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Of Alexander Smith's Poems, it would delight us to say A TWELFTH BUNDLE OF BOOKS.
much. But, in the first place, we have spoken of their BY GEORGE GILFILLAN.
merits often before; and, secondly, we are completely foreThe change in the form and the time of publication of stalled by others. No volume of poetry for twenty or Hogg's INSTRUCTOR, as well as our numerous and greatly- thirty years has so united all sorts and sizes of critics in increasing avocations, render it advisable in us to give up its praise. The author thinks his reception “tolerable' the writing of these · Bundles.' We do so with a feeling only; he had surely expected too much. If his second of regret, for they have been the means of bringing us in poem receive a similar welcome, he may be well pleased. contact with, and, in some cases, of aiding and cheering on, Bating a notice in the • Economist,' displaying more than many fine and gifted spirits. Intercourse with the writings that print's usual literary stolidity, and a cleverish, carping, of such, as well as with the readers of the INSTRUCTOR, we sneering critique in the · London Examiner,' which seemed by no means intend to resign; but, as to the former, it will aimed at another through bis sides, we have heard of no assume another shape than that of noticing in such review of bis beautiful poem but largely acknowledged his • Bundles' as this their generous aspirations. We have very extraordinary merits. The blame he has met, bears now, therefore, to give a brief account of the few books re- only to the praise the proportion which Falstaff's bread did maining on our table.
to bis sack. If Keats had received a tithe of the applause, We find, first, Dr Lang's 'Freedom and Independence in he had probably been still alive; and Shelley, if thus welthe Golden Lands of Australia. Dr Lang is unquestion comed, would never have quitted England. His poetry is ably one of the most remarkable men of the present day. somewhat sanguine and flesh-coloured; but, in richness of Whatever may be thought of the prudence of much of his imagery, and often in music of versification, has not been language, or the practicability of some of his schemes, there surpassed this century. Some dunces have talked about can be but one opinion as to his energy of mind, determi- his obscurity!' Now, the fact is, that there is less obnation of purpose, and perseverance of character. He scurity in him than in any good poet of the age. His is, like O'Connell, a born agitator, but an honest and images stand up, always distinct, and clear, and bold, as patriotic one. Had be, in addition to his own power statues or pillars of fire. It was, we are fond of remem. of intellect, possessed the O'Connell unction of eloquence, bering, in the end of April, 1851, that, returning from a he would have become a person as influential as the Big visit to Comrie, we found the first rude draught of the Dan himself. He speaks well, indeed, in a clear and Life-Drama,' written in a straggling, half-forned hand, manly manner, but does not rouse the imagination or beat and accompanied by a very modest note, waiting for us. the passions; his delivery, like that of many ministers, has We threw it among a heap of MS. till we should have time teen spoiled by preaching; and hence you read with far to read it. Taking it up a week or two after, we were more pleasure than you hear him. In Australia, he has struck with some of the lines that opened; we read on, and long been the lion; and, when he returns, will find, pro- found a genuine poet, a bright particular star,' and lust bably, a still higher pedestal of influence awaiting him. no time in communicating the intelligence to the world. May he use it wisely!
We had had a similar pleasure formerly in reading. The His book before us is a vigorous and eloquent exposé of Roman, and have had a third gush of the same delight in the wrongs of Australia—includes in it profound views of recently perusing the effusions of a Cumberland youth the subject of colonisation in general, and gives glowing (Bigg by name) of uncommon poetical promise, whom we pictures of the great and golden future which seems before propose by and by introducing to the public. that singular land. One remembers, at this crisis, with Mr Smith has been lately deluged' with advice. We deep interest the lines written twenty-four years ago by will not add to this well-meant annoyance, save by telling Campbell to emigrants on their way to New South Wales, him to follow the bent of his genius; but at the same time in which the poet mounts into the prophet, and uses such to remember, that that genius is a God-given power, and remarkable expressions as
that he ought seriously to ponder how best to turn it to the
world's account. He has hitherto been amusing himself 'Land of the free, thy kingdom is to come;'
on the sea-shore, picking up shells and pearls; let him preAs in a cradled Hercules, we trace
pare for breasting the billows, and striking out on the real The lines of empire in thine infant face;'
sea of life. His work is entitled a . Life-Drama,' but he and predicts, in short, all the elements wbich have entered has hardly yet begun to live. already into Australia's greatness, except that golden John Nevay's little volume has also met, on the whole, crown which, as if let down from heaven, has appeared so a very kindly reception. Some of its finer passages are suddenly upon its infant head.
about to be translated into French. Lord Lindsay, to Dr Lang is not only a thinker and an eloquent writer, whom the pleasing book is dedicated, has become its warm but has a very considerable dash of the poet about him; and generous patron; and the heart of the fine old man is and we have seen some metrical versions of the Psalms at present glad within him. from his pen of no little spirit and poetic force. We recom- Mr Thomas Young, of Edinburgh, bas issued a new col. mend emphatically his present work to all who would koow lection of his poems. We spoke of them with approbation something about the most interesting and hopeful country some four years ago, and have had no occasion to recall on which at present the sun shines.
our verdict. They are well worthy of perusal, both for Archibald Prentice, of Manchester, sends us the first their own very respectable merits, and for that of their volume of his · History of the Anti-Corn-Law League'- author, whose perseverance and pursuit of knowledge that great combination against commercial oppression, so and poetry under difficulties, reflect on him the highest remarkable in itself, so blessed in its results, and so im- credit. portant in the lesson it has left us, as to the power wielded Mr Leask's • Lays of the Future' have been somewhat by wise and determined men, when they act in unison and harshly handled by the London prints. They are unequal, follow out a good purpose, as if, for the time being, there but contain in them some of the finest thoughts and paswere no other in the world. Mr Prentice was connected sages we have read for a long period. If Mr Leask were with this agitation from the beginning; he watched its studying versification more carefully, he would be a much progress with unwearied interest; he fought its battles more successful poet. He has something better than with unwavering courage; and he has told its story with rhetoric or eloquence; he has the genuine poetic stuff in earnest fidelity. We had but a comparatively small con- him, and is an honour, both as a prose-writer and a sacred nection with the movement, yet we did for it, in our own poet, to the body with which he is connected. locality, what we could; we warmly sympathised with it; Mr Frame, of Coupar-Angus, has sent us a treatise on we have read with much interest Mr Prentice's very accu. Original Sin. It were beyond our plan to enter on a disrate and entertaining account of its commencing struggles, cussion of the dark topic. We may say, however, that his and shall wait with eagerness for the coming volumes, re. views are very much those of Dr Payne and the late adcording the close of this noble commercial epic.
mirable Dr Russel of Dundee, and that Mr Frame has ex
pressed them in a modest and earnest manner. His little poetic genius. The introduction is clever and spirited, and book discovers powers which might be usefully employed his hits at Carlyle, particularly, tell. on less thorny and perplexing themes. He seems to know We commend • Louis' Schooldays, a Story for Boys,' not about as much of original sin as Jonathan Edwards, or only to boys, but to bearded men, who may learn much any other man, and that is little or nothing.
from its simple, but interesting and instructive story. * Forest and Fireside Hours,' by J. Westby Gibson, once The last book on our table is the balkiest, and also one better known as the Sherwood Forest Youth, is a very de- of the best. We refer to Mr Dawson's · Abridged Statis. lightful collection of poetry, sweet, genuine, rural song, tical History of Scotland.' This book, when contrasted smelling of the green country; and, whether he sing of with similar works at the beginning of this century, is a ' May or Autumn, whether of summer twilight, or the fall striking proof how fast and far Scotland has advanced. It of the leaf, or of the song of the broken bough, his melody is no dry skeleton-list of parishes. It is starred with is true, plaintive, beautiful. His preface, too, is all flushed poetic quotation, and sparkles with romantic narrative. over with poetic feeling and imagery; and we are glad to It combines fulness and accuracy, with elegance, interest
, see that suffering und trial have not broken his bough, but and concentration. Open it at what page or parish you that hope is abiding fresh and strong in bis manly bosom. may, 'out there flies a trope,' or a piece of poetry whirns We cordially wish prosperity to the poetry and prospects away, like a muircock startled amid the bodnie
, biconof the Sherwood Forest Youth.
ing heather.' No book can be a more instructive or de Dr Thom of Liverpool sends us a sketch of the late lightful companion in a jaunt to the country; and just as Samuel M.Culloch of Liverpool. It is quite worthy of Dr Professor Simpson extracts interest and fun from the calT.'s energetic and fluent pen, and gives a pleasing picture culations and the contradictions of medical theories
, so of a man of remarkable worth, and whose deatb-bed, in Mr Dawson breathes on the dry dust of Sir John Sinclair its calm and depth of submission, rose to the sublime. and his thousand and one clerical coadjutors, and makes Mr M'Culloch was one of the most eminent physicians in it to live, move, and assume ideal sbapes. We lay doma Liverpool.
the big but intensely interesting volume, thinking better Dr Simpson's book on Homeopathy is written with all of our dear native land, the power we bad expected. How this extraordinary man
Stern Caledonia, bleak and wild, has managed to find time to write it, we, familiarised though
Meet nurse for a poetic child ,' we are by personal experience to what may be done by the and thankful to the fine-bearted stranger (for Mr D.is
, diligent and dogged employment of snatches of leisure, we think, an Englishman) who has done poetic justice lo cannot understand. It is a book swarming with facts, her mountains, floods, lakes, rivers, stratos, glens, and bristling with arguments, and it reads, even to non-medical the innumerable glories streaming from her scenery, ber men, like a novel. Dr Simpson is an intense hater of humbug men, and her ancient and modern story. And most and pretence, and bis book is intended as a sledge-hammer thankful are we that we can thus wind up our «Bundles' on the head of a pumerous class whom he rates as oracu- | in the language of praise. lar hoaxes. How far he is right in this judgment we are not qualified to say, but certainly his book will not be easily answered, although it may easily enough be abused. A MATHEMATICAL STORY: LAPLACE AND BIOT. It is, in style, temper, spirit, and ability, every way worthy An anecdote of M. Laplace, the celebrated author of the of his world-wide and well-won reputation.
Mecanique Celeste,' was lately read before the French Neale's edition of " The Pilgrim's Progress'has been re- Academy by Mons. J. B. Biot, one of Laplace's most ceived with a shout of universal derision. Even Puseyites eminent pupils, and now, we believe, filling the chair of will not march through Coventry with its author, in his the mathematics. M. Biot terms his paper, or memoir, monstrous attempt to mutilate the Pilgrim's Progress.' an anecdote; but it is more a piece of entertaining seienWe refer our readers to the last number of the Eclectic'tific autobiography, illustrating the love of science
, bope, for our fuller mind upon this most impudent of books. fulness of heart, and magnanimity of nature, of both popů
We have only had time to read a portion of Binney's and tutor. • Is it possible to Make the Best of Both Worlds ?' por is It is now fifty years ago (commences M. Biot) since one it necessary to criticise it, its popularity is so decided. We of the greatest philosophers France has produced took by heard him deliver the substance of it in Exeter Hall; we the hand a young and inexperienced student of the mathe did not then entirely coincide with his views. We thought matics, who had the presumption to form the resolution he painted his picture too richly, and in rose colours. of personally waiting upon the great professor, although a We wondered how the sermon he gave would have suited complete stranger, and requesting his examination of a the text, Strive to enter in at the straight gate.' We re-crude essay connected with the above science. At the membered having beard often of the pangs of the new time I speak of (1803), the Academy hardly demanded birth. The memory of the martyrs of every age came more of young students, than that they should at least across us, from Socrates (who sometimes had no coat, show zeal in whatever engaged their studies. I was food although, to be sure, he got plenty of hemlock for nothing) of the study of geometry, but, like other young men, lost to the persecuted patriots and thinkers of our day. We a good deal of time in capriciously dallying with other thought, too, of Bunyan's Slough of Despond, and Carlyle's sciences. Nevertheless, my ambition was to penetrate those Everlasting No, and wondered if the lecturer meant to higher regions of the mathematics on which the laws of assure that audience that they were certain to escape the the heavenly bodies could be defined. But the works of tortures which, in pursuit of truth and virtue, their betters the ancients on this grand subject are abstruse, and natuhave endured in every age before them. He proved, in- rally taxed a tyro's comprehension on the threshold of his deed, what required no proof, that the more moral and re- inquiries. At the commencement of the present century, gular a man is, the more peacefully and happily be lives; M. Laplace was labouring at the composition of a work, but did not show that, beyond mere morality, to gain and now celebrated, which was to unite, in a comprebensive to live out spiritual truth, ever was, now is, and ever shall form, the calculation of the old astronomers as well as be, a difficult and laborious process—a race, a conflict, and modern, and submit them to the test of vew calculaan agony, under the requirements of the laws of which tions. The first volume of M. Laplace's book was promany succumb, crying out, ' It is a hard saying—who can mised to appear under the title of the Mecanique hear it?' Mr Biuney's object seems to show, that we might Celeste,' it being then in the press. This fact induced get to heaven through a heaven bere--in a first-class car. me to take a step which was both precipitate and imper. riage! We have grave doubts upon the subject. The tinent, although it fortunately proved successful, and book, however, so far as we have read it, is written with opened the door of M. Laplace's studio to me. I had the all Mr Binney's usual ability, and has run like wildfire. presumption to write to the professor, requesting that he
“The Patriot, a Poem,' by J. W. King, dedicated, by per- would permit me to assist him in correcting the proolmission, to Mazzini, displays rather patriotic fire than sheets of his celebrated work, while they were proceeding
through the press. M. Laplace replied to my letter whether I ought to accept it; but the judgment of Lappolitely, but excused himself from complying with its re- lace being so strongly in behalf of my doing so, I acted quest, on the plea that his calculations might become anti. upon his advice, and prepared myself for the coming ordeal, cipated in publication, by their being submitted to a I presented myself at the Academy the following day stranger. This refusal, reasonable as it was, did not accordingly. By permission of the president, I proceeded satisfy me; and so greatly did my zeal outweigh my sense to draw upon the large black table, used for ocular deof propriety, that I made a second appeal to the learned monstrations, the figures and formula I was desirous to author, representing, that all I wished was to test the employ as modes of explanation before an auditory: When amount of my own proficiency in the mathematics, by hav- the opportunity was afforded me to commence, the table ing the opportunity of inspecting and studying his valu- at which I stood was immediately surrounded by the able pages. I stated, that my prevailing taste was to geometricians of the Academy. General Bonaparte, then pursue calculations of the abstruse order of his book; and just returned from Egypt, was one of those seated amongst that, if he granted me permission, I would devote myself them. I overheard Napoleon, in conversation with M. carefully to the task of endeavouring to discover any typo- Monge, a celebrated academician of the day, express his graphical errors that might exist in his volume then going interest in the debut of one who, like himself, had been a through the press. My persistence disarmed him; and, student in the Polytechnic School. This was a gratifying in short, he sent me all the proof-sheets, accompanied by circumstance; but, to my surprise, Bonaparte pretended an exceedingly kind letter of encouragement. I need not to anticipate the contents of my paper, by exclaiming say with what ardour I devoted myself to my task. I aloud to Monge, who sat near him—What! surely I could well apply to my case the Latin maxim Violente know those figures again; I have certainly met those rapiunt illud.
symbols before!' I could not help fancying, that the At the date of this occurrence, I resided at some distance general was extremely premature in thus declaring knowfrom Paris ; but from time to time I went thither, taking ledge of what no one save M. Laplace had any opportunity with me whatever I had got through of my revision, and of examining, at least by my consent; but, occupied as I I certainly found opportunities for making errata. At was, every other thought gave way before the one great each succeeding visit, Laplace received me in the most aim I had in view, to explain my calculations in correcencouraging and friendly manner, examining my revisions tion of Euler's problem. In my agitation, I neither attentively, the while discussing with me, in the most con- thought of Napoleon's military greatness nor his political descending manner, my favourite topic of the mathematics. power; consequently, his presence on those accounts did His kind reception and deportment won all my confidence. not trouble me much. Nevertheless, Bonaparte's wellI frequently drew his attention to what I thought were known talents as a geometrician, which had been not only difficulties in my studies, but he always helped me over exercised in the Polytechnic School, but on a wider and the stile condescendingly, although his valuable time must bolder scale during his military career, particularly in forhave been somewhat unfairly trespassed upon. But, in tification, joined to his well-known quickness and forefact, Laplace, out of sheer good-nature, often pretended sight, were sufficient to make me pause ere I attempted to to consider questions of importance the simplest proposi- communicate matters, in the study of which I might prove, tions, which my inexperience caused me to submit to him. after all, but a mere tyro. However, it was only the hesi
Shortly after I had become his regular visiter, and was tation of a few minutes. The thought that Laplace bad received as a guest, or rather pupil, I was so fortunate as been my adviser re-assured me. I proceeded with my to accidentally offer a suggestion, which threw some new demonstrations, and soon found myself in the midst of light on the mode in which mathematical calculations were them, explaining very freely, and I believe, also, as to be made in correction of Euler's work, ' De Insignia Pro- clearly, the nature, point, and results of my researches. motione Methodi Tangentium.' In Petersbourg's scales, On conclusion, I received numerous assurances from there are classes of questions in geometry of a very singu- the academicians that my calculations possessed considerlar kind, which Euler has only partly solved. The singu- able scientific value. Laplace, Bonaparte, and Lacroix, larity of the problems consisted in explaining the nature were appointed adjudicators upon my contribution to the or true character of an irregular curve, of an almost shape. Academy, and they accorded me the usual honours of a Jess form to any eye but a mathematical one. His de successful memoire. scription of irregular curve is so crooked, and full of minor After the séance, I accompanied M. Laplace to his re. and mixed irregularities of shape, that it is quite capable of sidence; he very openly expressed his satisfaction at the confusing a beginner in the mathematics in his attempts neatness and finish" (these were his words) of my demonat rendering it amenable to mathematical principles and strations, and he said his pleasure was greater still, from rules. It presented to me a problem which no one had, my having had the good sense to take his advice, and not I believed, fairly solved, Euler and Laplace inclusive, and hazard too much to theory. But I was quite unprepared for it was important enough to engage my special attention what was to come. When we reached home, Laplace and severest application.
invited me to come at once into his study, 'for,' said he, It is not necessary that the translator should follow M. I have something there to show you that I am sure will Biot's explanations of his actual method of solving the pro- interest you.' I followed him, and he made me sit down blem, since they are extremely difficult to explain within in his fauteuil, while he rummaged amongst his keys for moderate limits either of space or patience ; suffice, that, one which belonged to a cupboard that, he asserted, had having dived to the profoundest depths of the science, he not been opened for years. Out of this cupboard he took says he rose up possessed of the Eureka--viz., in certain a roll of yellow and dusty papers, which he carried to the unique analytical and symbolical equations, by which window, threw up the sash, and then began energetically occult means he solved the problem in question.
beating the manuscripts against the wall, intent, appaMy calculations (pursues M. Biot) were duly and rently, on divesting them of the dust and spiders which patiently gone into and finished, their object being to ex- had made the writings their resting-place. At length the plain the nature or characteristics of this irregular curve. papers were in a condition to be deciphered ; and Laplace The symbols or hieroglyphics I chose to employ, for want put them before me, to make what I could of the figures of any better, covered many folios of foolscap, and finally inscribed upon the old manuscripts. I had gone, however, I submitted my manuscript to my excellent tutor. He but a little way in my examination, when conceive my examined it with manifest surprise and curiosity, and ap- surprise at the discovery) I found that the mouldy papers peared much pleased with the production. The next day contained all my problems, and those also of Euler, treated he told me that I must make a copy of my memoire, for and solved even by the identical method I had believed the purpose of its being laid before the Academy, and that myself to have alone discovered ! he would introduce me as the author of an original paper Laplace informed me, that he had arrived at the soluon the mathematics, which I was to read. This was an tion of most of Euler's problems many years ago, but that honour I did not even think of, and I felt in doubt he had been stopped in his calculations by the same ob
stacle of which he had warned me—the fear of carrying the Rev. A. Campbell well observed, applied to a gat as theory too far. Hoping to be able to reconcile his doubts well as a man- was to establish the doctrine of fatalism sooner or later, he had put the calculations aside, and had and irresponsibility. And hence he labours to make it said nothing about them to any one, not even to me, not appear that man has no hand in the formation of his chawithstanding my having taken up the same theme, and racter. Circumstances, like another Atropos, hold the attempted to fuist my wonderful symbols upon him as a scissors of destiny, clip out his character, robe him with norelty! I cannot express what I felt during the short it, and then pull the strings to make bim more and figure hour in which Laplace laid before me these proofs of his in the world. In order to make this position plausible, professional talents and the magnanimity of his nature. Owen has been careful to employ very general language.
The success of my paper was everything to me; but, The whole of his argumentation has been thus expressed by had it pleased Laplace's humour to have questioned its G. J. Holyoake, one of his disciples :--- The opinions and originality before the Academy received it, I should have actions of men result from their original susceptibilities, lost heart altogether, and never dared again to put for- and the external influences which affect them.' To those ward any claims of mine to being an original investigator who are but moderately acquainted with metaphysical in science. Professional abnegation is seldom enough speculations, there will be little difficulty in recognising practised in trifling matters, much less in great ones, like the sensationalism of the French School, as espounded by that I have adduced to the honour of Laplace. But, be- Condillac and Helvetius, and which has been carried to sides the liberality of the act of keeping his work a secret such an extreme by Cabanis.* It seeks to reduce all our from me until it could do me no harm, the professor exer- knowledge, and the faculties by which it is acquired, to cised throughout such delicacy towards me as a humble sensation. • We thus find ourselves in a new region of student, that it won my deep respect. My career, ever metaphysics; and we naturally imagine that this seria since the day he took me by the hand, and presented me tion must be a wonderful thing, since the whole of m to the most eminent learned society of France, has been knowledge of earth and heaven, and God and man, one of success-success, I fear, far beyond my merits. norbing else.'t This view ignores the activity of the mind, But, under Heaven, it is Laplace I have to thank for all, which is its great characteristic, and asserts that it is and for the honourable station I have been permitted to merely passive-the recipient of impressions—the subattain. To him I owe a debt of gratitude I can never stance on wbich circumstances are daguerreotyped! adequately repay. The extent of my power is to make • All we know of human nature,' says Holyoake, “in relő these general acknowledgments of his great worth, and to rence to morality, is included in the respective qualities offer this public testimony to my appreciation of his rare of circumstances and susceptibility!' The term which talents. His influence upon the progress of physical as Owen employed, and for which susceptibility' is used as well as mathematical science has been immense. During an equivalent, was organisation. This marked the limits fifty years, nearly all those who have cultivated such of his analysis. That man had this, he had been able to studies, have gone for instruction to the works of Laplace; make out; that it was derived and not self-created, be we have been enlightened by his discoveries, and we have had also been able to evolve; and from these premises be depended considerably upon his labours for any improve jumped to the conclusion that man could not be responments our own works possess. There are few now living sible. Unfortunately for Owen, the inference is unwarwho were the associates of Laplace; but the scientific ranted; and a previous inquiry must be made into the world must ever do homage to his genius. *
nature of man's organisation' in order to see whether
or not it contains elements of which responsibility cu ROBERT OWEN AND HIS PHILOSOPHY. be predicated; for, as his reasoning stands, if we sus!
stitute the word ass instead of man, the conclusion 3
equally valid; and yet who but an Owenite or an ia mate The Metapbysics of Owenism,' or the views which it em- of Bedlam would affirm the identity of their natures? To bodies with regard to the moral constitution of man, are more important than its socialism; for they form the basis; say that we can know nothing of human nature except as
a susceptible something, is the grossest ponsense; but and, when they are destroyed, the whole fabric of the nevertheless just such philosophy as we would expect from new moral world’must tumble. The results of bis in the oracle of secularism.' Activity is an essential quality vestigation into human nature, Owen characterises as of mind, and of it we are directly conscious. Of the pas
divine laws.' On these he rested all his strength; they sivity of the mind we are only indirectly cognisant. were the fulcrum of the lever by which he was to move the world. But no man ever attempted to philosophise with respect to responsibility, the proper inquiry is into
In endeavouring to test the truth of Owen's assertion who had less claim to be called & philosopher.
the nature of man's faculties; for in this lies the great disgreat grasp of intellect, and with no singular acuteness, tinction between him and the inferior animals. It is the he was utterly incapable of grappling with the great pro-veriest trifling to stop short at organisation, and say we blems of mental and moral science. In truth, his contro
can go no further. He who does so proclaims his incaps; versial obtusity and the productions of his pen alike de- city to be either a philosopher or a moral reformer. Nor will clare that, when he abandoned the personal superintend. it do to attempt to settle the question by an appeal to our ence of the New Lanark Mills, and the petty details of ward visible facts. Owen based his conclusion on an indus his infant schools, in order to explore the regions of pbi- tion of these, and, as J. S. Mill has shown, signally failel
. losopbic inquiry, and be in endless mazes lost,' he wandered No man can ascertain all the circumstances that influence most strangely from his fit and natural orbit.' Like the mind of another, and, therefore, can draw no such colHobbes with his mathematical theories, Owen, although clusion as Owen did. His theory of the formation of charac egregiously wrong, has always been lamentably obstinate. Because men have rejected his conclusions, he has per- he was wont to give on this point betrays his obtusity,
ter was thus lamentably defective. The illustration wbich sisted in calling them fools, and in proclaiming that and shows the fallacy of his inference. Take,' says be wisdom dwelt with the philosopher of New Lanark alone. In literature, we know of no parallel to Owen's attempts James's, amid wealth and patronage, the other in St
two children of similar organisation, place the one in St at metaphysical speculation, save the endeavour of the Giles's, amid thieves and poverty—the first may become a author of " Leviathan''to do Homer into English verse.' judge, the latter a criminal at the bar; reverse the circumThe results in both cases are almost beneath criticism. His aim in his divine laws'-laws, by the way, which, thief. Therefore, their characters are formed for, not by
stances, and the thief might be the judge, and the judge the
them.' On this the following clear and able remarks • On M. Biot has descended the mantle of Laplace. He is reputed to be the greatest living mathematician in France. He is a member of the Institute and Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member . For some good remarks on French sensationalist, see G. II. of the French Academy of the Belles-lettres.
Lewes' History of Philosophy, vol. iv., p. 60-66. + Dr Lees' Metaphysics of Oweuism Dissected. Preface, p. 6. + Lectures on Intellectual Philosophy. By John Young, LL.D.
have been made by one of the acutest opponents of Owen- How moral liberty is possible,' says Sir W. Hamilton, ism. The cases,' says Dr F. R. Lees, ' are mere illustra- 'in man or God, we are utterly unable speculatively to tions of an acknowledged maxim upon which there is no understand. But, practically, the fact that we are free, is dispute, and which is the principle of all education, viz., given to us in the consciousness of an uncompromising law that change the constituents of a complex cause, and you of duty, in the consciousness of our moral accountability; will alter the effect. Owen, however, manufactures the and this fact of liberty cannot be redargued on the ground case to exclude man from the formation of his own charac- that it is incomprehensible, for the philosophy of the conter; for, if the organisation is always taken into account' ditioned proves, against the necessitarian, that things there as an active power, then the maxim, that character of man are which may, nay, must, be true, of which the underis formed for, and not by, bim is disproved. But, to argue standing is wholly unable to construe to itself the possithat because organisation and circumstances together are bility.' the cause of different effects, as the one or other is altered, With this consciousness of liberty, the sense of responsitherefore circumstances separately are the cause; or, which lity is inseparably bound up. We can no more blot out the is the same thing, that because character is formed by man one from the mind than we can the other, without unbingand circumstances, therefore it is formed for man, and not ing the whole mental constitution, and making man an by him, is to set logic and common sense at defiance.'* idiot. When Owen, therefore, undertook to base his system And this is what must be done before Owenism can be set on facts, and looked on this as a fiction, be committed a up. By no process of reasoning can it be shown that man grievous error. But his theory annihilates itself; for, if is not an agent in the formation of his character; that he one grant that the doctrine of necessity absolves the crimiacts, and yet does not act; that he thinks and feels, and nal from blame, the same doctrine absolves the magistrate yet that it is not he who does either the one or the other. who punishes him, or any one who chooses to retaliate the Whether man acts freely or not, is another question, and injury; and, therefore, nothing is gained. Owen may say, one which may be discussed; but that he does act, we hold that there ought to be neither rewards nor punishments, to be beyond the reach of cavil; and, therefore, the dogma praise nor blame; but, as his doctrine cannot change man's of Owen, that character is formed for a man, and not at instincts, and as certain actions will excite horror, and all by bim, becomes a glaring untruth.
others call forth resentment, so every form of hatred, every But it is in the doctrine of moral freedom' in which kind of outrage, can be effectually shielded under the plea the great principle of evil lies, according to him: while of necessity; and then Mr Owen's great lever, his principle the doctrine of necessity contains the principle of good; of good, turns out to be not worth a straw. and thus his truth without mystery’involves a very me- Nor is Owen more successful when attempting to prove taphysical question. •Behold us now,' we may say with that, at least, for our feelings and belief, we cannot be justly Tucker, 'arrived at the most intricate part of our journey, answerable. His incapacity to distinguish things that an impracticable wilderness, puzzled with mazes and per differ, is equally conspicuous here as in his attempt to plexed with errors, where many mighty have fallen, and argue out irresponsibility for action. 'A man,' says he, many sagacious lost their way; for shadows, clouds, and is compelled, by his original constitution, to receive feeldarkness cover it; or what flashes of light break out ings and convictions independent of his will,' and then from time to time present the image of truth on opposite draws the inference, that in no way compatible with justice sides; the winding paths lead round the disappointed tra- can he be held responsible for them. But this divine law veller to the spot whence he had set out, or involve him in contradicts the essence of Owenism; for, if a man is comdifficulties, wherein neither Protestant nor Papist, neither pelled by bis original constitution to receive the feelings, divine nor philosopher, has yet found an opening, and &c., it is no longer circumstances that compel him-man which the sacred muse of Milton pronounced insuperable compels himself to have what he likes !'t if Mr Owen even by the devil himself.' + To rid this question of all its means, however, that man did not create his capacity for difficulties seems to be beyond the power of man; for just pleasure and pain, then we can assure him no man was as the vital principle cannot be laid bare by the scalpel ever a heretic on that point. If, however, he intended to the anatomist, so there are facts in our mental constitution say that man has no control over his feelings, he will be which cannot be accounted for by the most skilful analysis met by a flat contradiction. Although we cannot, by one of the metaphysician. But it must be kept in mind that act of will, destroy an emotion, we can most certainly it is one thing to know a fact, and another to explain how it modify it, and, in the end, repress it, by repeated volitions; should be so. In our researches upon this head, we must, and this is what is generally termed moral discipline. therefore, admit the testimony of consciousness as decisive, That a man's belief is independent of his will, at least in even although we find it impossible to comprehend all it so far as drawing an inference from certain data is conreveals; for our conceptivity is not a match for the uni- cerned, may be granted, and yet Owen's conclusion denied. verse; and to measure the sphere of reality by our ability That the judging faculty must decide in accordance with to conceive in a determinate form, or imagine its contents its own peculiar laws, just as the eye sees in accordance in an analytic form, is to exclude ourselves from the belief with the laws of vision, no one, we make bold to assert, will of all that is supersensual, and I know not how much be found to deny. But the inquiry comes to be, Whence besides.'
arises the diversity of judgment, even on the same data ? Now, for a proof of the fact of liberty,' continues That the cause of error in such a case is in the man, not Macvicar, ' we need not go to philosophy; we need not out of bim, is evident; and that it rests in no difference in appeal to the structure of all languages, or to anything the constitution of the judging faculty, will be admitted. which relates to the past. That there is liberty for man, Where, then, is the cause? The answer is clear: we have the consciousness that dwells in every particular breast only to reflect on the influence which prejudice, passion, loudly proclaims. Common sense will not bear to hear the and carelessness have in distorting evidence; and, since fact of liberty made a question at all. From the philosophy we can be candid, calm, and careful in our inquiries after of common sense, the speculation as to liberty or necessity truth, we must be held responsible for every error which is excluded. There is nothing which consciousness affirms arises from our not being so. more positively, more imperatively, than liberty. And, On Owen's social plans we deem it unnecessary to say therefore, deny the soundness of her affirmation here, and much. The idea of dotting the world over with square it is nowhere trustworthy. Some other ground of philo- towns, to be supported by land attached, and of bringing sophy than 'natural light' or common sense must in that case be found. But there is no other ground; and, there. fore, deny liberty, and there is an end to all legitimate spoken of is not mere freedom from constraint and restraint, for this
• Discussions on Philosophy, &c., p. 597. The “liberty' here pbilosopby.' I
does not free us from necessity; but the liberty' for which Sir W.
Hamilton contends involves true authorship on the part of man of * Metaphysics of Owenism Dissected, p. 18.
his own actions-an absolute commencement' to volition. And this + Light of Nature Pursued. Vol. i. Theology, c. 26.
he shows is not more inconceivable than the scheme of necessity.' # Inquiry into Human Nature, p. 56.
+ Dr F. R. Lees.