Lessons of History

Since man is a moment in astronomic time, a transient guest of the earth, a spore of his species, a scion on his race, a composite of body, character, and mind, a member of a family and a community, a believer or doubter of faith, a unit of an economy, perhaps a citizen in a state or a soldier in an army, we may ask under the corresponding heads –astronomy, geology, geography, biology, ethnology, psychology, morality, religion, economics, politics, and war — what history has to say about nature, conduct, and prospects of man. It is a precarious enterprise, and only a fool would try to compress a hundred centuries into a hundred pages of hazardous conclusions. We proceed.