Page images
[blocks in formation]

Permanent and annual duties 42,065,288 43,550,996 45,852,341

War taxes. Customs,

556 Excise,

3,629,404 3,277,779 3436,029 Property,

4,725,119 1,204,749 72,910


Total war taxes,

8,355,079 4,482,548 3,508,933 Total revenue, distinguish'ing the consolidated fund,

the annual duties, and war $50,420,367 48,033,544 49,361,280

taxes, Revenue distinguishing the

customs and excise.

as particularized aboves, } 8,268,501 10,000,379 10,498,407

Ditto of excise, as above, 21,234,214 21,179,114 23,186,168 Ditto of stamps, post-office, assessed property, and land taxes, miscellaneous, % 20,917,652 16,884,051 15,675,705 & unappropriated duties,

and pensions, as ditto, Total revenue, distinguish

ing the customs and ex- 50,420,367 48,033,544 49,361,280

cise, Deduct receipt upon property, war duty on malt,

6,660,476 1,226,984 189,357 and unappropriated du

ties, Revenue, exclusive of property, war duty on malt,

43,759,891 46,806,560 49,071,923 and unappropriated duties,

Art. V.- Foreign Literature. WE

E have been long accustomed in this country, to obtain all our

foreign literary information from the periodical publications of Great Britain, and to place implicit reliance on their capacity and fairness.

The mass of evidence lately collected, and imperishably recorded, by the powerful genius of our distinguished countryman, Robert Walsh, jun. should diminish our admiration of British crítics, and shake our filial confidence in their decisions. If Mr. Walsh's able appeal should have the happy effect of sometimes enticing us from the beaten track of British literature, rendered disgusting by national prejudice and individual pride, into the delightful fields of continental science, he will have conferred a lasting benefit upon his countrymen.

The Edinburgh and London Quarterly Reviews, though bitter enemies on other points, appear to have formed a strict alliance for the purpose of repressing every effort of American genius. When a bright ray of science shines from the western shore of the Atlantic, it is either refracted into hideous obliquity, by the dense and misty atmosphere of British criticism, or sent back in contemptuous reflections, by those mirrors of national prejudice, the British Reviews.

These observations were elicited by the perusal of several numbers of a work lately commenced in Paris, called La Revue Encyclopoedique. A desire to do justice to the labours of the votaries of learning in all countries, and to promote the cause of true science, are the most prominent features of this work. The French reviewers appear to be well informed with respect to the institutions, manners, and statistics of the United States; points on which the learned, in Great Britain, display the most lamentable ignorance, or the most wilful misrepresentation. The philosophers of France, Italy, and Germany, having escaped from the shackles of national prejudice, greet every legitimate son of science, whether an American or a Greek, a Franklin or a Nicolo Paulo, as a fellow citizen of the great republic of letters.

The four h number of La Revue Encyclopoedique contains a very interesting article on prejudice, by the enlightened Sismondi, intended by its author to appear in the Edinburgh Encyclopædia, in an English translation. There is a peculiar aptness in making a philosophical analysis of prejudice, for the use of the British nation. The profound genius of Sismondi, deeply versed in the master science of the human mind, having discovered the prevailing disease of British intellect, has administered a remedy at once mild and wholesome.

In the following translation of the introduction to Sismondi's article, I have endeavoured to give the author's meaning in plain English; to transfuse the beauties of his diction, would require the elcgant pen of Murphy. If Sismondi's philosophical beauties should induce some of my young countrymen to give more of their attention to the literature of continental Europe, my object will be fully attained.

HARMODIUS. Translation.—The name of prejudices is applied to all opinions which are formed, before our reason has discussed, and our judgment confirmed them; to all motives which influence our belief, without having any relation to the subject of inquiry. They may

be just or unfounded; they may aid our good inclinations, or shackle our reason; and we should neither reject them with contempt, nor submit to them with confidence. The judgment should remain free from prejudice, neither blindly resisting it, nor substituting it for reflection, but appreciating it according to its true worth. An opinion cannot be considered as clearly established, unless all the prejudices which are connected with it, have been analysed, traced to their origin, and estimated at their just value. A being destined to a longer existence, man comes into the world endowed with powers and an activity disproportioned to his earthly career. He knows, and he desires to know every thing; he forms but a small link in the chain of beings, and he would know them all, and foresee all their operations. His own experience is not sufficient to furnish him with the knowledge necessary for his own conduct. Upon the recommendation of others, he is obliged to adopt most of those rules which he feels the necessity of following. Did he not believe the reports of others, respecting the properties of bodies, he could neither defend, feed, nor clothe himself. In making him a social being, God has required him to claim his part in the great inheritance of human experience. All is tradition with him, long previous to conviction or experience. He imitates before he reasons, and imitation is the adoption of the knowledge of others. All his natural powers are developed in infancy, according to the example of those who have lived before him. All his moral facul. ties also, are planted and cultivated in his soul by other hands; and when he arrives at maturity, he conceits himself full of his own riches, whilst nearly all he possesses has been bequeathed to him by generations that have passed away.

The infant who learns from his parents, to feed, to walk, to speak, to avoid danger, learns also from them to think and to judge; and still more to express thoughts which are not his own, and to receive opinions which he has not formed. This constant adoption of the opinions of others, is a necessary consequence of his situation in the world. Continually required to decide and act for himself, before he is able to reflect, he is obliged to form his faith, his morality, and his political opinions, upon the foundation of others, and even to gather his knowledge of the sciences, of the arts, and of commerce, from observations which were not made by himself. Every thing is prejudice in his mind, long before it becomes judgment. In proportion, however, as his reason is developed, he reconsiders some of the opinions he had formed, and appreciates them intrinsically, (for themselves,) at least as far as he can, whilst all the points of comparison, and all the notions by which he began to form his mind, are yet established only upon prejudice.

What we have learnt from others, we believe; what we have observed ourselves, we know. Hence, in the most general acceptation of the word, all that we believe is prejudice; until, having applied successively the philosophical doubt, which precedes and causes examination, to each point of our belief, this doubt, and the proof which follows it, change prejudice into judgment: but the difficulty and the tediousness of this operation are soon felt, even by those who are endowed with the clearest and most powerful intellect. Among the opinions generally admitted, and which every one at first received with confidence, some remain doubtful after examination; and the number of those, which a habitually reflecting person has not had the time or ability to examine, remains at the end of the longest life, infinitely greater than that of those which he has submitted to this test. Moreover, whatever may be the activity of his mind, and the justness of his manner of thinking, he is constrained, during the whole course of his life, to trust to prejudice for the greatest part of his actions, because he has not yet established all the principles which belong only to judgment.

It is precisely because the philosopher cannot escape from prejudice, and because he meets with it at every step, both in himself and in others, that it is necessary for him to be acquainted with those human propensities which have influence over the opinions of others, and over his own. He will not entirely escape from prejudice; for in that case, he would be lost in a sea of doubts; but he will rise high enough to appreciate it himself, to foresee how each of his powers may modify his opinions; and after allowing its lawful part to the natural propensity which tends to accrediter every notinn, he will receive no more upon the faith of others, than the notion itself, such as human testimony represents it; doubtful evidence, indeed, but which cannot yet be replaced by any thing more solid.

At the first glance, we discover a resemblance between preju. dices and those presumptions which serve in law, to supply the defects of testimony, and which habitually determine our choice of probable opinions, when we cannot arrive, or at least, when we have not yet arrived at demonstration. But, presumptions arise from the circumstances of the thing itself, which is under our examination; prejudices grow out of the dispositions of our own minds. Presumptions are foreign to us; prejudices are foreign to the questions they decide. Hence, to arrive at greater precision in terms, we shall call presumptions, all those shades of probability which arise from the question itself which we examine, or from its accessory circumstances, whilst we call prejudices, all those inclinations to beiieve, or not to believe, which arise from the play of our faculties, the habits of our minds, or the emotions of our hearts. Presumptions are without us; they are as various as the circumstances from which they arise; and although logic teaches to appreciate them, it can with difficulty comprehend them all, and arrange them in classes. But, prejudices are within us; they arise from ourselves; and although it is impossible to foresee the millions of forms that human prejudices may assume, yet it may not

be so, to class them according to the natural sentiments to which they are related.

This analysis of the origin of prejudices is not only an object of curiosity; it should render us more indulgent to the opinions of others, and at the same time more correct in our own. It almost always makes us see a fair side in the most absurd opinions: (it is that by which they are disseminated;) and it teaches us at the same time to surprise in ourselves, and to dislodge that secret bias which induces us to prejudice, when wisdom requires that we should previously examine.

In effect, tradition, and it is thus that we shall call the whole mass of knowledge that we receive from others, presents us with nothing but presumptions; our faculties change them into prejudices, by the way in which they prepare us to admit them. The persons who transmitted these presumptions to us, possessed faculties analogous to ours, and they have also modified them. These faculties, which usurp the place of judgment, act as a prism, which gives colour to objects; the prism must submit to analysis in its turn. In general, we are sufficiently accustomed to distinguish within ourselves the faculties of judgment, memory, imagination, and sensibility. We shall follow this division to show how the different dispositions of the soul modify the objects which are presented to it; or rather, how the three latter usurp the place of the judgment, and offer their prejudices instead of its decisions. But besides these active powers, we may perceive one within us, which is passive, and is a kind of vis inertiæ, which resists the action of the others. These faculties will afford us the division of all the prejudices. We shall refer them to memory, imagination, sensibility, and the love of repose, usurping the place of judgment.

(To be continued.)

ART.VI.-Récherches Physiologiques et Médicales sur les Causes,

les Symptomes, et le Traitement, de la Gravelle. Par F. Magendie, Docteur en Médecine de la Faculté de Paris, &c. &c. 8vo. pp. 91. Paris, 1818.

[From the Eclectic Review.] FROM some isolated, but, so far as it goes, very strong evidence,

Dr. Magendie infers that animal diet is the cause of gravel: and having, as he supposes, ascertained the fact, he propounds, by way of explaining this fact, a principle which, according to our conceptions, rests merely upon defective analogies, drawn from inanimate to living existence.

To the use of animal food, have been ascribed, even by some individuals in our own country, not only gravel, but scrophula, cancer, consumption, asthma, gout, and, indeed, all the chronic ailments that are incident to man; and there are very many who, although they may not go the length of some of the ultra ene

« PreviousContinue »