« НазадПродовжити »
Among these latter, as a general rule, may be placed the United States — occupying, however, a position between the widely different classes above described. Throughout the Northern States, almost all receive a certain amount of education, but when they pass from the school into the world, they find that, with the single exception of a rude agriculture, those employments which look to augmentation in the quantity, or improvement in the quality, of the commodities at man's command, are closed against them. Trade, the law, and the more abstract pursuits generally, are, on the contrary, always open, and absorb, therefore, an undue proportion of the faculty developed in the school.”
The consequences of this are seen in the creation of a large floating population, ready for almost any invasion of their neighbor's rights, and in the consequent growth of crime.
Study the world where we may, we shall find evidence of the truth of the proposition, that the feeling of responsibility towards both God and man, grows in the ratio of the approximation of the prices of raw materials and finished commodities, and consequent increase in the productiveness of labor, and in the equity of the division of labor's products.f
were not to be named among us. This was a very sad state of things. For this, no blame could attach to them. They had, no doubt, exerted themselves as magistrates, so that the law should be observed, that order should be maintained, and the rights of property should be secured, but it was a matter for grave consideration and reflection, that as our material prosperity increased, crime in some parts of the country increased also. He had hoped that by the progress of education and religious instruction on the part of the clergy, a better state of things would have been presented.”
* See ante, vol. ii., pp. 243, 254.
# For more than half a century, Mr. Malthus and his disciples have been urging upon the English people the adoption of their theory of “moral restraint,” while advocating measures tending towards the destruction of moral responsibility. How effective have been these latter, was shown at the recent Liverpool meeting for the promotion of Social Science, by a clergyman who gave as a serious difficulty standing in the way of any scheme of enforced education, as applied to a district where the people are principally engaged in weaving, that a very young child is there made useful to its parents. “Such a child,” as he said, “can nurse a baby while the mother weaves; and if a young woman happens to have one or two children before marriage, it is actually an advantage to her in securing a match among the many practical husbands of that district of Lancashire!”
CHA PTE R L II.
§ 1. THE complex organism of the human body being, by the sympathies and dependencies of its various parts, made an unit in its action and its uses, the entire race, in a sense as real and as true, philosophically and practically, becomes one man, and may so be treated. The species is but so many representatives of the individual—the aggregate differing in degree, but not in kind, from any of the atoms of which it is composed. Politically, we have the idea embraced in our national motto, e pluribus unum —the same truth of fact presenting itself in the legal ideas of joint and several obligation, and joint and several right, where each debtor is bound for the whole debt, and each creditor is entitled to look to each and all for payment. The corporation, or artificial man, is another familiar instance of the same idea — the moralist, in his turn, using the word solidarity, for indicating the liability of each and all the members of society to suffer for the errors, or profit of the judicious action, of any of its component parts. The recognition of correspondence, analogy, or oneness, here exhibited, runs through all branches of theory and practice having man for their subject—warranting the study of the many in the one, and promising helpful illustrations of the societary body, to be derived from examination of the individual.
The living man—whether considered in regard to the doubling of the sexes, the union of soul and body, the individual and his race, or that aspect of his life in which he is at once an organic instrument, and a being holding the relation of agent and object to the world around him — is a being of two-fold existence; and we shall find the value, force, and importance, of his complexity of constitution, intrinsic and relative, in every effort towards arriving at a proper comprehension of his form and movements.
Wol. III. — 26
The laws of his individual life indicating what he is capable of as member of a society, we may commence by looking at him as he stands before the physiologist, and ascertaining what his organic structure teaches in reference to his societary functions and relations. His surroundings having no power to alter his intrinsic nature, that nature must indicate the natural range of his external relations — the individual man thus standing as the type of the aggregate, or grand man, of which he is the exponent. The constitution of the one covers, while it displays, the nature of the kind. He has a vegetable and an animal, or an individual and a relative life, and an appropriate set of organs for the service of each— these, too, wonderfully adapted to their respective and widelydifferent uses, and bound together into a happily-adjusted concert of action and unity of service. The union is mechanical so far as frame-work and instrumental connection of parts can serve in physical uses, but it is vital in all that relates to sensation, perception, volition, and consciousness. The articulation of the limbs and muscles, and the collocation and distribution of the internal organs, are duly linked together by mechanical arrangement—the nervous system, however, presiding over and executing the coordination of the various parts of the body among themselves, and being, besides, the sole agency by which the relative life of the individual is administered and sustained. This system is necessarily as complex, and as variously organized, as its variety of functions requires. Digestion, assimilation, circulation, respiration—all the instincts and processes of nutrition of the vegetative, or individual, division of his nature — are provided for by adapted forms of innervation, through corresponding accommodation of nervous structure — the reciprocal agents of excretion being, for the sake of complete enumeration, added to those functions which minister to the life and growth of the body, as a whole. His relative life, for the purposes of our inquiry, may be comprehended in his powers of locomotion and sensation, and in his higher instincts, the sentiments, and moral and intellectual faculties of his nature. Each of these has its fitting nervous organism, with its respective kinds of appetency and power. To harmonize and combine into unity of action and identity of agency, such immensely varied forces, the power of co-ordination holds the rank that government claims to hold among its subjects. The anatomical structure of the nervous system necessarily answers to this complication and combination of nervous offices— appropriateness of apparatus being, here as every where throughout creation, logically expectant upon the existence of a need for it. The discoveries and demonstrations of dissection are, as yet, neither complete nor conclusive, but enough is already known to warrant the belief, that conformity of structure with function will yet be fully and completely established; so far, at least, as observation is capable of prying into the secrets of life. It is known, that the nervous masses, ganglions, plexuses, and fibres, are immensely varied in form and in their qualities of texture and arrangement; it is known, too, that those parts of the system which supply the organs of vegetative, or nutritive, life, while so far independent of those which rule the life of relation, as is needed for fitting them to maintain the economy of the frame, whenever and wherever consciousness and intellect prove incompetent, are yet so far subordinated to the superior portions, as is required for the interests and uses of the physical organism. Over the ultimate processes of assimilation, nutrition, reproduction, and growth, the brain proper has but little conscious control. Over those organisms which are the purveyors to the body's wants, it has, within certain limits, an authority that is greatly larger. It has a positive control over the primary steps of the nutritive process, as in the selection, prehension, and ingestion, of food. To a certain extent, it modifies, suspends, or accelerates, digestion, and, in a considerable degree, effects respiration — its power of intervention shading off towards incapacity, as the actions escape from the sphere of liberty and voluntary agency, into that of necessity and unconsciousness. The external senses serving more immediately the sovereign offices of the brain, are still more fully subject to its control, and in a ratio that is direct as to the mental, while indirect as to the instinctive life of the subject. This law of gradation obtains also among the individual senses — taste and smell, which stand as sentinels over organic life, being almost entirely independent of the will. Hearing, important as it is, as an inlet to the tidings of danger and the suggestions of science, is nearly as much so, while touch and vision, with their larger range of subserviency to the intellect, are proportionably more obedient to its direction. High above, and at the top of this range, the brain, in its proper and exclusive office of thought and emotion, is free, spontaneous, and paramount in the nervous economy of the system. Some of the bodily functions have a mixed character—directly serving now the instinctive, and now the rational life. The muscles of the oesophagus, for instance, in the act of swallowing food and drink, act, for the most part, unconsciously; but they, too, are, to a certain extent, subjected to volition. The same thing is true, although in a smaller degree, even of the organs of locomotion; and, to a very great extent, of those of respiration. The will cannot absolutely suspend the process of breathing, but it can retard or accelerate it, for the purposes of vocalization. The eye closes instinctively and irresistibly, at the approach of an offending object, notwithstanding that the ordinary subjection of its movements to volition is absolute. The movements of the face are largely voluntary, but in expression, from the paleness of fear up to the flush of anger or of shame, they are essentially involuntary and beyond control. Here, to proceed no further in details which are limited only by the limits of the nature of the subject–ranging, as it does, from the insensate limestone to the spirit life of the finest nerve— here is a world of variety in unity, subordinated and co-ordinated, with an economy of services and government—executive authority and independence balancing each other in a manner that fairly illustrates the various interests, sympathies, and functions, of the life of the human race. The two-fold physiological division of the life of man, as an organic and as a related being, is clearly analogous to the man as an individual, and the man as a member of society. The analogies are exact in all the varieties and modifications of the physical economy of the individual, and in the social and political relations of man with his fellow-man—the process of nutrition, and its correspondencies, affording a happy illustration. The physical support of the system being its primary intention, that portion of the work is involuntary; that is, it is not under the control of the governing brain, nor subject to its casual impulses. Nevertheless, in selecting and securing the food, the external senses and the