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on his hospitality, all promising him at the same time, in a very determined manner, the favour of a second visit, which gratification he by no means insisted on. He then ushered them out of his domicile, and left them on the exterior side of the rock, where they found that the strength of the whiskey prevented their descent being over deliberate, however,-partly by rolling, and partly by scrambling, they contrived to reach the bottom of the Giant's Stairs, and just as day was beginning to light up the clear blue waters of the Cove of Cork, they were found fast asleep in their boat by Lieutenant Mac Gillicuddy, who was in the long yawl of “ The Shark,” revenue cutter, on the look-out for a choice cargo of contraband tobacco, which he had received information was likely to be run ashore about daybreak.
Not one of them blabbed about the visit he had paid; but when they got clear of "The Shark” they enjoined each other to secresy by a big oath,” and it was agreed unanimously that they should take an early opportunity of drinking old Macarthy's health in his own liquor, and ascend again THE GIANT'S Stairs. R. R.
A TUTOR WANTED.
A Tutor for my son I want
In “sables " new and nice,
At very moderate price.
In this case do I seek,
With fluency can speak.
With all the foreign classics,
In globes and mathematics.
Play chess, draughts, and ecarté,
When I've a pleasant party.
To please my Christmas folks,
And none but first-rate jokes.
Nor will he have much leisure,
And how refined each pleasure.
I'll see how deep his sense is,
Can bother him with tenses.
They'll bring him in “The Rocket,"
But five pounds out of pocket!
A HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY.*_No. 2.
(Continued from page 354.)
It is a question of much importance, why the human understanding after making so rapid an advance in Asia, should have suddenly ceased to progress and have remained inactive during a long series of centuries, while among the Greeks, though later in taking its first flight, it made large strides towards perfection, and was the cradle of that famous era which is memorable for its discoveries and productions even at this date.
Many circumstances combined to produce this effect. Causes peculiar to and inherent in science and the course it then followed had .an essential influence on the difference of these destinies. Probably there was nothing which had a more direct tendency to retard the progress of philosophy in the east than the division into castes. History teaches us that wherever this division prevails an impenetrable barrier is opposed to the march of improvement. The spirit of emulation is extinguished, and ambition, the greatest incentive to labour, perishes in the absence of those honours which it aspires to as the reward of its industry.
The commerce of ideas, by which the mistakes of individuals are rectified, is checked, the privilege of knowledge, reserved in the east for a favoured caste, by being a privilege generated pride, the source of errors as well as an obstacle to their correction. As all knowledge was confined to the members of a caste, it was in itself a patrimony liy which they retained their superiority. The mystery, which was an indispensable condition of this privilege, prevented free discussion and promoted the use of enigmatical expressions and obscure notions. They readily renounced the power of understanding themselves to obtain the advantage of not being understood by others.
When the Greeks began the study of philosophy they were not shackled by any such bonds. Their priests had neither hereditary distinction nor peculiar privilege, except in their sacerdotal character. The poets, their first philosophers as well as historians, instead of closing their records to the eye of the vulgar, adapted their produc. tions to the taste of the multitude, and eagerly sought their applause. The productions of genius were common property, the riches of a nation. Following the example of the poets, wise men redoubled their efforts to surpass each other in the study of positive science. They preached their doctrines in open day, and if the story be true of Anaximander's being insulted in the course of a lecture by a child, we cannot suppose they were reverenced as more than mortals or beings exempted from the pains incidental to humanity. Among the Asiatics the superior station pre-existed, and the knowledge was communicated as an attribute of it. Among the Greeks, dignity of place was the re
* It is right to state that the materials of these papers have been chiefly derived from the valuable work of M. Degerando.
ward of uncommon abilities and attainments. In this system of public instruction and discussion then consists one of the principal reasons why the Greeks were not condemned to the same sudden close in the progress of philosophical science to which their precursors on the same road were subjected.
Another fatal impediment to the advancement of knowledge was the absolute power which prevailed in the east. That unlimited despotism which disinherited nature of her rights, and reducing men to a blind and unlimited obedience, deprived them of the free and independent use of their reason. Lastly, the Indians and Persians were a sedentary people ; the Chaldees and Egyptians avoided all commerce with strangers, and these last feared to trust themselves to the terrors of the sea.
Thus, shut up among themselves they could not borrow from elsewhere the light they did not themselves possess. They were forced to confine themselves to their hereditary traditions, and the exclusiveness of the source from which they derived their knowledge reduced their science to mere and sterile imitation.
Following the traces of the Phenicians, the first navigators, the Greeks undertook voyages and entertained relations with foreign countries. The Greek colonies were peculiarly adapted for the advancement of learning by the advantages they derived from an intimale connexion with the habits and manners of the people to whose vicinity they migrated, and by the unbroken relations with the mother country. Accordingly, among the Ionians we find the first instruction given in philosophy. To the spirit of mercantile enterprise and the political views which caused voyages and emigrations the Greeks added the desire of observing the manners of the orientals and penetrating the mysterious depositories of secret doctrines and traditionary lore which were to be found in the possession of their privileged castes. Mythologies and allegories, every species of tradition when borrowed from one people by another become more obscure among the borrowers than they were among the lenders, for they are further removed from the source of truth. But this is not the case with true knowledge when imparted to a fresh understanding unfettered by acquired prejudices and unaccustomed to the discrepancies and errors to be met with in the subject matter transmitted. It undergoes a new ordeal in which it is purged from the dross and refined till it shines with a purity it possessed not among its inventors. Sober reason often supplies that which energetic imagination has not in its power, and thus advances a theory or system to perfection of which it would never have made in original discovery.
When the Greek philosophers arrived in Egypt and the east, the sages of those countries were fallen into a state of mental sloth ; their curiosity was extinct, and the propagation among their own sects of the doctrines they received from their forefathers formed the whole circle of their wisdom, but their foreign visitants arrived with the keen edge of curiosity unblunted by satiety and were surprised by the contrasts between their doctrines and their own. To them they had all the racy interest of novelty, and they felt themselves at liberty to receive or reject, to divide or to accumulate those of their new acquirements which they thought reasonable or unreasonable, adapted for
the advancement of learning, or incapable of being turned to any useful account.
We now come to the second series of causes, of which we have before spoken, of the decline and progress of science in the east and Greece respectively.
There are two sorts of functions to be attributed to the imagination :—the one consists in the reproduction of the traces of sensible impressions, the other in forming new combinations of the elements of these impressions.
Where the first of these predominates to the exclusion of the other, it rather arrests than favours the progress of the understanding. It is one of the most fruitful causes of error and delusion. It enslaves the reason, and is absorbed in the consideration of the images it has produced, which remain isolated and unfruitful, the links and affinities being unbroken which analogy establishes between different ideas.
This picturesque faculty has the principal share in the first production of science; but it fills up with marvellous fictions those voids which experience alone ought to enable us to occupy. The magical effect of these fictions prevents our observing their want of a solid foundation. I'he curiosity is satisfied and destroyed, and a vague contemplation, which enjoys what it thinks it possesses rather than seeks what it knows it is ignorant of, takes place of the spirit of investigation.
The latter function of combination is the true source of invention; it aids the progress of science and philosophy more materially than is generally believed. This architectural imagination, if we may use the expression, is to the mind what sport is to childhood –
-a healthful exercise. It scatters flowers over the path by which we are to arrive at our object, by incessantly exciting the curiosity from the novelty of its conceptions ; it arouses the sluggish activity of the wearied spirit by inducing it to labour on its materials under new shapes ; it breaks the chains of habit by offering different relations from those supplied by memory. Analogy is the instrument by which it performs its wonders and creates a harmony in science.
Of these two characters of the imagination the former did then and still does predominate in the east from the effects of climate, custom, and institutions ; even their works of literature always contains soire wild fancies and monstrous fictions whose brilliant colours dazzle the imagination and hide from the careless observer their want of symmetry and plan.
The Greeks combined these two properties of the imagination in a fortunate concert; they borrowed from nature the brilliant colours in which she adorns her work, but did not neglect the skilful harmony which is equally found in them. Hence, among the Greeks the soul which animated their paintings, their sculpture and their architecture, and spread over their productions an ineffable charm.
Hence that perception of true beauty which among them conducted the arts so rapidly to a perfection which has not been surpassed or even equalled in all succeeding ages. A thousand favourable circumstances seconded their efforts, the remembrance of the heroic ages, the passion for glory and its reward, the national festivals, the forms of public worship, and their free estate. Poesy, above all, flourished in its greatest splendour. They produced the first pott both in time and place, for no such production properly so called was previously in existence. Even at the dawn of their greatness Homer appeared, and imagined a poem which, like the fabled Pallas, sprung full grown and perfect from the brain of the author of its existence.
Ionian School.--Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras. The art of eloquence and its cultivation has contributed not a little to the progress of philosophy. An orator must either persuade or convince, or he has failed in his object. For the first purpose it is necessary for him to apply himself to the study of the heart and understanding. For the latter, he must employ proofs, and establish arguments which rest on some reasonable foundation. Gratuitous and unsupported assertions carry but little weight when subjected to the criticisin of unwilling disciples. The prejudices of habit or nature present a real obstacle which must be overcome by a real force. This necessity will insensibly lead the orator to studies which appear at first sight the peculiar province of the philosopher. He too will not look on idly and allow his patrimony to be usurped, but will vindicate the arts of logic and disputation as his rights, and the mutual jealousy of individual members of society will be turned to the advantage of the public. Wherever then oratory was cultivated with more than common care, philosophy would acquire a corresponding energy, and spread its dominion over a wider extent; and Greece has given birth to more numerous and more celebrated orators than any other country of the world. From the nature of the circumstances in which the Greeks were placed, and the mode in which their minds were first developed, four principal effects resulted which by their combination formed a sort of philosophic education which sooner or later was destined to bear rich fruit. The enthusiasm which results from this indulgence of generous passions, the admiration excited by the contemplation of the chef d'œuvres of art, the variety of their spectacles, and the constant changes in the state of political affairs, all tended to free the ideas from mannerism or prejudice, while curiosity found ample food in the constant succession of novelties. The light and fanciful character of the fine arts so ardently pursued by the Greeks, might have infected their learning with the taint of superficiality but for the exalted character and station with which wisdom and knowledge were invested. Their legislators and public instructors, and the principal officers of state, were all chosen from among such as had made ethical philosophy an object of paramount importance in the seven studies they entered on. The human understanding tried its strength gradually in generalization and deduction, and the taste for order and symmetry produced this classification of every different species of knowledge. The genius of wisdom alone was wanting to give birth to a regular system of philosophy, nor was this want long lefi unsupplied.
We must begin with Thales, as the first who gave a new direction to the stream of ideas, more by his example than by his precepts.