« AnteriorContinua »
Such contradictory accounts arrive from have been productive of riøt and tumult Spanisb Anerica, that it is impossible to There seems to be a general disposition on form a decisive opinion of its state. Ope the part of the higher to attend to the wants event in the Northern part seems fatal to of the lower classes; and as long as this is the Spanish power. It is said, that General cultivated, however we may feel for the Humboldt, with a great body of French of- present calamities, we may rest confident ficers, has entered into the service of the that time will do much towards the relief insurgents of Mexica, and with such in- of them. Tbere has been distress at the structors in the art of war, they will fiod end of every war, but peace brings bealing Do great difficulty in overcoming their op- in its wings. Only let us not be wanting ponents. In the South, apprehensions are to ourselves, nor think too slightingly of entertained for the independence of Buenos its blessings. Ayres; and the kingdom of Brazil is re- Meetings have been held in town and in ported to have sent considerable forces to several parts of the country, for the relief wards La Plata, if not to attack the rising of the poor. One at the London Tavern republic, to secure at least the territory was presided over by the Duke of York, North of its banks.' Enough is to be done accompanied by two of his brothers, the by the court of Brazil in its own kingdom, Archbishop of Canterbury, several otber without interfering in this contest ; for by members of the Houses of Lords and Com looking well to its own internal government, mops, and a very respectable body of memit may soon become a power of far greater bers and tradesmen of the city of London. consequence than it can be by a return to The purport of the meeting was to raise Europe.
subscription, but the framers of the moAt home a great gloom overhangs the tions gave an erroneous statement of the country, from the distresses of the agri- causes of the distress, which led to a sharp cultural, commercial, and manufacturing discussion, ending in the alteration of the interests. This was foreseen by those who motion and the withdrawing of the amend-. considered the artificial state in which we ment. The latter entered into a political lived during the war; and it must be some disquisition, in which a very great majority time before things return into their natural of the room concurred, censuring the larisk channel. A mistaken policy gave way per- expenditure of the public inoney,
and calling haps too much on the alarm, and a strange for reform in various particulars. There alarm it was, on the comparative cheapness was much truth in the assertions of all parof provisions; bat the hopes raised by their ties, for it is to a complication of caused becoming dearer have been falsified. The that the present distress is owing, anong evil took its rise from another source, which which the injudicious act, under the name no prohibitions could remedy. We had of the corn-bill, is apprehended by many lived with an artificial circulating medium, to bear no inconsiderable share. The fact which could not bear the sudden shock that is, that whaterer may have been the cases, was given to it by the peace. The restora- the distress actually exists; and though a tion of payment in gold will put things on society of this kind can go but little way a proper footing; but in the return to it, towards the general relief, get the spirit of the sufferings of individuals must be great. beperolence which it engenders cannot be Notwithstanding the unfavourable season too higbly conimended, and in many in we have experienced, we may yet look to a stances its assistance will be efficacions. plentiful harvest; and it is fortunate for us A Common Hall bas also been held, that government need not be apprehensive which has determined on a petition to the of nny financial difficulties.
Prince Regent on his Throne, & resolution The riots in the Isle of Ely terminated which requires the assent of two parties in the execution of five of the singleaders, before it can be carried into execution. A and a few more were subjected to inferior strong objection was made to the petitioning punishtuents. The conduct of the unhappy of the House of Commons, from an evident men in taking leare of the world, and the disapprobation of the proceedings of that solemnity which so judiciously took place House. But perhaps it is not duly consiupon the occasion, will, it is to be hoped, dered, that the right of petitioning is a prerent a recurrence to similar interpositions very great advantage possessed by the of the law. An extraordinary course was people of this country, and that if petr taken by some of the persons employed in tioos were general, and they are not likely colieties. They dragged heavy waggons to be general unless a strong case is made along the road, laden with coals, moving out, it is not likely tbat the House of ConWasy peaceably, but bending their course mons would resist the unanimous feeling of to the metropolis. They were bappily pre- the nation. At any rate, whatever may be vented, but in a mild way, from arriving to our political differences, Charity is not of the end of the journey, which could not but party.
Various Articles of Intelligence, fr. stand over for insertion next month.,
Estimate of the Philosophical Character philosophy of mind, have been much of Lord Bacon.*
less attended to ; although the whole [From Dissertation I. by Dugald Stewart, scope and tenor of his speculations
prefixed to Supplement to Encyclopædia shew, that to this study his genius was Britannica, Vol. I. p. 48–59.] far more strongly and happily turned,
HE state of science towards the than to that of the material world. It THE close of the sixteenth century,
was not, as
to have presented a field of observation singu- inagined, by sagacious anticipations larly calculated to attract the curiosity, of particular discoveries afterwards to and to awaken the genius of Bacon; be made in physics, that his writings nor was it the least of his personal have had so powerful an influence in advantages, that, as the son of one of accelerating the advancement of that Queen Elizabeth's ministers, he had science. In the extent and accuracy a ready access, wherever he went, to of his physical knowledge, he was far the most enlightened society in Eu- inferior to many of his predecessors; rope. While yet only in the seven- but he surpassed them all in his teenth year of his age, he was removed knowledge of the laws, the resources by his father from Cambridge to Paris, and the limits of the human underwhere it is not to be doubted, that the standing. The sanguine expectations novelty of the literary scene must have with which he looked forwards to the largely contributed to cherish the future, were founded solely on his natural liberality and independence of confidence iv the untried capacities of his mind. Sir Joshua Reynolds has the mind; and on a conviction of the remarked, in one of his academical possibility of invigorating and guiding, Discourses, that "every seminary of by means of logical rules, those facullearning is surrounded with an atmos- ties which, in all our researches after phere of Aoating knowledge, where truth, are the organs or instruments every mind may imbibe somewhat to be employed. “Such rules," as he congenial to its own original concep- himself has observed, tions.”+ He might have added, with sort equal men's wits, and leave no still greater truth, that it is an atmos
great advantage or pre-eminence to phere, of which it is more peculiarly the perfect and excellent motions of salutary for those who have been the spirit
. To draw a straight line, or elsewhere reared to breathe the air.
to describe a circle, by aim of hand The remark is applicable to higher only, there must be a great difference pursuits than were in the contempla, between an unsteady and unpractised tion of this philosophical artist; and hand, and a steady and practised; but it suggests a hint of no inconsiderable to do it by rule or compass it is much value for the education of youth. alike." The merits of Bacon, as the father
Nor is it merely as a logician that of experimental philosophy, are SO Bacon is entitled to notice on the universally acknowledged, that it present occasion. It would be diffi. would be superfluous to touch upon cult to name another writer prior to them here. The lights which he has Locke, whose works are enriched struck out in various branches of the with so many just observations on the
intellectual phenomena. Among these, Born 1561, died 1626.
the most valuable relate to the laws of + Discourse delivered at the opening of memory, and of imagination; the
latter of which subjects he seems to the Royal Academy, January 2, 1769. VOL. XI.
“ do in some
have studied with peculiar care. In the different classes of prejudices inelone short but beautiful paragraph dent to human nalure, is, in point of concerning poetry (under which title practical utility, at least equal to any may be comprehended all the various thing on that head to be found in creations of this faculty), he has ex- Locke; of whom it is impossible to hausted every thing that philosophy forbear remarking, as a circumstance and good sense have yet had to offer, not easily explicable, that he should on what has been since called the beaut have resumed this important discusideal ; a topic, which has furnished sion, without once mentioning the occasion to so many over-refinements name of his great predecessor. The among the French' critics, and to so chief improvement 'made by Locke, much extravagance and mysticism in in the farther prosecution of the arguthe cloud-capt metaphysics of the new ment, is the application of Hobbes's German school. * In considering theory of association, to explain in imagination as connected with the what manner these prejudices are nervous system, more particularly as originally generated. connected with that species of sym
In Bacon's scattered hints on topics pathy to which medical writers have connected with the philosophy of the given the name of imitation, he has mind, strictly so called, nothing is suggested some very important hiuts, more remarkable than the precise and which none of his successors have just ideas they display of the proper hitherto prosecuted; and has, at the aim of this science. He had 'mani. same time, left an example of cautious festly reflected much and successfully inquiry, worthy to be studied by all on the operations of his own underwho may attempt to investigate the standing, and had studied with unlaws regulating the union between common sagacity the intellectual chamind and body:t His illustration of racters of others. Of his reflections
and observations on both subjects, he
has recorded many important results ; “ Cum mundus sensibilis sit anima and has in general stated them withrationali dignitate inferior, ridetur Poësis out the slightest reference to any phy, hæc humanæ naturæ largiri quæ historia denegat ; atque animo umbris rerum utcunque satisfacere, cum solida haberi non the influence of imagination over the body. possint. Si quis enim rem acutius intro- His own words are very remarkable ; more spiciat, firmum ex Poësi sumitur argumen- particularly, the clause in which be retum, magnitudinem rerum magis illustrem, marks the effect of fixing and concentrating ordinem magis perfectum, et varietatem the attention, in giving to ideal objects magis pulcram, aninæ humanæ com- the power of realities over the belief." Ad placere, quam in natura ipsa, post lapsum, aliud quippiam, quod buc pertinet, parec reperiri ullo modo possit, Quapropter, admodum, nec pro rei subtilitate, vel cum res gestæ et eventus, qui vera historie utilitate, inquisitum est; quatenus scilicet subjiciuntur, non sint ejus amplitudinis, ipsa imaginatio animæ vel cogitatio perin qua anima humana sibi satisfaciat, quam fira, et veluti in fidem quandam præsto est Poësis, quæ facta magis beroica exaltata, valeat ad immutandum corpus confingat. Cum historia vera successus imaginantis." (Ibid.) He suggests also, rerum, minime pro meritis virtutum et as a curious problem, to ascertain how scelerum narret, corrigit eam Poësis, et far it is possible' to fortify and exalt the exitus, et fortunas, secundum merita, et imagination; and by what means this may ex lege Nemescos, exbibet. Cum historia most effectually be done. The class of vera obvia rerum satietate et similitudine, facts here alluded to, are manifestly of the animæ humanæ fastidio sit, reficit eam same description with those to which the Poësis, inexpectata, et varia, et vicissitu- attention of philosophers has been lately dinum plena canens. Adeo ut Poësis ista called by the pretensions of Mesmer and of non solum ad delectationem, sed ad animi Perkins : “ Atque huic conjuncta est magnitudinem, et ad mores conferat.” disquisitio, quomodo imaginatio intendi et (De Aug. Scient. Lib. ii. cap. xiii.) fortificari possit? Quippe, si imaginatio
+ To this branch of the philosophy of fortis tantarum sit virium, operæ pretium mind, Bacon gives the title of Doctrina fuerit nosse, quibus modis cam exaltari, de fædere, sive de communi vinculo anime et se ipsa majorena fieri detur ? Atque et corporis. (De Aug. Scicnt. Lib. iv. hic oblique, nec minus periculose se incap. i.) Under this article, he mentions, sinuat palliatio quædam et defensio masamong other desiderata, an inquiry (which imæ partis Magice Ceremonialis." &c. &c. . he recommends to physicians) concerning (De Aug. Scient. Lib. iv. cap. iii.)
Eslinale of the Philosophical Character of Lord Bacon.
503 siological theory concerning their cussions about the nature of mind, causes, or to any analogical explana- he decidedly states his conviction, that tions founded on the caprices of meta- the facultics of man differ not merely phorical language. If, on some occa- in degree, but in kind, from the insions, he assumes the existence of stincts of the brutes. “I do not, animal spirils, as the medium of com- therefore," he observes in one occamunication between soul and body, sion, “ approve of that confused and it must be remembered, that this was promiscuous method in which phithen the universal belief of the learned ; losophers are accustomed to treat of and that it was at a much later period pneumatology; as if the human soul not less confidently arowed by Locke. ranked above those of brutes, merely Nor ought it to be overlooked' (I men- like the sun above the stars, or like tion it to the credit of both authors), gold above other metals." that in such instances the fact is com- Among the various topics started by monly so stated, as to render it easy Bacon for the consideration of future for the reader to detach it from the logicians, he did not overlook (what theory. As to the scholastic questions may be justly regarded, in a practical concerning the nature and essence of view, as the most interesting of all mind, whether it be extended or logical problems) the question conunextended? whether it have any rning the mutual influence of relation to space or to time? or thought and of language on each whether (as was contended by others) other. “Men believe,” says he, “that it exist in every uli, but in no place ? — their reaason governs their words; but, Bucon has uniformly passed them over it often happens, that words have with silent contempt; and has proba- power enough to re-act upon reason." bly contributed not less effectually to This aphorism may be considered as bring them into general discredit, by the text of by far the most valuable this indirect intimation of his own part of Locke's Essay,--that which opinion, than if he had descended to relates to the imperfections and abuse the ungrateful task of exposing their of words; but it was not till within absurdity.
the last twenty years, that its depth While Bacon, however, so and importance were perceived in all tiously avoids these unprofitable dis- their extent. I need scarcely say, that
I allude to the excellent Memoirs of
M. Prevost and of M. Degerando, on Notwithstanding the extravagance of Spinoza's own philosophical creed, he is
Signs considered in their connection
with the Intellectual Operations." one of the very few among Bacon's successors, who seem to hare been fully aware
The anticipations formed by Bacon, of the justness, importance, and originality of that branch of modern logic which of the method pointed out in the Novum relates to Universal Grammar, do no Organon for the study of the mind. “Ad less honour to his sagacity. “Gramhæc intelligenda, non est opus naturam mar," he observes, " is of two kinds, mentis cognoscere, sed sufficit, mentis the one literary, the other philosophisive perceptionum historiolam concinnare cal. The former has for its object to modo illo quo VERULAMIUS docet." Spin. trace the analogies running through Epist. 42.
the structure of a particular tongue, so In order to comprehend the whole as to facilitate its acquisition to a merit of this remark, it is necessary to foreigner, or to enable him to speak know that, according to the Cartesian it with correctuess and purity. "The phraseology, which is here adopted by latter directs the attention, not to the Spinoza, the word perception is a general term, oqually applicable to all the intel- analogies which words bear to words, lectual operations. The words of Des- but to the analogies which words bear cartes himself are these : « Omnes modi to things; "4 or, as he afterwards excogitandi, quos in nobis experimur, ad plains himself more clearly, “ to landuos generales referri possunt : quorum guage considered as the sensible porunus est, perceptio, sive operatío intel- traiture or image of the mental prolectus, alius verò, volitio, sive operatio cesses." In farther illustration of voluntatis. Nam sentire, imaginari, et these hints, he takes notice of the pure intelligere, sunt tantum diversi modi lights which the different genius of percipiendi ; ut et cupere, aversari, astiridare, negare, dubitare, sunt diversi modi solendi." Princ. Phil. Pars. I. $ 32.
+ De Aug. Scient. Lib. vi. cap. I.
different languages reflect on the cha- of the seventeenth century. In the racters and habits of those by whom short passage just cited from Bacon, they were respectively spoken. Thus," there are involved no less than two says he, “it is easy to perceive, that capital errors, which are now almost the Greeks were addicted to the cul- universally ranked, by men of educature of the arts, the Romans engrossed tion, among the grossest prejudices with the conduct of affairs; inasinuch, of the multitude. The one, that the as the technical distinctions introduced declensions and conjugations of the in the progress of refinement require ancient languages, and the modern the aid of compounded words; while substitution in their place, of prepothe real business of life stands in no sitions and auxiliary verbs, are, both of need of so artificial a phraseology."* them, the deliberate and systematical Ideas of this sort have, in the course of contrivances of speculative grammaa very few years, already become com- rians; the other (still less analogous mon, and almost tritical; but how to Bacon's general style of reasoning), different was the case two centuries that the faculties of man have deago!
clined, as the world has grown older. With these sound and enlarged Both of these errors may be now said views concerning the philosophy of to have disappeared entirely. The the mind, it will not appear surpri- latter, inore particularly, must, to the sing to those who have attended to rising generation, seem so absurd, the slow and irregular advances of that it almost requires an apology to human reason, that Bacon should have mentioned it. That the capacioccasionally blend incidental remarks, ties of the human mind have been in savouring of the habits of thinking all ages the same; and that the diprevalent in his time. A curious versity of phenomena exhibited by our example of this occurs in the same species, is the result merely of the chapter which contains his excellent different circumstances in which men definition or description of universal are placed, has been long received grammar “ This 100," he observes, as an incontrovertible logical maxim ; , -- is worthy of notice, that the ancient or rather, such is the influence of early languages were full of declensions, of instruction, that we are apt to regard cases, of conjugations, of tenses, and it as one of the most obvious sugo of other similar inflections; while the gestions of common sense. modern, almost entirely destitute of till about the time of Montesquieu, it these, indolently accomplish the same was by no means so generally recogpurpose by the help of prepositions, nized by the learned, as to have a and of auxiliary verbs. Whence,” he sensible influence on the fashionable continues,“ may be inferred (how- tone of thinking over Europe. The ever we may flatter ourselves with the application of this fundamental and idea of our own superiority), that the leading idea to the natural or theoretical human intellect was much more acute history of society in all its various and subtile in ancient, than it now is aspects ;—to the history of languages, in modern times.”+ How very unlike of the arts, of the sciences, of laws, is this last reflection to the usual strain of government, of manners, and of of Bacon's writings ! It seems, in- religion,-is the peculiar glory of the deed, much more congenial to the latter half of the eighteenth century; philosophy of Mr. Harris and of Lord and forms a characteristical feature Monboddo ; and it has accordingly in its philosophy, which even the been sanctioned with the approbation imagination of Bacon was unable to of both these learned authors. If foresee. memoy does not deceive me, it is the It would be endless to particularize only passage in Bacon's works, which the
original suggestions thrown out Lord Monboddo has any where con- by Bacon on topics connected with the descended to quote.
science of mind. The few passages of These observations afford me a this sort already quoted, are produced convenient opportunity for remarking merely as a specimen of the rest. the progress, and diffusion of the They are by no means selected as the philosophical spirit, since the beginning most important in his writings; but,
as they happened to be those which De Aug. Scient. Lib. vi. cap. i. had left the strongest impression on
my memory, I thought them as likely