Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

You must allow me, however, to cipal charge against John is, that he laugh at the last sentences, -" The described the late Lady Wrottesley as Greeks will not despair, when they a woman of unchaste life, because she think how great a sacrifice has been was a sister of Mr G. Bennet. Well made for them,” &c. when we know did this writer know that he was wrifrom this very article that they almost ting a falsehood. An effort was made murdered him, and that there is every to get up a dress circle for the late reason to believe that he died from Queen, and John was employed in what his admirers may call anxiety of proving that the families who were mind, and what the lovers of plain busy in this effort were no better English have been in the habit of than they should be. The most calling fright.

stinging part of the libel, though not The review of Travels in the United actually so declared, was the song. (I" States is shabby trash. It happens quote from memory.) most unluckily, that this very mo. - Next the illustrious household of Tan. ment the North American Review has k erville appeared in this country, shewing up Came in a body their homage to pay the total and wretched ignorance of a They, who themselves are annoyed by a fellow of the name of Hodgson, who . canker vile, is here the subject of all kinds of Joy to find others as faulty as they. praise, for his accurate knowledge of

So, therefore, there came on America. The same. Review ruth ,

The ci-devant Grammont,

And as Ammon, lessly exposes the ponsense of Jerry

Her eloquent spouse," &c. &c. Bentham's people, in their extolment of what they think is the mode of do For this sin, John was proceeded ing business in the United States. against by information-the Whig The clew to the praise is easily disco- way, you know, of defending characverable. Truth or falsehood was never ter and amply punished. It is ill poan object of solicitude with such peo- licy to stir that business again. Lady ple. They only wished to slander Wrottesley was, no doubt, a very excel their own country, and cared not a far- lent woman, but John Bull was not thing how it was done.

the inventor of the anecdote about We have next a review of Red her. I am afraid to say anything gauntlet ! “ It is the established cus- more. tom of critics to commence all notices The Danciad, a silly poem, by a of the Scotch Novels with some won, London dancing-master of the name derment, touching the prolific powers of Wilson, is here attributed to Proof the author." Heaven help the fessor Wilson, as the ground-work of blockhead! The established custom of a dull joke. The writer is evidently critics! Much do people care about actuated by some low spite against the critiques on the Waverley Novels. that eminent man, and goes as far to They well know they are poor hacks indulge it as he dares. I wonder Mr who scribble at so much a-sheet, Baldwin, who owns this Review, did showing their opinions on the pro- not recollect that he formerly had anductions of the first writer of the other editor in his wages, who began age. Who cares a blackberry about the same slanderous trade. If he rethem? This particular ass finds, membered it, he would, I think, have among other things, that Nanty Ew. paused a little before he made room art is not worthy of a passing notice, for another of the same unfortunate and that Wandering Willie's tale is a gang to yelp to the same tune. But, Sicilian story! God pity him. as Hogg says, the whole effort at jest

“Newspapers,” is a panegyric on the ing is “a' havers." gentlemen of the press, with a special With which word now, I conclude. praise of Mr Walter and other heroes I am, dear North, yours, &c. of that stamp. John Bull is vehement

T. T. ly abused in it, en passant. The prin- Southside, August 15.

P.S.The small text is not worth notice. The ignorance of one of the crack men of the Edinburgh is, however, pretty well exposed in a review of of Bentley's Hindu Astronomy.

MAGALOTTI ON THE SCOTCH SCHOOL OF METAPHYSIC8.*

RECOLLECTING that the Emperor himself comfortably transported. The of Austria observed some months since comparison may seem injurious to the to Rosconi, the learned Professor of philosopher, but it expresses the truth Anatomy at Pavia-who begged of him of what has been put in practice by some patent in remuneration for a dis more than one learned Italian. covery-that he did not like innova- Signor Magalotti commences his estions even in anatomy, the present little say with some general remarks on the volume as much surprised us, springing state of philosophy at the present time, from Padua, as a sturdy little oak (a date which, with us, may answer to plant would have done, rearing itself about thirty years since ;) and while beneath the shelter of the Upas. It is he allows all the praise of subtility and pleasing to find that philosophical re- acumen to the British followers of search is not all extinct in the Univer- Locke, “ gli antagoniste di Locke non sity of Galileo ; whence, however, for essendo altri che i suoi seguaci," he acmany years, nothing learned has is cuses them of baving lost sight of the sued, save a dull German Journal of true end of mental inquiry, of having petty and pretended discoveries in the mis-spent their powers and time in idle sciences, a new reading in philology, quarrels and differences, “which arose and accounts of some coin, or helm, or merely either from their neglect or inrelic of antiquity dug up amidst the ability to define what they meant eiruins of the city of Antenor.

ther by existence or idea ;" and, final. It must be a man of more than or- ly, that even when their exertions took dinary genius, who can step forward the forward path of invention, they from the back-ground of a country, at were still employed but“ in the shell, least two centuries of civilization in or the mask of the spiritual object of arrear, and assume his place confident- philosophy." ly amidst the philosophers of more li- “A system," says he, “which avowberal climes. The mere attainment of edly has had its origin in the wish to books is a matter of enormous difficul- obviate the pernicious conclusions of ty, in the ci-devant Venetian States another system, is one which, howespecially; a train of argument, if not ever it may perform its proper object treasonable, brings down upon the rea of refutation, can never, at the same soner the utmost vigilance of the po- time, establish a just one in the place lice; and, all these difficulties sur- of that which it has destroyed. The mounted, where is the audience, where view, the end of the philosopher, has the readers, even in Padua, to whom necessarily been sinister from the besuch disquisitions could be addressed, ginning, with one eye bent on his anwith any prospect of their being un- tagonist, the other on the truth; and derstood? But if Italy be subdivided little is to be hoped from intentions so and parcelled out between different distracted," &c. rulers, she has a common bond in lan “But," continues he, “the worshipguage, and the Paduan Professor, who ful (colendissimo) Doctor Reid has not can find no disciples in his own uni- even attained the solitary end of refuversity, may hope to be read by the tation ; for all the conclusions of his enlightened and unpersecuted literati countrymen, Berkely and Hume, as to of Florence, and by the solitary sages the non-existence of matter and spirit, who meditate in secret in the princely can be argued as well from his more hermitages of Rome and Naples. Such ideal system as from Locke's ideal, may be the hope of Professor Maga- from Reid's impressions, as from lotti, or perhaps it is his desire to visit Locke's ideas. Nay, more-Reid leaves happier countries, and he employs this the existence of external objects restintellectual mode of making himself ing even upon a less solid proot than feared and banished, much in the same that left by his sceptical antagonists. way that here an unfortunate vaga. For they argued but to the possibility bond picks a pocket, in order to get of its non-existence, whereas, he says

* Sulla Scuola Scozzese di Jetafisica, Puric prima. Opera di Giambattista Jogaloiti. Padova, 1921.

its existence is suggested to us. Where's tual, whose existence will produce the the difference? 'Tis true, he proceeds to same conclusions which have been invest this suggestion with the dignity drawn from ideas." That there is, he and force of being a primary law of na- proceeds to shew. ture--a supposition which any man's “In actual impressions, or in passense will reject, without my taking sive memory, it is impossible to disthe trouble to disprove it eminentlytinguish an idea from an impression; from the system of the Scotch philoso- but in active, self-exerted memory, in pher himself.

what Mr Stewart calls conception, it “ The existence or non-existence of is absurd to uphold, that the objects the objects that surround us, is a ques. of our thoughts are impressions or sention which we may safely leave at is sations. In the dark, dreaming, what sue, permitting the rejectors of com has the retina or its sensations to do mon sense and the gospel to choose the with the many and glorious visions sceptic side, if they please. The possi. which stand so palpably before our bility of non-existence must remain mental vision ? That there are ideas while man retains the power of imagi of the light at least I can but appeal nation ; but the proof of the contrary to any reflecting manis it not absurd must ever be confined to the impro to deny? But let me take Dr Reid's bability-the argument advanced by own confession, his own words, and Descartes, that it is beneath the Ale shew how therein is involved the exmighty to deceive us. To this old and istence of ideas of this sense at least. neglected proof must we recur at last, He talks in one place, of objects being after the vain labours of the many re- painted on the retina--of the optic nowned philosophers that have agita- nerve taking up these paintings or imted the question.”

pressions, and flashing them upon the After an eloquent introduction, in mind. This flash is idea sufficient for which Professor Magalotti asserts, that my purpose ; and, indeed, this leads to the German psychologists have taken what I think the most philosophical a path more astray, though with a no definition of a sensible idea, i.e. the bler and juster intention than the Bri- point of junction between matter and tish grammarians,- for such is the ex- mind." That it partakes of both essenpression, and if we recall old phraseolo- ces, is likely, but not to the purpose.” gy, not injurious appellation, by which Signor Magalotti having thus, as he he distinguishes our metaphysicians imagines, proved that there do exist he proceeds to examine the British and ideas of sight, opens his system further Scotch school of philosophy, previous by dividing the senses into dependent to his entering upon that of the Ger- and independent. Thedependent ones, mans, “ it being wise," says he, “ to i. e. the touch, taste, and smell, are observe the surface of a country, and but impressions, and furnish no ideas. to cull the various fruits which it They may be perceived, and passively brings forth, ere we attempt to sink remembered, that is, when experienmines into the earth, and search for ced the second time, they are recognithe metallic treasures which lie buried zed; but objects of active memory they in its depths."

cannot be. Ideas are the objects of It would trespass by far too largely active memory, and these senses afford on our limits, to quote at length his more. « Who,” says the author, “ if examination of the “ Sistema negati- be reflects, can believe himself capable va," as he calls it, of Dr Reid; we can of recalling the idea of a smell, of a merely give a few hints, from which taste, or of a particular kind of touch? the reader interested in these matters He may recall such sensations by the may judge of the scope and arguments help of visionary objects to which they of the Paduan philosopher. He begins were attached; but it is only the visual with an examination of the word idea. peach or violet he can recall, and then “Since Dr Reid has not defined this pass to the odour, the odour alone the subtle little enemy, whose annihila- recollection can by no means grasp." tion he meditated, I, as one of his op- “Here,” continues he, “is the true ponents, would give him or his follow- refutation of the sceptical arguments ers too great an advantage by stepping of Berkely and Hume; their reasonforward to define it; suffice it for me, ings apply but to the fallacious sense if there be any ens, material or spiris of vision, of which these are ideas. But touch has none; and it is by instance of this than in the book of touch alone that we are convinced of Professor Stewart,* which commences the existence of matter."

with such acute and philosophical disThe Professor's arguments with re- tinction being established between matspect to hearing, although, perbaps, ter and mind, between sensation and they are more ingenious and new than reflection. No sooner, however, has any others which he has broached, are the Professor passed the limits of his still extremely meagre; so much so, first chapter, than he falls himself that we are quite at a loss to conclude egregiously into the very analogical whether he is for or against the exist blunders that he at first so justly cenence of ideas of this sense.

sures. In abstraction, a subject to “The ear, but for its close cone which he devotes a considerable chapnexion with the organ of speech, would ter, what can be more inconsonant and be evidently but a dependent sense. It unphilosophical than to designate, by possesses faint reflections and echoes this one term, the very different ope of sounds, especially of words, which rations by which the mind arrives at one would be inclined to characterize general terms in material objects, and as ideas, if they were not rather re- at general terms in spiritual? In mamembrances of articulation, indepen. terial objects, every universal or genedent altogether of hearing. Words, ral is made up of particulars, i. e. is nay, whole paragraphs, flit in our me really abstracted; not so in spiritual mory without being at all repeated: objects; there every general is incluthey are, I think, remembrances of ar ded in every particular. It is absurd ticulation, though undoubtedly ex- to apply the term abstraction to ideas tremely difficult to distinguish from of reflection; and it is the grossest inthe memory of objects of hearing." stance of that abuse of analogy, so de

“Seeing and hearing, then, are the nounced, and yet practised, by the two independent senses : the eye sup- Professor. plied by the faculty of imagination, The Paduan's temper seems, for some the ear supplied by the organ of speech, reason or other, to rise when he speaks afford the objects of sensible memory. of Dugald Stewart, whether it is Of spiritual perception or thought, in that reverence for the dead checks any other words, the conversing of the harshness towards the other objects of mind with what are oddly called ideas his remarks and animadversions, or of reflection, with this part of the that he has some particular pique phenomena of mind, British philoso- against our distinguished countryman, phers have been, and are, quite in the with whose writings, indeed, he seems dark. They are worse than ignorant but partially acquainted. The only of this, the worthiest portion of me- volume he knows, he characterizes taphysical science, inasmuch as all with force, and not without some justheir opinions on the subject are found tice, as " ingeniosa assai, anche eloed on analogies with sensations, into guente, ma molto diluta,With this which, in spite of their affected vigi. tranchante opinion Signor Magalotti lance, they all fall headlong," &c. concludes his Essay, and we our noThere cannot be a more remarkable tice of it.

• Signor Magalotti seems as yet ignorant of the existence of the second volume of Stewart's Elements of Philosophy; nor do the writings of Brown seem to have reached his country, the modern Thule of literature. So much is moral geography reversed.

BALLAD.

“ She is not dead-She has no grave,

But lives beneath Lough Corrib's water, And in the murmur of each wave,

Methinks I catch the song I taught her !"

Thus many an hour on Corrib's shore,

Sat Cormac, raving wild and lonely ; Still idly muttering o'er and o'er,

“ She lives, detained by spells unholy !”

“ Death claims her not, too fair for earth,

Her spirit lives, alien of Heaven, Nor will it know a second birth,

When sinful mortals are forgiven ! “ Cold is this rock, the wind comes chill,

Dense mists the gloomy waters cover, But, oh, her soul is darker still,

To lose her God to leave her lover !"

The lake was in profound repose,

Yet one white wave came gently curling, And as it reach'd the shore, arose

Dim figures banners gay unfurling.

Onward they move, an airy crowd,

Through each thin form a moon-light ray shone, While spear and helm, in pageant proud,

Appear in liquid undulation !

Bright barbed steeds, curvetting, tread

Their trackless way with antic capers; And curtain clouds hang over head,

Festoon'd by rainbow-colour'd vapours.

And when a breath of air would stir,

That drapery of Heaven's own wreathing, Light wings of prismy gossamer,

Just moved and sparkled to the breathing!

Nor wanting was the choral song,

Swelling in silvery chimes of sweetness, To sounds of which this subtile thing,

Advanced in playful grace and fleetness !

With music's strain all came and went,

Upon poor Cormac's doubting vision, Now rising in wild merriment,

Now softly fading in derision !

“ Christ save her soul !” lie boldly cried,

And when that blessed name was spoken, Fierce yells and fiendish shrieks replied,

And vanish'd all the spell was broken.

And now on Corrib's lonely shore,

Freed by his word from power of Faéry, To life, to love restored once more,

Young Cormac welcomes back his Mary.

« AnteriorContinuar »