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doctrine of philosophical necessity. Do not let our readers con. clude, however, that it leads our author to that doctrine, of which he says, that it 'absolutely, and with a few slight evasions, avowedly confounds virtue and vice, sin and holiness, as developed in the character of man.' Dr. Davies appears to be of opinion, that we may adopt a principle without being at all bound to accept its logical consequences, if we don't like them. He tells us in his preface, extreme opinions on speculative questions, I have cautiously avoided, and have endeavoured to point out their danger.' A writer who adopts this as his maxim, instead of following out his convictions of truth, whithersoever they may tend, may not go very far wrong, even if he always makes a mistake at the first step; but in his care to avoid extremes, he is extremely likely to be sometimes extremely inconsequent, and generally extremely common-place.
Dr. Davies's account of Conscience is as little to our taste as that of Volition. Let our readers see what they can make of it. After some sensible, though excessively diffuse remarks on the influence of circumstances and society on the gradual development of the moral faculties, the author observes that, at first, the infant is influenced simply by what is agreeable to itself, or the reverse.
* As, however, its powers of observation and experience begin to expand, and the results of the exercise of benevolence and self-denial, which within certain limits are essential to any measure of happiness and security in a social state, are instilled into its mind, it learns to think it right to extend its views somewhat beyond its own present physical enjoyment, for otherwise, happiness could not upon any scale exist. From the delight which it derives from pleasure of every kind, it, by degrees, comes to regard happiness or enjoyment as a positive good, and, therefore, inherently desirable. Hence, every mode of conduct which experience has shown to be, on the whole, calculated to promote happiness, is viewed in the same light; when the idea of rectitude or justice has been once gained as a relation inseparably connected with the benevolent constitution of nature, that of duty necessarily springs out of it.'
Does the writer mean, that regarding every mode of conduct which is calculated to promote happiness, (quære, whose happiness?) as a positive good, and therefore inherently desirable, is the same thing with gaining the idea of rectitude? If he does not, we can see no connexion between the last two sentences just quoted, and no attempt to explain what conscience is. If he does, we must utterly dissent from such a theory, and protest against its being thus coolly assumed as an admitted truth. As to saying that the idea of duty 'necessarily springs out of' that of rectitude; that is just saying that we have ideas because
we necessarily have them; a profound principle which doubtless will shed great light on mental philosophy.
If we pass on to Book IV, which treats of Imagination,-a faculty too carelessly treated by mental philosophers, and regarding which, there is really room for interesting and original remark, we are struck by the same absence of anything like penetrating or correct analysis. Instead, we have only confused description, and inflated declamation. A more complete example of an unsuccessful attempt at philosophical discrimination, could not easily be found, than that which the author makes at p. 373, to distinguish between fancy and imagination. Confounding, with characteristic want of exactness, the names with the faculties themselves, he tells us that, though with respect to their etymological origin’they 'spring from sources very closely allied, yet they may be clearly distinguished ; not, however, as two faculties, but as different exercises of one faculty. After attempting, not to define, but to illustrate this difference, the author winds up by informing us that,
To institute another comparison, the operations of fancy are pictured by the wanton play of light and shade exhibited on a spot partly illumined by the penetrating rays of the sun, and partly darkened by the superincumbent foliage of a tree, as the wind rustles among its branches; while those of imagination may be more aptly represented by the vivid corruscations of lightning.' (!)
After this, our readers will not wonder if we say that, instead of exhibiting the distinction between fancy and imagination, the author has only exhibited how little he understands the matter.
Vagueness of thought is, indeed, a pervading characteristic of the volume, Sharply defined ideas, tangible propositions, condensed arguments, methodical inductions, are rare. It would be uncivil, to intimate a doubt whether the author of so large and handsome a volume, had himself a definite and complete object in his mind's eye, in writing it. But we may be permitted to doubt whether he has succeeded in placing it clearly before his readers. All the terms employed in the long-winded title are of a vague, indeterminate character. What are we to understand by the leading faculties of the mind ?-or what, by the legitimate extent of our faculties ? or by their extent as connected with religion? In the preface, we are told that the christian scheme may be viewed as addressing itself to certain faculties; but the work is occupied, not with christianity, but with the mind. We are told again, that the object of these dissertations opens a very important view of the philosophy of the human mind. But what view, or in what way opened, is not very clearly pointed out.
A general survey of the work discloses, in fact, no guiding principle running through the whole. The form of a systematic treatise, therefore, appears to us unhappily chosen. If the author could have condensed this huge octavo into a moderate duodecimo volume of distinct essays, he might have produced a less ambitious work, but a far more readable and useful one.
As it is, what is really valuable in the book is in danger of being overlooked in the cloud of words in which it is enveloped. The style is diffuse in the extreme: often running into a tumid grandiloquence, that reminds one of a schoolboy's prize essay. But for the title page, we should from the style have imagined the book to be from the pen of some youthful preacher, more accustomed to extemporaneous declamation than to severe thought, or to the study of the best authors. The introduction is an essay on just such a theme as is commonly selected to exercise the unfledged powers of juvenile rhetoricians :--- The Influence which the general pursuit of Knowledge appears calculated to exert on the Character of the Individual and the Welfare of Society.' On the first page, we have of course an allusion to Bacon ; on the second, the weighty aphorism, that 'it is also true that life is short ;' while the course of the essay is garnished, after the approved fashion of theme-writing, with such choice and scholar like quotations as, ' a little learning is a dangerous thing,' where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise;' and even our old friend 'Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes,' etc., translated at full length in the text, and the original given in the margin. If fluency in expatiating on truisms be eloquence, and skill in diluting sense with words be a sign of genius, the learned author has established claims to both, seldom rivalled. Let our readers take one or two additional specimens. The author is discussing the abstruse position, that
punishment is not inflicted where reason is incapable of exercising its control. After illustrating his point from the child wreaking its little passing vengeance on the chair or table," or, 'applying more calm chastisement to the picture, or the doll,' he proceeds in a more exalted strain :
‘But when we contemplate the inflated and frantic Xerxes at the head of the armies of the East, ordering the infliction of so many lashes upon the Hellespont as a rebel, who had the insufferable daring to disturb the arrangements of his master's mighty armament; we not only laugh at the folly and complete futility of such an act, but we are astonished at the effect of flattery and despotic power, in paralysing the faculties of the understanding so completely, and in strengthening the vindictive and malignant passions to a degree that is destructive of all sense and reason.' -p. 172. Here follows a sentence, a page long, on the folly of tyrants
in inflicting indignities on the dead bodies of martyrs, etc., seeing, that 'in such cases punishment and suffering are completely out of the question. Lest this should be considered a dubious point however, the author adds, 'we are perfectly conscious that the vitally susceptible alone can feel a pang, as well as experience a transport. The following is a choice specimen of the similes which abundantly adorn the work :
*As the element of heat, by its effect upon the chemical fluid in which the character had been traced, brings out into distinct and legible forms, what before had lain concealed in the colourless uniformity of a blank; so the commingling glow of expanding faculties, actuated and controlled by social and circumstantial influences, calls out and gradually embodies into unavoidable recognition those moral intimations and impressions, which however they may be occasionally perverted and misconstrued, are felt to be as true as nature itself, and as firm as the foundations of the universe.'--p. 317.
On the preceding page, the author tells us that he will not attempt to revive the doctrine of innate practical principles, • wbich Locke was at so much pains to explode.' But in the breath, he not only does the very thing which he says he will not do; but in the following alarming string of comparisons, he sets forth the processes to which these innate principles may be subjected without being destroyed.
They may be distorted, indeed, from their original bearing, they may be corroded by an ungenial atmosphere, they may be overwhelmed beneath the thick layers of surrounding corruption, they may be deluged by the overflowing tide of headlong and ungovernable passions; but amidst all this disorder of functions and dislocation of parts, their elements will be found, if we may so speak, among the lower strata of the mental system, like a monumental pillar buried in some destructive convulsion of nature beneath a mass of earth and rubbish, and requiring only to be cleared and raised to light, in order to exhibit the same unalterable inscription.'
Whether this be ‘fancy' or 'imagination,' we must leave our readers to decide. We have marked a number of other passages, not less astonishing. Even where the author hits upon a happy simile, he takes care to smother it with verbiage. Thus, when he would compare a greater or less proximity of causation to the difference between firing a train and dropping a spark into the barrel, he tells us, "The difference is no other than that of laying a train of greater or less complexity, and that of immediately and directly applying the igneous spark, (did our readers ever see an aqueous spark?) of which combustion, in either case, is the necessary and inevitable result.' But we forbear; and content ourselves with seriously recommending that if another edition of the work should ever be called for, the author should strike out on an average two words from every three, and at least half the similes, and then study how the remainder might be expressed in the most condensed form.
We wish we could have noticed in a different strain, a work which contains many sensible and some valuable remarks, and which displays throughout a pious and christian spirit. But we should be doing injustice to the metaphysical student, if we induced him to spend on such a work the hours that might be given to Aristotle or Locke. We should also deem ourselves wanting in a very serious duty, as reviewers, if we did not do our best to warn young writers against mistaking vagueness for abstruseness, fluency for fertility, or verbosity and bombast for eloquence and fine writing.
Art. VI.— The very Joyous, Pleasant, and Refreshing History of the
Feats, Erploits, Triumphs, and Atchievements of the Good Knight, without Fear and without Reproach, the gentle Lord de Bayard.' Set forth in English, by Edward Cockburn Kindersley. London : Imprinted
for Longman and Co. With the fame of the gentle knight, 'sans peur et sans reproche, Pierre du Terrail, Lord de Bayard, we have all been familiar from infancy, although a detailed account of his prowess is sel. dom to be met with. The quaintly titled, and quaintly ‘imprinted' volume before us, supplies this deficiency from a very nteresting source,—the Memoir published in 1527, three years after his death, and which is believed to have been written by his secretary, who designates himself simply as 'le loyal serviteur. Of this characteristic Memoir, Mr. Kindersley has given us a condensed translation, in which he has endeavoured to preserve,' and we think very successfully, 'something of the quaint simplicity of the old chronicle.
The value, and occasional historical importance, of these small contemporary memoirs, are in the present day acknowledged ; and as a picture of that unsettled transition period, the earlier part of the sixteenth century; and of the knightly character of one, who, in the decline of chivalry exhibited the qualities which belonged to its brightest period, as well as in those minute touches, which place the social life of the age before us, this work is well worthy of perusal. As a drawing-room book, however,