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it is thinking." Were this position admitted, I do not apprehend that, in the end, it would materially assist Dr Coplestone; it is too sweeping, however, and therefore erroneous. It cannot be denied, undoubtedly, that very often the certainty is improperly transferred from the thinker to the thing thought of;—that is to say, when the certainty of the thinker is not built upon demonstrably adequate grounds. Yet, because it does not always happen that, when the mind feels certain of any thing, that thing is itself actually certain; is it therefore to be contended that the certainty is always improperly transferred from the thinker to the object thought of? Surely not;-at least if it be, then abstract certainty is denied altogether. This is going into extremes. When Newton or Halley mathematically demonstrated the occurrence of eclipses at certain times, the completeness of the demonstration was certainly an infallible proof of the certainty of the future event; and it is therefore properly transferred to it; nor can reasoning be falsified by such a transfer. Considerations of a similar nature are also applicable to the words" impossible" and "contingent."


The most extraordinary passages of the discourse, however, are those in which the reverend author attempts to establish the propriety-possibility perhaps should be the word-of the mind's believing two distinct contradictory propositions whilst they are separate; but which, if brought together, form a direct contradiction in terms. By this means, he seems to hold, that we may easily believe, that an event, the occurrence of which is uncertain, may be certainly foreknown. We have only to believe in the contingence of the event, and also in the foreknowledge; and take special care to admit only one of these beliefs into the mind at one time, so that they may never fight. As Dr Coplestone has, in one place, -admitted that direct contradictions in terms, are merely propositions without meaning, and therefore cannot be proposed to any end, either derogatory or the contrary, as to the power of any being to understand or perform them, I presume he considers fore-knowledge and contingence as two qualities, the -compatibility of which is only appa

rently inexplicable and not absolutely so; although, if this be the case, there appears no reason why they may not be believed together. That I may not misrepresent the reverend doctor, however, I shall first quote the pas sages from both discourses in which this odd rule of faith is embodied, and then hazard one or two observations upon them.

At p. 69, we read as follows:-"If, that God made every thing, knowing beforehand all that would come to pass, and all that men do, be an undeniable truth-if, nevertheless, he deals with man, as if he were free to act, and rewards and punishes him according to this trial, and we cannot comprehend how both these things should be true together, we yet can believe them both to be true--and so believing, we may well conclude, that many of our occasional reasonings concerning these things must be infected with the same apparent incongruity that strikes us in the enunciation of those first principles." Again, at p. 79, "If, however, we set ourselves to examine each of these abstract positions separately from the other, dark and perplexing as the inquiry often is, yet the arguments deducible from reason and experience alternately in their favour, appear to be irresistible; and as one of the most candid inquirers observes, what flashes of light break out, from time to time, present the image of truth on opposite sides. Why then should not truth itself be really an inmate of each opinion? Unless it can be shewn, which never has yet been shewn, that the two opinions are contradictory to each other. That they are contradictory has been tacitly assumed, because to us their union is inexplicable; and hence the most pernicious errors of different kinds have at times prevailed, some denying or doubting the agency of Providence, others the freedom of the human will."

This method of believing separately two propositions, which, when compared, cannot both be believed, has, in one shape or other, been recommended before, though never perhaps so undisguisedly as in the present instance." In the second quotation it is asserted, that " it has never been

Akin to this ingenious scheme of taking a contradiction " at twice," for those whose swallow is not sufficiently Boa-like to manage it whole, are the "sensus divisus" and


shewn that the two opinions are contradictory to each other." This is not a little unreasonable. If to suppose, that a being certainly knows that an event shall, certainly and without any chance of failure, take place; and that he, at the same time, knows that its occurrence is a contingency, or doubtful chance, and that it may possibly not take place-if to suppose this be not to suppose a plain, evident, and palpable contradiction, I know not what a contradiction is. And I am' equally at a loss to conceive, if the meaning of the words be understood, what possible room there is for further "shewing." One might as well be demanded to shew that "no" and 'yes," when predicated of the same proposition, are contradictions to each other. The ideas, as we perceive them, and the words, as we understand them, cannot, and do not consist; and it is for those who deny the contradiction, to shew, either reasons why they do consist, or room for hidden reasons why they may consist. This they, I think, cannot do; and till they have, it is an abuse of language to term the union of these two opinions-Contingence and Foresight" inexplicable," merely. The word inexplicable refers itself to mysteries as opposed to impossibilities. Now pure contradictions are not mysteries. We fully apprehend the meaning of the terms, and we view every thing that is embodied in them, and we see that the ideas which they embody are contradictory. We see, at the same time, that there is no room for any mysterious hidden circumstances, the detection of which may reconcile the two apparently clashing propositions. There is no difficulty in believing proved tacts, which are apparently, as far as we know, contradictory to each other; but then we do this only from perceiving at the same time that, between them, and connected with them, there is room for something further to be known, which, when known, must clear up the contradiction. Thus we believe in many peculiarities connected with tides and currents which contradict all the general laws

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on such subjects; we believe in that stream which


"Ne'er feels retiring ebbs, but keeps due To the Propontick and the Hellespont—” because there is room for hidden circumstances, the knowledge of which would elucidate the seeming inconsist→ ency. To believe purely contradictory propositions, is neither more nor less than believing that a thing may be at once true and false; for how do we absolutely ascertain the truth of any proposition but by ascertaining that there exists no counter proposition, of undoubted truth, which may be set against the first; and what other definition can be given of perfect and absolute truth in ratiocination? to say that contradictions may be true is only denying the existence of abstract certainty in the world.

To come to a right understanding of this question, it is only necessary to make this distinction. If there be two contradictory propositions, the possibility of the union of which is inexplicable to the mind, that is to say, of which we cannot conceive room for the possibility of their being brought to consist, then they form a contradiction to us absolutely incredible. But if of the two contradictory propositions we know enough to know that there is room for the possibility of their being shewn to be inconsistent, then they are credible as far as the contradiction is concerned. If this distinction be not attended to, and both sorts of contradictions are held to be credible, there must be, as it appears to me, an end of human reasoning. The very rankest contradiction that language can express comes under the first definition. Suppose it be asserted that two and two are five, what is this but a proposition embodying ideas so contradictory, that we cannot see or conceive any room for the possibility of their ever being shewn to agree? Further than this we cannot go. If one contradiction of this sort be held to be true, all other contradictions may, for aught we know, be true; and a denial

the << sensus compositus" of the following controversial morceau of the schoolmen. "Resp. Estius hanc propositionem Quod prævisum est potest non evenire' duplicem habere sensum, compositum, scilicet, et divisum. Compositus sensus hic estsimul consistunt ut aliquid sit prævisum a Deo, et tamen non eveniat; quô sensu, falsa est propositio. Divisus verò sensus hic est. Fieri potest ut hæc res (demonstrata ea quæ prævisa est) non eveniat ; et in hoc sensu vera est propositio !” and so on.

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As I have already encroached upon your limits, I am the better pleased at feeling it unnecessary to apologize to Dr Coplestone, for the liberty I have taken in offering these remarks upon his work. To suppose the learned and reverend Inquirer less aware than myself of the importance of free discussion to the interests of truth, would be the height of arrogance. To imagine for a moment that the support of a set of doctrines, rather than the furtherance of general knowledge, was the object of his pen, would be worse.

I am, &c.

T. D.


On being asked who wrote " The Groves of Blarney."

"WHO,'-ask ye! No matter. This tongue shall not tell,
O'er the board of oblivion the name of the bard;
Nor shall it be utter'd, but with the proud spell,
That sheds on the perish'd their only reward,

No, no! look abroad, Sir, the last of October;

In the pages of Blackwood that name shall be writ,

For Christopher's self, be he tipsy or sober,

Was not more than his match, in wine, wisdom, or wit."

Ye Dowdens and Jenningses, wits of Cork city,

Though mighty the heroes that chime in your song, Effervescing and eloquent-more is the pity

Ye forget the great poet of Blarney so long.

I mean not the second, O'Fogarty hight,

Who can speak for himself, from his own native Helicon, I sing of an elder, in birth and in might,

(Be it said with due deference,)-honest Dick Millikin.

Then fill up, to his mem'ry, a bumper, my boys,
'Twill cheer his sad ghost, as it toddles along
Through Pluto's dark alleys, in search of the joys
That were dear upon earth to this step-son of song.

And this be the rule of the banquet for aye,

When the goblets all ring with " Och hone, Ullagone!" Remember this pledge, as a tribute to pay

To the name of a minstrel so sweet, so unknown. Sept. 1, 1821.




You must often have perceived how haughtily our southern neighbours assert their superiority over us in every thing relating to classical literature, and particularly in the science of metre. I readily admit that the country of George Buchanan does not support the fame conferred on it by that illus trious scholar; that the system of education in our schools is not as well calculated for the diffusion of deep classical knowledge, as that in the great and valuable public schools of England; and that some remarkably ignorant blunders in prosody have been occasionally made by some of our countrymen; but I nevertheless contend, that the charge against us is made too general and sweeping, and urged more with a spirit of nationality, than a regard for the real state of the case. For example, you may recollect how unmercifully they hunted down the unfortunate Muse Edinenses. They were bad enough, in all conscience; but it was hardly fair to stigmatize, as the English Reviewers did, the literature of a whole country, from the folly of an indiscreet person who printed the exercises of raw and half-taught schoolboys. All the prosodial sins of Scotland were raked up on the occasion. I remember that the Quarterly twitted good old Doctor Anderson with having published, as a correct specimen of the Sapphic, a few verses written sixty years ago by Græme, which have the misfortune of containing

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about three times as many faults as they have lines. It certainly was a betise of the Doctor's, but a candid critic would not have noticed it just then. If we wished to retaliate in the same way that is, by picking up absurd books written, and mistakes committed, by English writers on similar subjects-we should find no difficulty in doing so, though it would be unjust to imitate them, in making the errors or ignorance of a few, the grounds of reproach against the classical learning of all England.

I have got into my hands this morning a book in considerable use in English schools-written by a clergyman, master of a grammar school-which, in 1813, had reached a fifth edition, and in all probability has added another since receiving, as its author informs us, (p. 10.) various puffy criticisms from the British Critic, the Monthly Review-which at one time was really not a contemptible workthe Critical and Analytical Reviews, in its progress; and if you, Mr North, do not think the minute disquisitions of prosody unfit for your pleasant pages, I shall shew you, by this panegyrised book, that an inconceivable ignorance of metre is sometimes to be found south as well as north of the Border.

The first portions of the book I have but slightly glanced over. They consist of rules of construction and positions of Latin arranged on a peculiar plan, that appears tolerably well exe

The Latin Primer in three parts Part III. A large and plain de. scription of the Latin verse, and of many kinds of composition in verse; a summary account of Terence's Metres, and a more minute one of the Metra Horatiana; with a table designed to give a ready and perfect knowledge of all Horace's Metres at one view. By the Rev. Richard Lyne, Rector of Little Petherick, and late Master of the Grammar school at Liskeard. Fifth edition. Longman & Co. 1813.

The passage is in Anderson's Poets, vol. xi. p. 411. The poem begins with a line which may serve as a specimen,

"Pueri agrestes irridendum pecus,"

consists of 16 lines, and contains 45 faults; on which Dr Anderson remarks, that it must be allowed to be a very correct and manly performance for a boy of fifteen !—A.

The Quarterly, however, was at that time nettled at the calumnies poured out against Oxford and the great English Schools, by the Edinburgh, and may perhaps be on that ground excused. But the principal of these calumnies were written by an Englishman, the Reverend S**** S****, one of the most unfortunate men that ever passed for a wit. Animals of that kind were in great feather some dozen or half dozen years ago; but now, as Sir Walter Scott says in Marmion, "Thanks to Heaven and good Kit North,” they are clean gone.-Requiescant in pace !—A.

cuted. The third part, which professes to be a large and plain account of Latin verse, &c. is my object, and I shall go through it with as much order and dispatch as possible.

He begins properly enough by considering the hexameter, of which he gives a very meagre account, containing some inaccuracies which I shall not stop to point out, as there is better game in view. Nor shall I delay on his pentameters, except to make a few remarks on rhymed Latin, the consideration of which he here introduces, and shews he knows nothing about it. "The following verse of Ovid," he says, (p. 204.) "is spoiled by a rhyme,

Quærebant flavos per nemus omne favos." Now there is no rhyme here; flavos accented on its first syllable and favós on its last, (which is the way they ought to be pronounced) rhyme no more than a mán rhymes with Háman, or promontory with spárkling story. Nor, with all deference to the learned author of Metronariston, do the verses which Lyne quotes after him, such


O pater, O patria cura decusque tuæ, deserve the name of rhyme. They are merely homoteleutic, and of course do not rhyme any more than correct with direct, or causeway with highway, or James Hogg with hedge-hog. The author of Metronariston considers such verses as agreeable: to my ear they are very displeasing, if of any thing like frequent occurrence. Persius laughs at the poets of his day for using them, and crabbed as the satirist is, I own I prefer his authority to that of the master of Liskeard school, who declares them "soft and musical." True it is, there are limits to his admiration. Rhyme carried too far, he thinks spoils the dignity of some hymns in the Roman breviary, for instance,

Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex intactâ virgine;
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semine;
Sui moras incolatus

Miro clausit ordine.

Spoil the dignity of such a composition as this! Why, sir, it is not Latin verse at all. It is nothing but Latin words adapted to a foreign, or, as they them

selves would say, a barbarous music and accentuation. They are sung as Trochaics thus: Nobis datus | nōbis | nātŭs||ēx în- |-tāctă | vīrgi- |në: without any regard to the true quantities. He might as well have quoted honest old Walter de Mapes's "Mihi est propositum in taberna mori," for a specimen of Latin verse, as this sample of the Roman breviary.

We next come to a chapter on six small verses, parts of the hexameter. The second of these he exemplifies by a fragment of a line from the Æneid, by following which plan he might have treated us with a more copious variety of metres than any former prosodian, a great object of his ambition, Why did not he give examples of the verse, (the heroic hepthemimeris,) from authors-Prudentius, Boethius, Ausonius, &c.-who really used it as an entire line, instead of having recourse to Virgil, who, of course, intended to have finished it as a full hexameter? The same objection will apply to the example of his next metre; the tetrameter a priore, for which his authority is Horace, who unquestionably uses it only as part of a heptameter. For this division, I own, however, he may plead the authority of some commentators; but the account of the pherecratian, his fifth in this department, is entirely original. He tells us (p. 206) that it consists of the three last feet of the hexameter, but adds that the first foot might be a choree. This should, I think, have startled him a little as to it's origin from the hexameter; and the line, in fact, is choriambic. But what think you is the example he gives us of the initial choree? Catullus's

Hýměa o Hymenæe!

Hymen! run! a short ! and the
next sentence is just as bad,
lus forms this trimeter not only with
a choree in the first place, but a dac-
tyl likewise in the last, which writers
on this subject seem to have taken no
account of, as

Collisō Heli- |-conii
Cultor | ūǎni-|æ genŭs."
I have heard of a blind man, who
maintained that there was no such
sense as sight, because he did not pos-
sess it; and we have an analogous
instance here. Because our author
could not see that two Glyconic verses

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