, 3, 4; outside lecturing, 4; 
would devote his thought and work 
to metaphysical and religious ques 
tions, 5; frustrations, 5, 6; personal 
appearance, 6, 7; his daily round, 
79; the Club, 9, 10; nervous break 
down, 10; D. S. Miller quoted on, 
11-17; attitude toward spelling re 
form, 1 8, 19; and Cleveland s Ven 
ezuela Message, 26 ff.; experiments 
with mescal, 35, 37; Chautauqua 
lectures, 40 ff.; work on college com 
mittees, 45 n., at Faculty meetings, 
45 n., lectures at Lowell Institute, 54 
and n., 55; invited to deliver Gifford 
Lectures at Edinburgh, 55; Blood s 
strictures on his English, 59; on a 
proposed Medical License bill, 66 ff.; 
on the Spanish War, 73, 74; corre 
sponding member of Academic des 
Sciences Morales et Politiques, 75; a 
memorable night in the Adirondacks, 

Effect on his health of misadven- 



374 



INDEX 



tures in the Adirondacks, 78, 79, 90, 
91; two years of exile and illness, 92 
jj.\ an individualist and a liberal, 
93; opposed to Philippine policy of 
McKinley administration, 93, 94; 
his teaching limited to a half-course a 
year, 171; lectures and contributions 
to philosophic journals, 171 ; strain on 
his strength, 171; the spirit in which 
he did his work, 172, 173; receives 
LL.D. from Harvard, 173 and n.; re 
plies to Prof. Pratt s Questionnaire , 
212-215; at Philosophical Congress 
at Rome, 219, 220, 225 /.; lectures 
at Stanford University, 220, 235, 240, 
244 and n.; and the San Francisco 
earthquake, 220, 246^".; Pragmatism, 
220; resigns his professorship, 220, 
266 and n.; the last meeting of his 
class, 220, 221, 262. 

Declining health, 283, 333; lect 
ures on Hibbert Foundation at Ox 
ford, 283, 284; uncompleted projects, 
284; his attitude toward war, 284, 
285, and universal arbitration, 285; 
tolerance fundamental in his scheme 
of belief, 286; his report on "Mrs. 
Piper s Hodgson control," 286, 287; 
last months in Europe, 333 ff.; fare 
well to Harvard Faculty, 334; re 
turns to Chocorua, 350; the end, 350. 

Letters containing moral counsel, 
or touching upon problems of Belief, 
2, 57> 65, 76, 77, H9> I5> 196* 19?, 
210, 211, 212-215, 269, 326, 344-346; 
Conduct, 1, 77-79, ico, 128 jff., 148, 
199, 200, 2, 131, 132; Life and Death, 
1, 218-220, 309-311, 2, 130, 154. 

WORKS OF: 
"Address of the President before the 

Society for Psychical Research," 2, 

30 and n. 

"Bain and Renouvier," 1, 186. 
Briefer Course (abridgment of the 

Principles of Psychology), 1, 300, 

301, 304, 314. 

"Brute and Human Intellect," 1, 180. 
"Certain Blindness in Human Beings, 

A," 2, 5. 
Collected Essays and Reviews, 1, 225 

n., 2, 20 n., 287, 295 n. 
"Confidences of a Psychical Re 
searcher," 2, 327 and n. 
"Dilemma of Determinism, The," 1, 

237 and n., 238. 
"Does Consciousness Exist?" See 

"Notion de Conscience, La." 
"Energies of Men, The," 2, 252, 284. 
"Feeling of Effort, The," 1, 207. 



"Frederick Myers s Service to Psy 
chology," 2, 151 and n. 

"German-American Novel, A." 1, 
104 n. 

Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion, 
J. invited to deliver, 2, 55; prepar 
ing for, 85, 92, 93; delivered, 144 /.; 
success of, 147, 149, 150, 151; out 
line of, 150; published as Varieties 
of Religious Experience, 169; men 
tioned, 75, 96, 97, 105, 1 08, in, 
115, 127, 134, 2, 162, 164, 165. 
And -see Varieties of Religious Ex 
perience, infra. 

"How Two Minds can Know One 
Thing," 2, 217 and n. 

Human Immortality, 2, 180 and n. 

"Introspective Psychology, On Some 
Omissions of," 1, 230. 

"Knight-Errant of the Intellectual 
Life, A," 2, 107 n. 

Lowell Institute Lectures, 2, 54 and 
n., 55. 

Meaning of Truth, The, 2, 20 n., 327. 

Memories and Studies, 1, 153, 226 n., 
229 n., 2, 39 n., 59 n., 107 ., I5i u w., 
193, 247, 285 n., 287, 327 n. 

"Moral Equivalent of War, The," 2, 
284. 

"Notion de Conscience, La," 2, 226 
and ., 267 and n. 

"Perception of Space, The," 1, 266 n. 

"Perception of Time, The," 1, 266. 

"Philosophic Reveries," 2, 339. 

"Philosophical Conceptions and Prac 
tical Results," 2, 5. 

Philosophy, Some Problems of, 1, 144, 
n., 186. 

Pluralistic Mystic, A. (lectures on 
Hibbert Foundation), 2, 39 ., 
300, 311, 313, 322, 324, 325, 326, 

339- 
Pragmatism, 2, 17, 276, 279, 292, 294, 

2 95> 3; translated by W. Jerusa- 

lem, 297. 
Pragmatism s Conception of 

Truth," 2, 271 and n. 
"Proposed Shortening of the College 

Course," 2, 45 n. 
Psychology, Principles of, 1, 194, 203, 

223, 224, 249, 268, 269, 283, 293 /., 

296, 297, 300, 301, 304 and n., 305, 

307, 320, 2, 12, 13. 
"Quelques Considerations sur la 

Methode Subjective," 1, 180. 
Radical Empiricism, Essays in, 2, 

267 n. 
"Radical Empiricism, Is it Solipsis- 

tic?" 2, 218. 



INDEX 



375 



"Radical Empiricism as a Philos 
ophy," 2, 197 n. 

Selected Essays and Reviews, 2, 271. 

"Sentiment of Rationality, The," 1, 
203 and n. 

"Shaw Monument, Oration on Un 
veiling of," 2, 59, 60. 

"Spatial Quale, The," 1, 205 and n. 

"Spencer s Definition of Mind as 
Correspondence," 1, 180. 

Talks to Teachers and Students on 
Some of Life s Problems, 2, 4, 5, 40, 
79, 286. 

"Tigers in India, The," 2, 20 n. 

Varieties of Religious Experience. 
(Gifford Lectures), 1, 145-147, 293, 
2, 169, 170, 209, 210, 268. 

"What Psychical Research has Ac 
complished," 1, 229 and n. y 306. 

"Will to Believe, The," 2, 44 , 48, 85, 
87, 88, 207, 208, 209, 282. 

Will to Believe, The, and Other Essays 
in Popular Philosophy, 1, 229 n., 
237 n., 280 n., 2, 4, 5, 34, 58 ., 64. 

"Word More about Truth, A," 2, 295. 
See also list of Dates at the begin 
ning of Volume I, and the partial 
bibliography (Appendix II, infra). 

James, Mrs. William (Alice Gibbens), 1, 
192, 193, 195, 196, 217, 218, 232, 
237, 247, 269, 276, 277, 278, 279, 
281, 286, 288, 294, 297, 298, 316, 
319, 321, 325, 328, 337, 338, 339, 
340, 341, 346, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 20, 24, 34, 
35, 36, 37, 38, 52, 59, 60, 63, 92, 93, 
96, 97, 1 10, in, 112, 113, 129, 134, 
145, 147, 158, 159, 161, 165, 175, 
176, 182, 187, 188, 193, 215, 223, 
233, 247, 250, 256, 258, 259, 275, 
312, 313, 333, 334, 338, 35o. See 
Contents. 

James, William (J. s son), birth of, 1, 
234; mentioned, 237, 260, 275, 276, 
277, 282, 329, 330, 336, 346, 2, 92, 98, 
129, 159, 174, 175, 185, 1 86, 187, 250, 
258, 259, 274, 275, 276. See Contents. 

Jameson Raid, 2, 27. 

Janet, Pierre, 2, 216, 217, 226, 254. 

Janet, Mme. Pierre, 2, 216. 

Jap, a dog, 1, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279. 

Jefferies, Richard, The Life of the Fields, 
2, 258, 259. 

Jeffries, B. Joy, 1, 163. 

Jerome, W. T., 2, 264. 

Jerusalem, W. See Contents. 

Jeyons, F. B., 2, 306. 

"Jimmy," students name for the 
Briefer Course, 1, 301. 



Johns Hopkins University, J. declines 
invitation to teach at, 1, 203. 

Johnson, Alice, 2, 311. 

Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 1, 
266, 2, 339. 

Jung-Stilling, Johann K., Autobiog 
raphy, 1, 155. 

Kallen, Horace M., 2, 271. 

Kant, Immanuel, Kritik der reinen Ver- 
nunft, 1, 138, 2, 179; J. lectures 
on, 45, 47, 51, 54; mentioned, 1, 117, 
141, 191, 202, 205, 2, 3. 

Kaulbach, W. von, 1, 90. 

Keane, Bishop, 1, 294. 

Keene Valley, Adirondacks, J. s sum 
mer holidays in, 1, 194, 195, 196; an 
eventful 24 hours, and its effect, 2, 
75-79, 95; his further misadventure, 
90, 91; mentioned, 1, 232, 2, 51, 259, 
261, 296, 297. 

Kipling, Rudyard, The Light that Failed, 
1, 307; mentioned, 2, 21, 22, 231. 

Kitchin, George W., 2, 306. 

Knox, H. V., 2, 313,314. 

Kruger, Paul, 2, 27. 

Kolliker, R. A. von, 1, 123. 

Kosmos, the startling discoveries con 
cerning, 1, 101. 

Kuhnemann, Eugen, 2, 263. 

La Farge, Bancel, 2, 275. 

La Farge, John, 1, 24, 91, 2, 173. 

Lamar, Lucuis Q. C., 1, 251. 

Lamb, Charles, 2, 239. 

Lamb House, Rye, Henry James s 

English home, 2, 107, in. 
Lawrence Scientific School, Chemical 

laboratory in, 1, 31; C. W. Eliot 

quoted on J. s course in, 31, 32 and n. 
Leibnitz, Baron G. W. von, 2, 13. 
Lemaitre, Jules, 2, 63. 
Leonardo, 2, 227, 228, 245. 
Leopardi, Giacomo, "To Sylvia," 1, 

246 and n. 
Lesley, Susan I., Recollections of my 

Mother, 2, 135 and n. 
Lessing, Gotthold E., Emilia Galotti> 

1, 91; Fischer s Essay on Nathan der 

Weise, 94. 
Leuba, James H., 2, 210, 211, 218. See 

Contents. 
Lincoln, Abraham, effect of his death, 

1, 66, 67; characterized by J., 67. 
Linville, N. C., 1, 316, 317. 
Lister, Sir Joseph, 1, 72. 
Lloyd, Henry D., 2, 166. 
Locke, John, 1, 191, 2, 165, 257. 
Lodge, Henry Cabot, 2, 30. 



376 



INDEX 



Lodge, Sir Oliver, 1, 229 n. 

Loeser, Charles A., 1, 337, 339. 

Lombroso, Cesar, 2, 15. 

London, 1, 175, 2, 307. 

London, Times, 2, 43, 65, 118. 

Long, George, 1, 78. 

Loring, Katharine P., 1, 259, 262, 311, 
316. 

Lotze, Rudolf H., 1, 206, 208. 

Loubet, Emile, President of France, 2, 
89, 98. 

Lowell, A. Lawrence, 2, 326. 

Lowell, James Russell, death of, 1, 
314, 315 n.; J. s memory of, 315; 
mentioned, 195. 

Lucerne, 2, 133. 

Ludwig, Karl F. W., 1, 72, 160, 215. 

Lutoslawski, W., 2, 103, 171. See Con 
tents. 

McDougall, William, 2, 313, 314, 315. 

McKinley, William, and the Spanish 
War, 2, 74; Philippine Policy of 
his administration disapproved by 
J 93> 94> 289; and Roosevelt, J. s 
description of, 94; mentioned, 50, 
101, 102, 109. 

MacMonnies, F. W., Bacchante, 2, 
62 and n., 63. 

Macaulay, Thomas B., Lord, 1, 225. 

Mach, Ernst, 1, 211, 212. 

Maine, U. S. S., explosion of, 2, 73. 

Manchester College. See Hibbert 
Foundation. 

Marcus Aurelius, 1, 78, 79. 

Marshall, Henry Rutgers, Instinct and 
Reason , 1, 87. See Contents. 

Martin, L. J., 2, 246, 249. 

Martineau, James, 1, 283. 

Mascagni, Pietro, / Rantzau, 1, 334, 

335- 
Massachusetts General Hospital, 1, 

71,72. 

Materialism, 1, 82, 83. 
Maudsley, Henry, 1, 143. 
Maupassant, Guy de, 1, 282. 
Medical License bill (proposed), in 

Mass., 2, 66 /. 
Mediums, 1, 228, 2, 287, 311. And see 

Paladino, Eusapia, and Piper, Mrs. 
Mental Hygiene, Connecticut Society 

for, 2, 273; National Committee for, 

273. 

Merriman, Daniel. See Contents. 
Merriman, Mrs. Daniel, 2, 118. 
Merriman^ R. B., 2, 63, 66, 132, 175. 
Mescal, J. s experiment with, 2, 35, 37. 
Metaphysical problems, J. s mind 

haunted by, 2, 2. 



Metaphysics, outline of course offered 
by J. in, 2, 3, 4; J. s proposed sys 
tem of, 179, 1 80. 

Meysenbug, Malvida von, Memoiren 
einer Idealistin, 2, 135 and n. 

Mezes, Sidney E., 2, 14. 

Mill, John Stuart, 1, 164, 2, 267. 

Miller, Dickinson S., quoted, on J. 
as a teacher and lecturer, 2, 11-17; 
"Truth and Error," 18; quoted, on 
J. s talks with Columbia Faculty 
Club, 265 n,; his "study" of J., 
33 !> 332; mentioned, 87, 88, 137, 
163, 232 n., 282. See Contents. 

Mind, 1, 254, 255. 

Mind-curers. See Faith-curers. 

Miracles, 2, 57, 58. 

Mitchell, S. Weir, 2, 37. 

Monism, 1, 238, 244, 245. 

Montgomery, Edmund, 1, 254, 255. 

Morgan, C. Lloyd, 2, 216. 

Moritz, C. P., 1, 141. 

Morley, John, Voltaire, 1, 144 n. 

Morse, Frances R., 1, 197, 2, 106, 113, 
232. See Contents. 

Morse, Mary. See Elliot, Mrs. John W. 

Morse, John T., 2, 10. 

Motterone, Monte, 1, 324. 

MQller, G. E., 1, 312, 313. 

Munich Congress, 2, 46, 50. 

Munk, H., 1, 213, 214. 

Munsterberg, Hugo, recommended by 
J. as head of Harvard Psychological 
Laboratory, 1, 301, 302; "the Rud- 
yard Kipling of philosophy," 318; 
"an immense success," 332; criti 
cizes J., 2, 267, 268; mentioned, 1, 
312, 2, 2, 1 8, 121, 229, 270, 293, 320. 
See Contents. 

Murray, Gilbert, 2, 271. 

Musset, Alfred de, 2, 63. 

Myers, F. W. H., Human Personality, 
1, 229 n., 2, 151, 185 and n.; death 
of, 141; J. s tribute to, 141, 151, 157; 
mentioned, 1, 287, 290, 2, 57, 114, 
1 1 8, 156, 157, 1 6 1. See Contents. 

Myers, Mrs. F. W. H., 1, 290, 345, 2, 
151, 157. 

Naples, 2, 222. 

Nation, The, review of Literary Remains 
of Henry James in, 1, 240, 241; J. s 
comments on, 284; and Cleveland s 
Venezuela Message, 2, 28; men 
tioned, 1, 70, 92, 104 and n., 117, 
118, 161, 186, 188, 189, 2, 42, 182, 

Nauheim (Bad), 2, 92, 93, 95, 104, 107, 
134, I35> 157, 158, 1 60, 333, 338. 



INDEX 



377 



Neilson, Adelaide, 1, 168. 

Nevins, John C., Demon Possession and 
Allied Themes, 2, 56 and n. 

New Forest, The, 2, 160, 161. 

New Jerusalem Messenger, H. James, 
Senior s, letter to editor of, 1, 14-16. 

New World, The, 1, 334, 2, 44. 

New York City, 2, 264, 265. 

Newcomb, Simon, 1, 250. 

Newport, R. I., 2, 202, 203. 

Newton, Sir Isaac, 2, i n. 

Nichols, Herbert, 1, 335, 2, 14. 

Nietzsche, Friedrich W., 2, 233. 

Nivedita, Sister, 2, 144. 

Nonentity, Idea of, 2, 293. 

Nordau, Max S., Entartung, 2, 19; men 
tioned, 17. 

Norton, Charles Eliot, Ruskin s letters 
to, 2, 206; mentioned, 1, 181, 291, 
33i> 338, 347, 2 > 191* 199- See Con 
tents. 

Norton, Grace, 1, 284, 2, 191. See 
Contents. 

Norton, Mrs. Charles E. (Susan Sedg- 
wick), 1, 1 8 1. 

Norton Woods, the, 2, 201. 

Olney, Richard, and the Venezuela 

Message, 2, 27, 29. 
Optimism, 1, 83, 238. 
Oregon, forest fires in, 2, 80. 
Ostensacken, Baron, 1, 337, 339. 
Ostwald, W., 2, 229. 
Oxford, 2, 307. 

Padua, Galileo anniversary at, 1, 333 
and n.; University of, confers degree 
on J., 333. 

Psedagogy, 2, 47. 

Paladino, Eusapia, 2, 186 and n., 311, 



320, 327- 

iley, William, 1, 283. 



Paley : 

Pallanza, Italy, 1, 329. 

Palmer, George H., a Hegelian, 1, 
205, 208; investigates psychic phe 
nomena with J., 227; mentioned, 
202, 292,335, 2, 2, 18. See Contents. 

Palmer, Mrs. Alice Freeman, 2, 124. 

Papini, Giovanni, Crepuscolo del Filo- 
sofi, 2, 245, 246; mentioned, 172, 
227, 228, 229, 257, 267. 

Paris, 1, 174, 175, 217- 

Paris Commune (1871), 1, 161. 

Parkman, Francis, 2, 10. 

Parkman, Mrs. Henry, 2, 205. 

Parthenon, the, 2, 224, 225. 

Party spirit, the only permanent force 
of corruption in the U. S., 2, 100. 

Pasteur, Louis, 1, 72, 225. 



Paty du Clam, Colonel du, 2, 98. 

Paulsen, Friederich, Einleitung, 1, 346; 
2, 244. 

Peabody, Elizabeth, 1, 112. 

Peabody, Frances G., 2, 229. 

Peace Congress, 2, 277. 

Peillaube, M., 2, 228, 229. 

Peirce, Benjamin, 1, 32. 

Peirce, Charles S., 33, 34, 80, 149, 169, 
2, 191, 233, 294, 328. 

Peirce, James M., 2, 258. 

Perry, Ralph Barton, his List of Pub 
lished Writings of 3., 1, 144, 223, 224; 
mentioned, 2, 121, 163, 234, 295. 

Perry, Thomas S., with J. in Berlin, 

1, 107, 109, in, 113, 114, 117, 124; 
mentioned, 40 n., 60, 91, 94, 102, 106, 
134, 151, 157, 169,2, 10. See Con 
tents. 

Pertz, Mrs. Emma (Wilkinson), 1, 135 
and n. 

Pessimism, 1, 238. 

Peterson, Ellis, 1, 166. 

Pfluger, Dr., 1, 156. 

Phelps, Edward J., 2, 27 n. 

Philippine question, the, 2, 167, 168. 

Philippines, policy of McKinley ad 
ministration concerning, 2, 93, 94; 
duty of U. S. with regard to, 289. 

Philosophical Club, University of Cali 
fornia, J. s lectures to, 2, 79. 

Philosophical Review, 2, 228. . 

Philosophical Society, J. refuses to join, 

2, 164. 

Philosophy, J. begins to feel the pull 

of, 1, 53, 54; difficulties attending 

teaching of, in American colleges, 

188, 189, 190. 
Physiological Psychology, 1, 165, 166, 

179. 
Physiological Psychology, International 

Congress of, 1, 288, 289, 290. 
Physiology, J. attends lectures on, in 

Berlin, 1, 118, 120, 121; J. s first 

teaching subject, 165. 
Picquart, M. G. (Dreyfus case), 2, 67, 

98. 

Piddington, J. G., 2, 31 1. 
Pierce, George W., 2, 14. 
Pillon, Francois, 1, 208, 229, 233, 343, 

2 45> 79- See Contents. 
Pillon, Mme. Francois, 2, 73, 204, 338, 

.343- 
Pinkham, Lydia E., " the Venus of 

Medicine," 1, 261 and n. 
Piper, Mrs. William, J. quoted on, 1, 

227, 228, mentioned, 2, 242, 311, 319, 

320. And see Hodgson, R. 
Plato, 1, 283. 



378 



INDEX 



Pluralism, 1, 186, 2, 155. 

Pluralistic idealism, 2, 22. 

Pollock, Sir Frederick, 1, 222, 2, 199. 

Pomfret, Conn., 1, 153, 154. 

Popular Science Monthly, 1, 190. 

Porter, Noah, 1, 231, 232. 

Porter, Samuel, 1, 214. 

Porto Rico, 2, 74. 

Potter, Horatio, 1, 59. 

Powderly, Terence V., 1, 284. 

Pragmatism, and radical empiricism, 
distinction between, 2, 267; dis 
advantages of the word as a title, 
271, 295, 298. 

Prague, 1, 211, 212, 213. 

Pratt, James B., J. s replies to his 
questionnaire on religious belief, 2, 
212-215. 

Pratt, M., 2, 204. 

Prince, William H., 1, 37, 39, 42, 44. 

Prince, Mrs. William H. (Katharine 
James), 1, 42. See Contents. 

Princeton Theological Seminary, H. , 
James, Senior, at, 1, 8. 

Pringle-Pattison, A. S., 2, 325, 326. 
And see Seth, Andrew. 

Profession, choice of, 1, 75, 79, 123. 

Prussia, political conditions in (1867), 

1, 95; and France, 95. 
Prussians, 1, 122. 

Psychic phenomena, investigated by 
J. and Palmer, 1, 225 ff.; mentioned 
248, 250, 305, 306, 2, 56, 287, 320. 

Psychical Research, American Society 
for, J. active in organizing, 1, 227; 
amalgamated with English Society, 
227; J. on its function, 249, 250; 
242, 286, 306. 

Psychical Research, English Society for, 
founded, 227; J. a corresponding 
member, vice-president, and presi 
dent of, 227; 229 n., 248. 

Psychologists, American Association of^ 

2, 20. 

Psychology, J. begins to read on, 1, 
1 1 8, 119; J. gives course in, 179; J. 
helps to make it a modern science, 224, 
225; "a nasty little subject," 2, 2. 

Psychology, Experimental, in U. S., 
History of, 1, 179 n. 

Psychology, Physiological. See Phy 
siological Psychology. 

Putnam, Charles P., 1, 71, 195, 196, 
327, 2, 296. 

Putnam, Frederick W., 1, 31. 

Putnam, George, 2, 224, 225. 

Putnam, James J., letter to J. on 
Medical License bill, 2, 72 n.; men 



tioned, 1, 71, 168, 195, 196, 2, 112, 
128, 147, 249. See Contents. 
Putnam, Marian (Mrs. James J.), 2, 
249. 

Quincy, Henry P., 1, 77, 122. 

Radcliffe College, 2, 4, 24, 180 n., 181. 

Radcliffe College, J. s class at. See 
Contents. 

Radical Empiricism and pragmatism, 
distinction between, 2, 267; men 
tioned, 203, 204. 

Rafael Sanzio, the Sistine Madonna, 1, 
90. 

Raffaello, Florentine cook, 1, 339, 341. 

Rankin, Henry W., 2, 55. See Contents. 

Reed, Thomas B., 2, 50. 

Reid, Carveth, 1, 205, 222. 

Religion, J. s views on, 2, 64, 65, 127, 
149, 150, 21 1/., 269. 

Renan, Ernest, death of, 1, 326; men 
tioned, iio,2, 123, 338. 

Renouvier, Charles, the Annee 1867 
Philosophique, 1, 138, 186; influence 
on J. of his writings on free will, 147, 
169; J. s first acquaintance with his 
work, 1 86; J. s correspondence with, 
1 86; translates some of J. s papers, 
1 86; his articles on Fouillee, 231; 
Principe s de la Nature, 334; his Phi 
losophy of History, 2, 44, 47; his 
death, 204; Monadologie and Person- 
alisme, 204; mentioned, 1, 138, 205. 
See Contents. 

Republican Party, the, in 1899, 2, 94. 

Reverdin, M., 2, 267. 

Rhea, Jannet, 1, 4 n. 

Rhea, Matthew, 1, 4 n. 

Rhodes, James F., History of the U. S. y 
2, 27 n. ; mentioned, 10. 

Richet, Charles, 1, 229 ., 2, 114, 225. 

Richter, Jean Paul, 1, 141. 

Rindge, Frederick H., 1, 330, 2, 39. 

Rio de Janeiro, 1, 58 ff. 

Risks, choice of, 2, 49, 50. 

Ritter, Charles, 1, 23, 2, 25, 55. 

Robertson, Alexander, 1, 8, 9. 

Robertson, G. Croom, editor of Mind, 

1, 222, 254. See Contents. 
Robeson, Andrew R., 1, 33. 
Romanism and Anglicanism, 2, 305. 
Romanticism, 1, 256. 

Rome, Philosophical Congress at, 2, 
225 ff., 228; mentioned, 1, 178, 180, 

2, 138, 139, 269. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, as possible Presi 
dent of Harvard, 2, 232 and n.; men 
tioned, 94, 266. 



INDEX 



379 



Ropes, John C., death of, 2, 108, 109; 
mentioned, 1, 35, 2, 10, 156. 

Rosmini-Serbati, Antonio, 1, 295. 

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1, 142. 

Royce, Josiah, early life, 1, 200, 201; 
quoted, on his first acquaintance with 
J., 200, 201; brought to Harvard 
through J. s influence, 201; his Re 
ligious Aspect of Philosophy, 239, 242, 
265; "a perfect little Socrates," 249; 
made professor, 332; and J., as 
teachers, compared by Miller, 2, 16; 
" the Rubens of philosophy," 86; The 
World and the Individual, 113 and n., 
114, 1 1 6, 121 and n.; his system, 
114; a sketchier in philosophy, 114, 
116; mentioned, 1, 238, 239, 255, 
262, 280, 291, 318, 347, 2, 1 8, 122, 
143, 216, 234, 321, 322. See Contents. 

Ruskin, John, his letters to C. E. Nor 
ton, 2, 206, 207; characterized by 
J., 206; Modern Painters, 206; men 
tioned, 1, 220, 2, 306. 

Rye (England), 2, 104. And see Lamb 
House. 

Sabatier, Paul, 2, 142. 

St. Gaudens, Augustus, his monument 

to R. G. Shaw unveiled, 2, 59-61. 
St. Louis, hurricane at, 2, 35, 36. 
St. Louis Exposition (1904), 2, 216. 
Sainte-Beuve, C. A., 1, 142. 
Salisbury, Robert Cecil, Marquis of, 2, 

Salter, C. C., 1, 51. 

Salter, W. M., 1, 248, 346, 2, 97. See 

Contents. 
Salter, Mrs. W. M. (Mary Gibbens), 

1, 248. 
San Francisco, earthquake at, 2, 246 

$., 251, 256; mentioned, 80, 81. 
Sanctis, Professor di, 2, 225. 
Sand, George, and A. de Musset, 2, 63; 

mentioned, 1, 106, 182, 183. 
Santayana, George, Interpretations of 

Poetry and Religion, 2, 122-124; Life 

of Reason, 234, 235; mentioned, 1, 

335, 2, 14, 121, 225. See Contents. 
Sardou, Victorien, Agnes, 1, 168. 
Sargent, Epes, Planchette, reviewed by 

J., 1, 225 n. 

Sargent, John S., 1, 303. 
Saturday Club, Early Years of the. See 

Emerson, Edward W. 
Saxons, the, 1, 86. 
Scenery, part played by, in J. s spiritual 

experience, 2, 174, 175* 
Schelling, Friedrich W. J. von, 1, 14. 



Schiller, F. C. S., his article on J. in 
Mind, 2, 65, 66; Studies in Human 
ism, 270; mentioned, 172, 186 n., 
208, 230, 257, 267, 296, 300, 311, 313, 
314, 337. See Contents. 

Schiller, J. C. Friedrich von, 1, 91, 141, 
202. 

Schinz, Herr, 2, 337. 

Schlegel, August W. von, 1, 141. 

Schlegel, Karl W. F. von, 1, 141. 

Schmidt, Heinrich J., History of German 
Literature, 1, 141. 

Schopenhauer, Arthur, 1, 191, 2, 293. 

Schott, Dr. (Nauheim), 2, 124, 128, 

134, 157- 

Schurman, Jacob G., 1, 334, 2, 166. 
Scotland, J. strongly attracted by, 1, 

286. 

Scott, Sir Walter, his Journal, 1, 309. 
Scripture, Edward W., 1, 334. 
Scudder, Samuel H., 1, 31. 
Sea, J. s views of traveling by, 1, 58. 
Seals, trained, 1, 278. 
Secretan, Charles, 1, 324. 
Sedgwick, Arthur G., 1, 320 and n. y 

2, 10. 
Sedgwick Lucy (Mrs. Arthur G.), 1, 

320 and n. 
Sedgwick, Sara, 1, 76 and n. And see 

Darwin, Mrs. W. E. 
Sedgwick, Theodora, 1, 181, 291, 315, 

317, 328, 331, 2, 151, 152, 191, 200, 

207, 308. See Contents. 
Selberg, "a swell young Jew," 1, 112, 

114, 115. 

Semler, Dr., 1, 87. 
Seth, Andrew, 2, 96, 116, 144. And 

see Pringle-Pattison, A. S. 
Seth, James, 2, 144. 
Shakespeare: H. Grimm on Hamlet; 1, 

in; As You Like It, 144 n., 190; at 

Stratford, 2, 166; mentioned, 330, 



Shaler, Nathaniel S., quoted, on J. 

I, 2, 



later, N; 

Wyman, 1, 48; The Individual, 

153 and n., 154; Autobiography, 325; 

mentioned, 1, 31, 2, 258, 288. See 

Contents. 
Shaw, G. Bernard, Casar and Cleopatra, 

2, 263; mentioned, 330. 
Shaw, Robert G., unveiling of St. 

Gaudens s monument to, 2, 5961; 

mentioned, 1, 43. 
Sherman, William T., 1, 56, 57. 
Sidgwick, Henry, "Lecture against 

Lecturing," 2, 12; death of, 141; 

mentioned, 1, 229 ., 287, 290, 345, 

2, 50, 156. 



3 8 



INDEX 



Slattery, Charles L. See Contents. 

Smith, Adam, 1, 283. 

Smith, Norman K. See Contents. 

Smith, Paulina C, 2, 106. 

Smith, Pearsall, 1, 287. 

Snow, William F., quoted, on J. and 

the San Francisco earthquake, 2, 

247 . 

Snow, Mrs. W. F., 2, 246. 
Society for Psychical Research. See 

Psychical Research, Society for. 
Solomons, Leon M., death of, 2, 119; 

his character and work, 119, 120. 
Sorbonne, the, J. declines appointment 

as exchange professor at, 2, 236 and 

n. 

Sorrento, to Amalfi, 2, 221, 222. 
Spain, misrule of, in Cuba, 2, 73. 
Spanish War, the, 2, 73, 74. 
Spannenberg, Frau, 1, 85. 
Spectator, The, 2, 126. 
Spelling reform, J. s attitude toward, 

2, i 8, 19. 
Spencer, Herbert, Psychology, 1, 188; 

Data of Ethics, 264; mentioned, 143, 

164, 191, 254. 

Spinoza, Baruch, 1, 283, 2, 13. 
Spirit-theory, the. See Psychic phe 
nomena. 

Spiritualism. See Psychic phenomena. 
Spiritualists, and the Medical License 

bill, 2, 68. 

Springfield Republican, 2, 125. 
Stanford, Leland, 2, 242, 244. 
Stanford, Mrs. Leland, 2, 242, 244. 
Stanford, Leland, Jr., 243. 
Stanford University, J. s lectures at, 

235, 240, 244 and n.; a miracle, 241; 

its history, 242, 243; what it might 

be made, 243, 244. 
Stanley, Sir Henry M., 1, 303. 
Stanley, Lady, 1, 303. 
Starbuck, E. D., Psychology of Religion, 

2, 217. See Contents. 
Stead, W. T., 2, 276, 277. 
Steffens, Heinrich, 1, 141. 
Stephen, Sir James Fitz-James, "Essay 

on Spirit-Rapping," 1, 34 n. 
Stephen, Sir Leslie, Utilitarians, 2, 

152; his letters, 176. 
Steuben, Baron von, 1, 5. 
Storey, Moorfield, 1, 109, 2, 10. See 

Contents. 

Stout, G. F., 2, 47, 65. 
Strasburg, 1, 86, 87. 
Stratford-on-Avon, and the Baconian 

theory, 2, 166. 
Strong, Charles A., 2, 198, 225, 229, 230, 



282,295,301,309,310,315,337. See 

Contents. 
Stumpf, Carl, Tonpsychologie, 1, 266, 

267; mentioned, 211, 212, 213, 216, 

289. See Contents. 
Sturgis, James, 1, 184. 
Style in philosophic writing, 2, 217, 

228, 229, 237, 244, 245, 257, 272, 281, 

Subjectivism, tendency to, 1, 249. 

Subliminal, Problem of the, 2, 141, 149, 
150, 212. 

Success, worship of, 2, 260. 

Sully, James, 2, i n., 225, 226, 228. See 
Contents. 

"Supernatural" matters. See Psychic 
phenomena. 

Suttner, Baroness von, Wafiennieder, 
2, 340. 

Swedenborg, Emmanuel, influence of 
his works on H. James, Senior, 1, 12, 
13, 14; Society of the Redeemed Form 
of Man, quoted, 12 and n.; H. James, 
Senior s, essay on, 117; mentioned, 
2, 4 o. 

Switzerland, 1, 322, 323, 327, 328, 336. 

Sylvain, Mile., 2, 224. 

Sylvain, M., 2, 224. 

Tappan, Mary, 2, 200. See Contents. 
Tappan, Mrs., 1, 118. 
Taylor, A. E., 2, 208, 216, 281, 282. 
Temple, Ellen, 1, 38, 39, 51, 2, 61, 81. 

And see Emmet, Mrs. Temple. 
Temple, Henrietta, 1, 39. 
Temple, Katharine, J. s portrait of, 

1, 24; mentioned, 36, 51, 74, 75. See 

Contents. 
Temple, "Minny," the original of two 

of Henry James s heroines, 1, 36; 

J. quoted on, 36, 37; her " madness," 

38; mentioned, 43, 51, 74, 75> 98. 
Temple, Mrs. Robert (J. s aunt), 1, 36. 
Tennyson, Alfred, Lord, 2, 276. 
Teplitz, 1, 133, 134, 137. 
Thames, the, 1, 287. 
Thatness. See Whatness. 
Thaw, Henry, trial of, 2, 264. 
Thayer, Abbott, 2, 276. 
Thayer, Gerald, 2, 275, 276. 
Thayer, Joseph Henry, 1, 323. 
Thayer, Miriam, 1, 323. 
Thayer Expedition. See Brazil, Agas- 

siz s expedition to. 
Thies, Louis, 1, 107, 112, 157. 
Thies, Miss, 1, 116. 
Thompson, Daniel G., 1, 295. 
Tieck, Ludwig, 1, 141. 



INDEX 



381 



Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace, 2, 37, 40, 
48; and P. Bourget, 37, 38; Anna 
Karenina, 41, 48; and H. G. Wells, 
316; mentioned, 44, 45, 51, 52, 63. 

Torquay, 2, 167. 

Townsend, Henry E., 1, 122. 

Truth, the, obscured by American phi 
losophers, 2, 237; 272, 337. 

Tuck, Henry, 1, 122, 124. 

Tuckerman, Emily, 2, 168. 

Turgenieff, Ivan, 1, 177, 182, 185. 

Twain, Mark, 1, 333, 341, 342, 2, 264. 

Tweedie, Mrs. Edmund, 1, 36. 

Tweedies, the, 1, 117, 184. 

Tychism, 2, 204, 292. 

Tychistic and pluralistic philosophy of 
pure experience, 2, 187. 

Union College, H. James, Senior, grad 
uates at, 1, 8. 

Unitarian Review, Davidson s article in, 
1, 236. 

Unitarianism (Boston), the "bloodless 
pallor" of, 1, 236. 

United States, J. s remarks on, 1, 216, 
217; and the Philippines, 2, 140, 141; 
rushing to wallow in the mire of em 
pire, 141; manner of eating boiled 
eggs in, 1 88; vocalization of people 
of, 189; and England, 304, 305. 

Upham, Miss, 1, 34, 50. 

Uphues, 1, 345, 346. 

Van Buren, "Elly," 1, 70, 74, 75. 
Van Rensselaer, Stephen, 1, 3. 
Venezuela Message, Cleveland s, 2, 26^. 
Venus de Milo, 1, 113. 
Verne, Jules, Tour of the World in 

Eighty Days, 1, 173. 
Veronese, Paul, 1, 90. 
Verrall, Mrs. A. W. See Mediums. 
Vers-chez-les- Blanc, 1, 320, 345, 2, 48. 
Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, 2, 

_227._ 

Victoria, Queen, her Jubilee, 1, 270. 
Vienna, exhibition of French paintings 

at, 1, 210. 

Villari, Pasquale, 1, 338, 339, 342. 
Villari, Mrs., 1, 338, 339, 342. 
Vincent, George E., 2, 41, 42. 
Virchow, Rudolf, 1, 72. 
Vischer, F. T., Essays, 1, 94; Aesthetik, 

94. 

Viti, Signer da, 2, 227. 
Vivekananda, 2, 144. 
Voltaire, 1, 144 n. 
Vulpian, A., 1, 156. 



Walcott, Henry P., 1, 347, 2, 10. 

Waldstein, Charles, 1, 274, 2, 224. See 
Contents. 

Walsh, Catherine (J. s Aunt Kate ), 
1, 41, 51, 60, 61, 70, 80, 81, 114, 118, 
183, 218, 259, 280, 282, 285. 

Walsh, Hugh, 1, 8. 

Walsh, Rev. Hugh, 1, 8 n. 

Walsh, James (J. s maternal grand 
father), 1, 8. 

Walsh, Mary, marries H. James, Sen 
ior, 1, 8; her ancestry, 8, 9. And 
see James, Mrs. William. 

Walsh, Mrs. Mary (Robertson), 1, 8. 

Walston, Sir Charles. See Waldstein, 
Charles. 

Wambaugh, Eugene, 2, 132. 

Ward, James, 2, 312, 313, 314, 315. 

Ward, Samuel, 1, 73. 

Ward, Thomas W., on the Brazilian 
expedition, 1, 59, 60, 65; mentioned, 
33. See Contents. 

Ward, Dorothy, 2, 166. 

Ware, William R., 1, 124, 153. 

Waring, Daisy, 2, 202. 

Waring, George E., quoted, on Henry 
James, 1, 184, 185. 

Warner, Joseph B., 2, 160, 233. 

Warren, W. R., 2, 233. 

Washington, Booker T., Up from Slav 
ery, 2, 148; mentioned, 60, 61. 

Washington, Mrs. Booker T., at Ash- 
field, 2, 199. 

Washington, George, 1, 5, 277. 

Washington, State of, forest fires in, 2, 
80. 

Wells, H. G., Utopia, 2, 230, 231; An- 
ticipations, 231; Mankind in the 
Making, 231; J. s appreciation of, 
231; Kipps, 241; "Two Studies in 
Disappointment," 259, 260; First 
and Last Things, 316; the Tolstoy of 
the English World, 316; mentioned, 
246, 257, 318. See Contents. 

Werner, G., 2, 242. 

Whatness and thatness, 1, 244, 245. 

"White man s burden," cant about the, 

2OQ 
, oo. 

Whitman, Henry, death of, 2, 156; 
mentioned, 1, 298, 302. 

Whitman, Sarah (Mrs. Henry), her 
character and accomplishments, 1, 
302, 2, 205, 206; last illness and 
death, 204, 205, 207; mentioned, 1, 
309 n., 348, 2, 156, 256. See Con 
tents. 

Whitman, Walt, 2, 123. 

Whole, Idolatry of the, 1, 246, 247. 



INDEX 



Wilkinson, Emma. See Pert2, Mrs. 

Emma. 

Wilkinson, J. J. Garth, 1, 135 n. 
William II of Germany, his message to 

Kruger, 2, 27, 28. 
Wilmarth, Mrs., 2, 50. 
Witmer, Lightner, 2, 320. 
Wolff, Christian, 1, 264. 
Woodberry, George E., The Heart of 

Man, 2, 89, 90. 
Woodbridge, F. J. E., Journal, 2, 244. 

See Contents. 
Worcester, Elwood, The Living World, 

Wordsworth, W., The Excursion, 1, 168, 

169. 
Wright, Chauncy, and J., 1, 152 .; 

mentioned, 2, 233. 
Wundt, Wilhelm M., as a type of the 

German professor, 1, 263; his Sys 



tem, 3335 mentioned, 119, 215, 216, 
224, 264, 295, 2, 321. 
Wyman, Jeffries, influence as a teacher, 
1, 47; C. W. Eliot and N. S. Shaler 
quoted on, 47, 48; J. quoted on, 48, 
49; mentioned, 35, 37, 50, 71, 72, 
150, 155, 1 60, 163, 170. 

Yale University, 1, 231. 

Yankees, a German lady s idea of, 1, 

89, 90. 

Yoga practices, 2, 252 ff. 
Yosemite Valley, 2, 81. 

Zennig s restaurant (Berlin), 1, 112, 113. 

Zions Herald, Emerson number of, 2, 
197- , 

Zola, Emile, Germinal, 1, 287; men 
tioned, 2, 67, 73. 



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