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outside the inmost sanctuary of life, that central hearth where ideas are still undivided, without shape or determination. The Latin mind makes everything objective, because it remains outside things, and outside itself. It is like the eye which only perceives what is exterior to it, and which cannot see itself except artificially, and from a distance, by means of the reflecting surface of a mirror.
30th August 1872. — À priori speculations weary me now as much as any body. All the different scholasticisms make me doubtful of what they profess to demonstrate, because, instead of examining, they affirm from the beginning. Their object is to throw up entrenchments around a prejudice, and not to discover the truth. They accumulate that which darkens rather than that which enlightens. They are descended, all of them, from the Catholic procedure, which excludes comparison, information, and previous examination. Their object is to trick men into assent, to furnish faith with arguments, and to suppress free inquiry. But to persuade me, a man must have no parti pris, and must begin with showing a temper of critical sincerity ; he must explain to me how the matter lies, point out to me the questions involved in it, their origin, their difficulties, the different solutions attempted, and their degree of probability. He must respect my reason, my conscience, and my liberty. All scholasticism is an attempt to take by storm ; the authority pretends to explain itself, but only pretends, and its deference is merely illusory. The dice are loaded and the premisses are prejudged. The unknown is taken as known, and all the rest is deduced from it.
Philosophy means the complete liberty of the mind, and therefore independence of all social, political, or religious prejudice. It is to begin with neither Christian nor pagan, neither monarchical nor democratic, neither socialist nor individualist; it is critical and impartial; it loves one thing only - truth. If it disturbs the ready-made opinions of the Church or the State — of the historical medium — in which the philosopher happens to have been born, so much the worse, but there is no help for it.
• Est ut est aut non est.'
Philosophy means, first, doubt; and afterwards the consciousness of what knowledge means, the consciousness of uncertainty and of ignorance, the consciousness of limit, shade, degree, possibility. The ordinary man doubts nothing and suspects nothing. The philosopher is more cautious, but he is thereby unfitted for action, because, although he sees the goal less dimly than others, he sees his own weakness too clearly, and has no illusions as to his chances of reaching it.
The philosopher is like a man fasting in the midst of universal intoxication. He alone perceives the illusion of which all creatures are the willing playthings; he is less duped than his neighbour by his own nature. He judges more sanely, he sees things as they are. It is in this that his liberty consists — in the ability to see clearly and soberly, in the power of mental record. Philosophy has for its foundation critical lucidity. The end and climax of it would be the intuition of the universal law, of the first principle and the final aim of the universe. Not to be deceived is its first desire: to understand, its second. Emancipation from error is the condition of real knowledge. The philosopher is a sceptic seeking a plausible hypothesis, which may explain to him the whole of his experiences. When ne imagines that he has found such a key to life he offers it to, but does not force it on, his fellow-men.
9th October 1872. – I have been taking tea at the M.'s. These English homes are very attractive. They are the recompense and the result of a long-lived civilisation, and of an ideal untiringly pursued. What ideal? That of a moral order, founded on respect for self and for others, and on reverence for duty — in a word, upon personal worth and dignity. The master shows consideration to his guests, the children are deferential to their parents, and every one and everything has its place. They understand both how to command and how to obey. The little world is well governed, and seems to go of itself ; duty is the genius loci — but duty tinged with a reserve and self-control which is the English characteristic. The children are the great test of this domestic system : they are happy, smiling, trustful, and yet no trouble. One feels that they know themselves to be loved, but that they know also that they must obey. Our children behave like masters of the house, and when any definite order comes to limit their encroachments they see in it an abuse of power, an arbitrary act. Why? Because it is their principle to believe that everything turns round them. Our children may be gentle and affectionate, but they are not grateful, and they know nothing of self-control.
How do English mothers attain this result? By a rule which is impersonal, invariable, and firm ; in other words, by law, which forms man for liberty, while arbitrary decree only leads to rebellion and attempts at emancipation. This method has the immense advantage of forming characters which are restive under arbitrary authority, and yet amenable to justice, conscious of what is due to them and what they owe to others, watchful over conscience, and practised in self-government. In every English child one feels something of the national motto — “God and my right,' and in every English household one has a sense that the home is a citadel, or better still, a ship in which every one has his place. Naturally in such a world the value set on family life corresponds with the cost of producing it; it is sweet to those whose efforts maintain it.
14th October 1872. — The man who gives