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arts may be very delightful to an en. lightened mind, not for itself, but what it is combined with,. When very difficult dancing, for example, is very graceful and expressive, there must be great joy in perceiving, that the long and painful labour by which the difficulty has been overcome has not killed the soul of dancing in the dancer, but that her delight in grace and natural feeling have carried her triumphantly through her severe discipline, and so entirely subjected her art to her nature, that there is no trace in her motions of the effort by which they were acquired but they might seem to be inspirations. Something of the same sort is the pleasure which perfect skill gives, when unostentatiously used, as indicating greatness of mind. Skill merely can only be delightful by that illusion, of its seeming in its perfection to be really an endowment of power from nature. But the fact is, it is no illusion-but a truth.
Where skill is of a masterly kind, it proceeds from great powers given by nature, and only consummated by art-and therefore let it no more be said, when Michael Angelo paints in the size of a hat a corse that seems six feet long, that it is merely a trick of painting. It may be a sport of painting, but full surely there is power there. On the whole, may it be received, that skill, though offensive, when other things are sacrificed to it, is in itself admirable—and when in subjection to passion, extremely admirable?
The knowledge of perfect Form is a fit subject of much admiration-because it implies a long course of noble studies-which studies derive their nobility from the nobleness of Form itself-which brings us to the great question, what is the real value of buauty: to what degree is it lawful that beautiful flesh should have power over the eyes of spirit and intellect?
CORRECTION OF HUME'S DOCTRINE OF ASSOCIATION.
Mr Hume, enumerating the chief heads of Relation, considers the relation of cause and effect as that which connects together the successive events and actions of a man's life, or of a nation's history. We can see but one principle of Unity to the events, acts, changes, incidents of a man's life, and that is himself; but one principle of Unity, to the same things in a na. tion's history, and that is our conception of the nation as a collective whole. It is true that the relation of causation mixes much in the series that is thus united. The man's character causes his actions, his actions affect his character, and thus influence again indirectly his further actions. Besides, the events of his life have in themselves a succession of their own. One brings on another, in an endless chain of causation from the beginning to the end of his life. This is indisputable. It shows, what may be often remarked elsewhere, that the same series of objects may be united together to the mind under different views of connexion. If we could look on individual man merely as a subject of philosophical speculation, we might see in him only the subject round which a series of causes and effects were wound, and forget himself in investigating
the course of the operation of moral powers, and the connected sequence of phenomena, of which he had served as the instrumental cause. But there is no man whose mind is so severed from all its natural tendencies that he can look upon any individual of his species in this manner. Let any one ask himself by what tie it is that the events, incidents, and acts of the life of another are connected in his own mind. He will quickly be aware that there is a very different principle of their union. There is not a stronger principle governing our thoughts than this which makes individual man himself the conspicuous object of our regard, and makes that which belongs to him or befalls him important in our eyes, because it does belong to or has befallen him. Take away the man, and leave merely the connected series of events, and we trow they would not long remain together in our knowledge; but replace the man, whom we have loved or whom we merely familiarly know, and what throngs of incidents, what innumerable recollections, which have no other interest, no other tie in our mind, at once gather about him, and invest him to our imagination with his own history! The chain of causation subsists indeed to a
wonderful extent, but we are not the observers that are able to trace it. The greater part of mankind knit their thoughts of their fellows together by no such connexions. A principle so abstract can extend through no long series of their thoughts. But give them the man himself to remember his life by, and you enchain indissolubly the train of its events from the cradle to the present hour. Even to those of highest and most cultivated mind, there is not much difference in this respect. The strong bond. of human nature is upon them all; and if philosophy had never undertaken to explain on what ground we associate together the recollections that concern a brother or a friend, we could never have been much at a loss to discover it for ourselves.
We just now observed, that this series of causes and effects which is in fact so deeply involved in the history of every human being, is in part discernible by us, and mixes in that union of our thoughts which is collected upon the individual. Need we intimate how much our strong affections concur to establish these associations? The incidents that would soon be forgotten of another are long remembered of those in whom every little occurrence has part in the interest of our hearts. What we have now said of individuals we should have to repeat of nations. There is a mighty series of events strongly bound together that flows down the history of every people, a great series of causes and effects. The knowledge of these is the Understanding of the Philosophy of His tory; but we are warranted in asserting that this philosophical understanding, and this philosophical interest, are not the ground on which the events that compose the history of a people are collected in our Imagination. We love and admire the high characters of those who are illustrious in their country's annals; and we gather round them the events in which they participated. We love the nation itself; and we remember its calamities and triumphs, its virtues, and the stain of its virtues, by the exultation and pain which we felt when first our imagination was kindled with their lofty story, or their decline and fall.
If we ask, then, what is the great bond of connexion to our mind among all the events of the life of any indi
vidual, it is evidently this, that they all regard one object; it is in the man himself that they are all united, and he is the bond of their connexion to our imagination. Thus when we think of the great series of great actions which constitutes the history of Julius Cæsar -their order in time is not the chief bond of their association. But they are all associated round the image of that matchless warrior and statesman; and we think at once, in one wide complex emotion, of all his being, from the hour he first appears before us, a restless candidate for the lower office of the state, till, in the fulness of his power, the brightness of his glory, and the darkness of his guilt, he breathes out his mighty spirit at the base of Pompey's statue. This personal reference is as evidently the tie that likewise binds together all the events of the man's own life in whose memory they are connected. And thus for himself, and for the life of every human being in whose fate or fortune he is in any way interested, this personal reference which alone gave unity to the events as they befell, gives them their proper unity to memory. It gives them their proper historical bond of unity.
How much of all the history of mankind is already exhausted under this class of associations will be apparent to every one who remembers how small that portion of history is which is independent of the names of distinguished individual actors. But the same principle extended will at once comprehend all history. collect the history of any nation, and consider what is the real bond of association to your own mind among the events which regard it. There can be no doubt as to the answer. It is this simply, that they do regard it. Athens and Sparta give unity to the events of their own history, as every man is himself the point of union to those of his life. Each nation is to our conception an individual, undergoing through the period of its lengthened life the succession of events, or achieving the succession of actions, which make up the history of a life perhaps of centuries. And each people, while their race and name remain, whatever fortunes and revolutions they may pass through, serves still in the view of our mind to collect together all the events and achieve
ments that have been involved with their race and name. The city, the race, the nation, the community of nations, whatever the collective whole may be, of which the acts and fortunes are the subjects for our thought, that
whole gives its own unity to its own history, and serves as much as the individual for the bond of connexion which unites those events to the understandings and the memories of
THE APATHY OF THE STOICS.
The two sections opposed to each other in antiquity, were those of the Epicureans and the Stoics. They were opposed, indeed, not merely by the language of their tenets, one sect maintaining that Pleasure is the greatest good, the other that Pain is no Evil; but by the spirit of their philosophy. The Epicureans sought tranquillity of enjoyment. The Stoics desired an arduous Virtue. The Epicureans narrowed and degraded to the utmost the good they proposed, when they made man himself the End of his Virtue. The Stoics exalted that good to the utmost, when they endeavoured to make man himself nothing in his own regard, and required of him a conformity to that absolute law of Virtue, of which his happiness would be a necessary result indeed, but was not to be the object of his desire.
If we ask what was the defect of the Stoical System, it was manifestly this, that it was inapplicable to human nature. In saying which, we do not mean merely to allege that that highest perfection at which they aimed was by man unattainable, which would be no objection, since the continual approaches to the highest state proposed are all that are requisite under any imaginable system. But we mean that the spirit of their philosophy does not accord with the general spirit of human nature. Those who could be its followers are but a few out of the whole number of mankind-those only of high intellectual capacity, and of great native energy of character. They profess, indeed, to lay Virtue open to all mankind, and call on all to apply themselves to its pursuit. But to the greater number of those to whom it is offered, their method of Virtue is impracticable. That exclusion of Passion which they require, and which they express by Apathy, meaning, however, not insensibility, but freedom from the perturbation of passion that exclusion is in fact the exclusion of Human Nature. Passion is one of
VOL. XLIV. NO. CCLXXIII.
its essential elements; and the morality which is to be suited for man to embrace, must temper, restrain, and govern passion, but must not reject it from the system of his Being.
It appears, then, that the principle which they adopted as their great maxim of wisdom-to follow, or conform to nature, was in one important respect departed from by them, through imperfect understanding of that nature to which they purposed to conform. They had begun, no doubt, in framing their system, by adopting as its primary and leading principle, the Supremacy of Intellectual Reason, and the necessity of the entire conquest of the inferior mind by that power. This conception of sovereignty in the calm intellectual mind, and absolute subjection of the inferior soul, led necessarily to a false view of the actual constitution of human nature ;-it led to regarding the Passions not as important and vital elements of the whole being, but as disorders of the mind, from which it must by all means be freed. This consequence necessarily followed, because the rising up of every passion is attended, while it lasts, with a disturbance of the soul in which reason is confused and suspended, whence they gave them no higher name than Perturbations. They did not perceive how imperfect, and insufficient to the distinction of our being is reason alone; that these troubling and impetuous movements of the soul,-joy, sorrow, desire, anger, fear,-are the very declarations of our nature as to its own good and evil; that they are the teachers of reason, which, without them, is uninstructed as to human good. The vehement and impetuous fear in the soul of a parent in the sudden danger of a child-the flame of indignant hate which passes over the heart at the hearing or witnessing some atrocious crime-the sleepless passion which seizes the spirit of a young patriot warrior when the foot of a foe is
on the soil-these, and a thousand such movements, full of the most disturbing and oppressive passion, are so far from weaknesses or disorders of our nature, that they are the only way in which our nature can possibly make itself known to our own understanding -the only way by which the strength, the character, the reality of our most necessary affections can be understood by us. It is the only way in which they can be known as subsisting in our minds, and, consequently, the only way in which we can receive the instruction of nature as to good and evil. Reason is disturbed and shaken while the sudden movement of passion lasts; but, afterwards, does not the less reassume her sway when she may at leisure consider and understand the passion of which she could not restrain the rise. That self-command which virtue and reason require, is, therefore, something different from that complete suppression of all emotion which was proposed by the Stoics. It implies the subjugation, slowly effected as it must be, of
even emotion itself, as far as its degree or direction is condemned by virtue; it implies the immediate subjection of our actions to the law of virtue, whatever the violence of the feelings may be that struggle against it. But it leaves, at the same time, a wide field of nature open, within which every principle of emotion which is implanted in our bosoms may act ; within which even their strong and stormy agitation is no violation of the moral character of our mind, nor of that due authority of reason, to which the whole tenor of our lives must, though every moment cannot, be subjected.
The great defect, then, of the Stoical speculative doctrines, appears to be an ignorance of the nature and office of Passion in the human mind-conceiving it to be a disorder and not a necessary power-and not perceiving that our highest and noblest affections partake of this quality as essentially as all the others.
SPIRIT OF THE AGE.
In considering mental pursuits under the most general and comprehensive view, we observe that they may be classed as of two kinds: those studies which are derived from Imagination, and those which are derived from Intellect. Now, it is certain that nothing lifts up higher our conception of the power of the human mind than the highest productions of those arts which are the offspring of imagination. Wherever they have flourished they adorn the people in our eyes. Because in these the soul, delivering itself up to the full transport of its powers, seeks nothing but to express in durable forms the very visions of beauty and greatness which visit it in its height of conception. Such have been the works of mighty sculptors and painters; such the works of those who have reared up on the earth edifices that have stood proudly on the soil adorning it with a magnificence that was not misplaced amidst the magnificence of nature. Such have been those poets whose great works have remained to their people, dilating the bosoms of thousands with what one mind, only in one age, could have conceived.
We cannot, in remembering what human nature has done for itself to establish its strength by its own works, forget our love and admiration of those surpassing productions which have so much lifted up the spirits that gave them birth, and have maintained at such a lofty pitch of genius the mind of a country through following generations. It rests upon such works; it will not willingly fall from them into abasement.
Yet it is to be observed, that the pursuits of those arts which are derived from imagination, however capable they may be of the utmost greatness of the human mind, does not supply that kind of continued strength which the mind requires. In the luxury of a people their arts take the tone of the times. Imagination is too much in sympathy with pleasure, it yields itself too easily to the enchantment from which the mind itself seeks deliverance. Accordingly, all the arts to which imagination gives birth have greatly changed their character with the changing genius of a people. Strong, masculine, and rude in elder times, and bearing the stamp of the bold spirit which
created them, they have at a later period become unnerved and effeminate -tainted with the weakness of a luxurious age-and breathing back on the soul of the people the same indolent softness they had already received from it.
If therefore the mind is, by its own pursuits, to supply itself with strength, it is not on such as these that it must rely-not on a faculty which is itself susceptible of so much influence from extraneous causes. It must rely on those faculties which are self-dependent on those which derive the law of their action from within.
Such are pre-eminently those faculties of which the pursuit is Truth. Truth, in all the various forms in which it can be made the subject of human contemplation. Truth in the observation of nature-in the severest sciences-and in that science which begins and ends in the Mind itself. Such, above all, is that moral wisdom which draws from the whole internal being the strength by which it seeks to subject, not merely the appearance of human life to its intelligence, but the actions of human life, by its will. In those works which the mind frames for its own delight merely, it obeys an uncertain law. But when it applies itself to know that which has been and is, it no longer floats on uncertainty. It then seeks to know; and there is but one measure which can satisfy its desire-namely, the severest knowledge of reality.
In these sciences, too, there is such a conformity to the intellectual nature of man, that to pursue them is to bring forth his innermost powers into action. The field, too, that lies before him is boundless; he can never know all. What he learns, is a step only to what is beyond. He is going forward in a continual march; and from his own mind must he derive the constant supply of power by which he is to effect his progressive conquest.
Fearful, then, as from the history of the world, we may judge the danger to be which menaces a people from the enervating influences of civilisation-it appears that the proper strength which nature has provided to man for direct resistance is in the character and power of his intellectual mind. A view, which might give us great reason to apprehend the
inadequacy of such means of protection, if we conceived this strength to be placed only in those highest minds, which distinguish themselves above all others by their intellectual achievements, but which will appear to us not void of consolation and encouragement, when we look upon our own country, and consider to how great an extent the generous activity of intellect may be diffused throughout a people; when we conceive that the strength thus given does not reside in a few elected spirits, but that all the thousands of minds that draw each from itself the impulses to intellectual exertion, are carrying on each within itself the work of this defence, uniting, though they know it not, their individual strengths to maintain a great common cause of the whole united society. How noble and calm is that human spirit which in all its hours of more undisturbed and self. collected thought, reflects in itself, as in a mirror, the harmonies of the worlds!
But there are peculiar characteristic circumstances of the mind and state of this nation at the present time, which, besides those common causes of injury to the spirit of a people which have been already spoken of, include dangers of a different kind, and which lead us to consider in this application also, the influence that may be derived from the tenor of our intellectual pursuits.
The present age exhibits a remarkable character of energy and ardour in all the ordinary pursuits of human life. Each mind is seen rushing eagerly to its allotted task, and scarce feeling there is any other call upon its powers than to strive vigorously and successfully in the animated conflict. The highest orders among ourselves are less solicited to ease than they are called to struggles and duties in the public business of the state. Such is the effect of that particular constitution of our polity, that the life of no order is that of repose. The thirst for reputation, the pride of rising to higher eminence in the ranks of society, the ardour for wealth, the very rivalry that is engendered in the midst of conflicting interests, have seized on the spirit of the land, and in the midst of what the history of mankind would have prepared an observer to expect as a life of ease, have produced a restless and eager activity of powers, which