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THE 

COLLECTED WORKS OF WILLIAM HAZLITT 

IN TWELVE VOLUMES 



VOLUME ELEVEN 



I 



I 

r 



f 



7 



AO ri^i ratrttd 



THE COLLECTED WORKS OF 

WILLIAM JIAZLITT 

EDITED BY A. R. WALLER 
AND ARNOLD GLOVER 

WITH AN INTROD0CTION BY 

W. E. HENLEY 



Fugitive Writings 



' - .4904 - ■•■.■;: 

LONDON : J. M. DENT & CO, 
McCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO.: NEW YORK 






565964 



KJlBtwTfb : T. and A. ConirasL*, Priatm t» Hu Majoir 



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 



Twt volume tad volunN III. Mnuin ihoK of Hitlilt'i wrhingt wkicb nmaincit 
cted dvTint bb lifetiiM in4 kivt qm Wtn induHvl in eirlicr volumei of 
I fTMcat Mlilioa. Some of ibcw vrtitiap wcrt piiktUhe<1 hjr ibt lulhM** Mn in 
dVM ««rLi of Mhieh fjilicBlan irc |ivea Wlow ; aa« «r ibem, (W e«M)' 
*0a Ab«m« titttf' w*t pubtiilKJ io the K<9ai cdili«a (1S5S) of Wa £u«r *« fJt 
Pr/arifUi c/ Umma* Atiim (cf. EUbUofraphlc*! NMv, vol. rii. p, jt^) g • ft*, 
•B.'Coittoioa P]i(ei'iM*Tri<tn Li^i *» Air/ were Incluiltil In Mr.W.C. 

BuStf* fdilioa of rt' J)Miu/Tai/< (Baha'i Stul'ltri! LiVity, 1S71) ; but (nott of 
^jaftn nn hm rtpria(«<l (or tkr tr>( tim*. S«< ike Ttble o( ContetiM, ivhere 
jj* which hire Dcvrr been rtpabliihcd bcforG m mjrked V]r «a titnwk. 
He rrideiKc npM whicb the Edtfori bin relic:! in reipe<t of thi* frctb maternl 
win be fouBd in the Not**. A frett autif of the Eauyt now printed hive nM 
I'UAert* been identifie-l ai H»Li(t'>, but non* have be«e iaclutleii coacerniBg 
kU the Ed^con fnl anjr <jaubl. 

He worki publi»hei| ^ ibc tuihof '* ton *nd referred to ibove trc ■* follow* : — 
I. * Lktti^j Ktmaimi tf ilu Uv IfilUam Haaliit, Wilh 1 Notice of hli Life, By 
bia Son, tfid Th^njhli on hit Cennt ind Wrilinfi, By E. L. Bulmr, £>q^ M.P. 
>n4 Mr S«Tgt*nt TilfouT-l, M.P. I« Twv Voluitiei. Londixi 1 Saunden inrf 
OUc}, Condait Street. |S}6.' Vol, 1. coaUiBc'l [ii i fioatiiplca} Bcwick'i 
trijon drawing ti HitlUt repTa<!»oci) In vtri. viii.of ihepreteni cHiiinn ; ■ Sonnet 
'wrilletiiM tceinir Bcwitk't Chilk'Driwiog af ihe Htici of Hulitc* b]r Sheridin 
K(t«*te*; >'BKrfT>phica1 Sketch' af Hailltl b^ h^i Mn ) 'Some Thought* on 
ibe Ceaiui of WiUiim Holitt' ligocd 'The Aatboi of "Euicne Atttn***} 
'Thoufht* vftm the Intellectual CbiracUi of the lii< William Hatlitl,' bjr 
r. Sergruii Talfourd, M.P.j 'Chiricwof Hiiliti," h* Chiiln Umb, exiicted 
thr wtll'IcDowa ■ Letttr of EUi Io Rob«rt S.)U(h>f, E«].' (itaj] i ifat 
'Santuts (o the Meinorj of Hiililt ' bj- * A Lfiy' \ ml the (olIoviEj niayi \r/ 
HMlitt, ri*. : (i^ Pt^ett fot i new Theoiy of Ciril and Crlminil Ltsitl*ti<><>> (i>) 
Dtltnillaei of Wit, (i'i) On Mmri ml Enrli, [<.•%) Belief, whether VoIunt>r> ^ (*) 
PcnwiJ Potitii*, (vi) On the Wrllingi of Hnbbet, (rh) On Libtriji anJ Neieuity, 
(*iii} On Lo<ka'« Eata; on the Hutibd L'n4erit4niliRt, »)td (ii) On Ttvok*'* 
bivoiMMof pMrkj. — Vol. Ii> conIainc<l the foU«win|( t«tayt by Hailju, vii. 1 (i) 
On Seif-Love. (II) On the ComUict of LIfr -, or, Advice 10 a Schcol-bojr, (iii) On 
the FiiMT Am, Ii»J Tbe Fight, (1) On the Warn of Modcji, (ti) On tht Feellnj of 
lMB»drtklitr in Youth, [vii) The Miin-Chioce, ^riii) Tbe Oprri, (ii) Of Perioni 
Ow Would Wwh to Have Seen, (■) My Fint Ao^'tamtmce wilk PocK, {li} T\ht 
iajaern of Scholar*, (aii) The Vatican, and (kiu] On ibe Spirit of MoDBr<hj, Of 
tbna, the c*m} ' On the Pine Ani ' and ihe tt\»y on * The Vatican ' arc inilnded 
■ t«L rx. «f the pment cdiliMi ) ihe teit are pnbliihed In tbi* volume or 
fa mU sit. 



S. * Siiuiitamd Zuayt. By William Maxliit. Now fiifi colkcied by hit Son. 
LoMdoB: JohnTcmplcRvan, t4l,Re{«nEStr«ct. uocccxiiix.' An Ailv<r1ii«meot 
•UUa th»t 'Tlw volamc which ib« EiliWr bM here the gntilicaiion rf pnMDtiiig 
CO the public, coDiUtt uf Emijti contrihulcd by ihcii tuthor to variou* perioJicclj. 
Nunc of (hen) bivt hilbtno betn publiihcd in ■ c«llcclive form, inij it ii coa> 
liilently inliiipiteil thil ihcy will he nnivcd «i an itccpiablc Compsntiui to the 
"TibkTilk"af»l "Platji Sptikcr."' Tht contenl**rf )itr«llowti (i) Od Rtidiii| 
Kcur Btroka, (li) Oa Ciol and Hypoctiij, (ill) Meriy Eatlaad, (iv) On ■ Sua- 
Diat, [v) On Picjuilite, (vi] ScK-Lavt «n>1 Dcneioleoce (i Dialofuc), (vit) On 
DiaitTKible People, (vili) On Knowleilic of Che World, {u) On Fiihion, (■) On 
NIcknaBnei, (li) Oa Tatie, (lii} Why the Hero(« of Romanc* ar* iniip'id, (liii) 
On th« Convnwtion of Lords (air) Th« Letltr-BtU, (av) Envy, (avij On the 
Spirit of PirtitiDihip, (xvii) Foolmcn, and (iviii] A Chapter on Editor*. Tbii 
volume wai fcpiinicd jo lEjt with -Slui«hci in<I EiMya ' m • half-title anri the 
following tiil<-pifc : 'Men mil Manntia : Skctcbei and Eujyi. Ily Wiltiani 
Hiilitt. Lonri»n t Publithcd it tht office of the ItlmtTaleii London Library, 
uy Sliinil. HHKcii.' In thi* (dilicin the Mtiy entitled <Self-Lart and Buicvol- 
cDGE (A DiiloEue] ' i< omitted. A ihiril eilitioo (which hit bKn ccpiialcd fron 
time to lime) wat publiih<d in tSyk in Bobn'i Suadard Library, edited by 
Mr. W. C. Haihti. 

J. * Wi*r<Fi/Mii; Eiteji jmJ Citraturi viriiitn ikirr. By William Hailitt. 
Coll<ct«l by hia Son. Lon^ion i DaviO Bogue, Fleet StictI, mcckl.' Thia 
amall Svo rotsmc (oaliinta tht fu-llawin;; cwayi i (>) My Firit Atqutintincc with 
Pocli,fii)Of Penont One Wuulil WiihiiiHan Scin, [iii} Party Spirit, (iv) On the 
Feeling of Immortality in Youth, t*) O" Public Opiniati, (vi] Oa Petaonal 
Identity, (vii) Mind and Motive, [vili) On Meant and Ernla, (ii) Miltn and 
Manner, (a) On CoDiiitencj of Opieion, C>i) Project foi a new Theory of Civil 
and Criminal LeEialaUon, (aii) On ibc Chatacier of Burke, (alii] On the Characlct 
of Foi, {ilv) On Ihe Chitittet of Pilt, (ir) On the ChatKtrt of Lord Chalhani, 
(tvl) Belief, whether Voluntary, and (avii) A Farewetl to Eatay-Wr>lin|, Thia 
volume wti rcpubliihed in iSyi alaeg wilh Sitliiii anJ Eiimyi is (he vclume of 
B*ha*i Standaid Library icfeired to above. Of the eiuyi publjihed in ffinitriJmi 
the Charactcn of Burke, Fox, Pilt and Loid Chithim are included ttt voL itt. of 
the prtMiil edition {Ftlniyti! Eiuyi). The real of the etaaya published in Sinciti 
^mJ £itdri)nil ffini^iJiw are included in voU. It. andui. of the prcMnt rdilioit. 

It will be aeeo that Lilfi'jr Rnvim and SVmli'ilmi to aome extent overbp 
«ne anolhtri and that Wiiaxnlna cantaiocd icvtral eiuya which had alrtidy been 
publiahcd in Ptlliiitl Eii^jfi, Under theaecircuniatiiicei it haa been found ncccaaary 
to the ptescDt edition to ailopi a fieah acheme of arranfcmcnt in yUcc of tepubliah. 
ing Liimrji Amaiit, ilticiii dnJ Xiuji tad tfiminlota aa ihey itand. Each 
fNay^irhethtr c«nlain<d in one of ihote poalhumnui collectioni or now republithed 
for the tint lime, ia ptinted in chroD0lDgi<a] erdci under the heading of the 
magaiine or newapapcr in which it originally appeared ; and the magiiinea ihcm- Q 

^^jclvea ate atianced in a cluonologjcal order bated upon ibe teapeciiTe data ^^^^^mI 



BIBLIOGRAPBICAL NOTE 

whU H*ilkt bcfan to coMxibote ta then. The amlj uccpticni to tliii lut 
■cbcnw of tmattoMMi >t (bat u tW tail of itie priMM votiuM it wa» ttmmi con- 
wiM< W t»lu llie*Ci>nsaci PtiMi' from Tit UitrMy fmuiwr • little hetart 
iMr lara. Thtjr tk«ld ttrMtly kiv« folIawcJ (he Matiibutioat to Tii Litrrst 
(^Ib *«L xn, Uit it mt tbauiht better mi to <Jir!ik betwicn tiro volume! the 
ajn from Tkt tfna MmiUy nUxiieiat which now bc|[in vol. ill. 
TUe pluiof irTiUiffinrnt wcmtil oa the * hole the limpltHtnil fat it, and it !• 
Fk«pc4 tkat with Iht ■><! al the Ttblc) o( C«Dt««iti lad the ladex (he nxlet will 
lUiK no dilSculty in finding laj ^rilculit «mv, 

la th> pfcKst cdiliarn iD the tnap, ihe attpilnc WBrtc of wUcb ii kiMwa, 
' been prinuil ttristim from ihe nufitioci ihctnKlm. In prcfuring Literary 
rin, Sttrciti amJ Miu^i and Ifi^ttrtlattr far ihe preii the luihut** ion (oak 
■ bit libctlm with tlu ttit. In oni or two eawt ibt aliention* whUb he 
maj luva been biKcl <m t w*. or ■ Ofy it i nuticine with concctioBi bj 
f AtsOtttlM tv naec o/lea the ttHjrt wtrt irprinted vilb amiHioni md trlAlaf 
I made, u it wontd teen, bf the editot hiintrtr on hi) o«s rtifoaiibJlitjr. 
epMM(a thui emitted and bow rttlored for theArtt lime are of great intetnt. 
mon imfortant of thiA ar* CfeeUlly iDdiciicd Id ibe noUt. tn th* few 
I wbere the aatbor'l toa »U^i p4Mtftt from > mi. or other aulliodtalive tource, 
: f w<yl hare been (ivtn eilher in ihc ten [witb i oolc indicalint where ihejr 
nccor}, o( in the Note*. 

In additioa lo the eiU)4 yriated in the trit «f Ihi* volonw ib<1 to thoM rtremd 
to IB the aoCri it aitj b( caanDicBt to (nealiea here a few cttajrt which may have 
kea wtittca by H«kl)II bvt have bc«i omitted from the pteKal e<liiIon on iJie 
§nm»t tbMhii MtbortUp ii not tufficicnily certain, Thci| an atiia|cd in the 
Mlnatiii Dm ander the beadtof el Ihe mapiiae in which ibey 6rii i^«««l. 

I. Til eM^mlmr. 

t, A rcvitw (Stpt. S9 md Oct. i), if 16} of Ccorfc Biuw'* Om tti &4U tf 
Etrtfi im Janm^, 1I16. ThU work of Ocoip EaMl'i (176^184])) 
'fall,' II the icvicwcT Hya, 'of nndenlablc facta, in>l onittniablc 
infereoce* from ibem,' wai likely id ippcil la Hailitl'i political 
•fmpathi«i. Tbt raview eoruiiii malnlj oi tairseli from Ihe woik 
■ixtf, bet what there it «f c»mmeDt ii eettiioly very much in 
Hazliu'i nis. 
a. * A Modern Tory Delineated * (Oct. 6). TIih papn, which Ii dated 
from CloBcmier, Oct. 1, 1I16, hai certainly a <my Btian( AaToai of 
Haalitt. 

3. S«a>c political Icaikra ind artklci which ippcireil at the betioolni of 
■ti7 and are DM lifned with L<i|h Itanl'i mark. The moat impor- 
tant of tbeie arc : 'Mr. PHt— Ftiuoce, Sinkini Funil ' (Jan. 19} ; 
' Deltncc «( Naiional Debt ' (J*a. 36) t * Pron**! of Flaanca' (Feb. 
iS}) and •Friendi of R<««laliaB' [F<h.i]). 

4. ScMne ibetitical ootica publitkeil in iliS, ria, : June if (Hr AmwA) ; 



ni 



FUGITIVE WRITINGS 



Atif. 3 Mil lo {Cm fa TWt^ ; 0«t. 19 (Knn'i Slijilack, Figmn, ind 
Mtthewi in Tit Maf J^m/i) ; Otl. it {MiJamt Vntrii in Tit 
Mirri^l^ tf Fi[ar*, »nd Rovtic tlw cocqunr) j Nov. 1 (Farfea'* D». 
CanlwcU in Tif Hjrf*trrt<, Tii fntiftl i^mf, »bJ Ktin'i Omtrmtii, 
Utcbeth »ni Otfatllo) | Kov. 16 (C*/ JtfAMr'Mf ud T*i Aroyir). 

II. Tit SMthtii M^a^iM [at^r Urit*). 

Thmp(pert»ii the CTiminil Iswr, vii, 1 'Huiaricil View cf ihc PiofrtM 
of Opio ion on (he Cumin 1 1 Liu-indlhc I*uDiilii»tnt of Dtilli '(March, 
■ 81 9, vol. IV. p. 195) ) ' Pirliimfntiry Rfport on ih« Criminil Lswi ' 
(Dec, iS 19, vol. T. p. tfii] ) anii 1 ahort ptpcr do ihe mric aubject 
(JaD. iRio, vnl. 11, p. t6], Mr. W. C. Hiiliti !n hit Mtm*ir%, tit. 
(vol. t. p. xivi.] (UnbutM thcic aclidet 10 HiiIitL, perhapi on the 
■Innrth of Min« mi, or proof in hi> potiniicn il tlu AUt of iht 
/UfBUri (1I67J. Hailitt'aiulharahip, howitvcr, thoufh vat; plobable, 
doEi not accni (o b< cciuin, ind aa the paper* coniiit Ltrjcly of 
Citiaclt ftam ■ Parliameniiry Report, tbe]r iiive been omitted fiom 
the preHDt ciliiiua. Hiilill** .viewi on npiul puniahmcet will be 
fouori in in eiiTict which w» (ifii publbhed in Frgitr'i Mi^tvitt in 
ilji and ia reprinted m *«i. xu. 

Itl. Tit Lreifo JU«£*Mi>c. 

I. Afcvliwftf'TheMemoinorMr.Hardjr Vtnt'Qtn. iSi6,vel,r.p. 9j), 

3. ' Letteri of Pooie, Catrick,* etc. (Dec. iSaO) t«I. ti. p. (471 and Feb. 

■Sii, vol. [i[. p. soi). 
]. A review cf Bjton'i Mtriat F^itrt(Htjt iSii, ntL tiu p, Jse}< 

4. A review af Bjna'l Kardantf^lui (Jan. tStl, vol. v. p. 66). 




CONTENTS* 



rMR 
I 



FRjiGMEmS OF LECTURES ON PHlLOSQPHr (itti») 

r*aa 
On tiM Writings of Hobbci 15 

On Libcit)' and Nccnuif . 4! 

Oa Lo^kt'i Euay on the Human 

Dmlcnunilwg , . . y^ 



On Toolte'* ' DivtrMoiu o*' 

P"[iry' 119 

On Sclf-JUiv« - 'S* 



CONTRJBUTJOSS '/O THE MORNING CHRONICLE 



*Uada»e dc Sucl'i Account of 
CmimH Pti>lo»»pti)r uul Litcfa- 

ture i<i 

*The Same 5ub)rct cootinucd 147 

*T1k Svne Subject continued 1 7a 



*1 he Same Subject ciMitinued (Do 

Abstnrlion) ■ . . . ifo 

*Pine AttL Bniiih In%liluiioD 187 

•The Stage ..... 191 

•Fine Art* (The Lonvre) . 19] 



COhTRIBUTlQNS 7D THE CHAMPION 



'Wilnn't LaodK-apet it (he Britjih 

Irtttituiioa • >t' 

•On Gaintborougli'i Picture* . 10a 

*Mr. Kemblt'i Pmniddock . toj 
Mittrodutlioo Id an Accocuit of Sir 

Jaboa Rcronlda't DiKourm . soS 

*0a GeniuK and Ofiginahij' . . aio 

*0a tbe Imitation of Nature, . at( 

*Ontli(ldcaJ . . • ii} 



•L. Buonspanc'i Chartemagne : oa 

r^glike DelivTce ajo 

•The Saine Subject continued . t%^ 
♦I.. Biioiiipanc'* L'ollrction of 

Picture* 1J7 

•Btitliih Initinuion 14a 

•The Saiae Subject continued 14.S 

*Th« Sainr Sobjccl cantinued t^l 

■On Mr. Wilkie*! Pirtum . . 149 



1 no«c {(Mya wbkh ite *a« rep«bliAcd for ilie firti linx arc tnJictlcJ by *a aticritk. 

ix 




FUGITIVE WRITINGS 



CONTRfBUT/ONS TO THE EXAMINER 



rAOH 

*0n Ruchcrouuuilt's Maxima . ajj 
On ihr Ptctlumiiiint Prlnciplcn and 

EscitcRxnttofchrKiimanMind' ij8 
The Lovt of Po-wer or Action a> 

Main a Principlr in ihe Human 

Mind ai Sensibility to Pleaiun; 

or Pain' , ■ . . . a6} 

Enay on Minnen' 169 
-•Kean'* Bajuct, and 'The Counliy 

Giri' 274 

♦Doctrine of Phil»Mvj>hicatNec*Mitjr 177 

♦Panllcl Pauaget in raiious PoeU. sSs 

*Mr. Locke a %Tt3X Plagiari«l . 384 

[The Same Siihject continued] . 578 

♦Shikexpnr't Female Characccra . ago 

*Mi» O'Neill"! Widow Cheerly . 197 

♦Penelope &nd The Dnnwrnanie . S99 

•Oroonolco joi 

♦The Pannel and The Ravrni . 303 

*John GilpiiL .... 303 
♦Don Giovanni and Kean'i EuMace 

de St. Finn .... 307 



♦Character of ihe Country People 
♦Mr. M acrcady'n Macbeth 
•Guy Fans .... 
♦The Same Subject roniinued 
♦The Same Subject concluded 
Chamrter of Mr. Canning . 
•The Daniij School 
♦Actor* and the Public 
♦French Flap . 
♦Frtncli Play> (ironiinucd) . 556 

♦The Theatre* and E'anion 

Week .... 
♦Charles Kean 
♦Some of the OH Actor* 
♦The Company at the Opcnt 
♦The Beggar"* Opera 
♦The Taming of the Shrew and 

L'Avare .... 
♦Mrs. Siddont 
♦The Three yuanos, etc. . . 3S4 
♦Mr. Kean jIg 



CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TIMES 



♦Munden's Sir Peter Tcule 
♦Young'* Hamlet . 
•Dow ton ill The Hypocrite 
♦Mis» Brtmton'* Knsahnd 
♦Maywoad'a Zanga 
•Kean'i Richinl iii. . 
•The Wonder 
•Venice Preicrred 



•She Staapi 10 Can<|ucr 
♦Kean*( Machptb 
•Kean*. Othello . 
•Kcan and Miw O'Neill 
♦The Honey Moon 
•Mr. Kean . 
♦King John . 



410 



' TbcM two e*«ayi vitrt puttliihfH tngelhtr in tfnttritmt ii * MiaiJ Bad Motive.' 
- Publithcfi in H'liatrting 11 ' Matter mrf Manner.* 




NTENTS 



CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE YELLOW DWARF 



*Chi)de Harold'i Pilgrimage . 
TtieOpen. 



•Tic Prm— CoJciidjc, S<mth<)f, 

Wonkwonh, ind Beocbttn . 411 
*Mr. Coleridge's Ledutei . 4.16 



CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE EDINBURGH (NEW 
SCOTS) MAGAZINE 



tMW 



*On Oc Qurttion wheUicr Pope 

<na » Port , . . . 4.)0 

*On Rnpccabk People • 4-1 1 

OaFuhioo ... ^37 



Oa Niclcn*i»» 

Tboiigtin on Tme 

The Same Subject continued 

Tb« Same Subject continued ' 



CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LONDON MAGAZINE 



*1>D the Pmcnt Sutc «£ Parlia- 
tnentai)' Eloquence . . 464. 

*K^doa'i ■ ChhM'* Agony in (be 
Gudefl' ^1 

*f ope, Loid SjTon, ud Mr. Bowin ^Z & 



On Con*i*teiK7 of Opinion . 

On the Spitit of Paniaanihip 
••ThePirwe' 
••PewrilofthePeak' . 



♦SO 
459 



rAOS 
joS 

sv 



CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LITERARY EXAMINER 

Mon 
CootRwa Placet $40 

Noru s6\ 

ESSyfTS NOT CERTAIN f,r HAZI.ITTS, AND FRAGMENTS 



Oiancter of Mr. Wordiwonb't 

Netr Poetn The Excunion , 57a 

Tie Duke IVEngtiien . $77 

Colnidgc'i'Cbriitaber . slo 



Sketchet of the Hinory of tke 

Good Old Time* . - 5*t 

HistarinllllustraiiontafStiakeKpeare 601 
Mr. Crabbe . . . . 6oj 



' TUi paper did not ippeu ta Tit Eiithagk {Ntn Stm) Magt^t. See fu, note 10 



XI 



^ ^ y ^ ^ ^''^^ /^ **** v «- ' - rt |g*C.a-y -<«:-^^ 

%^c^ ^^..^^ J^A 



»' 



>^', 



b.d^i^jf^.^j^ x^si^. 



-^^-..^ 






rAciiMibt (kp«xi>) or KAnrrr't makvwiitikc, r«oM a mi. in m 
roHmiOK uf Ml. w. c maiutt. 




FUGITIVE WRITINGS 



ON ABSTRACT [DEAS 

I iiuu. ia thu may tute Mr. Lockr's accoom of gmeraliution, ab- 
■toctioo, cod rcaxMiiiif;, a» coorrutcd with tbc niodeni one, iukI then 
radtmmt to detirad the ciustcnce o( thcac faculties, oi acit of (he 
ntsd from tbe ohjections urged agntniit them bf Hume, Berkeley, 
CoadtlUci ukI others, vhich arc is truUi merely repctitiooi of what 
Hobbn hu aaid oo the lubjcct. I muM premMCt however, that I do 
am think it pouible ever to arrive at a Jcraon«ration of generali or 
abKjacttODa by bt^ming in Mr Locke's method with pomcubr 
oocs : this faculty of abatraction ia by idom coooidered as a aon of 
utificial lefmcfnon upon oui other ideai. u an excreueDce, no wayi 
eootsiacd in the common impretnoni ofthiogt, dot »carcrly necwMfy 
to the conunoo purpow* of life, aad it is by Mr. Locke altogether 
dcned to be among the facinltiei of bone*. It is the om&meQt and 
top additioa of the mtnd of mat), which proceeding from nmple 
■■n"^'"*Y* iqivarda, ia gradually sublinicd i«o the aUtnct nocioni of 
tfainf^a; *from the root springi lighter the green atallc, from thence 
the lca*e« more airy, Ust the bright consummate flower/ On the 
iMfarr hatulfl cooed re thai all our notiooa from lirat to last, are strictly 
makiog, general and abstract, not abtolutc acxj particular i and 
tlias to bare a perfectly dictiiKt idea of any one individuil thiof;, 
Of concrete cxisicDcc, either a* to the pant of which ii is compoacd, 
or the liilFtrrencn bcloBging to it, or the drcwnwuncet nioaected with 
tt, voold imply an unlimited jiower of comprehennon in the hwnaa 
Bundt which la impOMJbJc. All particular thinga coniiat of, and lead 
to an inbniu number of other thing). Ab»traction is a contequcncr 
of the limttatioa of the comprehensive faculty, and mixei itself mofe or 
leas with crcry aa of the mtod of whatever kind, and in' every 
BOiDrat of iu existence. There is no idea of an individual object, 
vhich couiita of a aingle imprewoo, but of n nvmher of impre«*ioaa 
together : there is no idea of a particular quality of an object, 
■llJdl it perfectly aimpic, oi which is not the reside of a number of 
■BprtMioBi of the tame aon cbsced tognher by the mind withonl 
vou Ir. : * I 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



itHodiBg to their particuUr diifcrnicci. Every idea of an object it, 
thCfcfoKi in A strict aenac an ini[>crrcct and general notion of an 
aggrrg&te: of a houKe,or tree,u welUsof u city, or forett: of a grain 
oFtand as wcU aa of the universe. Every idea of a icaeiblc qtujity, 
» of ihc whiicoess of the aiicct of paper before mc, or the hardnrse 
of the tabic on which I Icitn, implies liieunie power of gcneTalization, 
of coDncctioj; Kvcra) imptetsions into one sort, u the most r«fiaed 
and abstract idea of virtue and justice, of motion, or cxiensioni or 
space of time, or being ttietf. I'hin view of the tubjecl ii not, [ con- 
fess, very oht-iouB at fir»t *i{;ht, and it wiil be more easily understood 
after I have staled the arjtumcnia of others on this dilTicuJi question. 
The coticiw account of the nature ofabiitraot ideai it that which Mr. 
Locke h.-i« given, .11 follow*. * All things that exiit being par- 
ticular, it may be pcihaps thought reasonable that wordt wbicb oii|ht 
10 be conrDrmediothJagbkl)ou!di>eioto», I mean in their tigiii6cation: 
but y« we find quite ihc contrary. The far greatett part of words 
thai make all lan^uaj^es ore general terms, which haa not been the 
effect of neglect or chance, but of reaion and necessity.' ■ First, it ti 
impo4nble that every particular thing ihould have s distinct peculiar 
name. For the ngniAcation and use of worda dcpcadicg on that 
cofuieciion which the mind makei between its ideas and the lounds it 
uses at signs of them, it is neceitary in the appHcatione of names to 
things, that the mtndKhouId havedittinctidcaiof the things, and retain 
alio the pnnicuUr name that belongi to everyone, with its peculiar 
appronriatioo to that idea. Uut it i* beyond the power of human 
capacity to frame and rct»n djsunct idcai of alE the paniculu thingt 
WC meet with ; every bird and beast we »ee, every tree and plant thai 
affect the scnBcs, could not find a place in the most capacious under 
fftanding. If ic he looked on as an instance of a prodij;ious memory, 
that Mme generals hare been able 10 call every soldier in their arm; 
by his proper name, we may easily find a reason why men never 
attenspted to give names to each thecp in their fiock, or crow that lliew 
over their heads, much less to call every leaf of plants or grain of sand 
that canw in their way, by a peculiar name. Secondly, if it were 
poiaible, it would not serve Co the chief end of language. Men would 
not in vain heap up names of particular things that would not serve 
them to communicate their thoughta. Men learn names, and use 
them in tilk with others, only that they raay be understood, which is 
then only done, when by use or consent, the sound I muke liy the 
organs of speech, excites in another man's mind who hears it, ibr idea 
I applv to It in mtiK when I ope^k it. This cannot be dooe by names 
applica to jxiriicular things, whereof I alone bare the ideas in my 
mind, the names of them could not be significant, intelligible ici 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



tnothci who wa» oot acquainted witb all thoM rcry panicular 
tfaiogB which had fdlrn uad«r my ooiicc. Thirdly, grantiag thic 
fn>ihl«, which I thiok it is oot, y«l a dininct mme of erery 
ponicaiAr thiog wouid not be of any gicat uk for the improrcmrnt 
aC kacmitAse ; which thoogh founded ia panicular ihtngK, rntargei 
iiadf bj geoenl newt, to which ihinc^ reduced iaio aorts under 
gCDcrKl Dame* arc properly Mabterricnl. Thne with the natnn belong- 
ing to ihcm come within Bome compnu, and do no; multiply every 
OMMneM beyond whit either the mind cm eoatiin, or u«e re<]uirett ^od 
di ercfo rc in these mca have for the moit part stopped. But yet not 
at, ii to hinder thetn*c-lvrs from disiingtiithiog particular thing* hy 
ropmted names, where convenience demand* it. And thrtrt'orv 

beir owd tpccicS) which they have to do with, and wherein they 

ban often occaiioa to mention pnrricular person*, th<'y make ok ck 
{KOpcr namec; and thew diitinci individiub hare diFiinct di-aonuna- 
tioa*. Bcttde* pcrswit, couatriet, citiei, rivert, moitnlaiaB, and other 
iile dtftinctionii of place hare usually found particular names, and that 
for the same rcuon ; znd I doubt not but if we had reuon to mention 
particuUr horses, a^ oftes u we have to iDeoiioc particular men, we 
should have proper names for the one as familiarly as for the other, 
aod Bucephalus would be a word at much in use an Alexander. And 
therefore we see amongst iocluest horses have their proper naine» to be 
led distinguished by, »a commonly .14 thiir serrattts, because 
■gst diem there it oftra occasion to mention thit or that psrticubr 
e, when he it out of sight. The next thing to be considered is how 
gmo'al words came to Ik made. For since all thingi that cxiu are 
oidy pirtieulars, howcome we by gfneial terms, or where lind we those 
genermlnattirestliey are u)p(x>ied to stand for? Words become general 
by bcisg made the signs o( general ideas, and ideas become general by 
separating from them the drounstances of time and place, and any 
other ideas that may determine them to this or that particuUr existence. 
By this way of abstraction they are nude capable of rcprracnting nsorc 
ifldiriduals than one, each of which having in it a conformi^ to thai 
abttract idea is (as we call it) of thai Aort. 

' But to deduce this a little more dtstittctly, it will not, perhaps, be 
aniM to trace otir notions and names from their beginning, and 
obwrre by what degrees we proceed, and b* what steps we enlarge 
^"^ideaa from ihcir 6tst isfaocy. There is Dot)iiag more evident 
that the ideas of (he pcrtoos children converse with, are like tlie 
ihemselrea, only particulars. 1*he ideas of the nurie and the 
er are well framed in ihc mind and tike pkturcs of them there, 
rrprtscnt only those individuals. The names they lim give rite to arc 
coofsed 10 these individuals, and tite names of minf and mamma 



ON ABSTHACT IDEAS 



wbich the child uiM, detetmine ihemwlree to ibo»e ftrtoat. After- 
wardu when time and ■ larger acc^uaintaace has made tliem obaerrc 
chat there arc b grcai many other thin^t ta the worM, ihai in some 
cominoD igrtcmcntt of ahapc, and icTcial other propcrno rctcmhlc 
their father and mother, and those periont they haie been u«ed to, 
they fraiDc an idu which lh«y find thoee many particulars do partake 
in, and to that ihcy give with others the name Man, for example. 
And ihut they come to have a general name, and a general idea. 
WhcrciD they cnakc nothing new, but only leave out of the complex 
idea they had of Peter and Jaoica, Mary and Jane, that whicn is 
peculiar to each, and retain what is coninion to Uiem all. By the 
same way that they come by the general name and idea of man, they 
easily advance to more general name* and nations. For obserriiift that 
fteveral things that differ from iheir idea of man, and therefore cannot 
be comprehended under that name, have yet certiiin i^ualitictt wherein 
theya^ree with man, by retaining only those qua lilies and uniting ihcm 
into one idea, they have again another and more gencml idea : lo 
which having given a name, (hey nialce a tcrtn of a more comprehcn- 
uTc cxtcnaion : which new idea i» made, not by any new sddiiion. 
but only as liefofe, by leaving out the shape, and some other propertiet 
signified by the name man, and retaining only a body with life, tenae, 
and apootancoui motion, comprehended under the n^ime animal. That 
this is the way that men first formed general idea* and general names 
to tbem, 1 thialc is so evident that there needs no other proof of it, 
but the considering of a man'v self or other*, and the ordinary 
proceedings of their mind in knowledge: and he that thinks general 
natures or notions are anythiog else but tueh ahtraiu and partial ideoj 
of mure complex onet taien al Jiril from fiartuvlar cxuUiauJ, yriW 1 fear 
be at a loss where to find them. For let any one reflect and then 
tell me, wherein does his idea of man differ from that of Paul and 
Peter, or hiK idea of horse from that of Buce|ihalufl, but in ilie leaving 
out Komrthing that is peculiar to each individual ; and retaining so 
much of those particular complex ideas of several ]>;irticularexi«cenciea, 
as they arc found to agree in i Of the complex ideas signiiied by the 
names man and tone, leaving out those particulars wliercin they dilTer, 
and retaining only those wherein they agree, and of those making a 
new distinct complex idea and giving the name animal to it* one haa a 
more general (crni that comprehends with inan Kvcral other crc»ure«. 
• Leave out of the tdea of animal sense and spontaneous motion, and 
the remaining complex idea, made up of the renuining simple ones 
of body, life, and nourishment, bccnmes a more geneial one under 
the more compreheniiive word vivau. And not to dwell u|ion these 
particuUr, so evident in itself, b; the snine way the mind piocccd* to 



ON ABSTHACT IDEAS 



SoK^, md/tasr/, aod at la«t to triitg, thing, and nich nnivrrsat teimt, 
which stand for any of onr tdcu whatsoevicr. To co&clude ; this 
whole mystery of genera and vpccin, which make nich a ooUc ir the 
•chools, aod arc with justice to little regarded out of them, is noihiDg 
rise hot abstract ideas, more or lesi comprehentiTe, with Dames annexed 
to tfaem. Id all which this » coosuot ood inTsrinUe, that ereiy 
more general term ttandi for such an idea as is but a pan of any of 
those contained under it.' 

The author adds, ' [t is pbia by what bai been uid, that gnxnl 
and HDiTcrsd belong not only to the real exi«tcncc of rhingi, but are 
the inmitiont and creatures of the undetstandinK, made by it, for its 
owo UK, sad coDCera only sigDl, whether words or ideas. Words 
arc f^cneral, when used lor signs of general ideas, and w htc applicable 
■ndtifereotly lo many particular thiags ; and ideas are general when 
they are set aj> at Uic rcptcseotatircs of many particul^ things, but 
■livcraaiity beltings not to things ihemsclves, which are all of them 
panJcubr in ihtii exiucnce, even those words and ideas which in 
their signification! are general. When, therefore, wc <]utt parliculafi, 
the generals that rest are only creatnies of our own making, thdr 
generaJ nature being nothing but (he capacity they are put in to of 
Rgaifyiag nuny {uniculars. For the ligoiUcatkin they have is nothing 
bat « relation, that by the mirKi of man is added to them.' Seep, i;, 
toL i. 

Mr. Locke at first here eridently sopposet that we have ideas 
aimrcriog to general tcmis, i.e. certain ideaH of such particulars m a 
mtmber of thiogi are found to agree in. or that tliere are tome common 
oualities by retaining which aod ooiy leaving oot what i* peculiar and 
ionign, withont addtog anything new, we get at the general notion. 
He afterwards to all appearance reduce* thete general notions to mere 
ligns or sounds with which several particular ideas are associated, but 
which do sot cocrcspood to any common propcriics or general nature 
really inhering in these pariiculir things. In the same manner he 
coMinnes to take diffi:rvm sides of the <]ucst)on, when he comes to 
treat of genera, and species, when hb antipathy to the word ttimte 
coostamly dritca him back into the notion thut ail our ideas of essences 
■re mere terms, and the want of solidity in that opinion again as 
noMftotly disposes him to admit a real difference in the sorts of 
things, besides the diffcrcucc of the names we give to them. For 
iaunediately after silirraiRg that the abMmct essences of things are the 
vorkniambip of the ur>dcrst;tDding, be adds, 'I would not here be 
thoaght to forget, much less lo deny, that nature, in the production of 
tfaingi makes sewral of them alike : there in nothing more obvious, 
ccpcciolly io the races of animals, and all things propagated by seed. 

S 




ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 

But yet, I tbiok wc may «ay, the sorting of thrm by caraci 
workmsniihip of the undcrsunding taking occ^sioo from the stmilitode 
it otxcn'ca smooKac them tu mnkc almiact general ideis* nod act them 
up a» pattern* in form* (for in iliai »mw the word form haii i rery 
proper xignilicntioii), to which as particular thing* exUling ate found 
to agree, so tbcy come to be of that species, have that denomination, 
or arc pvt into iliat clami'. For when wc lay ihi* it a. man, that a 
torje, Stc. what do wc cite but tank thing* under differeoi ipecifie 
aamcH, as agreeing to those abstract idcaa, of which wc baie made 
thcK names tlic signi ? And what are the etsencei of thutic tpccin 
set ouExikI mnrked byname*, but thotte abstract idea tn the Riiod, 
which are as it. were the boDde between particular things thai exist,' 
&c. For my own jmn I nmn conreia tlut I agree with the Biahop 
of Worceiier on this occaiion, who auk*, * What ti it that makei 
Peter, James, and John real men J U it ilic aitribnting the general 
name to ihcm? No, ceriainty, but that tlic true and real cstcncc of 
a man h in every one of them. They take their den»inination of being 
men frum that comiuon nature or citcucc which is in them.* On the 
opposite sysiem it is not the nature of the thing which dcicrmines the 
impotiiion of the name, but the impositiou of the name which dctci- 
niiae* the nature of (be thing ; or giring them the name make* Fctct, 
James, and John men, as in the opinion of some divines Baptism makes 
them Cbrisirans. ITiii there it a real difference in things and ideaE. 
aatweiiDg to their gestul namet, appears evident from this lingle 
obsenation, that if it were not so, wc could never know how to apply 
these general najnefc,and we could no nioie dintinguisli between a man 
aod a horse than wc could tell at tint «ij;ht, that one man's proper 
name was John and anoilicr's Thomas, The puzzle about gencru 
and species ■" this view of the question, seenii to arise ftom a rer)- 
obrioua Iranipoiition of ideai. Became the abstracting or separating 
theve general ideas from particular circumstances it the workmamhiji 
of the anderstanding : ii has, therefore, been inferred, that the ideas 
themselTcs are so too, and that they exist no where but in the miiMl 
which perceives them. 

But I would fain ask, in the account which Mr. I.ockc give* of 
the abstract ideas of amma/ for example, whether body, sense, and 
motion, an they exist in diflercnt individuals, hiivcnot a general nature, 
or something common in all those individuils. If ioify in one case 
expresses tbc same thing, or aame idea as body in another, their 
geocral* belong to thing* and ideas, a* well as to name* ; it body in 
ODc case expresses quite a ditfereot thing in one to whn ii doe* in 
another, then it is Dot ea^y to imagine what determine) the mind to 
apply tbc ouiiiv to tJiese ditfcicnt thing*, or on what foundatioo 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



M(. Lodu't definition rc«u. Extreme opinioiu were not in gcneraJ 
tix Mt on which Mr. Locke erred ; itia, on the ptetrnt occuioa, 
be has qualified hii omwurion to the prerailing wyntm in tnch a 
naawr, ihat it it diificalt to wy id whtt |>oint be admitted ot rejected 
ii. He cridcntlf, in the ^coctbI scope of this Rrgunent, admits the 
reality of abctract idea* in the Rund, thoogh he deniei the extttence 
of real ton*, or nature of thing* of the miod (o corre«iK»ad to them : 
for the cxprcMODB which intimate aoy doubt of the former are 
occMiooal and parenthetical, and his ackoovrledgment that there ii 
•amething in naiure which guide* &od determine* the mind in the 
wntog of thing* and givic^ names to them is cqiially extorted from 
him. Tbere it none of this doubt and perplexity in the niinds of hit 
French commentatori ; none of thi* *iupicioo of error and anxioui 
dcnre ID correct it i oo luikioj* objeaioos arise to stagger their 
CDofideocc in chcnKclTes : it is all the ume light airy •elf-complacency ; 
ooc a cpeck is to be acen in the dear iky of thnr metaphynci, not a 
dood obtcurcs the tparkting current of their thought*. In the logic 
of Coodillac. the whole <]uestioii of abtuact ideaj, of genera and 
qsecinr and of the n&ture of reasoning ai founded upon them, is settled 
and clea-'cd from all diHicultie*, ymt, present, and to comei with » 
litilc exprnce of thought, [imc, and trouble, a* possible. The Abbe 
democutrate* with ease. ' General ideas,' he says* ' of which wc hare 
explained the formatioo, arc a put of the aggregate ide-i of each of 
Ac indiiidual* to which thry correspondi and they are considered, 
for ihi* leaaon, as bo many partial or imperfect ideas. The idea ol 
man, for invtanci:, make* part of thecont|Mx idea* of Peter and Paul) 
nncc it ■> eijuslly to be louod to both. There i* no *uch thing as 
■no in general. ThH partial idea hsa then do reality out of the 
attadi but it has one in the mind, wheie it exisu Kparalcly from the 
aggregate or indiTidua] ideas of which it is a pan. AJl our general 
ideas are then to mai^ abstract ideas, and you sec that we form them 
only in cootc^uence of taking from e^ch indi*idual idea that which 
t* common to all. 

* fint what, in tmth, iv the reality which a general and abstract idea 
has is the mind. It it nothing but a name: or, if it is any thing 
more, it ncccturily ceases to be abstract, and geiKfal. When, for 
■xjoiple, I think of a man, I connder this word at a common 
r dtflomtnatioo, in which case, it is very evident, that my ideA i* in 

De sort circumicribcd within this name, that it does not extend to 

''inythisg beyond it, and that con»e<]Qenily it i* notliing but the name 

itadf. If, Ob the cootranr-, thinking of man in general, 1 conieranlate 

my tiling in this wotd, bnides the mere dcDomiastion, it can only be 

by repnaenting myself to some one man; and a man can no more be 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



in gcscraU or in the abcuact to my mind, tbtn ia oauirc. 
Aixmct id«u ire tfaerribre only dtnPBMnatiaan. If we will ab»oiattiy 
thiok that liiry ore •omeibuig cIk, wc ihdl only tcacmUc a painter 
who ihodd oUtinaidy peruat b pairaing the figure of x man in 
general, and wbo woold ttill paint only iadiiiduali. This ohaenration 
CODCcniing abnract ami general idcaa, dcmoiutratci that their cIcarDCW 
dqieods ratifcly on tbc order in which we hare arranged the deuomi^ 
DsitoBi of cluoei t and that, coDMqticntly, to determjne tbit ton 
idea*, th«Tc it only oac oicaos, which if to conacnict a language 
properly. 

*Thii confinni what we have already deoMmiuaced, how ■ecemry 
worda are to m : for if wc had no general tcnna, wc abovld have no 
abatract ideasi we should hare ndthcr jienrra, or tffnti, and without 
gntra and tpi(ui, we could reaion upon nothing. Bat if we reason 
only by meaov of word* tht« i> a new proof that wr can only rcaaon 
well or ill, according ai the language, in which we rcaioo, ia well or 
ill made. The analysia of our tboagbt* can only enable ua to reacon 
in |)roponioD ai by iottncting ut how lo cUa* otir abatiact id«a«, it 
enaUca m how to form our language aarrectlyi and the whole art of 
reaaoning ia thu reduced to the art of well gpeaking.' 

What in thii nipremacir of words ii to be the criterion of well 
tpcaliing the Abbe does not aay. 

' To tpeak, to reason, to form gCTwral or abatract ideas, are then in 
fact the aame thittg : and Oits truth, simple ai it is, might pass for a 
tliicotery. Certainly, men in general hate not had any notion of it ; 
this ia etideni from the manner in which they tpeak and reason i it is 
evident from the abuae which th«y make of ahitract ideas | finally, it 
ia criilent from the di^cultiee which thoi« persona confettrdly iitid 
in coQcciTiog of abatract ideaa «bo have >o little in speaking of 
them. 

' 1*hc art of reasoning rctoWca into the construction of languageg, 
only because the order of our tdeai itself depends entirely on the 
lubardination that tuhtiiti between ih« tumes given to genera and 
ibtdft; nod ai wc arrive at new ideas only by forming new cliiascv, it 
follow* that we can only determine or de6ae our ideas by determining 
their dftHM. In this case wc should reacon well, becaute wc should 
be guided by analogy in our coDclusiont oa well a> in tbc acccpution 
of worda. 

■Conrtnrcd, therefore, that classes or torts of thingi are pure 
(tcnominationc, we shall never think of supposing that there exist in 
nature gtnera or tpetitix and we aball understand by these words 
itoihing but s ccrtais mode oFclaasing things according to the relations 
which they hare to ourtclns and to one another. Wc shall be 

6 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 

• «nribl« ihai we caa only di'tconr tliow rduiaa*, and not whxt ibe 
[kUngi (nity arr.' 

SciiLctcy hu)dl«l hit wbjecta with liitlc tcndeniefl*, hmI he hu 

, ptrfixtijr lojtonwd thti nibjcct of abMixt td«as. In chooring to 

'aonver tlte <ibj»»Jont to thu doctrine a* ttntd \>f hint, I shall not 

bcacciuvdof wiahioK to encounter a raran aclrertarj. I can only 

Linm to the goodncta of mj czme. I hopr I nhall be rxcused for 

[gong It Bonic length into th« argomen!, because it is one of the nwM 

fdlficnlt and complicated in itself, and is of the mcM rxteniive applica- 

lfa» to other qiiestioai relating to the human undrrftanding. If we 

aa come to loy latiifiictofy ucue to it, it will be worth the pains of 

cn^uify. 

'lib sgrec^ oo all haodi,* uiyt this author, *thji the i]iiantitiea or 
nodesof tfainjj^do never really exiit in each of tliem, apart by itwelf, 
f wad aeptntcd from all oUien, but aic mixed, ai it were, and blended 
^ Ugfitbttt several in the same object. But we are told the mtbd being 
yCbieaococKider each quality singly, or abatracied from those other 
^oalitie* with which it is united, doci by that means frame to itself 
^wnct ideas. Fot example, there is percci»-ed by sight, an object, 
niraded. coloured, and moved. This mixcil idea the mind resolving 
into tta simple cooitiiuent ports, and viewing each by itKlf excluatvc 
of the mt, docs frame the ebsuact ideas of extetiMoo, coloor, and 
notioa. Not than it it powible fot colour or motion to exist without 
extentioB, but only that the miod ctto frune to itself by abatiacbon 
the idea of colour. excInsJTC of extension, and of motion cxcluitve 
fcoili of colour and extension. Again, the mind having observed ihit 
ID the ptniKalai exicnsiont perceived by kd»c, there is sometlung 
■noo and alike in aJI, ana aome other thin.^s peculiar, as this or 
that £guie, or magnitude, whicli distinguish them one from another, it 
cenaiden apart, or singles out by itself that which is most common, 
making thereof a most abitnci idea of extension, line* sur^e, or 
aolid, nor has any figure or magnitude, tut is an idea preacinded from 
dl dnw!. So likewise the mind by leaving out of the particular 
Dolouni perceived by sense, thai which distinfiutthn them one item 
anotfaer, and reiainiag that which only is common to all, makra an 
idea of colour in abstract, which it neither red, rwr blue, not white, 
&c And ia tike manner by considering motion abctracitdly, not 
only tfae body moved, but likewise from the figure ii describe*, and 
all particular directions and vclocitiei, the abstract idea of motion ii 
fnmed, which equally corrcspondi to all particular motiODS wliatao- 
crcr that may be percei««l by wose. 

■And as the mittd frames to itself abstract ideit of qoalitica, or 
n)odcs» ao doci it bv tbc precision or mental tcpdnttuo, alUtn abstract 

9 



L 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



idm of the iDore compouixl bcing>, which include tmral co«xisten 

Ju.ili[te>: — ror eximplp, the mind hsvingobwfvK!, that Pvter, Jamcf, 
ohn, Sec, rtacmblc each other io ctnain common agrecmcDU of 
»hapc, and oi1)ci qualitiff^ leavn out of the complex or compoanded 
idea ii liax of Peter, Jamn, See, that which it peculiar lo eiich, rnain- 
iDf; only what it common to xll ; and so mslcct an abnract idea 
wherein the particuUrs equally partake, abairaciing entirely, and 
cutting otTall thoxe cifcamttancei and (lifTercnce* which might deter- 
mine it, to nnr particular existence- And .ifter this manner it it uid, 
wc conic by the aUtract idea of man, or if you |ileaBC huniinityi or 
human nature; 'tis true, there ii included colour, becautc there ia 
no man hut hn> (omc colour, but then it c»n be neither white nor 
black, nor any particular colour, because there is no one particular 
coloui, wherein all men partake ; so there ii included nature, but then 
it i> neither Call stature, nor low nature, nor yet middle stature, but 
lomcth lug abstracted from all these; and so of the rest. Morcoier, 
there being a great rariety of other creatures that jiartake in some 
parts, not all, of the complex idea, man, the mind leavin]< out those 
parta which arc peculiar to men, and rclaining those only which are 
common to all living creatures, frames the idea of animals, which 
abstracts not only from all particular men, but also, nil h«rds, beans, 
fishes, and insects. By JSvify is meant body without any particular 
shape, or iigure, there being no one shape or figure commao to alt 
animals, witliout covering of hair, feathers, sr scales, &c. nor yet 
naked i hair, feathers. Kales, and nakedness, being the distinguishing 
properties of particular animaU, and fur that reason left out of the 
abttract idea; upcin thir tame account the tponianeotia motion mutt be 
neither io walkiD^. nor 6yin^, nor creeping, it is ncrcithclcs» a moiioo, 
but what that motion is, it ia not easy to conceiie.' 

* Whether otliers have this woaderfit] faculty of abstracting theti 
ideas, tbcT best can tell i for myself I date be coaiident I have it not, 
I have a FactJty of imagining or repicscnting to myself the ideas of 
those (Kirticutar things 1 have perceived, and of variously compound- 
iiig and dividing them. I can imagine a man with two head* or the 
upjicr part of a man joined to the body of a. borse ; 1 can consider 
the liand, the eye, the nose, each by itself, abstracted or sejurated 
from ihe rest of the body. Bui then, whalercr hand or eye, I 
imagine, it miist have some patlicular shape, and colour. Likewise, 
the idea of man that I frame to myself must be cither of a white, or 
a hlacli, or a tawny ; a »trait, or a crooked ; a tall, or a low, or a 
nuddlc sized man. 1 cannot by any clfort of thought coDCciyc the 
abttraci idea abore-described : and it is equally impossible for me to 
form the abatract idea of motion distinct from the body moring, afld 
to 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



wlucfa it Dcither twift 5or (low, nrvilincv iK>r rectilinear, and Uic 
bkr may be taJd of other abttracl gcDnal idcoa whateocver : to be 
^aio, 1 own myself able lo absiiact in one ■erne, as when I consider 
Kia« pvticular parti or cjualitie* iqurated from oUtert, with which, 
tbough chcy arc anttcd ia tome objccisi yet it is possible they may 
mlly exist without them. Bui 1 deny that 1 an abstract from one 
aothcr, or cooceive leparately those qualities, which it is impostible 
shook] exist so separated :— oi that I can frame a gcneial nobon by 
abnnctiog fiom particalars in the manner iforcuid, which two Ian 
an the proper acceputioa of ahstnction ; and thete is ground to ihiak 
Bon men will acknowledge ibemsclvet to be in my case. 

'The geoeraiiiy of mco, which aic simple and illiietatc, ne»er pfe- 
tcod to abstract notions. Ii is said they are dilficuit and not to be 
atuined witboot pains and study ; we may thcrelWc rcasooabiy cod- 
elude that, if such iheie be, they are confiocd only to the learned. I 
proccvd to examine what can be alleged in defence of the doctrine of 
abstraclioo, and try if I can discover what it is that iDcUnc* the man 
of ipcodatioa to embrace an opinioti so remote from coaimon serue 
a* that «cvms lo be. Theie has bcm a late excdleot and desertedly 
esfeemed ptulwopher, who no doubt has given it very much, by sceo^ 
iof to think the IiaTiag abstract gcoctal ideas is what puu the differ' 
eacc in potnt of understanding betwixt man and bcsul.' 

The author here quotes a jijiuaj^c fiom Mr. Locke oa the subject, 
wfaich it b mi Dcceaury to girci and afterwards his opinion that 
words become general by being made dgns of gnwral ideas. He 
tbeo proceeds : — ' To this I cannot assent, bcii% of opinion that a word 
becomes general by bring made tlie sign* not of an abstract general 
idea, bet of several particular idcas^ loy one of which it indilfercntly 
tuggcsis to the mind.' 

' If we will annex a meaning to our words and ipeak only of what 
we can only coecei*e, I believe we shall acknowleoge that as iit*t 
whUh considered in itself is particular, become* generali by being 
made to represent or suod fur all ucher pHrticulnr ident e/ lt< same 
art. To make this plain by example, lupjiose a geomethcian is 
demonstrating the method of cutting a line in two equal parts. He 
draws for instance a bbck line of an inch in length : this which !s in 
iuelf a particular hne, is neverihrlent, with regard to its ngniticalton, 
general, since, as it is there used, it represents all panicular linca 
whatsoever* so that what is demon^tatcd of it ia demonstrated of all 
tinet, or in other words of a line in general ; and, as that pxtticuUr 
line becooMs general, by being made a sign, so ihc lume An/, which 
taken absolutely, is particular, by being a sign, it made general. And 
as tbe former owes its generality noi to it» being the sign of an abstract 

II 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



or general ItDC) but of all partkdar ri^bt lines tint may poMl>ly 
exm, M the bttcr muff be thought to derive its gcneraltty from the 
aanie cauie, namely, the varioua particular lioei which it iDdifferentl^r 
dcDote«.* 

• To give the reader » clearer view of the nature of alwtraa ideas, 
and the uaea they are thoujiht necessary to, I shall add ooe mare 

S stage oot of the C«tay on Human UndecttaDdtDg, wticli is as 
Hows : — " Almract idea* are not so olwious or e»«y to children, or 
the yet anexercised mind »» paiticuW onen. If thtrjr seem ao to 
grovrn meo, it i* only by coniiant and finiiliar u»c they arc made k>. 
For when we nicely retlect upon them, wc thai! find that general 
idea* are fiction* and contrivances of the mind, that carry difficulty 
with them, and do not so easily offer tbcmiclvc* as wc arc apt to 
imagine. For cxamjilc, docs it not require some skill and pains to 
form the general idea of a triangle (which i« vet none of the abmract, 
comprehensive, and diflicult), for it must be neither ohliquc nor 
rectaegle^ nniher equilattral, equicniral, nor scalcnon, but ull and none 
of iheie at once. In effect It ii loniething imjieifrctihai cannot exist, 
an idti wherein name p^irti; of difTcrent and inconsiBcent ideas arc put 
tojcibcr. 'Tie true the mind in this imperfect state has need of such 
ideas, and makes all the haste it can to them, for the convenience of 
communicaHon and enlorgemcRt of knowlcdj^e, to both of which tt i% 
naturally icry much inclined. But yet one has icasoo to suBpcct such 
ideas arc marks of our imperfections, at least this ii enough to >how 
that the most abttract and j^eneral idrai: are not thone that the mind is 
first and most cosily aajuaintcd with, nor aoch as its earliesi know- 
ledge is conversant about." ' — After laughing at tliii description of the 
general idea of a triangle, which is neither obli<)ue nor rectangle, 
equilateral, ci^uicruraJ, nor scalcnon, but all ai:d none of these at once, 
Berkeley adds, * much is here said of the dilTicuIty that abairact idcaa 
carry with them, and the pain* and skill requisite to the formiiRg of 
them. And it ii on all hands aj^rced that there is need of f^rcat toil 
and labour of mind, to emancipate our thouRhis from particular 
objecLi, and raise them to those sublime ipcculaitons that are con- 
Tcrtant about abstract ideas. From all which the nacuul con»e<juencet 
should seem to br, that aa diiTicult a ihin^ m forming abstract ideas 
was not Dcceuary for communication, which is so familiar to all sons 
of men. But, wc are told, tf they seem obvious and caiy to grown 
men, it is only because by constant and familiar use they are made so. 
Now I woiild fain know at what time it is, men are employed in sor- 
reounliog that difliculty and furnishing ibemselv«f with tboK necessary 
helps for discourse. It cannot be when they are grown ap, (or then 
it seems they are not conscious of any such pains-taking i it therefore 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 

■ IcBuint to be the busiimi of (bctr chiJdhood. Aod lureljr ilw great 
[«ik1 nnkipGed labour offmning abitract oouotu will b« found a hud 
tuk for that Wader age. !■ it not a baid thing to imagiiie tlut a 
couple of children cannot pntc of their sugar plums, and r-iidrs, and 
the ran of their little trinkets, till ihey ha*e fine packed together 
■wnberlcM iiiC0DBi«tcDci<r«, 4i>d co framed in thdr mtndi general 
I tbmna ideas, and annexed them to every comnwo name they make 
me of. 

* It i* I know a point niuch ratiited oo that all knowledge and 
dcmaost ration are atmui luiiverMl ootiotUi to which I fully assent. 
But then it does not appear to me that ihme notions are fofmcd by 
atntnctioot ■■> *bc tnaaner prcmiwd ; uaiverutity, ki far lu 1 can 
m^irchcDdt not cORsiittng in the abtiohiie, ponitive oiture and con- 
ceptioa of any thing, but in the relation it bears to the particular! 
■ipificd, or Kprcseoted by it. But bete it will be dcmandeiJ, how 
we cao kiMw any ptc^xwiiion to be Eroe of all panJcnlar CTiaoglcs, 
cxcc^ we have «een it firsi dentonsirated of the abUraci idea of a 
irianglc which equally agrcct to all i 

' For bccauae a property may be demonKrutcd to agree to tome 
[arttcular triangle, it will t>ot thence follow thai it equally belongs Co 
n*ry other with it. For example, ha«in;; demonstrated that the 
three angles of an isotccles, rcctaagular uuogle« are equal ui two 
righi ooe<, I cannot therefore conclude this aflcciion argue* to all 
o^er triangles, which have neither a right aogle, nor two equal ndei. 
It teeiTUt therefore, that to be ccruin this p(x>po»uoo is universally 
true we mutt either make a pardcvlar demofutralion for every par* 
bcaUr triangle, which it tmiKMctbIc, or once for all demosstme it of 
tbc abKraci idea of a trianf^lc, in which all the particulars do indiffer- 
ently panake, and by which they are all equally tepresented.' To 
which I answer, that though the idea I have in view, whilst [ make 
the dcnoaetrabon, be, for instance, that of an iaoaceles, not a regular 
iriattgle, whoic sides arc of a determinate length, I nwy oevcrthelesi 
be certain it extends to all other rectilinear triangles of what sort or 
bigocu cocTcr. And that ncithei because the right angle, nor the 
equality, nor determinate length of the ndca are at all concerned m 
the dcnionMration. It is true, the diagram I have in view includes 
all these particulars, but then there is not tbc least mention made of 
tbcm in the proofs of the propoaitioa. It is not said the tlirce angles 
are equal to two right ones, becanse one of these is a right angle, or 
bvcaoie the side* comprehending it ore of the same length. Which 
RtficiMitfy shews that the right angle might have been oblique and 
llie lidn noequaJ* and fot all the others the demonstrations hare held 
good. Ao<l for this reason it is that 1 conclude that to be tn»c o] 

'1 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 

any obtiquc angular, or scalrnDn, which 1 had dtmoatttiKcd of a par- 
ticular right angled, e<]uicrufnl, iriaQgk, md aot because I demon- 
strated the propOiitioD ofthr abstract idea of 4 triangle.' The author 
then adds somf further remarks on the u«e of abstract terms, and COD- 
clndes — ' M»y we not, for example, be affeetcd with the promiie of 
a fooi/ titiit^, though we hare not an idea of what ti ii ^ or ii not the 
betog threatened with danger sufficieot to excite a dread, though we 
think not of a particular evil likely to befal us, and yet frame to our- 
kIvci an idcA of diingcr in abstraa?' Istroduction to Principles of 
Human Knowledge, p- 31- 

Hume, who has taken up Bcikcley's argnntents on this subject, 
add atErnii tiiat the doctrine of abntruct ide^is applies ilic flattest of all 
r ontT 3(1 ici ions, that it it posiible (or ihe same thing to be and not to 
br, has enlarged a };ood deal 00 this last topic of the manner in which 
wordik may be uippoied to excite gcncrul idcaa. His wordt arc thcK : 
* Wbere we hare found a re«rml>bncc between any iw» objecu tlutt 
often occur to us, we apply the same name tu all of thera, whaTever 
dtficrcDCcs wc may observe in the degrees of their (juautity and 
({uality, uml whatever difTerenccs inity ap|>ear among them. A^r 
we have acouired a cuatom of this kind, ihv hearinj- of that name 
revives the idea of one of these objects, and makes the imaginatioD 
conceiTC It with its particular circumstancea and proportions. But at" 
the same word it luppotid to hitte been frequently applied to other 
individuals tliat arc difTercnt in many rcspecu from the idea which is 
immediately preaent to the mind, the word not being aWe to rerjve 
the idea of all ihc»c indivtiluaU, only lourhtj the aoul, if I may be 
aJlowcd so to speak, and rcriics ihnt custom, which wc hare acquired 
by tufveying them. They ate not in reality present tu the mind, but 
only in power, nor do we draw chem outdistinaly in the imagination, 
but keep ourselves in readiness to survey any of them, as we may be 
prompted by a present design or necessity. The word raises up an 
individual idea, .ilong with a certain custom; and that cuntom pro- 
duces any other individual one, for which wc may have occasion.' 
Treatise of Human Nature, p. 4.3, 4. The author afterwards adds, 
with hit usual candour, that thin account does not perfectly satisfy 
him, but he reliei principally on the logical deroonsttation of the 
impossibilities of abstract ideas just before given. 

I confess it does not seem an easy matter to recover the argument 
ill this state of it; however, I wilt attempt it. What 1 shall 
codcavDut will not be so much to answer the foregoing reatoning as 
to prove that in a strict sense all ideac whatever are mere abstractiona 
and can be nothing else; that some of the most clear, distinct, and 
positive ideas of particular objects are made up of numberless incon- 

14 



ON ABSTRACT lOKAS 

«itCDcics : ind that at Hume cxpreawa h, tlxy do touch the mmiI, 
llnd arc oot drawn diitiocily to the imagiDation, &c. Thougli 1 Rhall 
I'Mt be ftbtc to point ovt dntioctly the faJlACy of the for«$<HOg reuoa- 
kh^ I hope to niske it appear that tlierc maM be somethiDg wrong in 
J dte ftemixi, atxJ that the luiuie uf thought .-ind idea* i> Quite different 
rfrom what is here «upp(»ed. t nuy be allowed to set on ooc pandox 
ll^pian aoother, and u iheac wriicrn itlinii ihut all abstract ideas arc 
particular image*, to 1 (hall trjr to fti»v t)ui ^11 pantcuUr image* are 
kbctract Idea*. U it can be made to appear thu our ideas of par- 
ticuUi thiagt thcouclTCi arc not panicular* it may be e-.uily granted 
that tboae which are in general .-iltowcd tu be ab^tritci are all mx The 
exiMeaee of abttract and complex ideas in the mind hai been diiputed 
bi the tune reason, that is, io falsely anribuiing iDdividoaltty, or 
. abaolnte oaitjr to ilie obWcti of arnse. While ca<3i thing or object 
nid to be abmlutely one and «imple, there vu found lo be no 
' lead), com)as*, or expanuon of mind, lo comprehend it ; and, on the 
Other hand, there wax no room on the lame luppotition fur the doc- 
trine of ahnractior, for there i« no aboracliag from aheoJuie unity. 
Tlut which is one posinTC, indittsihlc thing, must remain entire aa 
tbi*, or cease to exiit. There li no »ltemaiirc between individuality 
' and nothing. As toog ai we are determined to cottiidcr any one 
thing or idea, 8> the knot of a chain, or the Ggurc of a man, or any 
iking eUe, ai one individoal, it rouit, as it were, go together : we can 
take nothing away without dettroytng it altogether. I lure already 
shewn that there is do one object which docs oot consist of a number 
'pf para and relations, ot which does not fe<]uirc a compteheniiife 
I6c3iiy in the mind in order to conceive of it. Now abstraction ii a 
] Bccnaeary consequence of the limitation of this power of the raiod, 
I and if ti were a pretious condition of our luving the ideas of things 
I thai we thoulii comprehettd dittincily nil the particu!ari of which 
^ihcy arc comcosed, we could have do ideas at all. An impctfccdy 
' eot n prehendeQ ts a general idea. Bui the mind perfectly comprehends 
the whole of no one object. Tlut i», it has not an alKoIutc and 
diiliuct koowlciige of all its parts or di^croxes and consequently all 
our iiaa are abscrantons, that u a gescral and confused result from 
a outnber of undtitinguished, and undistingiusliable impressions, fot 
cfaefc is oo possible medium between a perfcaly distinct comiirchcR- 
■ioa of all the paniculart, which is impossible, or that impericct ant! 
teonfiued one, that properly constitutes a general notion in the om- 
or the other. To explain this more paiticuUrly. In looking 
\ia any object, as a house on the opposite sxle of the way, it is sop- 
|«ai« that the impreirion I have of it is a perfectly distinct, precise, 
I m dcji&itc idea* in which aUuoctioo ha* no concern. And the 

»5 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



geoeril idea of i houM, it u t^d, it raUier a roerc wotd, or niui 
rodsc« iudf to •omc mxh ptMirt, individoal inia|e M tbat coBVcyedi 
by tbe aght of a panicuW boiiK, it being iinpoMiblc tlut it abodd | 
be nude up of the confused, imperfect, lod undistinguithable impre^' 
tioot of wveral dUfereot object* of the tamv kind. Now it appeut ' 
to IDC the caaicft tbii^ in the vorM to shew that tht* tcmiblc inuige 
of z particiilar hoiue, into which the general it to be leeolred for 
greater cicamew, is itMlf but a confiiKd and vague aotion, or num- 
berless incoDiiiiteficict pclced together; not one prcciae indindoal 
thing, or any sumber of thiogt, diitiacily perceiwL For I would 
aak of any one who think* his senws furnish hirn with these intaJUhle 
and perfect coRce]>IiuQS of things, fret; fioin all contradiction and per- 
plexity, whether he ba> a precise knowlctlgc of ail the nrcuniKlance 
of the object prescribed to him. For ioitaDcc, it the krowlcdge 
which he tina that the boutc befaic liim is larger than another neAr it, 
in consequence of his introlively conddering all the bricks of which 
it ia compOMd, or cm he trll that it contains a greater number of 
windows than another, without dittiaclly counting tlicinf Let ub 
suppoat^ however, that he iIocn. But this will not be enough unIrN 
ho has also a distinct perception of the numbera and th« size of th« 
panes of glass in each window, or of any msrk, stain) or dirt in each 
•emratc l^ick ? Otherwise hii idea, of each of tlicse parucniars will 
sttll be general, and hi* most Kubsuntial knowledge built on shadows; 
that is compOKd of a aumbcr of parts of the paru of which he hu fw 
knowledge. It objects were wKnt mankind in general Kuppove them, 
single things, we could have no notion of them bin what was par- 
ticular, for by leaving out any thing wc should leave out tlic whole 
object, whidi is but one tiling. Wc may also tie said to have a 
ptuiicular knowled^r of thing* in proportion to the number of parts 
wc distinguish in them. But the real loundatioo of all our knowledge < 
is and must be general, that is, a mere confused inipreuion or effect of 
feeling produced by a number of things, for there is no object which 
does not consist of an infinite number of parts, and wc have not aa 
iniinltc numlicr of distinct idcai answering to them. Yet it cannot , 
be denied that we liave some knowledge of things, that they make 
aome impreision on u), and thii knowledge, thi« impression, muBt 
therefore be an abatraci one, the natural result of a limited under* 
standing, which ii variotuly atTected by a number of tilings ai the 
■ame time, but which in not susceptible of itself to an infinite numbef 
of modilicatioDi. If it shoLiEd be taid that the sensible im^ge of die 
house is nill one, as being one impreuion. or given result, I :iniwer 
that the most abstract idea* of a house, and the imperfect recollectioo 
gf a niimbrr of houses is in the same acnte one, and a real idea, 
■6 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 

dmiaci fiom that of u tree, tboagh far fTom being a parucular image. 
Agno, it is nid, th» in concctTrng of the iJra of man id general, we 
nnM eooceirc a man a particular tjgn or figure. I would .uk (itw it 
tkk lo be uniicislvwl merely of hit hei^lit, or of hJa foim in general? 
If the Litter, it woald imjjy that wc hare, urhcreTei we pronounce 
the word hmk, no ideas at all, or a disdnet cooceplioD of a man with 
a head and limU of a ccrtaia extent aod pcoportioa, of every turn in 
cacfa future, of erery variety In the furnution of each put, as well u 
of its dittance frum ererjr odwr pan, a knowledge which no tculpear 
or nuBter ever had of ftny one fignre of which be wu the muct 
•erlco matter, for It would be a knowledge of ui infinite number of 
■Ks drawn io all directions from every pan of the body, with tbnr 
Hccisc kogtb sod tcrmitutions. Tliow who have cvniigncd this 
OBtDcM of abauaaioa over lo ilie sensri with si view to make the 
^10)1 Ruttcr plain and easv, have not been aware of whit they have 
been ftoiog. They suppowd with the vulgar tliat it waa only ncccsury 
10 opCQ tlv tyeu in order to »ce, aod thiii the images produced by 
ouiwaid objects afe completely deBocd, and unalterable things, in 
vbicfa iheie cao be 00 diainc«s and coofutioa. ThcM: tpeculaton 
had DO tliought but they saw at much of a UiuUcane as Pouuin, and 
knew aa mt»di about a face that w» before them as Ttban or Vandyke 
would have dor)e. Thit is a great miitnke ; the having particular 
and absolate ideas of tliioj^s is no*, only ditfi cult, but impossible. The 
ablest pioten have nn-er been able to give more than one pan ot' 
natare, io ab«iracted views of tlung». The most laborious artists 
DCTcr finitbed to pecfectton soy oae part of an object, or had ever an; 
nore than a cotifnsrd, vague, uncertain notion of the shape of the 
nootb or nose, or the colour of an eye. A«k a logiciaa, or any 
man, and he will du doubt tell you that a face is a liacc, a 
I a BOae, a tree is a tree, ami thai he c^in »rc what it is as well 

I another. Ask a paiDier and h<-will tell you otherwite. Secoodly, 
_ ' ra il ia asacnca that wc roust necessarily have the idea of a 
particalar sign, when wc think of any lo general, all that is inteoded 
by it it, I believe, that we must think of a partictihir hti;;ht. l^his 
idea it is supposed moK be particuUi and determinate, juit as we 
auM draw a line with a piece of chalk, or nuke 1 m.irk with the 
slides of a measuring rule, in one place and not in the other. 1 think 
K nay be ihcwo that this view of the oucstion is also utterly fallicious, 
and a« of the order of our ideas. 1 he height (if the individual is 
resolved with the ideas of the linei terminating or delining it, 
tlie cmenncdiatc space of which it properly conusts is entirely 
For let ua take any given height of a man, whether tall, 
, Of middle-si sed, and let Uiai lieight be as visible as you pteaae, 

XN. II. ; ■ 17 



ON ABSTRACT IDKAS 



1 would atk whether the actiul beigbt to whicK it uddsou, does not 
coniiit of a Dumber of other Icn^i : as if ii be a uU man, the 
length will be six feet, and each of theae feet will connM of to many 



iacbes* asd thocc inchc 



be 



ladc up of I 



iiiid thoK 



hc« will be agttiD made up ol dccimaJ*, at 
decimalii of oUter tubordioatc parts, which must, be all diiiciactl^ 
placed, and added together before the turn total, which they compnic, 
CU be pretended to be a diiCiQCl particular, di individual idea; I can 
only uiidcntaBd by a paniculat ihiog either one precise indiTidual, or 
a prMiM Btimber of iodividualt. 

InnUad of its being true that all general ideas of cxtenaioD are 
deduciblc to particular potitiyr cxtcsBion. the rc»-et»c propoucion » 
I think demoaitnble : that all panicutar extenMooa, the moat poritiTe 
and dittinct,arc never any thing eltc than a more oi lets vague ooOoo 
of exteoiioD in geocral. In any given visible object we have always 
the general idea of someihing exieoded, and never of the precise 
length I for the preciK length at it it thought to be it oeceMarily 
composed of a number of lengths too many, and too minute to be 
neccBSiaitly attended to, or Jointly conceived by the mind, and at last 
loKS ittelf in the infinite diviiibiitly of matter. What tort of dit- 
tioctncM or individual can ihcrcfotc be found in any visible image, or 
object of senM, I cannot well conceive: it seems to me like tecking 
for certainly in the dancing of insect* in the eieniog «iui| or for 
fixcdneM or rest in the motions of the sea. All p^iicularv we 
thought Dothing but generals, more or len defined by circuntsiaooes, 
but Dcrer perfectly to ; in thii all our knowledge both begiu and 
ends, and if we think to exclude aU generality frooi our idcac of 
thingi, we must be content to remain in utter ignorance. The proof 
that our ideas of particular things are not themteWe* particular, it the 
uncertainty <ind difficulty we have only in comparing them with one 
another. In looking at a line an inch long, I have a ceitain geoeral 
impression of it, so that I can tell it is shorter than another, three ot 
four limes as long, drawn on the same sheet of paper, bat I cannot 
immediately icll that it is shorter than one only a tenth or twentieth 
of an inch longer. The idea which I have of it is therefore not an 
exact one. In looking at a window I cannot precisely tell the 
number of panes of glass it contains, yet I can easily uy whether they 
are few or many, whether the window is large or small. Now if all 
out ideas were made up of particulars* we never could proDonncc 
generally whether there were few or many of these panes of glasa. 
but we should know the preciw number, or at least pitch on tone 
precise number in our minds, and this we cooJd not help koowing- 
There must be cither ;, lo, 20. or 30; for it is in vain to urge that 
the idea in my mind is a Doating one, and shifts from one of tbem to 
18 



I 

I 
I 



ON ABSTRACT ID£AS 



another, lo that I canoM tdl ttw nrament after which It waa ; faw 
vtiai it thU imperfect recollection but a confbwd contradictory and 
abMnci idea i Hrrt i* a plain dilemma : it it a fact ibal wc have 
•one idea of 3 nsmbcr of objects prcsrnicft to lu. It ia alio a fact 
dut we do no* know the precise number, nor can we nuign any 
wuiLvi coofidnidy wbcther right « wrong. Whether ihU idea w 
Int aa ab«iact and general one tt teems han) to taf. ThoK who 
coobbhI that we caDmn have aa idea of a man in general, without 
cooccnring of *onK particular maa* >eem to hare little reaaoot tlncc 
ibc moat pinicnlu idea wc can fortn of a man, either id iniagioation 
or from the acloa) impresuon, is but a general idea. 1'hote who ny 
n cannot conceire of id army of men without coaceiriog of the 
indiridualB compoiiog it, oaght to go a tirp fiinher, aod al^mi that 
wc nmn repreMOC to ourtelre* ifae feaioref, form, complexion, aiw, 
Mtore, aod drcM, witli ercry other circuinttanee belonging to each 
lodiridual. 

We most admit ibe notioo of ab«tractioo, fim or lait, iuIcn any 
one will contend for thii mfioitc reGaemcnt in our idest of thing*, or 
aocrt that we hate no idea at all. For the un>c procett takes place 
■w it, sod is abeolutely nececnry to our inott paxticular ootiona oT 
jM well ai onr mo«t general, namely, thxt of sUtrKtiog from 
tilars, or of paciiing over the minute difference* of things, taking 
. io the grots, and attending to the general effect of a number of 
and dimugutthahle imprewioai. It is thuf we arrire at 
tint ootiDa of things, and thus that all our after knowledge is 
aetjnired. The knowledge upoo which our ideas rest is general, and 
^dw only difference between U)«tnct utd particular, is that of being 
' or lets general, of leaving out more or fewer circumstances, and 
or fewer objects, perceived ckher at ooce or in uicceAsion, and 
'fiirauog either a partictibr wbole^ *tgf*ti*^*t oi* a class of things- 
It may be asked fnrthcr whether our ideas of things, however 
ibftract in general, with retpect to the objects they represent, are not 
tin their own nature, smI absolate exicience particular. To this hard 
^unoon I shall return the best answer I can. 

I. It is sufficient to the present purpose that ideas are general b 
their representation, however pinicular in themtelves. Each idea is 
fnmetfaiag in itself, and not another idea. Thii is equally true of the 
abstract or particular ideas of things. The abstract idea of a 
I is tfce abatraet idea of a man, not the abstraa idea of a faorec, 
the pardcdar one of any given individual man. It u cfaancscrizcd 
' gennal propertiea, and dittioguished by ger>efal circnfflitaacei, aad 
I tMitt a mere word witboot any idea, nor a particular image of 
! thkg: so the idea of a patticalar maa, though ttill only a general 

19 



[ttiings, 



onr 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



rrtult from a nuQibct of particuliirs i* luiTicientlj' pouiirc for tlic 
actual j>aT]K>ws of thought, and ^ivtin^uithable froni that otlirr general 
rnuk or impretiioD whicli Jnctilucci the tdva of i particulu hortc, for 
■Dttance. 

3. That our geneni] notioas uc ^ay othrraiM particubr than m 
they are the tarat with theraselvo, aod (liferent from one aaotbef, if 
more than 1 know. 1 must dnnur »ii ttus <^ucuion, whatcTer otlicr» 
may do. Wh^lrrcr coniradti'liont arc involvni in the one tide of it, 
tbuK on the otbcr Mcm a* great. For it is not csty to imagine any 
thing niore abaurd th^n the i»i[i])ositi»n that the idea of a line for 
initaoce ia precitely, and to n hair's tiiradth or to tlie uuiiOM. pomble 
exACtoru, of a certain length, when neither the precipe numocr nor 
the precise prt^rttoa of the pans composing this line aic ai all 
known. It ia like nyinj; that we cast u|i an account to the utmoR 
defjrec of nicety, when not one of the items Is known, hot aa of u 
average conjecture or in round numbers. We gracrally enimate our 
notion of a {MtrticuUr cxtention by the point or matter at all terminating 
it, and it (cem» as if this did not admit of an amhigntiy, or variation. 
But in fact all ideas arc a calculation of paniculara, and when (be 
lurtt are only known in giOM, the &um total, or resulting idea can 
only be so too. The cmallrst division of which our notions are 
nuccptibtc si a general idea. In the ptogrcss of the undcrftaadiag. 
we never bc^in from abnolutc unity but always from something thu 
is more. How then ii it pocsiblc that these geoeral cooceptioDs 
should form a whole always coninteosuratc to a precise ouinbet of 
absolute unity I cannot conceive, any more than how it is possible to 
ex)>ress a fraction in whole number*. The two thinga ate incom- 
patible. As to any tiling like conocious individuality, i.e. that which 
asaigneib limits to our ideas, we know tbcy have it not. 

3. I would obftervc that ideav, .u far as they are dininct aed par- 
ticnlaTi seem to involve a greater cooUadiction than when tbey are 
confoscd and general. For, in proportion to their distincuess, must 
be the oiimber of different acts of the mind excited at the Ktme lime ; 
i.t. in proportion to the individuality of the image or idea, it' I may 
to exptc» myerlf, the thought ceases to be individusl, inasmuch aa 
the simplicity of the attention ii thus necessarily broken and divided 
into » number of diiferetic actions, which yet are all united 10 the 
same conscious feeling, or there could be do connection between them. 
How then we should erer he able to conceive of things distinctly, 
clearly, and particulaHy, seemi the wonder : not how different itnpreft- 
EMKU acting at once on the mind should be coofuaed, aod as it were 
maned together, in a general feeling, for want of nifficlent activilj tn 
the intellectual faculties to give form and a diitinct place to all that 

SO 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



Bg of objccu which « all timn kolicit the atication. Let aoy 
make the cxpcrimntt of counting a flock of ahrcp driTcn fax 
hy him, and he uriti toon find hi* im^ginattoa unuhlr to k««p juce 
with th« rapid mcMMioa of objc<rt«, snd his idea of paMiculir nunibtr 
ilide iato the gaaml idrx of multitude; not that bcciiUM there arc 
more objecin than he posuMy can count, he will think there are matif. 
Of thai the word Hock vill prcMiit to hit mind a n>crc aanx, without 
nj paniculars corrcspondiDg to it. Every act of tlic attrniion, crery 
object wr aee or think of, pretenu a proof of the ian»e kind. 

4. I concerre that the mind hu not been (iiirly dealt u-iih in thit 
ud other similar que«iioai of the eamc sort. Matter alone nccmt to 
kare the priTilegc of presenting dil^cultirK, and contradict ion i at every 
.ntn ; hot the moment any thing of thin kind ia ohaerved io the under- 
ng, all the pctalaocc of logiciaiu ii up in amu, and the mind i< 
the mark on which tbey vent all the modet and figures of their 
tiB|intioeDce. Lei us take an example from «ome of the«e tdf- 
CTMcnt matura of fact, vhich contain at Icaft as many, and a> great 
eoattadictioBs, as any io the most abstmie metaphysical docutne, such 
ai in extetuioa, inotion, and the curve of line*. Now ai to the first 
of thc*«, excetMioa : if we iuppo«e it 10 be made up of poiota, which 
ue in themselves wilhom cKlcnsioni bui by ihrir combination prodoce 
it, we must Mipposc two unextended (hing«, when joined fogeiher, to 
hecome exieodrd, which ia like supponing, that by adding logether 
Kveral nothings, we csn arrive at something. On the other liand, if 
ve luppoae the ultimate parts of which exiettrion is compoted, to be 
themselves extended, we then aitributc cxtenaton to that which it 
iodhrisible, or a£rm a thing to coosift of parts, and to have none, at 
the same time. The old argument against the [M3«ibility of moiioD ia 
weQ koown : it was said that the body moving must either be in the 
pbce where it waa, or in that into which it waa passing. Now, tf it 
«u in either of tbeae, oc in any one place, it must be at rest ; and as 
it cofOd oot be in both at once, it followed that a body moving could 
exin DO where, or that iheie was 00 lucb thing as motion in nature. 
Again, a curre line is described nuchenuiically by a point moving, 
b«l always out of a strait line. Now, a strait line is the oeareat 
bttwrm aoy two points. Bui that a body should move forward, and 
Nt move strait forward to (he next point to which it is going, seems to 
■BfJy QO ie«* an absurdity th^n the aHirming that a thing never movea 
■I the direction in which it is (;oing, but always out of it ; for, if it 
Qom in the ume direction, the tmallest momeot of ttme, this is not 
t curve, but » atrait Hnei and if it doei not continue to more in the 
■SBC dtrcctioci at all, it seems utterly iocooccivablc that it should 
nte any progrcii, or move cither m a curve or a strait lioc. Yet 

31 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



my OBc who, on lh« itr«ngth of ih< cciKrndiction itiwjlTcd in tbt 
tdcM of cxtctuioo, motion, or curve lines, ilioukl acvcrally deny or 
diabelievc any one of them, would he thought to want cominon teoae. 
I ihtnk there are certain facu of the mind which arc equally erideni 
aod uoaccounuble. Those who contcod that the one are to be 
admitted, and the other not, becauki* il'.c one aie tlte objecta of aeiifef 
and the other not, do not deter«-e any leriou answer. It ii » much 
a fact, that 1 rcraembcr iiaviof, kco the tun ycnerday, as thu 1 sec 
it to-day, and both of them are much more certain fact* than that 
there is any such body ai the mjo really exitiing out of tlie miod. 

I will now rcCtirn to Berkeley, and endeavour to aatwcr hii chief 
objccdoni to the doctrine of abstract ideas. First, then, I canecifc 
that be has hinmelf virtually given up the question, when he allows 
that the mind may be affecicd with the piomite of a good thing, or 
terrified by the appichcnsion of danger, without thinking of any par- 
liodar good or e*il that is likely to befal tu. What this idea of ^>od 
or crii* which i« oot particular, can be, other than abstract, 1 caniMxt 
conceive ; and to say that it is not an idea, but n mere feeling excited 
by cuitoni. is an answer Tcry lilile lo the purpose. For this fn-lio^, 
this custom, ii tiMlfa general impreatton, and could not, without a 
power of abstraction in the mind, think, without a powrr of being 
aaed upon by a number of dtffereni impuhes of pleasure and pain, 
coBCurriDg to produce 3 general Hfect, abstracted from the pwuenlu' 
Icclingt tbemaelret, or the objects tirsi exciting them. All abKract 
ideas ale teverat impressions of the same kind, and are merely 
eunomary atTeettont of the mind, not diitinct images of things. But ^ 
it be nid that the word idea properly signifies an image, and muit be 
lOmething diitinct, then I answer, lirst, that this would only restrict the 
wc of the word id^a to particular thtaf;s, and not affect the real queMwn 
in dicpute, and secondly, that there is no such thing at a dittinci 
and particular image in the mind. The manner in which Berkdn 
explains the nature of mathemaiicil demonstTatiosR, according to hi* 
system, i»hvws itt utter inadequitcncM to any purjjoses of general rcaw>0- 
ing, and is a phii confession of the necetstty of abstract ideas. Pot 
all the answer he gives to the question, how cnn wc know sny pfx>- 
position tu be true In general, from having found it so in a particular 
instance, como to this, chat though the diagram we have in view 
include?^ a number uf particulars, yet wc know the principle to be true 
generally, because ihtrt it not the Uast mtntion made of llxtr partuular* 
in ibt firoof of the f>rdpoiilim. But I would auk also, whether there 
is Dot the least thought of them in the mind i The truth is, that the 
miod upon Berkeley! principle must think of the particular right 
angled, isoecelcs triangle in qvesiJon, or it can have no idea at all, 

21 



I 

I 

I 
I 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 

fu it hu no MDtral ida of a triviglc to which it can apply the aime 
gnenliy. I? we Mppoae that there ■> any such gracraJ rorm, or 
■odan to which the other particular circunutaDCcfl arc merely super- 
idded, and which may be IHt tusdiiij;, chough they are taken away, 
wc tben nin imtoediately to ;itl tht abwrditiei of abrtraclioD, which 
be ao oanch v!ihe« to afuid. If wc then demoDBtraic the propouTion 
of the fUticuUr diagram before ut, aj of a deterrninate lize, shape, 
&Ci tbi» demonftriitioii caoooi hold good generally. If we arc 
•appOKd to omit all thcac particular circumstaDcc* in our tnindsi then 
WK dthei drnioiuKntc the pfopofitiion of the graeril and ^Mtnct idea 
of a triaagle, or of oo idea at all ; for after the paritcularaareonitted. 
or BtK Ktended to by the miaiji the only idea rrmiiining imiBt be a 
geaeni one. Farther, that on which 1 am withnj; to rea the whole 
cootroveny, is the followiaj remark, tW., that without the general 
idea of a line or triangtc, there could lie no particular one ; that it, no 
idn of any one line or triangle, u of the aame form, or as any way 
rdated to any other, ao that there covld be no common meature or 
liK to connect .iny of oar thought* or reaaooing together into a general 
oondnaion. Fat to take the former bitlance as the most simple. 
Wbeo w«e apeak of any panicular extcnaion, it is evident lliat we 
■oderMaad aomcthing which is not particular. Besides what b 
wcidiv to it, it mutt have something which is not peculiar to i% 
DM general, to merit the coninon appellatioo. Berkeley tiys, ' Aa 
ides which in itself is pjiticubr* becomes gci>eral, by being made to 
maeatiit or stand for all other particular idea* oftbr sitmt twi.' I do 
n^iBflt that the import of ibeae last words may be attended to. Do 
diey ngSCK any idea or mmc ; if they mean any thing, it must be 
ametfaing more than the panicuhr ideas which are said lo be of the 
■rae wn, >./• some general notion of them. But this will involve aJI 
tbe abaorditiea of abatraction. If there is any thiog in the mmd 
boUotbeae panicnlar ideas themselTes — any thing that compares or 
them, that refer* to this or that belief, this comparison or 
caD be DOtfatog but a perception of a gcoLTal nuturc in 
|«faich these things agree, or the general rc*emblance which the mind 
eires between the levem) iraptesiion*. If there is no snch eom- 
OT perception of resemblance, oe idea of abstract qoalities, then 
can be do idea answering to the words 'of the same sort; ' but 
para'cDlsr ideal will \k left standing 1)y themselves, absolutely 
ted. A* Jar as our idea* arc merely paiticuUr, i.t. arc 
of ochcr ideas, so far they must be perlcctly distinct from 
■ other: there can be nothing between them to blend or astociate 
logechcr. Each Hcparate idea would be surrounded witli a 
< Jf frite of iu own, in a state of irreconcilable antijnthy to 

«5 



A 



ON ABSTRACT IDEAS 



every other idea, tod tlic fair form of nature would present ooihing 
but JL Dumber of diiconLint aiomi. A panicalar line would no more 
represnit another lire, than it would represeiit » point ; one colour 
could no more reiciiiUc another colour, or suf;gcst it* idea, than it 
couM ihiit of a Munil, or a anicll ; there could be no clue to mikc ui 
cla» difterenl chadci of the same colour under one genenl name, any 
more than the most oppoeiie : unc tiiani;lc would be aa dt^tioct from 
another, as from & square or a cube, and «o through the whole ij&tcra 
of art anil nature. I'here mtiKt be a mutuil leaning, a greaiei 
proximttv between some ideas than others : a commoa point lo which 
they teno, that is a common quality : a {;;cncra) nature, in which they 
are identified : or there could not lie in the mind mote ideas of 
same or like, or different, or judgment, or rcisoning, or truth, or 
falscbaod* than in the stones in the licldsi or the sands of the aca- 
shores The idea of clauiog things implies only the same ton of 
j;eoeral comparison, or abstract idea of likeness, that is necetSiary 
to the idea of any eimple scnftiblc quality of an object, la botii 
cases, we only contem]iIate a number of things as alike or undei 
the tame general notion, without attending to their actual differ- 
ences. Take the idea, for insunce, of a slab of white marble. 
Ai long as only one such piece of marble is cansidcrcd, it is 
supposed to be a particular object, and its urhtteoess is supposed to 
be perceived by the miud as a simple Kcnsibic quality. If, on the 
contrary, several such skhs of marble ate presented to the mud, this 
U commonly considered as producing a general idea of marble and of 
vbiicoesa. But this idea of whiteness, not as a quality of a particular 
thiog, but as a common quality of diScrcot things, is rejected by the 
modems as implying the suppontion, that several different ideas can 
coalesce in the some general notion, which amounls, they say, to the 
contradiction iliat a ihing may be the same, and ditfcrcnt at the same 
time. Now I would affirm whatever there is absurd or inconceivable 
in this latter case a^rptics equally to the former. For what possible 
idea can any man form of a slab of white marble, in any other way 
than that of abitraction i I s the idea of its whiteness as a sennble 
quality the idea of a point. Is it one single imprcwioo? This 
Berkeley and others deny, for they say there can be no idea of colour 
without exteoaion, or of quality without quantity. If there are in 
this object seTeral impression* of colour, I would ask arc tbey all dis- 
tinctly perceis-ed ! Are they all the same ? Or if not, are all their 
differences perceived by the mind, before it possibly can be impressed 
with the general idea of a certain sensible quality, or that the object 
before it is while? It the minil ^ware of crrn the slightest stain in 
tlus object, of every thing that may happen to vary it ^ Yet, if the 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 

I &llt aaytliing diott of this mtDutc and perfrct knowledge, it ran 
look be an iTDperfect and genital notioo. That ia, a number ot 
£ficrcDCcs imm be nuaacd together in i common feeling of likcae«i, 
ai a number ofteparuc parts make up tb« idea of a girea object. 
¥«thit U all that it impUt-d to fonuing the ideas of whiteoesa ia 
{tseial, aa belonging to several objrcUi, of of colour, or exieiuion, or 
njr other idea wliaicvrt, drawn from numberleii objects, impresaed at 
tMinberlcM times. If paiticular objects or qualities were single 
chiogB, there would then be tome prectwr limit between them and 
abonct or general ideas, but as the most particular object, or 

^''ies, 2s well as the most general comhinauoa* sod classes of 
s are necessarily confused and mixed ictults, and nothing more 
than a number of imprcittoni', never distinctly analyzed by tlie mind, 
there caa be oo general rcasooiag to disprove abstracted ideas in the 
' of the word. 




ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 

Ih the IbllowiQg Gtaayi 1 shall attempt to gire aotne account of the 
rise and progress of nmdem meiabh^fics, to state the opinions of the 
principal writers who hare trcatca on the subject, from the time of 
Lord Bacon to tlie present day, and to examine the argumenu by 
which they are supported. In the first place, it will he my object to 
shew what the real cooclunons of tlie most celebrated auihorn were, 
lod the steps by which they anived at them: to trace the connexioo 
ur tiojnt out the difference between theii sereral tyitems, an veil as 
to inquire into the peculiar bios and turn of ihdr minds, and in what 
their true strength or weakness lay. This will undoubrdly he best 
done by an immediate reference to their works whenever the nature 
of the sabject admits of it, or whenever their mode of reasoning is not 
so loose and deiohoty as to rcoder tite quouiiun of nanicuUr passages 
a ukImi at veil a* endless labour. In the Hittory of English 
FLilosoBby, of which I published a protprclus some time ago, I 
ivteodca to hare gone regnbtly through with all the writers of any 
coesidrrable note who fdl within ihe limits of my plan, and lo have 
0*co a detailed analysis of their sereral subjects and argumctits. 
But ibis would lead to much greater length and minuteness of 
iB^iy than seemi coniiiteni with my present object, and would 
btwdes, 1 am afraid, prove (what Hoboes, speaking of these subject* 
i> gneral, call*) 'but dry discourK.' To avoid this as much aa 
fnMe, I ahall pass over all those writers who have not been dii- 
eitJicr by the boldness of their opinions, or the logical 

«5 




ON THE WRITINGS OP HOBBES 



prpci(i»n of thctr arf^mcRti. Indrrd t ihall coniine my attention 
more pATticuIarly lo those who hare nude thcmtdTca coospicuoui by 
deviating from the beaten trick, and who h^ve itruck out lome 
ortgtnal dincnwry or IwiUiant jiaradox ; wfiote metaphyncal ty«tem« 
trcDcb the cIokec on monliiy, oi whoiic fpcculatioaai by the intcrcsi 
ai well as novchy attached lo tliem, ha»e become topics of general 
coaveriatiott. 

Secondly, beside* stating the opiDioos of other*, ODc ptiitcipa.! 
object which I Ehall biTc Id t!cw will be to act » jud^c or umpire 
between them, to dininguish, ai tar la I am able, (he boundario of 
tme nd liil>e philotopby, and to try if I caoiiot lay the foundation 
of a system more conformable to reason and experience, and, in iu 
practical result* at lea«, approaching nearer to the common sense of man- 
kind, tlian the one which ha» becQ generally received by the moil 
knowing persons who have attcoded to aucb subjects within the last 
century j I mean die material or meriera philosophy, as it faas been 
called. According to this philosophy, » I underttand it, all thought 
it to be resolved into tenintioiit all morality into the love of pleaturt-i 
and all action into mochonical imputse. Thew three propasiiiooi, 
taken together, embrace almoct every question relating to the human 
mind, and in their differcot rami li cat ions and intersections form a net, 
not unlike that used by the enchanters of old, which, whosoever has 
once thrown over him, will find at! his efiorta to escape vain, and his 
attempts to reason freely on any subject in which his own nature is 
concerned, baffled and confounded in every direction. 

This system, which first rose at the mggestion of Lord Bacon, on 
the ruins of the nchool-phi losopby, hat been gradually growing up to 
its present height evrr since, from a wrong interpretation of the word 
aefrrienetf conlining it to a knowledge of things without ua; wberess 
it in fact includes iill knowledge relating to objectd dthci within oi 
out of the mind, of which we have any direct and potiiivc evidence. 
We only know that we ourselves exist, the most certain of all tfuclu, 
from the experience of what poasei within ouisclres. Strialy speak- 
ing, alt other facts of which we are not immediately conscious, are so 
in a secondary and subordinaie sense only. Physical experience is 
indeed the fouodalioD and the test of tliat part of philosophy which 
rdate* to physical ubjecu : fuithcr, physical analogy is the only rale 
by which we can extend and apply our immediate knowledge, or 
infer the effects to be produced by the difTereiK objecCo around us. 
But to say tbiit physical experiment is either the test or source or guide 
of that other pail of philosophy which rdates lo our ioternal percep- 
tion*, that we arc to look to external nature for (he form, the sobataace, 
the colour, the very life and being nf whatever exists in our mindai or 

96 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 



thnt. wt can only infer Che lawi vhicb regulate the phenomeiu of the 

Duad from thofc which rc£vJatc the phenomcDB of matter, i* to coa- 

fbuDcliwothingBCTilifclydiitiQct. OurkBowIcd|{eofincntd]phrnon>cna 

from cociciouiuteii, reflection, or obtervation oTlheir cotreipordcnt sign* 

in ociicrs i> t!:c true buitof meUphyiical in(|)itryt uthc knowledge of 

jjeti, commonly so caElrd, ii the only (olid ba«i of natural phWoto^hy. 

To say that the operaiioDi of the mind and the operatioiu of 

matter are io rciHtj the nme, «o that we may alway* nuke the one 

expoocQtaof the other, U to aMumc the very point in tlwpate, not 

Daly without any endeoce, but in defiance of every appearance to the 

contrary. Lord Bacon wa* undoubtedly a great man, indeed one of 

the grcaicii tha: have adorned thU or any other country. He wa* a 

nm of :i clear and active spirit, of a mott fertile geniut, of vast 

deiigBt, of geaeral knowledge, aod of profound wiidoni. He uniwl 

tlw powers of imagiiutMa and ■udemaodiog in a greater degree ibaa 

aInuK any other writer. He was one of tlte ittongeA tattancea of 

tluxe neOt who by the rare privilege of their nature arr at once poeti 

and philoaophcr*, and aee eqaaliy into both wurldii. The ichoolmen 

aad their followrra attended to nothing but essmcci aikI itprciea, to 

laboured aaalvMa and antfiail dedoctinna. They arem to hnve alike 

^mtffudtd both kinda of experience, that relating lo external 

objecta, and that relating to the obaervation of onr own internal 

freltags. From the imperfect tute of knowledge, they had not a 

luftcietit miaiber of &cte lo guide them to their experimental 

rcaearchea ; and intoxicated with the novelty of their vam diatiociioos, 

tas^ by rote, tbey would be tetnpted to detpise the cleareit and 

noH oEmoua niggertiona of their own mind*. Subtile, rettlcM, and 

•etf-auffideot, they thought that tnith wu only made to be dliputed 

abottt, and extned no where bni in their deraonttratioru and 

VfHoguiDt, Hence arwe thcii ' logomachy ' — their efcrlaiting w<^rd- 

figbu, their abarp debatea, their captioiu, bootless controvcrtics. 

Aa Lord Bacon expre«se« it, • they were made lierce with dark 
keeping,' Ngnifying that their angry and unintelligible cootesta with 
ODe aootber were owing to ihdr not having any distinct objecta to 
tngage tbcii attention. They built altogether on their own whims 
aad nncies, aad buoyed up by their specific lenty, they mounted in 
ibcir airy disputations in cDdlesi flights and circles, clamouring like 
birda of prey, till they equally lost sight of truth and nature. This 
freat maa thcrcTorr intended an etsential service to phitodophy, in 
viilny to recall the attention to facts and ' experience ' which bad 
tcea almost entirely neglected ; and thus, by incorijorating the abstract 
ti^ the coDCrete, and geoemi reaioninf; with inditidiul obBervation^ 
■B0K to our conclutioni that solidity and firnmcsf which they nnit 

•7 



ON THE WHITINGS OF HOBBES 



otfacru-iBC alwayi wsrtt. He did ooihing but insisi on the ncccsiiity of 
' experience,' more particularly in natural tcience i and from the 
wider field that ii open to it thcii't zk well lu the prodigiouo tucccw it 
has met with, thit lancr application of the vmtd, in which h is 
tantamounl to pby&icat experimeni, haa ao for engroued the whole of 
our atteatioR, that miod hai for a good while paat been io wme 
danger of being overlaid by matter. We run from oac error into 
another ; and as we were wrong at firit, so in altering our conrae, we 
hare turocd nbout to the opposite extreme. W< deipiscd ' experi- 
ence ' altogether before ; now we would have nothing but * experience,' 
and that of the grossest kind. 

We have, it is true, gained much by not ccDtultiog the •uggestions 
of out own mindi in questions where they infonn ut of nothing: 
namely, io the panicular laws and phenomena of the natural world; 
and we have hastily concluded, reversing the rule, that the best way 
to iLrriTe at the knowledge of ourselves also, was to lay aside the 
dicuies of out own consciousnesE, thoughti, and feelings, at dcceilfitl 
and insufficient guides, though they are the only meaos by which we 
can obtain the least light upon the subject. We seem to have 
resigned the naivial use of our understsndingt, and to havr given up 
our own existence aa a nonentity. We look for our thoughts and the 
distinguishing properties of our minds in wime image of them in 
mutter, aa we look to see our face* to a glait. We no longer decide 
physical problem!) by logical dilemmas, but we decide questions of 
logic by the cvideocen uf the nenses. Inilend of putting our reason 
and invention to the lack indifferenTly on all questions, wlitiher we 
have any previous knowledge of them or not, we have adopted the 
easier method of tuspcoding the use of our faculties altogether, and 
settling tedious conctoversies by means of * four champions fierce- 
hot, cold, moist and dry,' who with a few more of the rctainwii and 
hangers on of matter determine all qucations relating to the nature of 
inan and the limits of the human understanding very learnedly. That 
which wc leek however, namely, the nature of the mind and the laws 
by which we think, feci, and act, we must di»eo*er in tlit- mind itself 
or not at all. The mind has laws, powem, and prir^ctples of its own, 
and ta not the mere puppet of matter. This genera! bias ia fnvour of 
mechanical reasoning and physical cxpetim'CQt, which was the conse- 
(jucnce of the previous total neglect of ibem in maiters where they 
were strictly necessary, wag strengthened by the poweifyl aid of 
Hobbcs, who vtm indeed the father of the modem phiJosophy. His 
strong mind an<t body apprar to have resisted nil tmprcHiortt but 
those which were deritixl from the downright blows of ttiatter : all 
Itb ideas seemed to lie like subttimcet in his brain : what was tkot a 

18 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOHBES 



I 



tobd, u&g^ble, diuinct, palmble object wai to him nothing, llx 
cxiennl iiDa^e vtCMcd »o ckwc upon hU niind that it ilcntioyn] tbc 
Bover dT cooaciouiocss, aad lefi no room for Mtrmion to any thing 
bn icadf. Me vu by nature i aiiUrriahBi. Locke asiitted greatly 
ID giving. Dopularity to the midc Khcmc, u well liy rnpoiuug iDany 
of Hobbo c metaphyiiaJ principlu u by the doubtful rrtituncc whkfa 
he nude to the reit. And Ji om been jierfectcd and has received it« 
bn poliih And rovadacw in the haods of tome French philoooiihcri, 
at CondilLac and ochciR. It has been genenlty supposed that 
Mr. Locke was tbc Cirst person who, in liis * F.vny on the Htnnaa 
UndenoodiDg' HtafaJubed the modern nctapbyitcal lyitem on a 
(olid uid immoveable bun. This is a great miatake. The syttcm, 
nch » it is, exined entire in »!! it* gcnem) principles in Hobfaei 
befefc him j this was never onctiuirocally or exi>Iicitly avowed by the 
mlior of the * Hssay on the Haman Undcnunding.' Locke merely 
ntdcavoored to accomntodale Holibes'* ieadinj; principle to the more 
fOfolai o^ionft of the lime; and all that tuccccdio^ wriiets have 
done to tm|)rove upon bis iyuem» and clear it of inconustent and 
KOaatoiu maiter, bos only tended to reduce it bock to the ]iuiiiy 
lod dmplici^ ia which it is to he found in Hobbcs. The immediate 
and professed object of both these writers is indeed the same, namely, 
to account for our ideas and the formation of the humiin urtdrrctandiDg 
fton sensible impieMioni. But in the execution of this dcsigD* Mr. 
LiKkc has deriated widely and at almoHi every step From hia pre- 
decessor. This difference would alntost unavoidably arise from the 
natural cbaracier of their mirxls, which were the moet opposite 
ooDcdvablc. Hobbcs bad the uuno»i rclbncc on himself, and was 
Dupaaeac of the leait douI>t or cootiadiction. He »aw trum the 
be^nning to the end of his lystcm. He ii always thercfoire oa firm 
grooDdi and never uocc iwcrrct from his object. He is at. no paJni 
tn remove objectiooi, or soften consequences. Grantinj* his first 
■rinciple, all the rest follows of course. There is an air of grandeur 
■ the Mcro conbdcnce widi which he auods alone in the world of 
fait own OMDions, rcgardlcsi of bi» contemporaries, and conscious that 
fae is the foutider of a new race of thinkers. Locke, on the other 
bandf waa a man, who without die uroc comprchcoiiivc jiraap of 
Aonglu had I greater deference fur the opinions of otlicrt, imd was af 
aniefa more camioiu and circum>pcct turn of mind. He could not 
bn meet with many thiogn in the peremptory Bascrtioiu of Hobbes 
that Rmst make him pause, that be would be u a lost to reconcile to 
■a tttestrve observation of what passed in his own mind, and that 
mnld enually shock the prevailing notions both of the learned and 
lb ignoraot. He was therefore led to coniidcr the difereai 

»9 



ON THK WRITINGS OF HOBBES 



ebjectioM to the (yMcni which bad b«eo left uiuniwercd 
unnoticed, to nuke a comproniiac between the received docttinei, and 
the violent pvadoxes conuined in the ' LcTiattiiin ' and the ' Trcaiiw 
of HuTiun Nature,* or to admit thi-se Uh with jw many (juilificattooa, 
with BO much circumlocution aod prcparalioBf and after such an 
appearance of the moil niKtute and candid cxaminationi aod of 
willingncst to be convinced oo the other ilde of the question, as lo 
obmtc the oflciiiivc and banh ciTect which accompaDics the ibrapt 
dofcmstisRi of (he original author. It was perhaps necessary that 
the opiniuna of Mohhes tihould undergo this tort of metamorphoui 
before they could gain a heahng : as the direct nyt of the sub must 
be blmiTcd and refracted by pasaing tbroufih lomc deoflcr medium in 
order to be borne by common eye«. So sheathed and lofteoed, their 
sharp, unpleacant point* uken off, hi* doctrines nlmoit imnrtediaiely 
met with a favourable reception, and became popular. The gcncru 
principle being once ettabhshed wttliout its panicular coDsequencei, 
and the public mind augured, it vm noon found aa easy taslc to point 
out the iaconsinency of Mr. Locke's reamninji in many resprctSt and 
to give a more decided tone to hit philoiopbical lyitem. Berkeley 
was one of the flrtt who tried the experiment of puthing hit principles 
into the rcrj^ of paiadox on the (jucetion of abstract ideas, which he 
has done with admirable dexicrit^- Jind cleamest, but without going 
beyond the explicitnHS of Hobbes on the tame question. Subtequent 
writers added diifcrcni chaptcrstoiupply the deficiencies of the Essa/i 
which, with scarcely a tingle exception, may be found essentially 
comprized in that institute and dif;e*t of modcfn philosophy, our 
author's ' Leviathan.' 

In thus giving the praite of originality and force of mind to Hobbes. 
and regarding Locke merely at his follower, I may he thcKigbt to 
venture on dangerous ground, or tu lay uahatlawed hands on a rcpnta- 
tion which is dear to every lovcT of truth. But if something is due 
to iamc, Bomething is also due to justice. I confess however, that 
having b^o^ghl this charge against the < tssay on the Human Undct- 
•twwl'ng/ I "n bound to make it good in the fullest manner j 
oiberwiac, I shall be inexcusable. 

What I therefore propose in the remainder of the present Essay it 
to show that Mr. Locke was not really the founder of the modern 
dyicem of philosophy as it respects the human mind t and ( shall 
think that I have suftciently establithcd this point, if I can make it 
augiear, both that the principle iitcif on which that system rests, and 
alt the striking consecjurnces which have been deduced from it, are lo 
be found in the writings of Hobbes, more dearly, decidedly, and 
forcibly expressed than they arc in the ' Gisay on the Human Under- 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 



I 
I 



^ WhcD I iprak of (he principir of tlic modem riKUpliyiical 

iptim, 1 mean the assumpiion thii the operations of the imcllect are 
Mlly a QOntiauation of the impultca cxiiuog to nutter, or that all the 
ihouj^tA «i<l coDccptioni of the mlDtl irr oothing more nor Ina than 
TahoDi nodificuionc of the original inipresiioix of thioge on a being 
esducd wHh MautioQ or uBiple perception. Thi* lyttem consider* 
idea* neicljr aa tbcy are caturd by cxicroal objects, acting oo the 
omaw ef aeosc, and tries to account for them oo that hypochetia 
mely. It is upon thia principle of excluding the undersUadtog m a 
dittincx (acuity or pover Irom all shiin: in its own operations, t bat tfat 
wfaole of Hobbca'fc icuonin;; proceedt. Let at we what he nakM 
of it. 

The fint pan of the * Leviatliaa,* entitled 'Of Man,* begins in 
thit manner : 

CH*rTEa I. — Of S»m( — 'Concerning the thoughu of man, I 
will cooiider thvtn, firM aiogly, und aficrwards in train, or dependence 
Bpoo ooe another. Singly, they arc every one a rcwcaenution or 
afpcataacc of aome ^uahiv or other aecidnt of a body withoot us; 
which is commoDly callea an otf^ : Which object workcih on the 
eyes, ear*, and oclier paru of man's body i and by diveraiiy of 
worili^, Jproduceth diveraitv of appearance*. 

' The Origiaal of them all is that wluch we call SENi>a : For there 
■■ 00 coDcepuoo in a man's mind which bach not at fim, totally or by 
piria, been begotten upon the organs of sense. The rest arc derived 
mn that original. 

'The cause of tense is the external body or object which presseth 
the orgta proper to each sense, either immediiiely u in the taste and 
lOQcbt or mediately as in teeing, hearing* and tmelling: which 
prcaivr by the medtation of nerves, and other strings and mcmbranea 
of ihv body, continued inwards to the Brain and Heart, canseth there 
( miataacc or couotec-prcuurc, or endeavour of the heart to deliver 
luitf : which endeavour, becaaae attviard^ Kemeth to be some matter 
without. And this seeming or fancy is tlut which men call tenae : 
tai CQOstMcth to the ere, lo a light or colour figured ; to the car, in 
1 •oond i to the nostril, in an odour ; to the tongue and palate, in a 
moor, and to tlie rest of the body in heat, cold, hardness, softnesa, 
lod tscb other qualities, a* wc discern by leeling. All which qualities 
taDcd tauitU arc in the object that causeth them but m many teveral 
■odoos of the matter by which it pretseth our organs diversely. 
KeilJicr in us that are pressed are they any thing cl*c but divers 
ootioos; iot motion produceth nothing but motion. But their 
fpeanner to us is £tncy, the same waking a* dreaming. And as 
prettisjE, rubbing, or Mriking the eye makcth us fancy a light, and 



ON THE WKITINGS OF UOfiBES 



prcMJng Uie car iKoduceth a din, n do the bodiu aln vk ate or heir 
produce ihf mm^ by thdr nroti^, though nnobtcned actioo. i^fir if 
thcwc colours and »uod« wccc id the bodin or objccu tbal ckwc 
them, they could nut be tercrcd froro them, as by gbatn aad in 
echoei by rHUictioo wc uee ihey are : wherr we know the thing we 
■ce Ik in one pUcc, the appeaioDCc io aooibcr, and thoujib at kkdc 
cctiain dttuncc, tbc real and Tcry object seem* inrcitcd with ihc 
(aacj it begets in aa ; yet atill the object i* one thing, tlw image or 
^cy it uotJter. So thu tztac ia dl cuce is oothiog cite bat 
orij[iaa] fancy ; caoacd, aa 1 have catd, by the prctanrc, that i>, by the 
motion of external thio^i upon our eyea, ean^ and other orgaot 
thcrcuQto ordained. 

' But the PhiIosophy-4choolst through all the UDiretutiea of Chria- 
lendom, grounded upon certain text* of Aristotle, teach anotbei 
doctrine I and *ay. For the caoie of Tinoo, that the thing «c«n 
teodcib fonb on ercry side a vitHfe ipeciet, (in Eagliib) a vi/iik 
stozv, affariiitm, atptei, or beiiifi lerm ; the recetriog whereof into the 
eye, u uei/tg. And Tor the cause of btariitg, that the thing beard 
eeodcih forth ao auiRbit tpfiitJ, that i&, an an^Me lupait or oaMIt 
ie'itig letn \ which entering at the ear, maketh hearit^. Nay, for the 
cause of unJerjIan^ji aha, tbey say the thing understood seiwleth 
fbnh an iuitfSj>i6ie iftdti, that ii an imelSgi&ff htmg iten ; which 
coming Into the undentanding, niakcs us imdertuod. I say not this 
as disapproving the use of univerntiei: but because 1 am to speak 
hereafter of their ofEcc in a commonwealth, I rousi let you see on all 
occasioai by the way, what thingi would be amended in them : 
amongst which the fre<{ucncy of inBignificant speech is one.* — 
Levialbaat p. 4. 

Thut far our author. It is evident that io this account be 
laid the faundation of Berkeley'^ ideal syttem, though he does not 
seem any where to hare gone the whole length of that doctrine. He 
has enteied more at Urge into this parnt in the * DiscouTBr of Huraao 
Nature,' publiihed in 16 40, ten yeart before the ■ Leviathan ' i and 
as the subject is curious, nnd treated in a very decisive way, I 
will quote the concluding passage, which is a tecapitulaiioo of the 

FCit* 

' As colour is noi inherent in ihc object, but an etfcct tberroruf 
na, caused by such motion in the object zt b»h been described ; to 
neither it sound in the thing we hear, but in ourselves. One maaifen 
sign thereof it, that ai a mm may «cc, 10 aJ»o he may hear double or 
treble, by mult i pi i cation of cchoei, which echoes ate sounds at well 
as the original, and not being in one and the ume place, caonoc be 
toherent in the body chat makcth them. And to proceed to the rest 

J' 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 

«f Hie KBiM, k IS appareot enough that the smcU and unc of the 
mm thiog ate not the tamt to every nua, and therefore are not in 
the thing tmelt or tasted, but in the laea. So likewjte the heat we 
feel from the fire U manifeiUy in ua, and u quite different from the 
beat which It io the 6rc : for our heat !a pleasure or paiof according 
U it ii jreat or modefate; but to the coal tliere is no uich thing. 
hf thia the foorth and bit propMtiion ii proved ; vix. That a* in 
ttnoa. ao also in cooceptions thai arise from other sense*, the aubjcct 
of (heir inherence it cot in the object, but in tbe wntient. Aod 
from hence alto it followeth that wluuoeTcr nccideoti or t^ualitiei 
Dv Msuca nwke na think ihrrc br in the world, they be not there, 
bat are aeeniing and appiriiions only : the things that really are in 
the world without nt, are tboae modont by which tHc«e •ceminj;* are 
caaacd. And thia tt the great deception of tense, which also it to 
be by aeDtc corrected : for ai tense lelleth me, when I lee directly, 
that the colour teemeih to be in the object ; to alto tente telleih me 
vben I tec by retlcctioti, that colour it oot in the object.' — Human 
Satartt chap. ii. p. 9. 

The aecond chapter of the * Leviathan ' coocatnt an account of the 
onacr m which oor idcM uc |nkcraied« aad la aa follow* : 

'That when a thing Ka itu], Hnleu tonwwhat cIk itir it, it will 
fie sill for erer, it a truth thai no man doubts of. But that when a 
ihiog ia ID iDottOD. it will eternally be ia motion, odIcm lomewhat 
die iiujr it, though the rcaaon be the sdiRc (namrly, that nothing can 
Aan^ iticlf) it not to eaiily auented to. Foe rko measure not 
oaly other men, but all other thiogs by thcmsclvca ; and because they 
Em themtelret aubjcct after motion to pain and laaiitude, think every 
thing eUe growi weary of motion, and kAm repoae of its own accord | 
little coaadciiog whether it be oot come other motion wherein that 
ilcaire of rest they find in themBclvca conitsteth. From hence it it, 
that the Schoolt uy, heavy bodies fall downward out of an appetite 
U mt, aiKl to cooscrrc their nature in that place which ii mott 
proficr for them : ascribing appetite and knowledge of what is good 
Ka their conKrvation (which ia more than man has) to thingi 
■Uunatc, abfurdly, 

' When a body is once in motion, it movcth (unless tomcthing cite 
hinder it) eternally: and whatsoever htndereth it, canoot io an 
■Htant, but in time and by dc^eei quite extinguish it. Aod as we 
we in (he water, thoogh the wind ceatc. the waves give not over 
titUiag for a loag time after; to alto it happenetb in that motion 
*likb ia nude in the internal parta of a man then, when he acct, 
harn &c. For after the object is rcmoTed or the eye thut, we itill 
NUb an image of the thing teen, though more obacure thin when 
*ou a. : c S] 



ON THE WRITINGS OF H0BBE8 



we lee it. And thU ii it the Laiuu call imaginatmn, frotn the image 
nuKJc ID eccioKi and apply the nmC) though imptopeilyi to >I1 the 
otbcc KDKa. But (he Grcclcs call it /aaej ; which Btgaifici xppcv- 
xa<x, and it aa pioper to ooe KOie* 3s to aaoiber. Imaginatioa m 
thciefoiv DOthinfi bat dnaying teniei uod is iiound in nian and maojr 
other tivin}{ crcjturci, as well sicrpiii); as waking. 

*Tbe decay of tcow in meo waking is ut obscuring of it in luch 
manner ai the light of the »un obtcureth thv light of the ttar», which 
nan io no Icn extrcioc their virtue by which they are visible tit the 
day thati in the night. But becauw amongst many Rrokea, which 
our eyes, ears, and other organs receive from external bodies the 
prcdofninaitt only it Mnsible, therefore the light of the tun being 
predominant, we arc not alTrcied with the action of the stars. And 
any object being removed from our eyes, though the imprettioa it 
made in ut remain ; yet other objects more present succeeding, and 
working on us, the imagination of the past is obscured, and made 
weak I as the voice of a man ii in the noioe af the day. Prom 
whence it follows, thai the longer the lime is, after the Mgbt Of acnse 
of any objects the weaker is the imagination. For the continual 
change of man's body destroys in time the parts which in sense were 
moved : so thiit diiAance of time and of place Itatli one and the same 
effect in us. For as at a great distance of place, that which we lo«^ 
at appears dim, and without dtniitction of the smaller j^m, and as 
voices grow weak and inarticulate, so also after great distance of 
tiTnc, our imaginaiton of the past is weak ; ar>d wc lose (for example) 
of cities wc hate seen manyparricuJar streets, and of actions, many 
patticulai circumstances. This decaying sense, when we would 
express the thing itself ( I mean fancy itself) we call Imaginition. an 
I said before: but when we would express the decay, and signify 
that the sense is Aiding, old and past, it is called Memory, So that 
tmaginatitm and memory are but one thing which for divers coosidcn- 
tions hath diveri: names. Much memory or memory of many thingt 
is called ExpcfieDCc. 

'Again, imagination being only of those things which have been 
formerly perceived by tente, either ail at once, or by parts at several 
times, the former (which is the imagining the whole object as it was 
presented to the sense) is thapte im^aunitin { as when oite imagioeth a 
man or horse which he hath seen before. The other is m^tim^dt 
u when from the sij>ht of a man at one time, and of a hotsc at 
another, wc cooccive in our mind s centaur. So when a mnn oom- 
poundeth the image of his own perton with the image of the actions 
of another man ; as when a man conceives himself u Hercules or ait 
Alexander (which happeneth often to tltem which are much taken 

M 



ON THE WRITINGS OP HOBBES 

ntfa the tcwUng of Ronmnu) it it » oompouod iinifiimwwi uul 
ptDperty but x fictioa of the tnind. 

' Tbcfc be il*o othei inu^natioai that riie in maa, (thougb 
vikiit};) froiii ihc grcu imprciuoD nude In kuc: it fioni gazing 
nfoa the nut, the iraprcuion leavn an image of the tun before our 
> » long time after ; and from being long and Tehenently attent 
I gcomnriul fi£urct» a man thall in die dark (though awake) 
the image of liJtes and angle* before hit eyct: which kind of 
lancf hub no [nnicalar name; u being a thing that doth not 
comiQDoIy fall into meo't diicourtc. 

' The inuginaliotu of them thai deep are those we call dreamt : 
aftd these alao (as all other inuginatioOB) have been before, cither 
totally or by pucds io the twnic, and bccaiuc the brain and ocrvn, 
winch arc the occmary organs of icnsc, arc so benumbed in tlnrp, ai 
wt eaiily to be iDoved by the action of exienial objcclB, there can 
happco in sleep no imaginatiooi and therefore no dicaai but wbu 
proccedi from the agiiaiion of the inwatd [urta of man'* body ; 
wUch inwatd paru, for ibe cotutexioo they have with the brain and 
odicr organtt wbco they be distemKicdi do keep the tame in motioa j 
wbeteby ibc imagtoatiow there formerly msdet appear a« if a man 
woe waking ; iavbg that the organs oi scuc being now benumbed, 
n a> theie i* no new object, which can maiter aod obtcure them 
with a more rigoroua impreinon, a dream must needs be more clear 
in thii uleoce of sense, than are our walling tbongbu. And hence it 
omcth to pttt, that it t* a hard matter, and by many thought 
tafowUet to disCiDguith exactly between tente and dreaming. Hot 
my pan, vbeo I cooader thai in dreams I do not often, nor coo- 
tlaatly tLiok of the came persons, places, subject*, and actions that 
1 do waking; nor remember so long a train of coherent thoughts 
dfeHBiDg, as at otbn times ; and because wakiog I ofiec observe the 
ibmrdity of dreams, but never dream of the absurdities of my willing 
tluMigbts« — 1 am well salisliedt that bnng awnkc* I know I dream 
act; though when I dream, 1 think myself awake.'— />mtf&OT, 

»• 4. 5. '^• 

The concluding paragraph of this Cliapier it remnrkiiblc. 

*Tbe imagination that is raited in man (or any other creature 
(fldoed with the faculty of inueinnig) by words or other volunury 
mgm, U that we eeoerally call UnJerjtaaJaig : and is common to 
aoa and bran. I' or a dog by custom will understand the call or 
tang of his maner, and bo will many other beasts. That under- 
■ucEng which is peculiar to man, is tlie understanding aot only hU 
•ill, bu his coDceptioQS and tlioughis, by the sequel and contexture 
tfthe oane* of thugy into aAnnationit, HgMieiu, aail other forms of 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 
(Meebi ud of ehU kind of nndcrsiandiog 1 thall tpcalc hcicaftct*' 

Af ID the first two chapters Mr. Hobbc« nidnvours to show that 
all our thoughts, considered singly or in ihcmselvet, have their origin 
in ««Dsalion, «o in tla- next chipteri ht ruolfcs all their combinations 
or coanpxions onr with anoihrr tnio the principle of aEtociatioo, or 
the coexi«ence of their seniible imprnNoof. 

' By consequence or train of thought*,' he ujs, *I DDderataDd that 
Gucceuion of one thought to another, which is called (to distinguish 
it from discatiree in words) mfital dunurjr.' 

' Wheo -A niaa thiiikcdi or nny thinj; whauoc\crt his next thought 
after it is not altogether no ca«ua1 »s tt soeiiut to lie. Not every thought 
to every thought succcedi indilTerrntly. But as vre hare no imigin- 
tion, whereof we have not formerly had acnac in whole oi in psrtfl ; 
so we hare no transition from one imagination to another, whereof 
we ncTCT had the like before in our senses. The reason whereof it 
this. All fancies are ntolioos within us, iclitjucs of tlioae nude in 
tense: and those motions that succeeded one another in the sense, 
continue also together after sense: insomuch as the former coming 
ig^ia to taJec place, and be predorainaat, the latter followcth, by 
coherence of the matter moved, in such manner, as water upon a 
plane table is drawn which way any one p.itt of it is guided by the 
Eingcr. But because in sense to one and the same thing perc«i*ed, 
sometimes one thing, sonieiimes anotlier succecdeth, it comes to pass 
in time, that in the imagining of any thin^, there is no certdnty what 
we shall imagine next. Only this is certain, it frliall be soniclhiag 
that succeeded the same before, at one timt- or another.' — Page 9. 

The comprehension and precision with which the law of anocia- 
tioc is hefc unfolded a& the key to e\ery movement of the mind, aod 
as regulating every wandering thought, cannot be too much admired ; 
it is enough to «y that Hartley, who certainly understood more of 
the power of asKOciation than any other man, has added nothing to 
dill short passage, as far as relates to the succession of ideas. He 
haii indeed extended its apjilication in unravelling ilie tine web of oui 
affcctioDs and feelings, by showing how one idea transfers the feeling 
of pleasure or pain 10 others associaird with it, which is not here 
noticed. Whetlier tliis principle really has all tlie extent and efficacy 
ascribed to it by either of these writers will be made the subject of a 
future inquiry. How well our nullior undcrstDDd the quciiioni and 
how much it had aMumcd a coniittcnt and systematic form in his 
mind will appear from the instance* he brings in illustration of this 
intricate ana at the time almost unthought-of subject. 

■The uaio of thoughts or nicnul discourse is of two loru. The 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 



a uDgui<lcd, wiibout dcsijtii nnd inconnant : wbcrcin (here in no 
lianatc thought to ganta and direct those that follow to tticlfu 
lend and scope of tome 6tnn or other poMion; in which case the 
;htt arc said to wanilcr and cccm impmiocDt one to another aa ui 
Ircam. Such are cotDroooly the ihoughia of men. that arc not 
without compsDy, h*n aUo without care of any ilung: though 
tm tfaeo their thoughu arc aa haty a* at other iimc«i hut without 
htfmonjr, aa the lound which a lute out of tune would yield to any 
imt, or in tuse to one that could not play. And yet in thia wild 
raogiag of the mtndi a maD nay ofctimo pctceire the way of it, and 
the depeodtDcc of one ibougbt upon another. For in a diicourte of 
nuT present civil war, what could teem more impertinent thin to aak 
(a* one did) what was the raluc of a Roman penny i Yet the 
cohefeDCc to me vim manifest enough. For the ibougkta of the war 
iouodnced the thought of the delivering up the king to his enemies; 
ihc thought of that brought in the thought of the delivering np of 
Chriat; and that again the thought of the thirty pence, which waa 
the price of that treason t and thence eatily followed that malicious 
■(•esiioBi and all this in a motnctit of time; for thought ii quick. 

'The second' [that is the second sort of association] 'is more 
constant, as being regulated by some desire, and design. For the 
tmpKsaion made by tuch thbgs a* wc desire or fear, is strong and 
pcnnancnt, or, if it ceaac for a time, of quick return ; so ttrong it h 
•onciimes as to htader and break our steep. From desire ariseth the 
thought of some meani we hare seen produce the like of what we 
lira all and fiofn the thought of thai, the thoujiKt of means to that 
■an, and an cotuinually till we come to Mine beginning within our 

He aild*, — 'Thistrsin of rcgul.ned thoughts is of two kinds: one, 
when of an effect imagined, we seek the causes or means that produce 
it) and this is common to man and beast. '1^ other is when tm- 
■pBtng anything whitsoerer, we seek all the postable effccis that can 
by ii be produced : Chat is to sav* we imagine what we can do with it 
«ben we ha«« it. Of which 1 ha«e not at any lime »een any sign 
hn in man only i for this is a cunosity h.irdly incident to the nature 
of any tiring cr»ture that has no other patsioo but sensual, luch at 
sn hunger, ihifsi, lust, and anger. In sum, the discourse of the mind 
*bea il is jorerncd by design, in nothing but seeking or ihc faculty of 
inKiition, which the Latins call tagtuitai and lottrtia, a finding out of 
ihe cauwt of aome effect, present or past ; or of the effects of some 
fatm or psM cause. Sometinied a man desires to know the event of 
UKtioa ; aixl then lie thtnketh of some like action p<ist, and the 
nan thmof one aRrr another ; supponiiglikeereau will follow like 



THE WHITINGS OP HOBBES 

actiont. As he ibat fomm what will becomes of a cnmiual. rr-con> 
what hr haa stvtt follow on the like crime beforv; having this order 
of thoughts, the crime, the ofTiccit the prisoitt the judge, aaJ the 
gallowi, which kind of thoughu i> called foroitght, and prudence or 
prondencv; and sometimea wisdom ; though mich conjecture, through 
tbc difficulty of observing all citcumttancet, be rcry lallacioui. But 
thi« it cerutn ; by how much one nun ha« more exixrrience of thing* 
past than another ; by so much also he it more pradeni ; and his 
cxpcctalions the seldonier Tail him. The prctcnt dqIy has a being in 
nature ; th!nga part have a being in the memory only, but thing* to 
come haTe no being at all t the future bring but a tictioo of the mind, 
appljring the ie<;ucls of actiont patt to th« actioa* that are present ; 
which with most certainty ia dune by him that has most experience ; 
but not with ceriainiy enough, and though it be called pniilencc when 
the event answercth our expectation, yet in its own nsturc it i» but 
presumption ; for the roiesight of ihtngi to conic, which is protidcnce, 
beloRgK only to him by whoKC will they are to come : from him only, 
and (upematurally, proccedi prophecy. The beit prophet naturally 
ia the beat gueaacr ; and the bc>t gucvuer, he that n most vcracd and 
icudied in the mattem he gueaaet at ; for he hath mofit ttgna to gucHt 
by.'— Page lo. 

After this account he immediately adds, — 

' Thete is no other act t»f man'* mind that T can remember, natur- 
nlly planted in him, ao at to need no other thine to the exerctne of it 
but to be born a man, and live with the nae of his fuc Kosca. Those 
other facuhirv, of which i tihal! «pealc by ami by, .ird which teem 
proper to man onlv, arc acquired, and incres«ed by sftidy and induHtry ; 
and of mo«t men learned by instruction and discipline i and proceed 
all from the invention of wordt :ind i|)eech : for bcitdea aenic and 
thoughts, and the train of thau^btx, the mind uf man has no other 
motion, tltouf:h by the help of ipcech and mctliod, the same faculties 
may be iniproveil lo mch a height, ai to diMinguith meo from all 
other livinj; creatures.'— Page ii. 

The conclusion of thin chapter in which the author treats cf the 
limit* uf the im:i»inalion l» too impoiunt, and h»t laid the foundation 
of too many »peeulBtione, to be pasted over. » Wliatsoever we imagine 
is finite. Therefore there is no idea, or conception of any thin^ wc 
call inftnite. No man can have in hlii mind an image of infinite mag- 
nitude; nor conceive infmiie «wifine*>, infinite time, or infinite force, 
or infinite power. When wc eay any thinj; is infinite, wc signify oalf 
that we are not able to conceive the ends and bounds of the thing 
named ; having no conception of the thing, but of our own inability : 
and therefore the name of God ii uacd, not (0 make ut coDCtiTe him 

38 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOfiBES 



(for W M ioconprebeiHiUe ud hit greunett utd power ut iocooceiv' 
lUe) but that we ma^ honour him. And b«cau<e whatsoever we cob- 
(dfchw been pcrcciTcd lint by mtdk, cither all at once, or by pana, • 
ma CUB hare no thought, icjircfcniing any thing, not lubjcci to ceoM. 
No man, tbere&re, cin eosceive .-iny thin^, hut he mun conceive it in 
■onic place, and ifidued with some dclermiDate inaj>niiude, and which 
may be diTtdcd iaio jiaru ; not that uijr thing it all in ihi> place, and 
it) in another place u the isune time ; twr that two or more thingi 
no be i a one and the unw pUcc ai ooce : fbt dooc of ihcK thugt 
ever hate, rior can be incidcjit to sense; but are ahnird apeecltn, 
i^Leti upon credit (without any aigoilication at alH, from deceived 
flulo»ophcrB, aad deceived, or cctcivinj; Kboolmen. — Pa^ 1 1. 

B; tJic exincta which I shall next borrow 6*0111 his account of 
hngUBge and reaaoning, it will appear L^at our author not only threw 
wltlMt first bints of Utc modern iyvlem, which reduce* all rcttODiDg 
ud miderMindiDg eo the mechanism of lanfraage, but that by a very 
kind of dHtractioo, he carried it to perfection at once. The 
ie race of plodding comment;! tori, of dsEihiD^ par^dox-moDgers 
hii time hare not advanced a step beyotxt him. 1 sh^ll give this 
pan tomewhat at large, both bocaiue the tjueition is intricate in ttse)f| 
ud u it wQI icrvc » a fpccimcn of hii [;escral mode of writing, in 
iriHch dry HTcaam, keen observation, extenuvc thought, and the most 
T^id (ogic coDveyed in a concise and nuutetly style, ace all brought to 
but 1^0 the Mine object. 

'The invention of printing,' he says, 'though ingeaioua, compared 
mh the inventioD of letuvs is no great matter. But who was the 
&M thai found the u«c of letters is not koowo. He that Grtt brought 
them into Greece, men say, was Cadmus, the WD of Aj^ctwr, King of 
Phienina. A profitable invemian I'ur continuing the memoij' of 
nne paat, aod the conjunction of mankind, dispened into to many and 
dnnnt rc^ooi of the earth ; and withal difficult, at proceeding from a 
vuchfiil ofaservaiioo of the divei* motions of the tongue, palue, lips, 
and other organs of tpeech, whereby to make as many dinerences of 
characters lOTerocmbcr them; but the most noUcand profitable ioTcn- 
tioB of ail other, wasthaiof speech, cnoiiiting of Dames or appellatiom, 
and their coaaeciioiut whereby men regUtcr their thoughts, recaJl 
them when they are put, and alto declare them one to another fur 
Dtiliiy and oonversaiion ; without which there had been 
DfM men, neither commonwealth, nor society, nor contract, nor 
no more than amon^ lions, bears, and wolvev. The Gcat 
•xhor of speech was God himself, that initracted Adam how to name 
neb cmtitrcs as he preiented to his dght ; for the scripture goeih no 
ftnher in this ttuticr. But this was sufjictcni to direct him to add 

S9 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 

Alorr aimn, as th« experieDce and uw of the crcatum ahonld giie 
him oceuioD \ *ni to joio them in Kuch manner by degree*, ai to 
m:ike himerif undrrstood, and >o by succcuion of time* «> mucb 
l»ngUAge might b? goticn, ii he had found use for ; though not w> 
cojiiouH a> ao oralor or philuiupher ha* aeed of : for I do not find aey 
thing in the tcnpturci out of which, directly or by contequencc can 
be gathered} thai Adam was taught the names of all liguieK, numbers 
meuuretf colour*, tounda, fanciet, relations ; much less the names of 
words and ipcccK ai| general, special, affirmatiTe, negative, intrrrogi- 
tife, optatirr, iDlii)iUTf,al] which are useful i and least of alt, of entity, 
intentionality, <]iiiddity, and other iosigniGcaot words of the school. 

' The manner how speech scrvetb to the remembrance of ibc con- 
sequence of cautes and etfectE, con^itteth in the imposing of names, 
and the coanexton of ihcm. Of name*, some are proper, aiu) stnguEu 
to one only thing ; an Peter, Join, th'u man, ihu trrt : and tome arc 
common to many ihingt ; man, horit, trte ; every of which though 
but one name, is nevcnhcless the name of diwra particubr things; 
in renpect of dl which togciher, it is called an uoimsalt there bong 
nothing in the world tmiverKil but names; for the things named are erery 
one of them individual and singular. One universal name is imposed 
on many things for their nimtlitude in some quality, or other occidcai; 
and whereas a proper name bringeth to mind one thing only, universnls 
recall any one of those many. By this imposition of names, some of 
larger, tome of stricter signilicution, we turn Uic reckoning of the con- 
sequences of things imagined in the mind, into a reckoning of the 
consequences of appellations. For example : a man that hath no use 
of speech at all, that is born and Tcmitins perfectly deaf and dunil^ if he 
set before hiscyrsa triangle, and by it two right angles (such asareihc 
comers of a square figure,) he may by meditation compare and find, 
tliat the three angles of that triangle are equal to tho«v two ri)ibt angles 
that standby it: buiifanotherlrinDglclieshownhimdiirerciiEin khape 
from the former, he cannot know without a new I^^our, whether the 
three angles of that aleo be equal to the san>c. But be that juth the 
uaeof words, when he observes that sucheqiulitywa» consequent, not to 
the length of the sides, nor to any other particular thing in his triangle 
but ooly to thiti, tlint the sides were ttraight, and the angles three and 
that that was all for which he named it a triangle, will boldly con- 
clude universally that euch equality of angles is in all triangles what- 
BocTcr, and register hi» iaventioo in these general terras : every triangle 
hath its three angles equal to two right angles. And thui the const- 
(]unice found in one particular, comes to be registered and remembcTed 
M an universal ruJe ; discharges our mental reckoning of time and place ; 
delivers us from all labour of the mindi saving the (irtt, and makes 

40 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 



that which wu found true htte, and aaw, to be true in all timcK«iHl 
places. But the u*r of woixIr in rcgiitenng our thoughts, i> in nothing 
K> CYtd«it 3M in numbering. A cutura! fool thic could never learn hy 
bntt the order of oumeral wordo, as imt, l^o, and iln-et, may uImcivc 
ercty titoke of the clock, and nod to it, or ujr oiu, one ; but can nercr 
know what hour it itriko. And it Mcms, there vai a time when 
tlioac oataet of Dumber were oot to utc, and men were htin to apply 
their finger* of one or both hand* to ihti«e thingi theydrnrcd to keep 
■ccoant of; and that thence it proceeds, that now our numml wordi 
are but ten, in any oattoot aod in lonK but five, and then they begin 
again. And he that can icti ten, if he recite them oat of order, ml 
Ime himself, and not know when he hath done : much less will be be 
Mt to add, and subtract, and perlorni all other operations of aiithinctic> 
So that without words there is no possibility of reckoning of numbers t 
Rich less of magnitudes, of swifcaess, of torce, and other things, the 
tvdtoning whereof is necetsary to the being, or well-being of man- 
kind.* — I-cvtatian, chap, iv., pp. ii, I4. 

The same train of rtsisooing occurs in the 'DiKOursc of Human 
Nittire,' wiUt tome variation in the expresttoo. 

' By the advsDUge of natnca it is that we are capble of science, 
vhich beaiu for want of them are not; nor man, without the use of 
them i for as a bctsi misseth not OM or two out of her niany youaj 
ones, for want of those lumes of order, one, /W9, and ttree, and which 
•« call mamitr; so neither would a man without repeating orally or 
luotally those words of number, krtow how many piece* of money or 
ocbct things lie before him. Sering there be many coocepuons of one 
and the same thing, and thai for every conception wr give it a several 
Dtmt, it followeih that Ibr one and the same thing, we havr many 
araea or attributes i as to the same man we gire the apiielUtionn 
etjmn, luMiuu, ttroitg, tomtij. Sec. And again, (.vcaunr Irom divers 
ij*^ we receive like conceptions, many things rouit needs have the 
DC appellations : as to all things wc ttt we give the name o^viiAlt. 
names wc give to many, are called universal tu them all : as 
the mine of man to every particular of mankind. Such apjiellations 
Si wc give to one only thing, wc call individual, or singular ; as 
Svnitt and other proper itames, or by circumlocution. He ihat ivrit 
A /£id(r, for Homtr, 

'The univerHltty of one turac to many things hath been the cause 
ibx mm think \\\k thm^s are thrmselvet unirersal : and so seriously 
OMmd that besides Peter and John, and all the rest of the men that 
Vtt hare bc:cD, or shall be in the world, there is yet something else 
t^ we call man, vi^.. Man m general, deceiving themselves by taking 
tkc uaiversal or gooerd appellation for the thing it signilleth. For 

41 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 

if one >hould daite the piinter to ninlcc liim the picture of a mad,* 
which ii at much u to my of a man in gm^ral. he mcaacth no ttuwt 
bm that ilic |)ainicr should chooac what man tic pleascth to draw, 
which muHt nei-di be (ome o^ them that :ire or have been or may be, 
none of which arc unircrsnl. But when he would hare him to draw 
the kin^ or any particular pcriOD, he limitcth the paimcr to tlui one 
person he chooscth. It i» |>iain therefore thcie i* noitiing universal 
but namef, which are therefore called indefinite, becawe we limit them 
not ourKlres, but leave thcni to be applied by the hearer : whcieaa a 
ainKular name it limited and reitrained lo one of the many thingi it 
■igniteth, a* when we itay, Tih man, pointing to him, or givinf> him 
his proper name, or io Bomc such way.' — Human Nalvrt, chap. *. 
pp. 15, z6. 

We ihall have occauon to aee, in the couite of this inquiry, how 
exactly Dctkcky's account of the procctt of ahatractioD, in con- 
tradiction to Lockc'i opinion, corrcipondi in every particular with 
thia patcage of our author. To return to hiK account of truth, 
reaaon, 6cc. 

' When two camea are joined together into a conacqncnce or 
a4!irmaiion, by the help of thit little verb, it, as thus: a man u a 
Sx-mx crttiture; if the latter name, /irt>rn,( ertalure, cignify all that the 
former name, man, ai^niliech, then the aflinnation or conwqucncc is 
ime ; otherwise faUe. For True and Faluc are aitributea of a|ieech, 
not of things. And where speech ii not, there la nciUtcr inith nor 
falsehood. Hrror there may be, sn when we expect that which >hall 
not be, or auspect what ba« not been : but in neither caw can a man 
be charged with untruth. 

' Secinj;, then, that truth coni>iAtclh in the ri^tht ordering of names 
in our aHirmation), a man that teekelh preciie truth had need to 
remember what every name he uae* utandi for, and to ]>lftce it accord- 
ingly : or else he will dad himicrif cnianpjed in words, as a bird in 
lime-twigr. And theiel'ore io Geomeuy (which is the only science 
that it has plea*ed God hitherto to beitow on mankind) men bcj;in 
at settling the signiiicaiioos of their woid», which settling of Bijpiifica- 
lions they call definitions, and place them in the beginning of their 
reckoning. By this it appears how necessary it is for any roin that 
aspires to true knowledge 10 examine the definitions of former authors, 
and either to correct them when they are negiigently set down, or la 
make them himself. For the errors of deiinition multiply themKlves 
according as the reckoning proceeds j and lead men into absurdities 
which they at last see, but cannot avoid without reckoning anew from 
the be^nning. From whence it happens that they which trust to 
books do as they that cast up many little sums into a greater, without 

4> 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 

cowidering whether ihote tiitle lami were rightly eatt u{i or act, aod 

u ban fiadjDg the error vuibie, and iwt mt«truinir.g their &nt gra«uidt, 
koov not which way lo ckrat ihrniiclvn, but ^pcnd time in fluitering 
over their booLt, 3i birdf that cntcnng by the chimDcjr. and finding 
thcBneWe* a)CIo«ed in a chamber, flutter at ihe filtc light of a gbut 
windowt for want o( wit to coaiidcr which way they came in. So 
thai in the right definition of names, lie* the fim uae oftpecch, which 
it the ac^juintion of tcietiee, and in wrong or no delinkioai liei the 
Grit abate, from which ixocccd all falic and icoaelcH tcocti j which 
make them that lalce their ioittuction from the authority of book.* «od 
not from tbeir own medttationa, to be aa much below the eonditioa of 
ignorant meoi m men endued with tisc tcicoce are aboTc it. For 
between troe tctcnce and cnoncona docirioct, ij^noraocc ia in ihc 
middle. Natoial tense and imagtoation are ooi aubject to abnirdity. 
Nature itacJf cainiot err; iind a» men abound in coptownew of 
liopiaS'' *° ^^^y become more wise or more mad than ordinary. 
Nor is it po»iblp without letters i'or any man to become either ex- 
cellently wiae or (unle» hit memory be hart by diK»c or ill coo- 
Hitittioc of organsl excellently fooltfh. For wordi arc wiir men's 
cooDtrti, they do ddi reckon by them: hot they are the money of 
foolt, that value them by the nutliority of an Anitotle, a CicctOi a 
Tboan« Aquinas or any other doctor whatsoever. 

* Subject to names is whatsoever can enter into, or be considered in 
n ucooDt, and be added oii« thing to another to make a sum, or 
t^xracted one from another and learc a renuiader. The Latin* 
called accouDia of moaey raiionei, and accDDDiiag, ra/hnnatio, and 
ifatt which we in bill* or bocltaof accouDU call if rw/, they call mmua, 
or natne«( and thence it seems to proceed that they extended the 
»onl riWat to the faculty of reckoning in all other ihingi. The 
Creelt hare but one word, Aoyot for both ipeech and rcoaon, not 
thai they thought there was no speech without reason, but im reason 
vithoot (pcecb : and the act of reatoning they call syllogiam, which 
ngnifieth (ummtng up (or patting together) the E:on*M]uence( of one 
ttfing to another. For reason is nothing but reckoninj; (that u, 
xlding and subtracting) of the consequences of general caniea agreed 
^oe for the marlung and signifying of our thougbu \ I tay marlcmg 
them, when we reckon by ourtclrn, and signifying them, when wc 
dcBinniirate or approve our reckonings to other men. 

■ .lod as in arithmetic, unpraetitcd men muH, and profesiors them- 
■Itcs may* often err, and cast up falK, to also in any other subject 
of reaiomng, the ableit, most attentive, and most prscused men may 
dceeiw themselves, and mfer faltc coodtuions ; not but that reason 
>bdf ii ilwvys right reaaoo, as well as arithmetic is » certain and 

4S 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 



iofailiblc art. Dut no one nuo't reason, nor the ituon oif any 
numbrr of men makci the cciuincjr: no more ttian an account is 
therefore well cast up, becnuie a great many men have tmasimouily 
approved it. Andt thercfoiCt a* when tlicrc i» a controversy in an 
account, the parties mu»t by ihcit own accord set up for right reason 
the reason of some arbitrator or judg«, so it is in all debates of what 
kind ewver : and when men that think thcmiclvcs wiKr than j.11 
others, clamour and demand right reaton for judge, yet seek no more 
but that things should be determined by no other men's reason but 
thcii own, it in at intolerable in tbc society of men as it is in play, 
after trump a turned, to use for trump on crery occasion that suit 
whereof they h^ve most in their hand. For they do nothing else that 
will ha»c every of ilieir passions, as il comet to bear sway iu them, 
to be taken for right reaion, and that in their own controicrsics, 
betraying their want of right reason by the claim tliey lay to it. 

'When i man reckons witliout the use of words, wliich may be 
done in particul;tr thing.t f;i9 when upon the si^hi ul ary one thing, 
we conjecture what was likely to have preceded, or is likely to follow 
upon it), if that which he thought likely to have preceded it, hath 
not preceded it, this is called error, to which i-vvn the tnont prudent 
men ate subject. Rot when we reason in words of" general signilica- 
tion, .inH fall upon a general inference which is fiiUe, though it be 
commonly calleii error, it is indeed an alwurdity ur senseless speech. 
For error it but a deception in presuming that somewhat is past, or to 
come, of which, though it were not past, or not to conic, yet there 
was no imijftsdihlliiy discoverable. Hut when we make a general 
assertion, unless it be a true one, the possibility uf il is inconceivable. 
And words whereby we conceive nothing but the sound, are those we 
call absurd, insignificant, and nonnense. And, therefore, if a man 
should talk to me of n rrtanii ^va/iran^/f, or acciiirntt af Irtiiii in chtrtt^ 
or immalrrifJ juiiliini-fr, or vj a frtr tulijrtf^ A free v.'i/J, or Mif frtt but 
free from being hindered by opposittoo ; 1 Khoutd not aay he were to 
an error, Init that his wrirtU were without meaning, that is to say, 
abturd.' — Chap. iv. v., pp. i 5, 18, Uc. 

The account of the passions aud affirctions which follows next in 
order, is the same in almoH every p.-irticular as that which h given in 
modem treatiKt-s on this subject, except that Mr. Hohl>eK seemK to 
make curiosity or the desitc of knowledge, an onginal pasjian of tbc 
mind, peculiar to man. Prom this part I thall only cjuotc two passages, 
and then proceed to htit treatise on the ' Doctrine of Necessity,' which 
will conclude my account of this author. 

The iirst passage la the one from whrch Locke has copied his 
famous definition of the dUTerence between wit and judgment. After 

44 



ON THE WRITINGS OF UOBBES 



\ 



I 



olNUviug (Chap, fiii.) thst ibe dilTeFence of men's u1«bu doe* not 
depend on Duural capacity, which, he aij*, i> Dothing else but wote, 
iriterds mea dilfrr so Iktlc from one aooUKr, or frotn bnitci, that it 
it BOt worth the reckoning, he goes on : 

• Thii dtfTercfice of <|u>ckn«u in imagining is cauied by the differtwre 

of meo'i pMnon*, thu Iotc and dttJikc, tome one thing, tome aooclicr, 

i»d therefore tome meo's thoofhti ran one way, tome another, and 

me held to and ob«erTe diS«rentJy the thingi that pau through their 

inugioatioD. Aod wbcrcu in thii taccctsioa of ihou^hta (hctc it 

ntxhinx to obtcrve in the things they think on, but cither in what 

ihcj be hke one another or to what they be tmlike — ihoi« that 

obicrrc their tiinilitudet, in c»c they be tuch at are but rarely 

obtcrred by oihcra, are aid to hare a good wit, by which ii meant 

« this occasion a good Taney. But they that obserre their difTereoce* 

■od dittinulitodcts which it calletl diMtnguiihing :ind ditccrning and 

JH^ing between thing and thing, in catc such ditccrning; be not c»y, 

MC nid to have a good judgment ; and parijcuhily, in matter of 

conrer t atioo and bo«iae«4, wherein (iraev, placet), and pcifoot arc to 

be tUtcenKd, thit virtue it called discretion. The former, that U, 

bocy, wkbotit the help of judgment, it not commcoded for a virtue, 

hit the Utter which u judeoKnt or ditctetion, it commended for 

it^f, without the help of lancy.* p. 31. Thit definition, which 

l.ockp took entire from our author without acknowledgment, and 

*liidi has been 10 oAen referred to, is evidently Blie, for u Horrit, 

(he author of * Hermc*,' hat very well obtcrvcd, the finding out the 

«|aaliiy of the three angles of a triangle to two right ooet would 

ipH the principle here Rated, be a piece of wit initead of an act of 

ihe uulcntaodtng or judgment, and ' Euclid't Elements ' a collection 

of epigranu.' The other passage which I proposed to quote chiefly 

a n BHUnce of out author 1 power of imagination, ia at followt. In 

•feaktug of the degree of maaiaest, at in lanalict and othrra, he taya : 

' The puMgt in Lt>du 11 >» fallowt ; 

'11 b kmajt <n:r idui ia (he nwniDrji rwly at hanit, oontlitt quickarti <■( 
fvu, In lU* of biiiot cbttn UDconfuwl mil being able nitety to Huimiru^ih on« 
llilC h«B Buolhci, wbcTT tbcir it bM itie liMt dKcreacc, contuu in ■ grrit 
MatBic the exacliwu of jaipatat aixl (lc«ncai of rcma, whjdi it to bf ilMrvril 
tatn-oun tbovr aaolhcr. Ab<1 bcncc pcthap* tiu; bt gi^n loiiit ttaiun o{ ihil 
l^tmtti obwrvilun tk«( mni wh« luvc a (ml Jtal of wit ind prompt nicmoriui, 
b« Ml tlw»yt the cUarvft Ju^pneat, «t 4Mftit kimo. Fat »ii lymg tnoti in 
Ik (tttmbU^ al ideal, ttiil paHtmf tbrn lafcther will* quickiuu anil vintty, 
•bttaa oa h» fMUirf any latmhUatt or congruity, ihcrrby in nttkf up plcauBI 
fiamtt ami tfTM^blc vitkoi in the fancr ; ')uAfaaai on the cuiitriiy lin quite 
w^Mhtv Mite, in icpjniinf urifuUy one front inothn irlcai whircfn can be 
llud ihe )e')t (liiTcccDie, tbcrtby to avoi^ beiat mitlcd hf timHituie and iy 
'^'if ta lake wac th icg fa aaalha.' — Ltci^i £afj, vgL i. p. 14]. 

45 




CM 



ON THE WRITINGS OF HOBBES 



' Though Uic ctfcct of folly la them tlut arc poMctscd of as opinioa 
cf being tni[Hied be aot always viiible iq one man, by jiiy very 
extravagant action th« proceedeth from «ich poMioo, yet *ben m»Dy 
of tbem coDspiTc togcihcTi the nf^ of the whole multitude i« nsible 
enough. For what greater argument of madoeis caa there be than 
to cbfflour, Ktritce, and throw itonet at our ben friend* i Yet tht* U 
■omewhat less than such a cduIuiiuIg will do. Fot they will clamour, 
fight sgaintt, and deuroy tliose, by whom, all theit lifetime before, 
they have been protected and lecured from injury. And if thin be 
madacsi in the multitude, it i« the same id every ]iarticttlar man. 
For as in the midst of the sea, though s man pcrccirc no sound of 
that part of the water next him, yet he » well aanired that pan con- 
tributes u much to the roaiing of the Bca as any other part of the 
■ame cjuantity, to alio though wr pctccirc no great unquictocu in one 
or two men, yet we may he well assured that their lingular paKioos 
arc parts of the veditiou* roaring uf a troubled nstioo.' Htch Mr. 
Burlcc did not dhdjiin to borrow one of Hobbea's images. Tbc 
author of the * Leviathan ' compares those who attempt to reform a 
decayed commonwealth to 'the tboli«h daughters of FcIias who 
desiring to renew the youth of their decrepit father did by the 
counsel of Medea, ^cui him in pieces and boil him, together with 
strange herb*, but made aot of him a new man.* 

1 tiiinlt this is better expresictl than the same allusion In Borkc, 
which is 1 dare say we)] known to my revert. 

1 shall not here enter into the doctrine of Liberty aai Nccecnty, 
which HobbcE has stated with great force and precision at a general 
question of cause and effect, and without any particular reference to 
hit mechanical theory of the nund, as I shall fully investigate this 
subieci in my next Esiay. 

I have thus talten a review of thf meuphyaical writings of Blobbe^ 
IS ht it wa* necessary to establish what I at fim propofed, lumely, 
the gcncml conformity, and almonC eniire coincidence between his 
opinions, and the principles of the modem system of philosophy. 
The praiie of originality at least, of boldness and vigour of mind, 
belongs to hinu The strength of reason which ht« application of 41 
general principle to explain almoNt all the phenomena of human nature 
implies, can hardly be surpaswd. The truth of the system is another 
({ucation, whii:h I sliall hcrcaficr proceed to consiilcr. 

I will first, however, distinctly enumerate the leading principles of 
hts philosophy, as they are to he found in Hobhes, and in the lateit 
writers of the lame School. Tlicy are, I conceive, as follows: 

I. That alt our ideas are derived froia cxtcroil objects, by rocuu 
of the senses alone. 

46 



ON THE WHITINGS OF H0BBE8 



*. That a* ootiiing cxut* out of the mind but matter nod motion, 
n it U iuclf with aU its opciatioiii nothing bat nutter and motion. 

J. Thii thought! aiY liogl^, or tbit we can think of ooiy ooc 
object at a time. lo otIu.-r worJti thai there it no compicfaauivc 
power or faculty of uodcrttanding in the miod. 

^ That v/t have do general or ah&trict ideat. 

5. That the only pfinciplc of coonexioa between one thought and 
atiothcr is uiociaiioD, ot tttcii prcviou connexion in KDse. 

6. Thai rratoa and undersuoding defend entiief j on the mechanJua 
of language. 

7 aod 8. That ihr tense of ptraturc and ]>aiD is the lolc ({wing of 
action, and erlf-interest the source of all our alfemoni. 

<f. That the nuod act* ftoni a mcchaoical or physical neccasitfi 
ofer which it has no controul, and consequently is not a moral or 
aocoootablr agent. — The manner of slating .ind reasoning ufion this 
pnot is the only urcumMaacc of importance in which modem writcn 
<tiffer from Hobbc*. 

10. That there is no diiferencc in the natural capacities of nien, 
the miod being originally passive lo all inprcsnout alike, and bccomin); 
vbateter it is from circumsuaoea. 

All of these posiliont it it my intention to opgpae to the utroon of 
■^ ability. Except the lirtt, tliey arc mott or all of them eitbcr 
Miied or doubtfully admitted by Locke. Aod as it is his admiwoo 
of the firft principle which has opened a door, directly or indirectly, 
to fell the test, I shall devote the Essay next b«t otic to an cxaniina- 
MM of the account which lie gires of the origin of our ideas from 
KDsation. 

It may pcrhsps be thought, that the neglect into which Hobbcs's 
neuphysical opinions have fallen was originally owing to the obloquy 
excited by the misanthropy and detpoiical teo;teDcy of his political 
writingi. Bat it seems to me that he has been almost at hardly dealt 
^tfa in the one case as in the oilier. 

As to hit priaciplet of gCTernment, this may at least be uid for 
^cm, that they arc in form and appearance very much the tame with 
~' icktailcd long after in Rouucau'a* Social Concraa,' and evidently 
' the plan of that work, which hat never been considered as 
a defence of tyranny. The author indeed re<jiiiret an absolute lub- 
iniBO« in the subject to the laws, but then it is to be in contcquence 
of his own content 10 obey them. Eiery man it at leatt tvppoud to 
W bit own lawgiver. 

Secondly, >* to the misanthropy with which he is charged, for 
Umg nude fear the aaual foundation atwl cement of civil society, he 
hi I think made hi* own apology very uiisfnctorily in these words : 

49 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITV 

* It nuy Hem image to some man that bath not well weighed 
ihcK ibiogs, that nature (hoold thuH diieuciatc uid render mco spt to 
invade and dcatioy one anoihcc ; and he may therefore, not tnutbg 
to the inference made from the paiiiont, desire perbapi to have the 
(tune CDofirmcd by experience. Let him therefore coniidci with 
iiimscir — when taking a journey he arms himself, and bccIcs to go 
well accompanied; when going to aleep he locks his doorai when 
eTcn in his home, he lockt his chctiCi and this when he know* tfaere 
be laws and public officers, armed to rcTengc all injuries that shall be 
done himi — what opinion 1 say, he baiof bit fellow subjecta when he 
ride* armed, of hit fellow citiiieot when he locks hia dooti, aod of 
his cliildicn and BcrraatSi when he locka his cheats. Doea he not 
then accuse mankind a much by his actions as I do by my vrarAtt 
Yet nftther of uj accuKe man'* nature in it.' — Lfviatlran, p. 61. 

It is true the hood of ciiil fiaveiDmimt according to his account, i* 
very different from Burke's *tofi coUar cf ncia! utttm* and lakei 
away the tentimeMai part of politics. But I eonfeu I tee noting 
liberal in this ' order of ihoughie,' as Hobbcs elsewhere exprcatcs iu 
• the crime, the officer, ihe prison, the judge and tlic gallows,' which 
is ncTenheleis a good description of the nature and end of political 
■nstitutioDS. 

The true reason of the faic which this auihoi's wridngi met with 
waa that his riews of things were too original and eomprehentive to 
be immediately underitoud, without pasiing through the baoda of 
icscral BuecessiTe generations of commentaiots and tnterpreten. 
Ignorance of another's meaning is a itifHcient cause of fear, and fca 
produces hatred : hence arose the rancour and suspicion of hii 
adrersaries, who, to quote some fine lines of Spenser, 

— — -'Stood aJI a^toiticd like a sort of stccn 
'MvDf^t vrliow vfoxK beatt vf iitran|;e and foreign nwv 
Unwaicti is chanced, far Htrayin); from his peer*: 
So did their gha»ilr gau betray their bidden fcan,* 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

I K this Eauy I ihail give the best account I can of the qucadd 
concerning lilierty and nrcessiiv from the writings of others, and 
afterwards add a tew remarks of my own on the explanation of the 
terms employed in this controversy. Of Mr. Hobbes't diacotirte 
on this subject, I should be nearly dttixMcd to lay with Guiendia. 
when asotber work of his, 'Dc Civc,' waa presented to hind 
4« 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

' This trcsdte, thoogh (mall in bulk, \a b my jodgmeat the very 
nurrow of pbilooophy.* In order to give a cinr and fstiifactory 
riew of the c^ueittoo, I nhall be obliged to repeal tome things I have 
befete Mated, for which the importance of the siibject as well u other 
caonnttaoca will* I hope, he a >uAicti-ni excuse. 
Tbe doctrioe of neceoity it stated by (his aotbot with great force 

"* precision u a geoeral <]ue«tion of cause and etfeet, and with 
cly uy particular icference to his mechanical thcocy of the 
iBBid. FroRi this naked simple tiew of ibc matter, I cannot cod> 
latently with tntth withhold my full and entire ittent. The ground- 
work, tfac pure buia of tlic doctrine is in my opinion tDContmahle i 
it cannot be dented without overturning all the rules of science, as 
well as the plainest dictates of the understanding; whoever attacks 
it ibetc in iu stiooghold, will only injure the cause he espouse*. It 
it that rock upon which wliocvrr (i\U will be dashed to pieces. But 
thODgh I cannot pretend (o undermine the foandation, yet I may 
attempt to shake come parts of ihc su{Mr)t(uclu.-c, and to clear away 
diecnutof niateriatiini which has grown over it. In my opinion, 
the representations wlitdi have commonly been giTen of the Eubjeci 
fay the writers on both sides o£ the argument ire almost equally 
tnoocouB, and tfacir oppoiiie conclutioos buitt on an c<]ual mis- 
ion of the true principle of neccstity. Dy the principle of 

ll Of philosophical necessity i« meant then tliat the mind is tn- 

ilriiUy gorenica by crnain laws which ditcrniine all its opctaiiooi; 
flt in other words, that the regular succession of cansc and etfect is 

iot con&Ded to mere matter, while the irapuUcs of the will are left 

Site itnaccoufltcd fort srlf-cauwd, perfectly contingent and faotasiicaL 
eiflgmenLl attribute those things to chance the causes of which 
«i do aot uodcrstaDd, both in niind and matter. But as there is a 
{Rater latitude and tncoosuncy in the one than in the other, inio- 
Hch that we can hardly ever predict with certainty the eHect of 
pnieuUr motires on the mind, the opinion of chance, arbitrary 
Mc ln aiion, or self-determination had gained much deeper root with 
imcct to the operatkms of mind than to iho4e of matter. Tbe 
hlucy of this opinioiv Hohbes has cxpotcd in a masterly, and I think 
tUBcwcrabIc manneri anti without running inco thote paradoxical 
HKlBiioiu from the lirit position which later nece^tariaoE hare 
Uoaed from it. He affirms that necessity i» perfectly cgnsiitcnt 
Vith buroao liberty ; that is, that ilic in<»I strict and inviolable con- 
Kxxm of cause and effect does not [vevent the full, free, and no- 
■otniBed deTeIopn>cnt of certain powers in the agent, or take away 
ibrdiitiac ti on between the nature c» virtue and vice, praise and blame, 
Kwatd and punithmcni, but is tlic foundation of all moral reatootng. 
(O- XI. : Q ^ 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

Excnt Dr. Joottlua Edvudi* be u the tmlj prefc td oecrttvan 
that I taom of who lui ooc been kd, ij the aaumaxy mm of 
hogBige, to qnt Uic or^*iiLd drfnitino of tbe cctb, tod to tUde from 
a philMopfaicJ bui a nlpr Md foeaai anaaitj. B« I will 
■rxte his natooing in tui own wordt, wbtcli »e thr bm. Thrjr air 
at foUows: 

* My optBton about Libcny and NeccMky. 

' fv-it, I coDceive that mhtu a coiBMh into a nan** miad to do or 
not Co do •one ccmia actioa, if be bave no tone lo deliberate, the 
dotog it ot aijaaiaiag acceMarilf fbUowk tfac prewm thought he haih 
of the ^ood or e«il cotuetjuetkrei therrat'to hiouelf ; ai, for example, 
in *«iddcfl iagti the actioo •ball foUew the thought of reveoge } in 
•udden fear* the thought of cacapc ; alio when a man hath time to 
deltbente, but delibemeth not, because never any tbiog appeared that 
co«]d htm make doubt of the cooaeqneDce, tbe action fbllowa hii 
opinion of the goodneu or barm ot R. These actions 1 call volun- 
tary, bccauir tlieie action* thu JeBom mmeJhtefy the U*[ appetite are 
roluat^, arc here : where i« ooly one appetite that one i« tne U«- 

' SeconJUt I coDCcire wkcD a Dun dcUberaiea whether he shall do a 
thing or DOC do it, that he does nothing che but cooaider whether tt 
be better for biraaelf to do it or not to do it ; and to cooiidcr an 
action, ii to imagine the cooaconcaccs of it both cood and erit ; (rom 
whence is to be inferred, that deliberatioD is nothiag cIk but iltemaie 
iimgtoatioo of the good and eril aeifuelt of ao aetioB, or (which it 
the aame thing) alternate hope and fear, or ahcraate appetite to lio or 
quit the action of which he ddiberateth. 

■ 7%w-^, I conceive that in all deliberation*, that ia to say, in all 
alternate wcoestioa of cooirarY appetites, the lait a that which we 
call the will, and ii immediatefjr next before tbe doing of the action, 
or next before the doing of it become imposible. All other 
appetites to do, and to qnii, chat come vpOD a ana during bis dclSicta- 
twos, are called intentions, and inclinations, but not wills, there being 
but one will, which also in thin caae nny he called the last will, 
tbougb the iotcnuoas cbiDge often. 

* Fourth^, I conceive that thocc actions which a roan is said to do 

r deliberation, are uid to be volnntary, and done upon chmce and 
ioB, so that Tolustary actioo, and action proceeding from 
election ia the tame thing ; and that of a roluntary agent, it is all 
one to aay, lie is firee, and lo cay, he hath not Bade as end of 
deliberating. 

* FJfiitfi I conceiTc liberty to be rightly dcHncd in this manner : 
libeny is the absence of all the impedimenu to action that are not 
contaiBed in the nature and intrinilcal qiulity of the agent, aa for 

$0 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



mmple, the wacrr i* uid to deicend frc«ly, or (o ha?e libett^ tn 
doccod by the cltuiacl of Lhc river, bccaiuc there it oo im- 
pcdiracm that way, biu not acicwB, because the bankf arc in- 
pedimetiT*, xnd though the water camiot aKoid, yet men never lay it 
the Ubcny to uccad, but ihc fjcutty or power, bccauK the 
itt i* in the □Jturc of tiic waiter, and inirinsical. So alfo 
'■ say, he that i> tied wanit the liberty to go, bec>u*e ilw tm- 
atat i* not in hint, but in hit bands; whereat we »ay not to 
of him that ii «ck or Uitie, because the impcdiracDt is in himself. 

*Shiihfyj I cowreivc that nothing taketh beginning from iuelf, but 
fnm tbe action of wmc other immcdiiitc agent without inclf. And 
[h«, thcTcfore. when first a man hath an appetite or will to somcthiDg, 
to which immeil lately before lie had no appetite nor will, the cau^e of 
tm «iU> it not the wi]l itself, but •ooiMbing «l*e not in hii own 
diying i «o that whereas it ii nt» of coinro%-cTBy, that of Tolamary 
aeiioai the will la the nece«>iy cause, and by this which is laid, the 
will is alto caiued by other thioga whereof it di^Mth not, ii 
lidloweth, that foluntary aclioni hare all of them necessary causes, 
3Bd therefore are necessitated. 

' Sfwtijh/y, 1 bold that to be a sufficient cauae, to which nothing i* 
vaodng that is Dcrdful to the producing of the ctTect. 'l^e satiK 
lisD is a necessary cause. For if it be possible that a suifinent canse 
ilkall not bring forth the effect, then there wanteth somewhat which 
«u needful to the producing of it, and so the cause was not sufli> 
oen t bat if it be impossible that a stilftcieot cause sboald not pro- 
dace the effect, then is a sufficient cnvte a necessary caute (for thai 
iisaid to produce an ciTea iveccssnnly that cannot bttt produce it i) 
Wnce ii is ounit'cst. that whatsorvcr is produced, is produced 
MecMarily: for whatsoever is produced huh had a sufficient cause 
W produce h, or else it had not been ; und therefore also voluntary 
iciions are ncce»ii3ted. 

* LtiJtlf, 1 hold that the ordinary definition of a free agent, 
Bsncly, that a free agent, u that, which, when ail things ate present 
<irfuch are nerdfiJ to produce the rtfcct, can nererthelcss not produce 
it, iaiplks a contradiction, and is nonsense ; being as much as to cay, 
lhc caste may be suificicnt, that ■■ to say iwccwary, and yet the effect 
shall nut follow. 

' Mr RusOKS. — For the first five posncs, wherein it is explicated 
—I. what spoataacity is; 3. what deltticratton is-, 3. what will, 

Tamamoo and appetite are; 4. what 3 free-agent is; 5. whal 
n*fl* ia; there can no other proof be offered but every man's own 
teace, by reflection on himself, and rcmembcriflg what he him- 
ncBoetli wbcn he saith an action is spoManeoue : a maa 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



deliberitn : Rich U hti will : tint a^mt or ttut action ii free. Now 
he that rrHecteth to on hitntclT, cinnot bat be misled, that deliberv 
tioD ii the comiderauoD of the good or e«il Kqtid* of an actioa to 
come; that bjr spoouiKhy ii loeani tnconsidrraic action (or die 
nothing i» meant hj it) t that will i> the latt act of out deliberation ; 
that a frce-a^ent i> he that can do if he will, and forbear if be will ; 
and that libeiiy ii the abtrncc of extrmal impedtmenit. Butr to 
thoae that out olf cuitom spcalc aoi what they conceire, bat what they 
hear, and aic not able, oi will not take thr pain* to consider what 
they think when they hear inch words, no argument can be luffi- 
cient ; because ex{)cricnce and matter of fact it not verified by other 
men's arguraeots, but by erery man's own tense and naemoty. For 
ex;implc, how c»n it be proved tlut to love a thing and to think it 
good It all one, to a man that hath not marked his own meaniog by 
UiOK words? or how can it be proved tluit cteniity is not aunt ttaat 
to a man that nys ihuu- wnnlii by cuKtom, and iierer contxIcrB how 
he can concdi-e the thing in his mind '. Also the sixth point, that 
a man cannot ima^^inc any thing to begin without a cause, can do oihcr 
way be mailr known, but by trying how he can imagine it ; bnt if he 
try, he shall lind an much reAson (if there W no cause of the thing) 
to conceive it should bcKin at one liinc a aaulhcr, that he hath eqwu 
rcaaon to think it should begin at all times, which is impossible, and 
therefore he must ihink there was some ipeeial cause why it btgsQ then, 
rather than tooner or later, or else that it began nctcf, but was etcnal. 
' For the tcTcnih point, which is, thai all erentn have nccesuiy 
causes, it is there proved in that they have sufficient causes. Farther, 
let us in this place alio suppoic any event oercr eo ca«ul, a* the 
throwing (for examjile] "anici ace upon a pair of dice, and see if 
it must not have Iwen necewary before it was thrown. For seeing it 
was thrown, it had a beginning, aod consequently a sulficicut CdUM to 
produce it, consiitinj; partly in the dice, |>ardy in ootwaxd things^ as 
the posture of the pans of the band, the meuure of force applied by 
the caster, the posture of the part* of the table, aod the like. Id 
sum, there was nothing wanting which was necessarily rctjuisiie to 
the producing of that particular cut, and conse({ueatly the cast was 
nccconrily thrown ; for if it had not been thrown, there bad wsnled 
aoniewhzt rei]uisite to the throwing of it, and eo the cauM had not 
been sufficient. In the like manner it may be proved that every 
other accident, how contingent »oe««r it teem, or how voluntary 
aocft-r it be, is produced Decestaiily. Tbc aame may be povcd alto 
in this nunner. Let the cate be put, fw example, of the weather : 
'tis DCCCMary that to-norrow it shall rain or oot rsto. If, therefore, 
it be not ncceiMry it shall niD, it is necctsary it shall not rain, other* 



I 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

wnc xhm u no nccesHty clut the propoaicion, it ihall ratn or not 
rain, should be trae. I koow there be tome that eay, it may occei- 
•tfily be true that ooe of the two shall come to pao, but not, aiogty 
ikat it iha\i rain, or thai it thall doi rain, which is as much at to ay, 
one of (hem i» necesury, yet neither of them ia ncceMary t aod 
ilmcforr to Mxm to ava*d that abaurdity, (hey mike a diainctiont 
thai iMrithei of them is true Alrrminair, but ml^lerwinalf, which dis- 
tiaction either tignilies no more but thi>, ooe of them is true, but we 
know not which, and so the nrccuity remaina, though we knov it 
act ; or if the meaning of the distinctiuo be not that, it hath oo 
Bcmiog, and they might u well have said, ooe of them is tree 
Ufirirr* but neither of tbem, tu ^tlu&ce. 

'The lait thing in which also contiitrth the whole cooiroreny. 
nmeljr, that there it no nKh thing as an agent, which when all 
tkiogi requisite to action are pretctUj can ncvcniideu forbear to pro- 
duce it ; or (which i* all one) that there is no such thing a* freedom 
from neceuity, i* easily inferred from that which hath been befoN 
dcged. For if it be an agent it cao work, and tf it work there is 
DoUting wanting of what ia requisite to produce the action, and con- 
•Mpeotly the canse of the action is modern, and if suAcieM, then 
alio Dccc*»rr> as bath been prored before. And thus you ace how 
the inconveniences, which it i> objected must follow upon the holding 
of neceuily, are avoided, and the necessity itself demonatrstively 
prored. To which I could add, if I thought it good logic, the 
■ c onic ai cn cc of denying necrnsity, as that it dntroyeth both the 
dicrva lod the prescience of God Almighty; for whatsoever Cod 
l«th purpoacd lo bring to paia by man, as an iaitrument, or foresccth 
shall ctune to pasi ; a man, if he have liberty ai haih been aflirmed 
from neceatitaiion, might frustrate, and make not to come to pass, and 
Goj sboald either not foreknow it, and not decree it, or he should 
(brcknow such ihiugB shall be, as stult never be, and decree that 
vUch shall never corae to pass. This is all that hath come into my 
mind touching thit question since 1 latt considered it.' 

The letter from which tbc foregoing extract is taken U addressed 
to the Matqois of Newcastle, and dated at Rouen in i6j i, twenty 
jears before the publication of Spinois's most exaet and beautiful 
4mMOKration of the same principle. Some of Hobbes's aniagonisis 
lad charged bim with luring borrowed hit arguments from Mar- 
MDiK, a FretKh author ; to which in one of his conttovcisia) tracts 
Hobbes replies with some ctnncmpt, that this Maracnmu had beard 
bim talk on the subject when lie was in Paris, and had borrowed 
tbem from bin). Dr. Priestley hu dotM justice to Hobbes on this 
ifntiaa of necenaicy, and 1 suipcci more than justice in denying that 

SJ 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



(he Stoici WTt ac(]uunted whh the lame principle. At any 
the roodcTD commcataioti oa die vubjcci (and I)r. Pncnlcy amoog^ 
thctn) hire added DOtbin)i[ to U but abwrdilin, from which oar 
wuhor'n logic protected hun ; for he aeldom reatoned wrong but 
wbcD he Kaxmcd from wrong pmniKi. A« this quntioa is one of 
the iDOft iDicicsUng in the history- of philotophy, I shall perhapi be 
excused for adding one moie exmn (of coniiderable Imj^th) to 
prove tbu Hobbei it Dot* io thi* iiutaKC) cfairgcablc wiUi the prsc- 
tica) tnicrencci which have bcco made from his docirioe. In uwwer 
to the objeciioat of Bishop BramhaU, with whom he hid a con- 
troTcrcy on ihc fubject, he ays : 

' Of the arguments from reison, the first is that which his Lord- 
ship saiih K drawn from Zeoo's beaiing of his man, which is iherc- 
fbre caUed jftjumttriim Ban&Hvm^ that is to say, s wooden argumcnu 
The atory is this: Zroo held thai all actioos were ncccuary: his 
man ihereforc being for Eome fauli bcairn, exctised himtclf upuo the 
neccsiity of it : to aToid this excuse, hit mailer pleaded likewise the 
necessity of bi-aiing him. So ih»t nvi he tlijit laatntatncd, but he 
that derided the oeceuity was bcatco, contrary to that his Lordship 
would iafer- 

< The secood argumeot is uken from certain incooTCiueDces wt 
his Lordshi]) thinks would follow such an opinion. 

* The first inconvenience, he says, is this, that the Uws whlch^ 
prohibit any actiOD will be uajntt. 

* I. That all coDsuttaiions are vain. 

< 3, That admonittooi to men of andfrmanding are of no more 
than 10 children) foolci nnil madmen. 

' 4. Thai praise, dispraise, reward and punishmeot are io *aia. 

* 5 and 6. That counwis, arts, arms, books, ioetrumems, study, 
tutors, mcdicinn arc in vain.' 

Hobbes's answer 10 these conclusions b T think i^uite ntis&ctory. 
He says — 

* To which aiguments his Lurdfrliip, expecting I should answer by 
saying, '* the icnorance of the event were enough to make us use the 
n»eana," addt (as it were a reply to my answer foreieeo) iheK words, 
" ^lat ! haw shaulj our ni^ ioowin^ ibt evmt h< a tmffic'tent mt^ivc to 
mait pt utt (he mam * " Whi-rein his Lordship tap right : but my 
.inswer is not that which he expectcch. I answer: 

* I-'irst, Uiat Ihc neccviily of an action dotli not make the taws that 
itrobibit it unjust. I'o let pass that not the necessity, but the will to 
ureak tJie law maketh the action unjust, becaute the law rcgardeth the 
will and no other antecedent cauie of ftction, and to let pass that no 
law can possibly Ik unjust, inannuch as every man maketh (by his 

54 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

cantnt) the law hr w boaad to knp, and which eonteqoently muat 
be juK, unlea* a mao can be unjust to himself;—! aar* what necessary 
Gxur soever precede ao aciioo, yet if the action be toihiddea, be that 
doth it willingly nuy be jnnly poniihed. For tnnance, iu[t]M>K the 
U« OD psb of death prafaibit stcsliagt aod that there be a man who 
bjr the atfcngth of temjiuiion ti oecetsitated to iteal. and is dirreupoo 
aa to deatbf docs not this ptmishraent deter oihefs from eipaling? 
li it not a caasc thu others sie&l not i Doth it out frame and make 
dMT wills to Justice? Tu make die bw in therefore to make a cuue 
of joBiioef ind to neceititate jiutice, and coase^orntly 'lu do inJTiitice 
to nuke such s law. Tht ioteatioo of the law is not to gricre the 
dHinqumt Air what is (Bst and not to be undone ; but to nuke him 
ai others just that cite would not be so ; and respecteih not the evil 
Kl past, but the good to conic [osoniach a* wilbotii the jood iotcti- 
*J0D for the fuuue, no past act of a delinquent would juntfy his killing 
in the tight of God. 

* Secondly, I deny that it makctb consultation* to be rain. "Tis 

ihe ccnsultation that catueth a man and necessitateth him to choose 

to do one thing raihet than another : to that utile** z man say that 

ihat c«ne is in vaia which oecewiuteth the cflea, be cannot infer 

ihc MperflnousDess of conniltation out of the necetuty of the election 

~ in g from it. But tt scemech hit Lordihrp teasons thui : "Ifl 

do tht* rather than (bat, I *hall do it though 1 coniult not at sH ; " 

■fucb is a iaUc jirt^XMtuoa ud a false cootojaencc, and no bntcr ilun 

tUs: "If I shall livetill to-mortow, Ishalllivctill lo-moirow, lliaugh I 

raa RiTMlf through with a tword to^iBy." If there beancccisity that 

aactioo tliall be done, or that any effect shall be bioughi to passi it 

&» oat therefore follow th:u there ii nothing necessarily retfuisite ai 

a Beans to bfing it to p«» ; and therefore when it is determined that 

Me thing shall be choacn before another, 'tia detcrniiocd also for 

liu cause it shall he chosm, which cuise for the moit part i* 

ddiheraiioo or coosoltation ; aod therefore consultation u not in vaini 

ud iadccd the leas in rain by how much the election is more 

onxMtated, if mere and im UmI any place in oecessity. 

*Tbe same answer i* to be given to the third supposed iacoD- 
•oiicncc, namely, that admonitions arc in vain: for aamonitiooa arc 
mu of coQsultoiion, the admonitur being a counsellor for the time to 
nn that is Bdmonished. 

'Tbc Iburth pretended incoovenietKe is, that piaitc, diipraisc, 
mraid and punisti(nent will be in vain. To which I answer, that 
hv fvaite and dispraise, they depend not at all on the neceutty of the 
MDoo praised or diipnuscd. For wb^it tc it else to praise, but to say 
1 lUoj ia good ; good, I say, for me or for some Dody else, or for 

h ■ 




ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



die Rate and commonwcahh ? And whai !i it to say an actioa ti 
good, but to lay it it u 1 would with, or u another would have it, 
or sccoidint; to the will of the tUte, that ti to mv, Mcordiag to (he 
bw. Doci niy Lord think that do action can plcaae mc or him cr 
the commonwedtli, that ihould proceed from neceoKiiy ! Thingi 
nuy therefore be necentary, and yet jiritiiewMthy, a» alto neceMary, 
aaa yci diipraiicd, and ocithcr of them both in rain, becauK praitc 
and diflpraite, aod likewifc reward and punithment, do by example 
make and conform the will to good and evil. It was a very great 
praiK in my opinion thai Vcllciua PaterciUus ^itcs Cato, when he 
■ayx that he was good by nature, et qtaa alher tsie aon poiuit. 

* To (he bst objection, (hat coudkIb, arti, armi, innrnmeDit, 
bookBi study, mcdicinctt, and the like would be aupcrfluous, tbc same 
answer SCI vet as to the former, that it to tay, thai (hi* coascaiieDCe, 
if tht efftti tba!l comg fe fajj, then tl thait com* to pati nAtbwl iti 
cautct, a a faltc one, and thoic thingi named counsda, uta, annc, 
ttc. arc the catues of those clTccis.' — Page 191. 

> Hia Lordship's third argunieot coniieteth in other inconTeniencei, 
which be saith will follow, namely, impiety, and negligence 0/ 
relig^ouf duties, as repentance and zeal to God's service, &C. To 
which ! anRwer as to the rest, that they follow not. I must confea*, 
if we consider the grentcit part of mankind, not ai they should bci 
but as ihcy arc, (bat is, at men whom either the sttidy of acquiring 
wealth or pTefermeot, or whom the appetite of seotual delights or die 
impatieoce of mediution, or die rath cmbraciog of wion^ priociplci 
have made unapt to discuss the truth of thio];s; I must, I say, 
confet* ihnt the dispute of this question will rather hurt than help 
their piety, and therefore if his Lordship had not desired this answer, 
I should cot have written it, nor do 1 write it but in hopes youi 
Lordship and his will keep it private. Ncvenhcless tn very truth, 
the Dcccstity of events does not of itself draw with it any impiety at 
atl. For piety consistcih only in two things: one that we boDoni 
God in our hearts, which is, that we think as highly of hia power at 
we can, (for to honour any thiog is nothing el»e but to think it to be 
of great power). The other is that we signify thai bonoui and 
esteem by our words acd actions, which is called m/fm, or worship 
of God. He therefore that thioketh that all thiDgs proceed from 
God's eternal will, and consequentty are necessary, does he not diink 
God omaipoteDt? Does be not esteem of his power as highly as ii 
possible, which is to honour God as much as may be ia his heart? 
Attain, he that ihinketh to, is he not more apt by external act* and 
words to acknowledge it, thin he thai thinlceth otherwise? Yet it 
tbit external acknowledgment the same thing which we call warship ; 

56 



ON LIBEETY AND NECESSITY 

I tlat this opioioD {orii&n piety io both kindi, external and inumal, 
ud therefore ii far ffoni destroying it. And for repentance, which 
■> soUiuig else but a gUd returning into the ri^ht way, aficr die grief 
oT being oat of the way, though the cause that nude him go aiuay 
were oeccstary, yet there a do rcuoa why he th<nil4t not griere j 
aodf again, though the catt*e why he rcTumrd into the way were 
necnnry, there renuineth nill the cause of joy. So that ibe 
fteceuity of the iicfiog taketh away neither of th&x parta of re- 
pentance — grief for the error, and joy for rcttuning.' — Tripor, p> 391. 
The author afterwards properly defines a moral agent to be one 
that acts from dcliberstiMi, choice, or will, not froai iDdifferencc t 
UMi« (peaJting of tbe supposed inconsiMcncy bcttrecn choice and 
nece ssit y, adds : 

■Commonly when we ler and know the strength thai moves as, 
wc acknowledge nccrutty ; but when we aec not or mark not the 
force that movei os, we then think rhere is none, and that it it itot 
eauKs bnt liberty that produceth the action. Hence it ii that tbey 
tliink be doth not chooM this that of otccwity cbooocs it, but they 
might u wi-II uy, lire doth not burn, becauxe it burns of necessity.* 

The general (question ii thus stated by Mr. Hobbes in the beginniBg 
vi iut treatise : tike point is not, he says, ' whether a mnit can be a 
6cc ageat ; that a to uy, whether he can write or forbear, »pcak or 
be lilent, according to his will, but whether the will to wriie^ and the 
till to forbev, come upon htm according to his will, or itccording to 
■ay thing else in his own power. I acknowledge this liberty, that 
I em do if I will ; but to say — I can will if I will, 1 take to be u 
^Mard ipeech< In Gnc, th.it freedom which men commonly find in 
books, that which the poets chaunt in the theatres, and the thephetds 
w the tDomtaina, that which the pastort leach in the pulpits, and the 
JMors in tbe universities, and that which the common people in tbe 
rkcts, acd all mankind in the whole world do astcnt onto, is the 
that I pstent unto, namely, that .1 man hath freedom to do if be 
■Qlt but wbether he hatJi freedom to will is a qucstioo octtbcr the 
Micrp nor iliey eicr tjioughc on.' | 

All in which I differ horn Hnbhec is, that T think there is a real 
frttdom of choice and will, ss well 8* of action, in the sense of the 
mlior, that ti, not a freedom from necessity or cautcs in either case, 
ha a liberty in any gircn agent to exeii cerlnin powers without 
btm cODtroUed or impeded in thcit «xcrci*c by anotlm agent. 

Hrintios says, ' It is troc wc can form a tolerably diitinct idea of 
Ibe word Sierff, imdciKtood in a common tense. A m.in \t free who 
ii Rrither loaded with irons, nor confined in priion, nor intimidated 
Uc ilic tlaic l>y the drnul of chastisement : in iitit> sciue, the lilieny 

57 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

of a itun coiuint id tfa« free exerem of his pov^r : I tay of hu 
powcFi bccauK it would be ridiculous to mi«ukf for a wont of libcrt]r 
the incapacity we arc undrr lo pierce the ctoudc like the eagle, to live 
under ihe water like the while, or to become king, emperor, *r pope. 
Wc have >o fitr fl suHidcntly clear idea of the word. But this is no 
longer the caic when we come to apply liberty to the will. What 
must this liberty then mean? We can only understand by it > free 
powerof willing or noi willing a ihing: but thir> power would imply that 
there may be a will without moiivees and connequently an ctfeci with- 
out a ciuar. A philosophiinl treatise on the Itbeny of the will would 
be a trcatiac of eRi;ct» withou^ a cauw.' — Hrhtlius an the Mind, p. 44. 

Now I cannoT perceive why there is any more ditRculty in annexing 
a meaning to the word liberty, as it relates to the faculties of the mioit 
than as it relate* to thovc of the body, or why a tteatiae of the OM 
ihould be a irnititic of effect* without a cause any more than of the 
othn. If the distinctioD between liberty and necessity i« lost in this 
case, it is not beoiuK liberty but because necessity can liarc no place 
in the will, or becauHc wc cannot easily put a padlock on the mind. 
If the prisoner who has his chains struck off, walks or runfi, dancet-l 
or leaps, \% this an inttancc of an effect without a cause, because it is 
an effect of liberty, or of what HcWctiun catls the free exercise of 
his power? Not that he can exert this power without meant of 
motircB, that is, without ground to move on, or limbe to more with, 
or brcdth to draw, or witl to imjiel him, but 'with nJI ihcK mcaM:^ 
and appliances to boot * he has a power to do certain things whicli ' 
his chains deprived him of the liberty of doing, but which the slrikir^ 
them off restores to him again. Why then, if liberty doe* not in its 
common sen»e sijinify an etTeci without a cause, but the free exercise 
of a power, did it not signify the same thing or somethiog aimiUr u 
applied to the mind ? Has the niind no powrii, or are ihcy necessarily] 
impeded and hindered from operating ? My notion of a free a^entaj 
I confess, is not that represented by Mr. Hobbcft, namely, one 1 
when all things necessary to produce the effect arc present can nercr- 
theleM not produce it ; but I believe a free wgent of whatever kind, 
is one which where all things necessary to produce the effect are 
pre&ent, can unxlucc it ; its own operation not bcin^ hindered by any 
thing eUe. The body is said to be free when it ban the [iDwer to obey 
the direction of the will : so the will may be said to be free when it faat 
iJic power to obey the dictates of the understanding. The absurdity of 
the libertariani is in supposing that lilierty of action, and liberty of will 
have the same identical source, vi?.. the will ; orthataiiti* the will titat 
laOTcs the body, so it is the will tlint moves itKlf in order to be free. 

Mr. Locke's chapter *0n Power,* in the first volume of the 

58 



4 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



Baay, e ont A Jitt hii account oT libenjr and nccenity, snl hii been 
more found bult with than Any olbrr part of his work ; I think 
wttboot rcatoo. Ht Kcnis cvidrotly to have admittrd the definition 
of Demmy* though he lus avoided the name, which i> doi much to 
be woodcred at, contidering the rnisconcrptioD to which it is liable, 
and which cao tcarcely be tcparatcd from it ia the tWwgt rcasoningt 
iBOcIi lew aa a ttrm of general ugnidcatioD. In oiher words, he 
dmiet the power of the mind tu act without a cause or motive, or, 
ia uy nuDoer in any circvmMinces, from mere indtHereacy and 
absolute aclf motion ; out he at the ssnic time rejects the inference 
«fa»cb has been drawn from this principle, thu the mind it not an 
sKeat at all, but entirely subject to external force or blind impulte. 
What be has said is little more than an expansion of Hobbes's general 
descrifCion of practiotl liberty, 'that it is a power to do, if we will.' 
Thut, according to Mr. Locke, tt would i»t be so absurd to give a 
Kttive horse ibc spur or Lhc whip to make him go straight forward 
on a plain road, as it would be in order to make him leap up a 

freeijiice 3 hundred &et high. The one the horse his a pflwer or 
iberty to do if he will, the other he has no power to do at any rate. 
That is, here are two sorts of impedimenta, one that may be over* 
come, and which It is right to take meaiu to overcome, and another 
vhich caanot be OTrrcomc, and which it is therefore absurd to 
meddle with. To uy that tbcsc two ncccssitici arc in dfeci the 
naw, ia an abuse of language ; yet for not lumping them together id 
the dashing style of our modem wholesale dealers io paradox, Mr. 
L«dw baa been mjKic the lubject of endless abase and contumely. 
The difference between itieni, as stated hy this author with gml 
force and carncstoesa of feeling, la tratfa cooatitatcs all that men in 
pasal meso wbco they iilk of freedom of will, and make it, as in 
lUa toiae it it, the ground-work of morality. There are certain 

Cen which the mind has of gorcroinj; not only the actions of the 
f, but of regulating its own rbought^ ai>d desires, and it is to 
HB ntert these powers that all the dniinctioas, rules and 
Di of morality hate been cttnbliibed. It must be ridiculous 
totttcmpt CO make us do, what upon the face of the thing it was 
kaowB wr could not do; yet it is on this literal and unqualified 
iMer^irvcation of the term, as implying a Hst impossibility of the con- 
tnry, an utter iocapacity and helplesfnesa in the mind, a concurrence 
fiaaaf foreign to the will itself, and irresistible in their clfecl, and 
*ilh which it miut ibercfore he in rain to contend, that most of the 
caaiei]DciKeB from the doctrine of necessity have been built ; luch 
ttbat reward and punishment arc absurd and improper, that virtue 
uJ ticc are words without a meaning, that the assassin is no more a 

n 




ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



moral or nccounubk agent than the dagger which he iucr, and 
oUictt of the aamc atamp. The sword and the awaiaio would be 
M]ually nior.il and accountable agcnia, if they were lioih eqiully 
acccHiblr to moral motive*, that it, to retviird and [lUDiHhtneni, 
praise and blame, fee; but they arc not. This sccmt to be h 
diitincTion of great piih and moment- Ii is said to be a mere 
difTerence of words ; at least it maliea all ilic dilfereoce whether uich 
motives B> reward and punishtnent, praise and blame, should be 
applied or noi, and ihis one should think was a dilfcrencc of practice. 
It is objected, indeed, chat itill both are equally necetsary ageot*. 
But this a.ppeir> lo mc to be a confusion of words. It is io vain to 
exhort flame not to burn, or to be angry with poison for workiog i 
and it would be eejually in »ain to exhon men to certain actions or to 
re4eiit others, if cxhon.ition and rctemment had no more effea upon 
thein, that is, if they were really ^orerncd by the s^nic sort of blind, 
phyucsl, unreasoning, unresisting necessity. In fact, the laim 
neoenarians have abn.ndoned the true, original, philosophical meaning 
of the lerm, Ln which it implies no more than the cooaection between 
cause and ed^ect, and have substiiuted for it the prejudiced notion of their 
adreranriei, who confound it with mechanicai neceuity, *ixed fate, 
foicknowird i;c absolute,' or the unconditional_/ft(/ of omnipotence. 

The following extracts uhich I shall condense as much as I can 
coniistemly with the nature of the argument, will shew the view which 
Mr. Locke has taken of this subject. I would only abM:Tve,by tbcby, 
that I so far .igrec with Hobbes and diifer from Mr. Locke, in think- 
ing that lil>erty in the most extended and atuiract sense is applicsblc 
to material as well as roluntary a^enti ; moral liberty, i.e. freedom 
of will evidently is not, because such agen» have no such faculty. 

•All the actions that we have any idea of,' says my author, 're- 
ducing thumn:lvci> lo these two, vi*. thinking and moving, to far M a 
man has a power to think or not to think, to mo\e or not to move, 
according to the preference or direction of his own mind, so far is a 
man ft<v. Wherever any performance or forbearance arc not equally 
in a m.vt's power, wheicvei doing or not doing will not equally follow 
upon the preference of his mind, directing it, there he is not free, 
though perhaps the action may be roluntaiy. Where any p«tticaW 
action is not in the jKiwrr of the agent, to be produced by him accord- 
ing lo his volition, there he it not at liberty; that agent is under 
necessity. So that liberty cannot be where there tt no thought, no 
Toliiion, no will ; but there may be thought, there may be voliiioo 
tliere may be will, where there it no liberty. A little consideration 
of an obviou* instance or two may make this clear. 

' A icnnis-ball, wlicthcr in motion by the stroke of a racket, or 

60 



ON LIBEBTY AND NECESSITY 

ipag tail n ten, U oot by aojr one tiiken lo be a free agrat. Tf we 
iwpBn into the ttjttoa, we ihill find it it becauM we conceive doi i 
Mimis-ball lo ihiak ; aod coMcquently not to have any volition, or prr- 
Icrcacc ofmoiion to tea or vktvrriJ ; and cSerefore hat not IJtierty, 
i) not a free agmt, but both its tnotion and reji come under our idea of 
aeccMitj, and arc lo called. Likewise a man falliog into the vater (s 
bridge breaking under him) has not herein liberty* ti not a free agent. 
Par tboogh be hat volition, though he prefershi* not falling to falling, 
yM the fotbearancc of ihit nwtion doe bciii}- in his power, the Mop or 
cea w tiop of that motion follows not upon his volition ; and therefore 
ilieKia he in not free. So a man linking himtelf or hit friend by a 
conrulriTc motion of hit arm, oo body tlunki he has in this liberty, 
nery one pities htm as aaing by oeceuiiy and conitraint.* 

Here I will jnn «op to observe that the sLinch eiickler* for 
MceMrty, who nuke op by an exceii of zeal for their want of know- 
ledge* would read thia ptaiage wilb a smile of »elf-compbccnt con< 
lempt* utd remark profoundly that whether the nian uruck his friend 
M purpose, or from a convulsive motion, be was equally under 
aeoetaity, and the object of pity. Now whether he is an object 
of pity, 1 thall not dispute; but I cooceiTe he is also an object of 
tager ta the one cate which he i> not in the other, bcc^ui« anger 
ariil prerent a man's nriktnj; yon H}>ain, but will not cure him of 
St. Vitua's dance. It is to this son of indiscriminate, blind, senselr«a 
aMCMinr which neutrtlizM all thingi and action*, and under the pre- 
(eace of enablishing the operation of causes, destroys the diatinaioa 
between the diSetent degrees and kinds of necessity, lo which I do not 
profess myieira convert. 

To return. — • As it is in the niotioos of the body,' proceeds Mr. 
Locke, * so it IB in the thoughts of our minds : where any one IB tocb, 
that we have power lo take ic up or lay it by, according to the prefet- 
eoceof the mind, there we are at liberty. Vet aume ideas to tin* mind, 
like lome motioas to the body, are such aa in certain circumstances it 
etOMH avoid, nor obtain their abience by the uimoit elfort it can use. 
A nuD oo the rKk is not at liberty to lay by the idea of p;iin, and 
dtnrt himself with other conionplations. And sontcrimcs a botstcr- 
(M passion harries our thoughts, as a hurricane does our bodies, 
eitMut leaving us the lihrny ot thinking on other things which we 
naU rather choose. Bui as toon as the mind regains the power to 
■Be or cootinae, begin or forbe:it any of these motions of the body 
•iuoat, or of the mind within, according ai it iliinks tit to prefer 
■ifcer lo the other, we then consider the man s* free again.' 

*Bnt freedom,' saysmy author, 'unless it reaches farther than tliis, 
«3I Mt aerve the turn ; and il passes for a good piea that a man is 

6i 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

' not frtt M all, if he i« not u free to will, as he is to Jict wital he willl< 
Concerning a mitD's liberty, there yet ibcrcforc it raised this farther 
queetioot whecher a man t>r free to will ^ And at to thai 1 inugiDc 
that a man in respect of willing, when any action in hit power isonee 
proposed tu his thoughts u presenity [^that is, immcdiatetyj to be 
doae, cannot be free. The reason whereof is rery irunifeit ; for it 
being unavoidable that the action depending on his will should exiit 
or not exist, and iu existence or cwD-cxisu-occ folloving perfectly the 
determination of his wilt, he cannot aroid willing the existence or 
non-existence of that action ; it is absolutely necettary thai he will ibe 
one, or the other, i.e. prefer tJic one to the other, eince one of them 
must necrvKirily follow. '^Page i^f>. 

Thti seeniE to be the weak part of Mr. Locke's reaioniog, and it 
the only )i lace, as I remember, where he has considered t Ik certainty of 
the event at incoiuiffient with the jirnctical liberty for which he con- 
tends. At ibis rate, it must be given up a[to;;eiher: there can be no 
such thing as liberty. Tor in all cases wliatcvcr, one determination 
must happen rather than another. In all cases whatcrcr, wc most 
choose either tine way or another, or suspend our choice. Suspense and 
deliberation, as Helvetius and othcra have juttly tcniBiked, are in this 
scnte equally necessary with precipitation of judgment. The actual 
or final event is in both caies the necessary conKequcoce of preceding 
caaacB, but that does not dc»uoy freedom of choice in either case, u 
the event depends upon the exercise of choice, whether the time 
allowed for the mind to choose in, tie longer or shorter. If by liberty 
be raeuAt the uncertainty of the event, then liberty i« a non-entity: 
but if it be supposed to relate to the concur teoce of certain powers of 
an agent in t])e production of that event, then it is ns true and as real 
a thin^ at the necessity to which it is ttiue opposed, and which coosiits 
in the exclusion of certain powers )xiB»esdcd oy an agent fiomojierating 
in the producing of any event. At tlie lame lime it must be granted, 
that the power of deliberation i« the most valuable privilcf;e of onr 
rational nature, and the f;reat cnUrgcmcnt of the discursive faculty nf 
the will. Mr. Locke leemi only to hive erred in mistaking a differ- 
ence of degree or extent for one of kind. The pr.icticsl truth of the 
distinction ic undcni^hlc. His words arc: — 

*Tbe mind having in most cases, as is evident from experience, a 
power to iiuipend the execution and sadAfsctioin of any of its desires, 
and so all, one after another, is nt liberty to contidcr the objcCM of 
them, examine ihcm on all sides, and wei^h them with others, to 
this lies the liberty man has ; and trom the not uung of it right comet 
kII that variety of mistakes, crrori, and taulbt, which we run into in 
the conduct of our lives, and our endeavours after happiness : whilst 

6a 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



«e prcci|KUte the determination of our wills, and engage too toon 
before doe examinatioo. For during the tuipemion of uty dcairc, 
before the will be determined to action, we iiivc an ojiportunity to 
examiitc, view, and judge of the good or ctiI oF what wc arc going to 
<lo i and when ii]kio due examinatiun we tun judged, we have dooe 
our duty, all that wc can or ought to do, to pgrtuit of our faapriocMi 
and it i> not a ^ult, but a perfection of our nature, to dcairc, will, aod 
ict, according to the la»t reiult of a fair ex:imin3uon. This Kcmi to 
ne the toorcc of all liberty ; in (his teemi to conaitt that which ia (I 
think iinptoperly) called/rrr-vf^.' — Eiitr/t rol. i. p. 164. 

Moral liberty, tt thould aeem then, all the liberty which a man has 

vt which he wanti, doei not aftn all conriat tn a |>nwer of ifidiffercDcy, 

or in s power of choosiDg, without regard to motiTcs, boi in a power 

of exciting his reason and of obeying it. There arc two general 

|kOtit>oiu adranced by the author in the coufm of thii in^iutry, to 

acithrr of which I can agree; onxncly, that JictioD alwa^i j^tocccds 

from uneaaincM. and that we arc perfect judges of prcKDc j;ood and 

eviL With retpecl to the first, tt it true indeed th^t fvothing can be 

SB object of desire till wc suffer uneasiness from the want of it, but it 

it joit as true, that the want of any rhinj; docs not cause uneauocss in 

the mind, unless it ia first an object of desire, or unleis the prospect of 

il givo us plcaturc< A* to the second potition, that wc cannot be 

deceived in jodgbg of our aaual acosations. it would be Uue, if (he 

MMauon and the jtulgmeitt fomied upon it were the ume, but they 

Dcilbcr are nor can b«. Let any person imcll to a rose, and look at 

a bcsBtiful profpcct or hear a fine piece of music at the same iniuot, 

and try to detennine which of them gives him most pleasure. If 

be has the Icart doubl or hesitation, the principle laid down by 

Hr. Locke canmi pais for an axiom. From not accurately distia- 

{uiibinghetweeDMOsadossndjadgnieni, some writen have been led to 

coofbaixl good and eril with pleasure and pain. Good 

fioperly that which gives the mind plcotuie or pain on 

that is, which excites rational approbation or diiapprobut 

coniider these two things ns cither the tame or in any regular pro- 

ponion to each oclier, is I think to betray a very superficial acquaia- 

laace with human nature. Yet in dcliancc of the necessary distinction 

between the faculties by which wc feel aitd by which we judge, theK 

nunliau bare lud it down as a fnndaroenul rule that all pleamires 

■bid) are ao in themselves are equallv good and commrndaMe ; yet 

Si these ideas relate solely to the reflex impreasion made by ceruia 

thing* 00 the understanding, to inaitt that wc shitM judge of them by 

ao appeal 10 tbc leoKS, b onwitely to overturn the principle of the 

Jitisioo of labour ainoag our faculties, and to force one to do (he ofliee 

65 



: oeen lea to 

d or evil ii ^ 

n reflection, f 

amoa. To \ 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

of Miothfrr. For this ihere tMnii no more naeon ihxa for anempdng 

to hear wilh our fingert, to m« a unmd, or feel a colour. 

'Oil! wbu CM) jMiiftt a tun-bcam to ()ir blind) 
Or nuke him tctl a sluJow with hit miiid.' 

Yn the absuitiily of the attempt arUei oaly from the tnaptiuide of 
the ofgsn to the object. 

Among simple iilcai Mr. Locke reckoiu that of power. It were 
to be withed that he had given it aa itnitile a tource a* postible, vk. 
the fe«lio£ wc have of it in our own mi&as, which he ftoOMtinws mcsm 
hair inclined to do, instead of referring it to our obKnraiioo of the 
succesMve changes which take pbce in matter. It is bjr Uiii niraiH 
alooei thai i*, by making it an original itlea derived from withiOi like 
the scnae of pleatiuc or pain, and quite distioci from the vitibte 
contpoiition and decompotition of other objects, that we can avoid 
being driven into ao absolute «ccptici(m with regard to cauM and 
effect. For Hume has, 1 think, dcmoastiatcd that in the mere 
mechanical jwrie* nftensible appearances, there is ooihing to suggetrt 
this idea, or point out the indisaoluble conticctioo of one ercftt with 
another, any more than in the flies of s summer. Wc get this idea 
Boiely from the exmian of muscular or voluntary power in outselrei : 
whoever ha« stretched forth his hand to an objert, mime have the idea 
of ]>ower. Under the idea of power 1 include all that rcUte< to what 
WE call force, energy, weakness, ctTort, ate, difficulty, impoMibility, Sec. 
Accordingly, I should conceive that no man of strong passions, or 
great muscular activity would ever give up the idea of power. HuoiCi 
who seems to have discarded it with tfae least compunction, wai 
an easy, indolent, good-tempered man, who did not care to stir out ot 
bis arnicliair ; a languid, Epicurean philosopher, of a icaaonahle 
corpulency, who waa hurried away by no violent paauoiu, or intente 
desirec, but looked on most things with the same eye of )titl>e«sncM 
and indifTcieiicc. He was oac of the subtler and most meuphysical 
of all mcuphysicians. And perhaps he was so for the reason here 
stated. The Scotch in general nre not metaphysicians : they have 
in fact always a purpose, ibcy aim at a particular point, they arc 
flecermined upon somctliiD^ beforehand. This gives a hardness and 
rigidity to their understanding), and takes away that tremulous sensi- 
bility to every slight and wandering imprciiucn which is necessary lo 
complete the fine balance of the mind, and enable us to follow all the 
infinite fluctuations of thought through their nicest distinctions. 

To return to the doctrioc of necessity. I shall refer to the 
aiuharity of but one more writer, who has indeed exhausted the 
■nbiect, and anticipated what few remarks I had to offer upon it : I 



1 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



IB JoBathsn J^4\r-jti*, in hit trcitiK oa die WUI. Th» work, 
Mttng aside iu Calnniscic tcnJcncy with which I lure nothing to 
ilo, is oor of the moM cJosely reaaocwd, ebborate, acate, terioua, and 
Kflaible ainoog modem producttont. No metaphyticiao can md it 
vkhcMU fcding a wish to ha*c been the author of «. The gravity of 
tiK matter and ih« eamcstneta of the manner are alikr admirable. 
H» reaaoning t* not of that kind, which coDsuta tn haviag a unart 
anrer for every trite obJcctioDt but in attaining tnic and satufactory 
wlutiont of things prrceircd in all their dilliculty and in all their 
fene, um) in every Tariety of connexion. He evidently writca to 
■ttafy hia own mttxl and the minda of thooe, who like himself are 
litem upon the puriuii of truth for iia own sake. There U not an 
nuion or ambiguity in hit whole book, nor a wiih to produce any 
htf tfaorfMigh conviction. He does not therefore lead hts readcri into 
1 labyrioth of words, or entaagle them among the forms of logic, ot 
■ooat the airy hdghu of abatracttoo, but deecends into the pL-itn, and 
■migles with the butineM and feelings of mankind, and grapples with 
ctnmDOn icnie, and subdoca it to the force of true reason. Alt 
pUloaepby depends no lesa on deep and real feeling than on power of 
thouebt. I happen to hare Edwards'i ' Inquiry cODCcroiag Freewill,' 
«m1 Dt. Priettlry's * lllustiations of Philosophical Necesnty,' bound 
ap in the taitte vohune : and I coafees that the dilfercnce in the 
iMBitcr of theae two writer* is rather Mriking. The plodding, per- 
■rmiiif, Kmpalons accuracy of the one, and the easy, cavalier, verbal 
Saeney of the other, form a complete cootraii. Dr. PrieKley'i 
whole um seems to be to evade the di/Gcidtics of hit isbjecti 
Edwards') to answer ihirm. The one is employed according to 
Berkeley's allegory, in fiioging dust in the eyes of hie adTcmries, 
vfaile the other is uking true pains in digging into the mine of 
keowkdgc. All Ur. PriettleyN arguoienia on this subject are mere 
hackniixl comrtum-places. He had in reality no opinion of his own, 
nd truth, I cocceire, never ukcs very deep root in tho«e minds on 
vUeb it is merely engrafted. He tiniformly ndopied the vantage 
(nnuid of every qnenkin, and borrowed those arguments which he 
loaikd roost easy to be wielded, and of most serticc in that kind of 
bssy iatelteclual warRire to which )>e was habituated. He wan an 
lUr controvernalitl, not a philosophical msoner. 

Dr. Priestley Slates ia hia ' lliuatrattotts' and in his letter to Dr. 
Honley, that the difference between physical and moral necessity is 
•wrf? vnbal. He says, speaking of the connexion between cause 
■d enect in the mind, * Give me the thing and I will readily give up 

[IntDe.* it appears to me that Di. Priestley was quite a* much 
Khrd to the name as to the thing, and that the ptiilosophical 
ns. xt. : E 65 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



|)rtnciple of necnaiiy, without hi unpo^mUr tit]«, would turc 
afTordcii him but little aati>factiDD. Now the Dbn«xio\unm of the 
lumc, and in my opiDion. alniusi 2I] the dit!iculty and repugnance 
which the generality of 111*0 find in admitciiig (he doctrtDC antes from 
the ambiguity lurking under the term ii«c«SBtyt which iocludn both 
kindt of necessity, moral and phyHcsl, iiTid wiih which Dr. Prieitley 
delight! to probe the prejudices of his adverconet, thinking the 
differeocev of moral and phy>ical occenity a mere i]ueniOQ of wordS| 
and thai piovidcd there arc any bwt or any caunrti operating upon 
the miad, it is of no sort of consequence what thofie bws or c^asec 
arc. It ii the tame inability to diatinguiih between one caitw xnd 
another which creates the vulgai prejudice against nece4>ttyi and 
which is exposed in a yery wtiKfactory manner by the author of the 
• Inquiry into the Will.' He layt, in a letter written expreatly to 
vindicate himscEf from having confounded moral with phjrncal 
necetEity, < On the contrary, I have largely declared that the 
connexion between antecedent thing* and consequent ones which 
taken place with regard to the acts of men's willsi which i* called 
moral neceuity, it called by the name of ntetniiy improperly ; and 
that sll mch terms u mini, can»ai, impoiAbU^ wuihk, irrt/ifliN^ 
muFvaididie, mvincii/ti &c. when applied hcrei are not a]>plied in their 
proper lignificaiiooi and are either used congensically, and with perfect 
insl^ihcance, or in a sense quite diverse from their original aod proper 
meaning, and their use in common speech ; and that such a nccesnty 
as attends the act* of men's wills, is more properly called ctrtmtj 
than iNtttity. I think ic is evidenily owing to a strong prejudice is 
pemos' minda, arising from an insensible habitual perversion and 
mbapplicaiion of such-like terms, that they are ready to think that to 
•uppotc a certain connexion of men's volitions without any foregoing 
iDottvca or inclinutiunt, is truly a.nd pruperly to tupposc auch a itroDg 
irrefragable chain of cauies and effects as stands in the way of, and 
makea utterly vain, opposite desires and endeavours, like immovahle 
and impenetrable mountains of bnitti and impede* our liberty like 
walls of adamant, gates of brats, and bars of iron : whereat ilII such 
reprecentatione suggest ideas as far from ih« truth, as the East is from 
the West, I know it is in vain to endeavour to make Kxne persooa 
believe this, or at least fully atid steadily to believe it : for if it be 
demoostrated to them, still the old prejudice remains, which has been 
long fixed by the use of the terms necaiary, imui, &c. the associatioa 
with these terms of certain ideas, inconsistent with liberty, is not 
broken, and the judgment i« powerfully warped by it ; ss 1 tfiing that 
has been long bent and grown stiff, if it be elraightened. will fetuni M 
its former currity again and again.' 
66 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



The mxaane m the ■ Inqttiry * to which the attthor here refer*, in 
juitificatioia of faimtclf, ii a« foUowt : 

*Mro in their fint uK of «uch phtajca u thcte, uaui, camwit 
mtavoidallf, irrfmtiiU, Ac. ute ihvm lo agnUy a necessity of coo- 
rtniat or reMraioinf; s oatural oeceuily or impoBNbitity, or some 
Dccenitf that ihc will haa nothing lu do in. A thing is uid to be 
ntmiarjf when we cannot help it, let us do what we will. So anjr 
tking is taid to be impoiiiHe to ui, wheo we would do it, or would 
hive it brought to pua aod endeavoar it, but all oar Jenret and 
eadeaToun are in rain. And that ii uid to be irraUiitir, which 
overcomes &II our op|>otiiion, resistance aod endeavour to the contrary. 
And we arc aaid to be unaUt to do a thingi when our atmoat 
nppauble detiret and endeaTOur* todo it are iniul^cieot. All meo 
fino, md begin to find in early childhood, that there are timuinerable 
dHl^ which cannot be done which they dceirc lo do | and innumcrsbic 
gs, which they are arertc to, that mtut be ; they cannot avoid 
whether they choocc them or no. It it to expreM thi* 
nty which men to toon and »o often find, and which to greatly 
them in innumerable caiet, tlut such terms and phiascs are 
formed ; and it ik to nj^nify such a necessity that they are ilret 
and that they arc mon cooK^uitly used in the common afTairt of 
G(c ; and not to signify any such metaphysical, s[icuilati*e and absinct 
BodoD as thai connexion [between cause and effect] in ilie nature and 
coarse of thiagt, to signify which they who employ themoelTcn in 
[hilDaaphical inquiries into the first orii>tn and mctaphysicat relations 
xad depeodeocies of things, hiTc borrowed those term*, for want 
of otbera* But we grow up from our cradles in a use of itich phrases 
csiirety diJferent from tliia, or from the one in which they arc 
used tn the controversy about liberty and oeceuity. And it being a 
dictate of the uoivrrtal Kttsc of mankind, evident lo us as »oon aswc 
bej^ 10 ihinic, that the necessity tignified by these terms in the scnie 
in which we fint learn them, does excuse persooc, and free them fion 
ill fault or blame, bctwe our idea of rxcusableness or r^iu'dctuicu is 
tied to these phraaei by a strong habit, which grow* up with us ; — 
or if we use the words as terms of art in another sense, yet unlesR we 
ve cxceetliog circumspect and wary, we shall insentibly sUdc into the 
nilgar use of them, and so apply the words in a very ioconsitteot 
■mner: this babuual connexion of ideas will deceive and coofouod 
M in our reasooings at>d discourtes whenerer we pretend lo use tlic 
tvm* IB that macccT.' — Pagca 20, 21, xyo. Sec. 

* It follows that when the aforesaid terms are used in cases wherein 
M opposition, or insntftcien; will or endeavour is or c.tn be supposed, 
bm ihcrery nature of the supposed case (as that of willing or choosing) 

67 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



exctudM aoy nich oppwidon, will, or «Ad«iTOur, ibew lermt i^ 

then not UKcd in thdr proper ligntfication, but tjuite bende tbeir uk 
ID common speech.' — Pages 21, Z3. 

The author has, I think, in these piHagn, laid open the lource of 
moiit of the ronfution on the subject in qur<iion. For thin double 
meaning lurkiag under the word necessity has been ihc chief reaKin 
why pcriont, who were guiilcd more by their own feelings sod the 
cuuomary adocbHoni of bngmge than by formil definitions, have 
alEDf.ethei rejected the doctrine ; while persona of a more lof^cal turn, 
who could not deny the truth of the abatcsct principle, hitc yet in 
their explanation* of it, and inferences from it, fallen Into the same 
vulgar error as their oppoocnt*. The partiiaiu for occcwiiy have 
Kircn op their common sease. as they snppoKd. to tbcii reason, while 
the advocates for liberty rejected a demomtrable truth from a dread 
of its consc^ucacct 1 and both have been the dupes of a word. I 
have been the more ready to appeal to thts writer's authority, because 
he is allowed on all hands to be one of (he moit strict, severe, and 
loeical of all ncceixurians. What he ha» said on the lubject of free- 
will, as consisting in perfect coniingcnce. independent of all moiivet or 
OS implying an absolute beginning of action without any precedent 
determining cause might, ooe would imagine, have been sulTideu, 
even if Hobbes'i reasonings biid not, to banish (hat opiinion out of the 
world. He has foltowed it through all its windings, and detected 
it io all its varying ihadet, with equal p.itience and tagacity. He 
sums up the abturdicics of this nouoa of liberty, or of mcie absohite 
self-will, in these words I 

'The following things are all etseotial to it, we. that an actioa 
should be necessary, and not necessary; that it should be from a 
cause and no cause; chat it should be the fruit of choice and design, 
and not (he ttuit of choice and design ; that it should be the begin- 
ning of motion and exertion, and yet be contcqucnt on previous 
exertion; that it should be before it is; that it should spring im- 
mediately out of indilference and equilibrium, and vet be the effect of 
prepunderiilion -, that it should be nctf-uriginiited, also have its original 
from something else ; that it is what (he mind causesitsclf, of itsowD 
will, and can produce or prcven(, according (o its choice, or pleanire, 
and yet what the mind has no power to preveot, precluding all pre 
vious choice in the affair. So that an act of the will Qdctenniniog 
itself by its own free-will^, according to their metaphysical scoount 
of it, is tomcthing of which there U 00 idea, it is nothing but a eoo- 
fution of the mind, excited by words without any disrinct meaning. 
If come learned philosopher, who had been abroad, in civtDg an 
account of the cutiuuii obscivftticnt he bad made ia his Uavcls, should 

68 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

uifr *' Hr had been m Terra d«l Fuego, and Uier« had ftcen an animal, 
«4tcb Iw mUs by » ctrtua uiuct that besst mkI brought forth itoelf, 
Mid yet had 3 aire and a dam dininct (rum iticif ; that it had an 
appetite and was hun^iy beforr it had a being ; that his master, who 
led him, and governed him at bit pleasure, wai always gorcraed by 
Un, and dritro by him where he pleased : thai when he moved, he 
llwaya took a step before the first step; that he went with his head 
(nt, and yet always went tail forcmoM; and thia though he bad 
aehfacT bead nor tail ;" it would be no impudence at all to cell nuch a 
oafeller, though a learned man, that he himself had no notion or idea 
of ivch ao animal as he gave aa account of, and nerer had, nor ever 
would have' — Page atti, of the Imquiij. 

The author teem* to have hit upon the source of this erroneous 
account of free-will, with his usual truth of feeling. He says, almost 
■mmcdiatcly after -, — ' The thing which haa led men into Uiis incon- 
■sstent notion of action, when applied to volition, as though it wrrr 
casential to this intcmal action that the agent diould be sclf-dctermtecd 
in it, and that the will should be the cause of it, was probably this : 
that according to the sense of mankind, and the common use of 
langugp, it is so with respect to men's cxtenul actions ; which are 
what origioally, aod according to the vulj;ar use and niost proper 
Knae of the word, are called actmu. Men in these aie lelf-di reeled, 
tcLf-decermtned, and their wiiis are ihe cauue »f the motions of their 
bodies, and the external things th^t arc done ; so tliat oolcaa men do 
thrra rolontanly, and of choice, and the action he determined by 
thnr antecedent vohtion, it is no action or doing of theirs. Hence 
«nie netaphysiciaiis hare been led unwarily, bat exceeding absurdly, 
to oppose the same conceroiDg volition itself, that ttat aUo must be 
dnenmned by the will ; which is to be deteimincd by antecedent 
tolbioft, AS the motion of the body ■■ ; not considering the contiadic- 
lion it implies/ — Uid, pa^ s86^ 

I diall proceed to state as briefly as I can my own notion! of liberty 
ud occcatity, as far as they any way diifer from the foregoing account. 

First, theiii I conceive that if by nccesaity be understood and only 
laderttood the conttexioo of cause and effiKt, or the ccntUnt 
dependence of ooc thing on another, in the baman mind a* well aa in 
outer, that accoiditig to this interpretaltOD alt things are equally 

nun and necessaiy. On the other liand, if by liberty be meant 

y thing opposite to this connexion of cause and cfiect : that is, a 
FMoirc begioiung of any action or motion out of nothing, or out of a 
NMof iodilTcrence, or from itself, I believe that there is no such 
i&gu liberty in the mind any more than in matter. All things 
Ibn their preceding dcicrmintag causes, and nothing is, but what 

69 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



muft be in tl;c prcciK given circuinsiances. This lua been cicmon- 
atrnted over and over aguin, »nd the cuDtrarjr lUppoiitioo reduced to 
a fnani&«t abnirdtty in every possible way by Hobb«i Hume, 
Hutlcy, Edwards, Priestley, and others. 

But, secondly, I conceive thit the cjuestion does not stop litre, 
because certain ideas have been annexed to these term> of liberty aiul 
necessity, both by the learned oDd by common men, which have 
nothing at all to do with the affirmation or denial of the simple coo- 
nexion beiween cause and effu-ct. What ! shall therefore attempt 
will be to point out a few inataiiccs of the misapplicalioa of the term 
10 prove a necessity noi included in the certainty of the event, and to 
diqirove liberty in a sense in which it doet not interfere witli that 
ceitainty, or with philotophiol nccci«tty : that ia, I »ball attempt to 
show in what acnBc, in conformity with the general law to which all 
things are by their nature subject, man it an agent, a free agent, a 
moral and accountible agent ; that is, di-*<rving of reward and punish* 
menl, praise and blame, &c. Now by an agent I mean any thing 
that acts or has a power to operate, that is, to produce effects ; by a 
free agent I mean one that i» not hindered from acting ; by a moral 
and accDunrable agent I mean one that acts from will, and is inJla- 
enced by motives; by reward and punishment I mean what ererjr 
one does; by praise and blame I mean otir amTobation or diiap- 
probolioa of any agcni thai is conscious of our flcnumenis towards hiin, 
or that is capable of reflecting on his own conduct, and of being 
affected by what others think of it. If by an agent be meant the 
beginner of action, or one that produces an eflrct of itself, there can 
be no such thing ; but if by an agent bi- meant one iliac contributes to 
an effect, there it wch a thing at nn ngcnl ; and the more any thing 
conmbutei lo an effect and determines it to be this or thai, the more 
it is an agent. If by freedom tie meant a freedom from cautct, or 
aeeeuity in the abstract, there can be no freedom in thif senie, but 
there may t>c and is a freedom from certain causes and from certain 
kinds and degrees of nccesiity : that is, from physical causes, or compul- 
sion, and from abaolnte, uneondiiianal necessity. If all things are 
equally nccestary, that do not spring out of nothing, tlicn indeed the 
diiiinction between liberty and necessity must lie in all cases absurd. 
Again, by frec-wilt I do not mean the power or liberty to act without 
tnoiivet, but with m»uvci. The mind cannot act without an occasion 
or ground for acting, but this does not shew that it is no agent at all, 
or that it it not a free agent ; that is, that its action is restrained or 
hindered by the action of anything else. The intcllcCTual aad volua- 
ury powers are free, juit a the corporeal are, namely, wheo they arc 
frw to (iroduce certain effects which, if excited, they can produce, as 

70 



^ 




ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



the body u free when it can move la cootMiuence of ihe nuod'a 

dirwtioti ; it U no looger free whra though ih« umeKaaoo exiitsfor 
» moT-iog, it it hindered by ramrihing else (torn obeying the tmpnlK. 
Is ihorti liberty ii thia : the power in iny ageot in given circumitancei 
tD operue in i certain manner, if left to t»clf ; or [terhap* more un- 
ngnivocallyt opportaaity girco to any ag^tat to exert (cruic powcn to 
jtxidttce an cncct, when nothing but those powers and the absence of 
impedimcBtB is wanting; to produce it. To be Tree ii to posset* aJl 
die rcQuiiitei for acting in one's-sclf, aixl in the circunut^accs, and 
oot to be countcraaed. Again if moral good and evil are luppoied to 
be toRiethtng self-created, then they are merely fictions of the mind ; 
btt if we nipiKne an agent lo be entitled to praise or blame, reward or 
fali•bnKlt^ not became be is a tclf-willcd, nut a volnntary agent, th« 
• to ny, a being pocseicbg certain powers and habitually and with 
jetcniuoation exerting them to certain purpoien, then tberc will be a 
bwdaltoa for this dininctioo !n naituc. To tlie idea of moral rc9pon- 
■bOitTf it is not iinessary that tlie agent tbould be the sole or ab- 
nlotely first cuuse of the evil, Ibr examplci but tliat be should be one 
teal, ^termining cause of lU and while he rcmairu what he it* the 
Bmc dfecti wilt fallow. An agent is the author of any evil, when 
vithaBt him, thai is, without something peculiar and eMcntial to his 
diqioNtion and character, it would not exist. 

I. Every thing is an agent that is any way necenaiy or conducing 
to 10 etfect. The doctrine of Kcotid catue* does not deitioy agency. 
It no more proves that those cause* do not act became something has 
acted before tbem, than that they do Dot exist, because something has 
eiiited before them. The theological writers od tliit tide o( the 
qneniaa sfTirm, I think improperly, that God or the frsc cause is the 
sole agfBt it) the uciverie, to which alt secood causes are to be referred 
u nutrnments, bavir.g no real efficacy of their own. If so, all 
event* are produced immcdiaicly l>y the divine agency, that is, all 
secood causes are pans of the divine encnce, and ia ill that we see 
or hear or feel, we mast conceive of something far more deeply inter- 
filed, a spirit and a motion that impels all thinking things, nJI objects 
of all thought, and breathes through all things. This doctrine is that 
of Sjiaozs : but upon this supposition second causes, as the immediate 
cperation of the Deity are and must be real and efficient. On the 
tthcr hand, if to exdude this synem of paotbetsm, we consider the 
Uogi and appearances about us as merely niiural, still what are called 
■cond catiset must be real and efficient cause*, or they could not 
ftodnoe their cffecta. If nothing can operate but ttte tifBi cause, then 
vHitever produces effects is the Deity: but if this conclusion be 
ll)0Bghl objcctiotubtci then we must allow otbci causes of events to be 

71 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



must be in tlie preciM: given circunMtance*. Thii liu been denkon- 
(CTftietl over and orrr aj^ain, and the contrary ramosition reduced to 
» manifnc abftiirdity >d erciy possible waj by Hal^«, Hume, 
Hartley, Edwaidsi rricatley, and others. 

But, seeondlyj I conceive that (he (question does not nop here, 
because cenain ideas have been annexed to these tccini of liberty and 
ncceuiiy, both by the learned and by cammoD men, which have 
nothing at »ll to do with the affirmation or denial of the simple con- 
nexion between caujc and effect. What I sball therefore attempt 
will be to point out a few instances of the misapplication of the term 
10 prove a necessity not tncluiird in the ceciainty of the event, and to 
disprove liberty in a scntc in which it docs not interfere with that 
certunty, or with philosophical necessity : that is, I ohall attempt to 
show in what sense, in conformity with the general hw to which all 
things are by their aaturc subject, man is an aget^t, a free ajjent, a 
mors) and accountable a^cnt ; that is, deserving of reward and puniib- 
nient, praise atul blame, Ace. Now by an agent I mean any tiling 
that act* or has a power to operate, that is, to prodcce effects \ by a 
free agent I meaD one thst ia not hindered from acting ; by a reoral 
and accountable agent I mean one that acts from will, and is influ- 
enced by motives ; by reward and jiunithment I mean what every 
one docs; by praise and blame I mean our approbaiioD or dtsap- 
probation of any agent thst is conscious of our sentiments towards him, 
or that is capable of reflecting on his own rondaet, and of being 
affected by what others iliink of it. If by an agent be meant tbe 
beginner of action, or one that produces an effect of itself, there can 
be no *uch ihtng j but if by an agent be meant ore th.-it contributes to 
3D effect, there is such a tiling as an agent ; and the more any ihin^ 
contributes to an effect and determines it to be this or that, the more 
it is an agent. If by freedom be meant a freedom from causes, or 
Deccssiiy in the abitrtci, there can be no freedom in this tense, but 
there may be and is a freedom from certain causes and from ccnain 
kinds and degrees of necessity ; that is, from physical canses, or compul- 
sion, and from abwluie. unconditional necessity. If all tbioga arc 
equally necessary, ibat do not spring out of nothing, then indeed the 
distinction between liLierty and nece«»iiy itiukt be in all cases absurd. 
Again, by free-will I do uol mean tlic power or liberty to act witbovt 
motives, but with motives. The mind cannot act without sn occasion 
or ground for acting, but this does not shew that ii is no agent at all, 
or tbu it is not a free agent ; that is, that iu acttoo is restruned or 
hindeml by the aaion of anything else. The intellectual wd volnn- 
ury powers are free, just as tlie conioreal are, namely, when they arc 
free to produce certain effects, which, if excited, they can produce, as 

70 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

the body n free whtm it can move in coDsoqurocr of the miiKl'i 
^Ureetjon ; it U ao loogrr (rer when though th« uiue Ka>on exiiU for 
tu mmiDSt it in hindered by loinething elte rrom obeying the impube. 
In ihon, lilxTty ti thii : the power in any agent in given circumsuacea 
to operate in k certain maQ&er, if left to itielT; or fterhjtps roore 80- 
t^uivocally, ojiportuniiy given to any agcni to exeit cctiaio nowcri to 
Modsce an eflect, when nothing hut those poweri and the atiMnce of 
tn^iediment* it waatiog to produce it. To be free is to pooe M sll 
the rc^uuitc* for acting in ooc't-acif, and in the circumit2nccS| and 
Mt to be couDteracied. Again if moral good and evil are Ruppoaed to 
he lomethhtg telf-cteated, then they are merely fictiont of the miad i 
bnt if we rappow ao agent to be cnlidcd to praiac or blame, reward or 
GmmhineDtr >wt becaiue he it » telf-willed, but a voluniaiy agent, that 
■ to MTt 8 being pO MMii Bg certain power* and habitsall j and with 
dtumiinaitoD exertii^ them to certain purposra, then there will be a 
fijBBdation for thit duilnctioii in nature. To tlie idea of moral retpon- 
dNEtf, it is not neceuary t)iat the agent nhould be the loie or ab- 
whtdy firtt cauK of the evil, for example, but chat he should be one 
lal, determining caiuc of it^ and while he rcinatni what he is, the 
■anc effccta will foUow. An agent ia the author of any evil, when 
without bim, that i>, without wmcthing peculiar and catcntial to bii 
(fiipoaitioa and character, it would not exist. 

t. Every thing ■■ an agent that ti any way neceanry or conducing 
to an effect. Tbc doctiioe of second cauaca doet not deatroy agency. 
It M> more provea that tliote cauwa do not act becauae toraethtng has 
acted before them, than that they do not exiit, becauae tomething ha* 
diited before them. Tlic theological writer* oa thia tide of the 
^■toon affirm, I tliintc improperly, that God or the first cause is the 
iole aigetK to the uoirene, to which aJ! aecood cauaea are to be referred 
M iaatntmenis, haviot; no real clHcacy of their own. If eo, all 
cfCDta are produced tminediatcly by the divine agency, that is. all 
vecosd cauaea ate pan* of the divine rtteiice, and in all that we aee 
or heir or feel, wc must conceive of something far more deeply inter- 
hied, a spirit and a moiioD that impels all ttiinking things, all objects 
af ill thought, and breaehet through all thinga. 1 hia doctrine is that 
el Spiito2a : but upon this supposition second causes, at the immediate 
«ptratioa of the Deity are ana must be real and efficient. On the 
Mber hand, if to exclude this fynem of pantheism, we consider tbe 
ttag* and appearance* about u* as merely natural, still what are called 
tteotul causes man be real and cfHcicnt cauies, or they could not 
ftoduor ibeir eHecia. If nothing can operate but the first cause, iheo 
•bitever produce* effect* is the Deity ; but if this concluMon be 
thonghi objectionable, then wc must allow other caiwcs of cvcota to be 

7» 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 



rcailjr and tnil)r wich ui thrmselTca : for rrom iKai which b so cauirt 
whkb haa no power, any more than ooihuig, oothing can follow. All 
•MODd CMKei, that it. ul thisgi that cxiat arc, therefore, either fittt 
of the Deity or p«rts of nature, and in neither cur can ihey be 
sbfiolutd)' ioaignificant, worthlru, null, aod of no account. Dr. 
Frieatley i» for having men refer all the good in the uoiferic to God 
at the author of it, aiui all the eril thai uke* place to maa or lo 
tecood cauBea. I cannot think that this is sound philosophy nor 
practical witdom. The oeceetariaDt have endttidf borrowed tbeir 
notion* uf aseocy and aecood cautcs from the siivocatea for liberty : 
lor taking np th« aame uafbunded aBumptton of the ltbrrtariat», that 
action u the ab«o)ute beginniat of tnotion, and that my thing short of 
thb ii 00 iiccion at all, and finding that the will was not a cautic in the 
abaurd *enK auppoard by their advcmriea, they haw coocluded that 
It was no dUMT at all ; not conaideriBg whether a cause niijtht not ht 
more properly dcliacd that which produces an e^L-cc in consistency 
with other things than that which produce* it iDde])endenily of them. 
Action then in any seasr of the word is the same as co-operation. 
It may be luked, whedicr tliia account doca not destroy the dtstinc- 
tioB between active and paiiive. I answer chat it does, if by active be 
BOant UMOmcctcd action, and by passive connected iiction ; but not 
cIk. That is, if by action be understood the poaitivc detciiuinatc 
Gendcflcy or the additional iiiipuUe to the production of ."uiy rlfevt, 
and by paasivetteu an indilTereiice in any agent to this or that nMnioOi 
tXficpt aa it ia acted upon by, and transmiu the efficacy of other 
eotuea, this dtminction will remain as bro;id and palpble as ever. Any 
thing is so far active as it modifies and re-acts upon the original im- 
pulse ; it is paesinc in as far as it neither adds to, nor take* mmi that 
origioal impulse, butmercly haiapower of receiving and continuing h. 
This I take to be the practical and philoiophtcal mcaaiDg of the 
terma. This distinction therefore, applies equally to matter and 
iBsnd. The explosion of gunpowder cannot be attributed entirely oi 
principatiy to the spark which ignites it, because the el^t is 
Increased a thousand-fold by the inherent qualities of tlie gunpowder. 
The motion communicated by one body to another in void space is 
considered a* ihc mere pEtitivr rvtult of the former, because the effect 
ia tbe second agent is simply the cootiDuution of what il was in the 
firat. So i! it in tlic mind. Motives do not act upon it simply ot abso- 
lutely ; but according to the dictates of the understanding or the biit 
of the wiif. At oac time we yield to any idJc inclination that happens 
to prevail, and at others resist to the utmost the strongest motive*. 
That is, tbe mind is itself an agent, one chief determining cause of our 
volitions. It ia on the view taken by the mind of motives, on out 
7a 



ON LIBERTY AND NECESSITY 

ditponboD to atleod to or negltct ih«in, to compue aiMi wcich ilicm, 
dkil tbdr cficct dc)icQd>. But the Dec««anan( luvc alwaya delisted 
to QluMtatc tbc opcrationt of the niind in Tolilion by referring to the 
bnpulw communicated by one billiard-ba]] to iDother, or to diifercni 
v^^u in a pair of Kalci. Both wbtch illuiuatiooa 3it u Ihdc op- 
^ionle ai poaaible, tiruuw in neither of tbrm ia tbere nipiiMed to be 
thr lca«t actinty of action ; that is, tbc least capacity to ntm ot 
mctcate or alter the imprcMed force in the thing acted upon. That is, 
ibe mind in tbcae sunilet ii requiahe ai a nerely puaivc agent, by 
•wtaeh I mean a thing perfectly iodilTereiit and nugatory, a mere cypher 
vitbout any eharactci of iu own, that ii neither eood nor ud, 
neither deaartog of pratte nor bUnic ; a cameleon, colourleat kind of 
thiii^, the tpurt of extern^ impulws ind accidenul circuin«ai)<e*, or 
tfs ncceuity in which it ha« it»clf no ihare. Tbu» the rttponsibiltty 
of the mind hai been taken from it, and tranafer red to outward ciicum- 
itinceSf uid all characters in themsclrn rendered alike iodiHerent. 
Thi* i« the ticccGury contc^uence of abttracung tJic inAuence of 
aMxiTM from the mind on whurh itnd by which they Act. I prc&r 
eicwdiogly to the modern inttanocs of a couple of bitliatd-baflt, or a 
pair of uiile*, the illu*ifa)ic>D of Chryvophuh tbc «ioic in Cicero, who 
nysi * Ille igttur qui procruiit cyiindrnm dedh ei principium motionie, 
mlnbilitaiem auieru nan dedit : tic Titum objectum impiimet quidem 
4 qnaai tignabtt io acimo mani tpccicm, Kd assctwio ertt in potctlatc 
Docii.' That ill uippoec I puah Agsinat a hcary body ; if it be 
t^mn it will oot move : if it be cylindrical it will. What the dilfer- 
tKC of form is to the itooe, the dilTercace of dtipocilioo is to the 
oind. In fact, tbc necesaariansi to nuintain this doctrine of the 
Dallity of (econd cauMs, hare been forced to coniidrr erery tJiiag asa 
veeesstOD of simple iropultes passing from hand to hai>d : so that 
there being no fixed point, no rcsting-pUce for the ima^inatiani we 
are perpetiuliy obliged to ihift ilie cauic front one oliject to inoiber : 
etery thing has to be accounted for, and rr-ferrcd hack to wmething 
d*Ci and in this ccaaclcat whirl of ticeting caiuca all idc^s of power 
a agency teero to slide front under uh. Lest the mind sliould prove 
fcfiraaory, to the l.iw« ascribed to it, they thought it moet prudent to 
dfprive it of all activity and power of remstancc. They were very 
mudly afraid that without thin their whole scheme might be over- 
turned, as if though the mind were freed from being the urvile drudge 
«f external impuUca, it would not still follow ihc beat of its own 
ntnre. The above distinction will, I conceive, iet the mind free 
boai one of the shacklet impoted on it by the ncceuarians, namely, 
that inUieciUty, bclplcuocss, and iodiScicncc, which they have lupcr- 
idded to the regular connexion of cauie and effect, though it makct 



k INtlHI _ 

ihcf deny 




ON LOCKED ESSAY ON THE HUMAN 

UNDERSTANDING 

_; (Uonphial fcoducdooa, to 
^ Snt fac«^(lK fbrnrdby Hobbc*. 
Aim BT ttd pi e or rrancilc it to 
' f^ bd ri, BBtl bxTe given place 
l» ikc aoR •cTcfc aad logical ^ faAw BJ ww cf Hobbe* from ihc umc 
fcnenl pk)ci|4 c. Mr. Locke took tfae &cahin of ibc mifid as be 
mad thitm n faiowrlf aad otfaerH and esdearound to account for 
tfccB «a « wv Jrmdfir, Bf tbi« conproouM villi cuidouf uid 
he fn^Hol the vi^ fior the intnxliiiaiOD of the 
ptiTJft*, whkii faciag aoe» ocafaBifaed, veiy woo or ei tur ne d all the 
tritt opioiow and twar Bccjadice* vfaich were itoftofctij a M Oc i at c d 
with it. Tbcrc ww la na ao yhcc fcv them in tbc ocw ■y«cia. 

The max dcAct witfa whicfa the * Enay on tbe Human Under- 
■undrng 19 chirgcabl* w, xhu there » oot really a woid about the 
luturt of the vDdcrMantiiiig to it, nor my utcnipt to *how what h it 
or whether it » or m not aojr ihingt dtttinct from tbe faculty of limple 
pcrccptkni. The operatton* of thinking, compariDg, dinceroini, 
mMiuQgi willins, aod the like, which Mr. Locke atciibci to it, arc 
the openuiooi of nothing, or of I know not what. All the force of 
hit mind lecini to have been to bent on exploding innate ideat, and 
tracing oui thought* to tbcii external source, that be cither forgot or 
74 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

had DOE Ictiure to examioe what the inwnial pnnciple of all thought 

■». H« took for hii bani i bod limile — that the fniod is like a bink 

■beet of papcft ongioally void of all cboiactrn whalcicr; for tbia, 

dxnri) cruc as far as rcbtrs to innate idcai, thai it, (o aoy imj^rewion* 

■enuly exittiiig in it, i* hoc true of the mind itaelf, which is oot like 

1 dieet of papcT) the pauiTi: rccciTci lod tcUiocr of the imprcMioos 

mdc upon ii. The inference from thii simile has howercr been that 

tile oodernanding it iwibing in iicelf, nor the cautc of any thing ; 

BCTCT acting, but always acted upon ; that it ii but a coDvciucat 

Rpoutory for the siiaKgltii;; irnai;;es of thingt, a son of empty room 

'mo which ideas are cooTeyed from without through the doors of the 

•TDtes, as you would carry goods ioto on unfiiniithcd lodging t aod 

bnce it liai been IoudcI necessary by tuccecding writers to get rid of 

dioie ditfereot faculties and operations which Mr. Locke eUcwbere 

dowf 10 bctoDg to the miad, but which arc io tmth only compatible 

Willi the active powers and indepcndcni nature of the undcrUaoding. 

I will first stale Mr. Locke's account of the origin of our ideas in his 

(nre wordsf aod will then endeavour to thow in what that account t» 

dcfcctite ; that is, what other act or factilty of the mtnd I cuaceivc to 

tcwcesaary to the formation of our ideas, besides senKition or simple 

^Crteption- After employing eighty pages in a very laborious, and 

BortlKmottpan leBsiblc refiitatioa of the doctrine of innate ideas, 

vkich was popular at the time, but which Hobbes has not deigned to 

tnKct, their impoftibility being implied io the general principle that 

iD (Ru ideas are derived from the senses, Mr. LocVe proceeds in the 

Mcood book TO treat of Ideas, and their origin. He then sayi : 

' Every mao being coi«cioui to hiniscll that he thinks and that 
whscb his mind is applied about whilst thinking being thr iilcas that 
in there, it ts past doubt that men have in their minds several ideas, 
■cb ate tho«e exprewed by the word*, ixtbiimeii, harJntJi, sveitntu, 
ttmAufg, motion, Man, tliphmt, army, drunimnen, and utbers : it is in 
ifcr first place then to be inquired how be comes by them. I know 
it ii a received doctrine that men have native ideas and orit:in.il 
ckaractcri stamped upon their minds in their very frst being. This 
•pcnion I hate at large examined already : but I suppose whal t 
tave said will be much more easily admitted when 1 have shewn 
vbescc the understanding may get all the ideas it has, and by 
*bt ways and degrees tbry may come into the mind, for which 
I ihill appeal to e»eryoi«'i own observation and experience. Let us 
■bco suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of aJI 
tbaractera. without Hny ideas : how comes it to be fiirnished ? 
Whence cornea it by that vast store, which the busy and boundles 
biCy of man has painted on it, in an almost endless variety ? 

75 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



Whence hat it all the nuteriaJft of reuon and kaowled^? To Uiw I 
amwer, ta &nc vord, from eulriemce ; in liiat all ow ksovIcdKC ii 
founded, aod from thai » uUinutely dcnvc* itaelf. . . . 

* FiiBt, our lentes, converiaot about pankular seoiible objects, do 
COQvey into the tniod tcvcral distiDCC pcrccptioot of thiagt, accoidlng 
to (hoK ruiouM ways, wherein tboac objcctt do atTcctthcm ; aod thus 
we come by those ideas we have of ytfiow, tubite, haU, eoiJ, tofi^ hard, 
titter, iiiftel, and all tlio>c which we call fcocibk <]ualit in, which wheo 
I uy ihc K-tiDcs convey into the mind, I mean, they from cxirnul 
objects convey into the mind what produce* there those perceptions. 
Tmi great Murce of nio>t of the idea* wc have, depeodiag wholly u)>od 
our eenacs, and dctiTrd by them lo the uDdcrsianding, I call sENUTioti> 

' Secotidly, the other fountain ftonj whence experience furoisbeth 
the tindentaoding with ideai, is the perception of the operation! of our 
owB mind within un, aa it jo employed about the ideas it has got : 
which opcrauoDE when the soul comet to reflect on and coosider, do 
furnish the understanding wtb another set of ideu, which coold lun 
be bad from things without ; and nucbarc^re^Wga, ihitiiiitg, dtaiti^g, 
btSiv'mg, rttuoning, ttto-wing, iui//iag, and all the difTcrcot actings of 
our own minds i which we being cocicioua of, md obwrring in our- 
•cItcbi do from these receive into our understandings as distinct ideaa 
as we do ftoin bodies affecting our senses. This source of ideas 
every man has wholly in himself; and though it be not sense, as 
having nothing to do with external objects, yet it ii ^cry like it) aad 
might properly enough be called internal sense. Bui as I call the 
other lentation, so I c.ill this itiinjLCTioiii ; the ideas tt alfords being 
tudi only as the mind gets by reflecting on its own uifcratioos within 
itself. . . . These two I say, tii%. externa), material things, as the 
objects of sensation, and the operationt of our own minds within as 
the objects of aiTLJCTioit, are to me the only originals from whence alt 
our ideas taVe their beginnings. The term operafiom here I use in a 
large sense, ss comprehentling not barely the actions of the mind about 
its idea*, but some sort of psiioni arising sumctimet from them, such 
as is the taiisfiiction or uncasineM arising from any thought.* 

< The understaadir^,' proceeds Mr. Loclte, * seems to me not to 
bare tiic leatl glimmering of any idctts, which it doth not reccirt from 
one of these two. Extcmnl objects furntsli the mind with the ideas of 
sensible qualities, which arc all those different pctceptioos they produce 
in ut t and the mind furnisbcB the undcretaDding with ideas of its own 
operations. These, wiien we hate taken a full surrey of them, and 
their several modes, combinutioDs, iind relations, we shall And to contain 
all our whole stock of ideas: and that we have nothing in our minds, 
which did not come in one of cheitc two ways. '^£f ray, vol. i. p. 84. 

76 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



Afaio, p«gc 1 50, he My« : 

' I pretend Dot to mch but 10 inijuirc, sod chcrcToic canaot bat 
ooofrn hcfp ;)giin, that cxt^nuil nml intenul wnution sre the ooly 
pMHjTi that I can tind of knuwlnl^c to tbe uodcnunding. TStm 
alonCf ■• far u I on ditcovcr, arc the wiodovn by which light is kt 
into tbtt dark room. For methinki tlt>c undcritvtding u not moch 
Bolike A cJotrt, wholly Khut frotn light, with only sorar little opening 
kft, to let ID extcmaf visible reecmblancea, or mJcsi of thingi without: 
would the pictures comiBg into such x darlc room but stay there, and 
lir to orderly a* to be found upon occasion, it would very mtich 
rcMinbIc the noderstaiMliiig of a man in reference u> oU objects of 
sight, and the ideas of them.' 

Thia accoom of (he origin of every thing that exiata in the mtod 
differs from the timptiaty of Hobbei'i nMen, and of the modem 
pmosophy, ia supposing uat there is uxKoer dintinct source of ideas, 
besidet sensatsoD, namely, reAeciioa on the operations of our own 
imnds. I coofm this aoditiOD appears to me to be very awkwardly 
ad ioarnfictally msdc. For. in the first place, it is obTiotii to 
thac in idom at least, if not all the ineiances enumeraced by 
author, the operations themselves sre the proper and intme^iate 
of our ideas, not this kind of rcDcctioo on them, which teems 
10 be nothing but the repetition Of recollection of the first conscious 
intesaion, the perception of a perception. For example, Mr. Locke 
todwles among opcrattoos of oar own minds *somc wrt of passions 
■iBBg from our tdeu,' tj. as he expUins it, the seitte of pleasure 
ad pain. Now it i* surely a little preposterous to nuke, not the 
omul feeling itself, but the after coosidrratioD m reflection on that 
fctOBg, tbe soofoe of our idea of pleasure or pain. In this tense, 
tcfleetion most be the source of all our ideaa, whether of external 
tbjectSt or the aperations of our own minds, for in the same sense 
it my be argued, that the tint imprciHon of a sentible abject is not 
iW •ourve of Ae idea we have of it, till the soul somes to reflect on 
!■! CODsider that original impression. But it might be laid with 
efiil prx^iriety, thai we hate one source of ideas, viz., sensation, and 
aDther source of ideas, liz. ideas. From the view which Mr. Locke 
Ikat bcrc taken of tbe subject, though the passioos, or the satisfaction 
ad nneaatness attending certain things are ranked among the opera- 
tes of tbe miiKl, yet it is not quite clear whether we are supposed 
tD bm any contciousoess of them or Dot ; whether they are not a* 
RBote from any thing like percejtion, as the lifeless objects without 
u^ till coming 10 be ^terwards rellcctcd on and taken notice of by 
Ike ■iod, tfacy furnish tbe undcrsUndiog with a new set of ideas. 
Hie tame reasoning may be applied to the other operations of 

77 



pcfcrptioo, chioking, &c for h kcim lo me that tbc origiail aci of 
perceiving or thinking it the louice of my idea of thcxe meDOl 
opcrotioD), ju«t it tbc first inpmnon of any (coiible object is the 
•ource of my idea of that objca. Not icoauion and reflection, 
therefore, but wntatioo and the operationt of our ova mifidi are more 
properly the lourcet of our ideas, that if, tbc«c two fumtifa msteriali 
foi our rcBcction. I should not have dwch lo long upon this 
distinction, which may be thought of little Jmponanu in itself, bat 
that I belicTe it hai led to rnott of the enors of the * Essay.' For 
in consequence of separating the operations of the miod in a manner 
fromihe mind itself, 3nd makiDgthem exin only at objeciM for its con- 
tcniplatioo, Mr. Locke ha» been tatiafied with considering those opcra- 
dons as acting upon the mind hke cxtcnial thbgs. Dot ai rmaaaun| 
(torn it. Thus, by a general formula, all oar ideas of every kind are 
represented a« commumcated to the mind by something fbfcign to 
it, instead of growing out of, aod being a pan of its own oature and 
estence. 

Secondly, anotber objection to this diTiiioa of our ideas into thoM 
of sensation aod rcdcctioD is, that it docs not differ in any decisive 
manner from the more simple statement of Hobbes and others, who 
derive all our ideas from teaution. For by KBtttioa thetc writers 
do not undentaod merely the external image, but the perception or 
Ivriing which accompanies it, and they contend thai all our other 
idea* arc coniinuaiJons, nodificatioos, or ditfereat arrangemcBtt of 
the original imprcsaioas, pnxUiced by objects on the senies. Now 
there is nothing in the extract abo*e given to disprove this natemait : 
tad if *o, the original hypothesis will reraatn in its full force. Indeed 
Mr. Locke himself docs not aeem to have made up his mind, whether 
it wnv so or oot. For though be speaks of the raind at furnishing 
ifcc mdcntiadilig with ideas, and with the materials of icasoo aod 
knowledge, and cnameFates and explains the several operations of 
the miod in coropctrii^ dinugnibiii^ ftc yet he elsewhere spciki 
of idea* Ji* exi«iing in the utdefataBdiag like pictures in a ;<aUcry, or 
as if the whole procesa of tbc tntdlcct were resolvable into the power 
of receiving, retaiaiiig, carrying, and truuposing the gross reateriaJs 
famished ^ the seMek. In this case, I think the simplest way si 
mcc is to make seiHitJon tlie femdaliofi of all our oihcr idcM and 
fiKukiea. For my own pott, the rmoo why I cannot assent to this 
doctrine is, that I believe there is another act or faculty of the miod 
implied in all oar ideas, for which ncidier scnsasioD nor any of its 
modes can ever account, aod which 1 shall here proceed to explaio. 

The principte which I shall attempt to frore ii, that ideas are the 
QlTapnns of the undcntaadinst wx of the senM-s. Bt a acoaatjon is 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

ntani iitt perception produced by the impmsioQ of the lercral paru 

of in outward object, each by itielf, oa the corrcapondcnt pirtfl of 

SB DTganued Koticot bciag : b;^ ao idea 1 ntcaa the conception pro- 

dcccd by a Dumber oTtheic together on ifac tunc caoKious principle. 

BctidM the iDcceuion or juxt;i- position of dHTemt i«ii«ible imprett- 

■ions, 1 tuppotc that there a a common principle of thm^ht, a 

•upcRDGeAding faculiy, which alone jfcrcrires the tehiioni of tbingi, 

Bod (sublea ua to comprehend their connexiooi, formi, aad muMi. 

Thie faculty it properly the undcrataadiog, and it it by meant of this 

faculty that tnin indeed bccoTnct a teacooable khiI. What has led 

nore than any thing else to the exclusioo of the uadentanding as a 

dittinct fiiculty of the miod, aad to the principle of resotriDg the acta 

of jodgini;, reawniag, Sec. into mere astociation, or saccesnon of 

ideal, liai been the considering ideas thenifielve*, or thow panicular 

abjcctB which arc nurkcd by one name, or strike at once upon the 

Kiises, u iimpit iJfiagt. Mr. Locke, it ii tnir, has avoided this error 

as far as reutes to our ideas of subnances, but he reclcoiis among 

■niplc ideas of the <]ualitic* of thing* several ideas, which arc 

endcatly complex, such i* extension, figure, motion, and number. 

Hence, haring laid in a certain uoct of ideas without the neceuity of 

the uoderataadiDg, it vrae Iliought an CMy matter to build up the 

wkole Mructure of the human miad without it, as we build a hooBc 

«nh stones. The method, therefore, which I shall take to ettabliah 

the point I have to new, will be by ihowing Uiat there ii oo one of 

dicac simple ideas, or ideas of particular things, which arc made ifac 

fa^K^'^yp" of all the reu, that is not itself an aggregate of many thingi, 

« thu MB Mbiist a momeot but ia the underttanding. I can conceive 

«f ■ briog endued with the power of sensation, or simple perception, 

n IS to recei?e the direct impresdons of things, and alto with 

nemorj, so as to retain them for any length of time, as they were 

mcraliysnd unconnectcdly presented, yet without the tmallcsi decree 

•f mlentandiog, or without ever having so much as a single thought. 

The atate ef neh a being would be that of animal life, and wme- 

tUng more with the addition of memory, bat it would not amount to 

intellect ; which implies, besides actual, living impiessionE, the power 

of perceiriog their relatioos (o one another, of companng and con- 

tratttog them, and of regarding the different parts of any object as 

suking one whole. V^thout this 'dtKourse of reason,' this sur* 

tinodiag and forming power, we could never have the idea of a single 

flbJKt, as ofu tshle or a chair, a blade of gtasn, or a grain of sand. 

Every one of these include) a certain conliguraiion, hardness, colour, 

fte., i.e. ideas of differeni ihinp, received by dtlTercni senses, which 

turn be p«it together by the undctsUndiog bofbce they can be referred 

79 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 

to iny particular Oiinga or eoutdered » on« idea. Witbom 
faculty, u]] our ideas would be DFcnunly dccompowdt and cnimblc 
down into their original vlcmeots and lluxionil puu. We cooldl 
unredly ocwtt carry on a chain of reaioning on any tnbject, for tbe'^ 
very links of which this chain muat consist would br ground to 
powder. Thrre would be an infinite di»iBibility in the impreMioni of 
the mind, as well » in the objects of matter. There would be a 
totiil want of unioDi fellowthipt and mutual intelligence betvem thcni( 
for each imprrKsion must remain absolutely simple and diftinct, unlmown 
to, and unconsciouH ol the reiC, shut up in the narrow cell of tts own 
tndi*iduality. No two of ihcoc atomic imprnaioni could ercr club 
together to form even a tmiible point, much let* ahoiuld we be able 
to arrive at any of the larger magae!, or nominal deacHplioni of thingi. 
The moat that Koution coutd powibly do for ua, would be to tumidi 
us with the ideas of what Mr. Locke calla the umple qualiiiet of 
objects, as of colour or preature, though not aa a general notion or 
disused feeling i for it is certain that no one idea could ever contain 
more than the tinge of a ainglr ray of light, or the puncture of a ain^ 
particle of matter. Let ua, however, for a mommi mppoie that uw 
xveral parts oi objvcts arc to be coneidered it individiial thingSi or 
ideal units; and then aee whether, without tlie cementing power of 
the understanding, we ahall be able to conceive of them ai forming a 
complete whole, or any one entire object. Thus we may hare a ootioo 
of the IcgB and armt of a chair as to many diiuna, poaitirc thioja ; 
but witbom the power of perceiving them together in their levml 
proportions and aituationt) wc could not hare the idea of a chair aa 
one thing, or as a ptccc of furniture, intended for a parttcalar uac. It 
is the mind (if 1 may be allowed such an expresnon] that makes vp 
the idea of the chair, and Gta it together ; that ii in this cate tbe 
cabinet-maker, who unites the looac, disjointed parts, and makes them 
one firm and well-compacted object. I might instance to the same 
purpoae s ititue. Will any one say, that if the head and limba and 
aifferent parts of a fine statue were lo be taken .tnmder, broken in 
picoea, and strewed about the Roor, and lirst shown to him in that 
state, he would have the same idea of the beauty, proportiona, noatnre, 
and HTeci of the whole, as if he Had seen tt in its original aute? 
But (he idea which luch .-4 person might have of the nxue in thia way 
would be completeness and harmony ilaelf, compared with any idea 
which could result from the scnaible impression of the several part*. 
For he might still in lancy piece together the broken, mntHatcd 
(ragments, prop up the limbs, set the head upon the ahonlders, aad 
make out a crazy image of the whole ; but without the underatBodbg 
reacting on the senses, and informing the eye with judgment and 
80 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

'IcdgCt tbrre would be do poteibility whoever oF comjurinj; the 
nt impfcnioDS received : do one pan could have the iligbteit 

titce ut any ether part or to th« wh«le ; there would be do 
of cohcsian left ; we mighi have an iniinhc Dumber of 
nnaoccapic impretiioos and fractiooa of ideal, but there being nothing 
K> uiiie them tocher, the man perfect grace and tymmetry would 
be only ooe mau of unmraniagi, uDconecioiu coofiiuoa. All oanue, 
lU objects, all pm of all objects would be equally < without form 
wd void.' T%t mud afwt h formailvf, to ok the expreiaion of a 
gicit G«niiin writer ; of it ia that alone which by iu pcrrading and 
daitic eocrgy unfoldi and expandi our ideas, that gives order and 
Dcy to them, that aaiigni to every part its proper placci mA 

' it there, aod that frames the idea of the whole. Or, to other 

mtb, it i> ihc understanding alone that perceive* relation, but every 
object b made up of relation. Id short, there is no object or idea 
which doci oot cunnit of a Dumber of paru arranged in a certain 
maner, bar of this arrBngcmroi the parts themselves cannot be 
KHiUe. To make each part contcious of its relation to tlie rctt it 
to nppo«c ao ioGaitc Dumber of intellect* instead of one : and to Bay 
thM a knowledge or perception of each part icparately, without 
a lefereoce to the rest, can produce a conception of the whole ; that 
ii, that a knowledge where no two irapreMioos are or ever can be 
caopued, can include a comparison between tbcm and many other** 
it ■ ctMmdiction and an absurdity. 

It my be Bid perhaps, that not the sensation excited by any of 
the pons of an object separately, but the sum of our sensations, exched 
bj all the parti, produces our idea of the whole. But tt is not 
posuble that in a given number of impressions, where the mind ocrer 
ba percep u oo of more than a single pan, there ahould be contained 
ncmtfanaading a view of the whole at once. For as a angle part 
caanot of iiscli represent the whole object, so neither can this part by 
being actually joined to others, which by the supposition arc never 
pRceivcd to be jtuned with it, produce that idea, any more than if 
tkotc flthcr ports had no existence. 1 f the impression of the parts of 
M object, absolutely and indiridaally considered, were the same 
tfatng aa the idea c^ the object, any number of actual impreaiioDS, 
trnDged in any manner whatever, would occeMarily be the same 
obJKt. But ihio is contrary to all fact. For then a curve line, 
coMriBg of the same Dumber of points, would not be distinguishable 
Atn a ctraight one, nor a BCfuare from a triangle of the same 
dineonons, aod so on. In a being endued only with a power of 
■nndoii, and eappoied to be simple and undivided, there could be no 
NVD tot moce thui n iodivtdul impresuoa at once. Our aensatioaa 
«)un.:p Bl 



fl 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



miiit always succeed cadi oiIict* One thoa^t muu lave completely 

[laued away, before another could supply Hb place. Oar ideaswoukl 
UTC no traces of thcmKlvn, like the Dubblcs thst rise aod ditappcu 
OD the vicei, or the mow that metis as it falls. I'hcre would be 
nothing in thcif fugitirc, momentiry existence to bind them together. 
Ere wc could slop to compare any ooe imprcsuoa witii any otI>cr> it 
would be lost for ever in tbe dark abyw of time. Nothing could be 
connected with asy thing eUc, cither coexiuing with it, or going 
betorc or after it. If oo the othef luod, we wppote any mcrdy 
■cntient being to be extended iind coinpo<uiKicd| or to be capable of 
ceceinng mure than one impiession a; once, wc shall yet gain littic by 
it. Such 3 sentient beiDg will be nothing but a number of diMinct 
teotieot beings. For as in the former iastancc, oo two iin]nTSaui» 
oonld co^exist together, so in the latter, though they existed together, 
there could be no sort of communication between (hem. They would 
be absolutely cut off from and exclusiTC of each other. The mlad in 
attending to any one must be wholly abiorbed by il, and itueosible of 
the test. Our sensations would to every rational purpose be placed 
M completely out of the sphere of eacli otiici's conscioumeaa, at if 
they were parcel of another intellect, ot Seated in the region of the 
moon. Th>t any number of detached, unconnected, actual sensations, 
impressed on dificicnt sentient beings, would not of ihemsehct imply 
a conccjjtion of any one entire object is what every one is rciudy to 
grant: — tt would be e<iually deax, thai thiaidea could not arise from 
the impression of the different parts of an object on the dilTcrcnt pans 
of tJic same organiud, extended, sentient substance, but that in this 
esse we tnroluntaiily iransj«r our own consciousness to a being 
incapable of it, and identify these distinct sensible impressions in tbe 
•ante common inicllect. 

It is strange that Mr. Locke should nnk among simple ideas that 
of number, which he define* to be the idea of unity repeated. Bot 
how this idea of successive ot distinct units can ever give the idea of 
re|)etition unless the former instances are borne in mind, 1 cannot 
conceive. There mijjht be a transition from one unit to another, but 
no addition or aj^gref.ate formed. As well might we suppose that a 
body of an inch diameter by sliifting from place to place might enlarge 
its dimensions to a foot or a mile, as that a succession of units, pet- 
ccivcd sepaialcly, should produce ibc complex idea of number. Tlie 
natural foot that Mt. Hobbe^ speaks of, may be supjxised to obserre 
every stroke of the clock, and nod to it, or say one, one, one : but he 
could nc^xT know what hour it strikes, according lo Mr. Hobbes, 
witliout the use of those names of order, one, two, three. Sec. nor 
according to my notion, without tbe help of that orderly ludet- 



I 

I 

I 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



Muding which lir«t inTcntcd tho«r n^mc*, snd comprehend* thHr 
■MSiuDg. Oa Lhe nuteriaJ hypothesis, the mind can have but one 
idea at a ciinc, and the idea of number could Dcvrr mtcr into it. 

Though Mr. Locke coiutantljr Kippotet the mind tu jierccirr 
rfl«fpn*» and expUina ita opcraikmi in rcaaoniog, compuing, &c. oo 
tkii principle, there is bat ooe pbce in hii work, in which he teetnt 
to have bevD apon the point of ditcovrting that thia principle it «t the 
bottoia of all our ideas whztcTcr< He lajs, ia the bcginmnK of hi* 
chapter on Power, which lie clatte* among timjile ideoi, and which 
u ny opinion has a much more (tm|>le lource thin that which be 
tmgu to it* — * 1 confcM power includei in h ieau iinJ »J rttati»a (i 
nwoti to acttoa oi change), nt indeed which of our ideas, of what 
lad Mieirer, when atteotively contidered, doe* not } For our idea* 
of exteoiioD, dursiioo, aad niunbcr, do tbcy not all cont^ in theni 
laccTCt relation of the pan*^ Figure and motion have KjmcihiDf; 
icbti?e io them much more vitibly : and sentihlc qualitiet, a* colourt 
tad smcU*, what arc tfacy hot the powers of different bodies in rela- 
tion to our perception i and if considered in the tbiDf^s thcmicUcs, do 
ihn BM depend on the bolk, ligure, texture, aod rrtoiioo of the parts .' 
All which include M>n>e kicMl of relation in them. Our idea therefore 
of BOwer I think may wtrll have a place amongst other simple idea*, 
xu be considered as one of theru, being one of tiiose ttutt make a 
piodpal ingredient id our complex idei* of (ub«unces.' — Ejtof, 
nL 1. p. 2] 4. I^uc is to aay, m other wordt, the idea of power, 
•tich 11 cmfewedly coni[^x according to Mr. Lode, at depending 
00 the cbsogca we otKCrrc produced in one thing by anoclief, is to 
pno for a nmptc idea, because it has as good a right to iliis dcoonuiu- 
lien as other complex ideai, which are usually clatsed a« simple ooec. 
It is thus that the inquiring miod scemt to be alwayi hoicring on the 
brink of truth, but that timidity or indolence, or prejudice, which is 
both GOiobuied, makes us shrink back, unwilling to truct ourselves to 
tie fatbomless abyss. 

1 IttTc thos cndcaToufcd to gjrc some account of what 1 mean by 
ite Dnderstanding, as the principle which is the foundation not only 
of judgment, reason, choice, aod deliberate action, but is included in 
nny idea of the miod, or coDception cTcn of scosihlc objects. I am 
tvafe that what I have said may be looked upon as rhapsody and 
■nnngance by the strictest sect of those who are cal led philosophers. 
Tb indcrsiaadtttg hu been set aside a« an awkwird incombnuice, 
■itice it was conceived practicable to carry on the whole buiiness of 
tfeoo^ asd reason by a auocesdon of external imager and sensible 
HratSt The line oetwork of the miod iUclf, the cotde that bind and 
mU o«r scaitercd pcrceplioos logrthcr, and form the means of com- 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



iDunicaiioD between them, are distoWcd ud nnitb before the clear 
light of modern nicUphysKH iis (he gOMimer ii diMtpated by the sun. 
The adepti in this tyxiem imile ac the contradictions involred in the 
auppottbon of pereeifing the relations between differcot things, and 
•ay that thin implic* the nbnurdily that the miod may bare two ideac 
at once, which in with them impossible. Now I shall only contend 
that if the mind cannot hare two ideas at the same time, it can never 
haTe any, since all tlie idcan we know of conttiit of nwrc than one : 
and though the consciuusnns we have of attending lodiifereoi objecii 
at once, when we compart, judge, reason, will, Sec, has been resolved 
into a deception of the mind in minuking a rnpid »uccessioD of objects 
for one genersl tm|itL-s«ion, yet it will hardly be pretended that we 
deceive ourselves in thinking we hare any ideas at all. Mr. Home 
Tookc, who is certainly one of the ablett coRimcDtator* on the 
doctrine* of that school, says that it h as abttird to talk of a complex 
ideA as of a complex star, meaning that onr ideas are at perfectly 
dittinci from, icnd have us Uule Co do with one aootlier, u the etari 
that compose a constellation. Other writers fo aroid ilic seeming 
contradiction of supposing the mind to divide its attention between 
dilfcrcat objects, have suggested the instant of its passing from one to 
the other as the true point of comparison between them ; or that the 
time when it hnd an idea of lx)th together, vim the time when it had 
an idea of neither. As it was evident that wliik- the mind was 
entirely t;ikcn up witli one idea, it could aai have any knowledge of 
another which did not yet exist, or had passed away, and ss both 
iniprcwioni cannot be supposed to co-exist in the Ktme conscioiw 
underittanding (for on tliis syalem there U no auch faculty), this 
short, precious tnteival, this moment of leisure from both, this lucky 
vacancy of thought, is pitched upon as that in which the mind per- 
forms all its functions, and conicmplateB its various ideas in thetr 
absence, as from some vantage ground the traveller stops to survey 
the country on both sides of him. To such absurdities are ingenious 
men driven by setting up argument against fact, and denying the most 
obvious truths for which they cannot account, like the sophist who 
denied the existence of motion, because he could not uadersuad iu 
nucure. It might Itc deemed a suRicieni answer to those who build 
systems and lay dnwii formal proportion) on the principle that the 
mind can comprehend but one idea at a time, to say that they con- 
•cqucntly can have no meaning in what they write, since when they 
begin a sentence they cannot have the least idea of what will be the 
end of it, and by the time they get to the cod of it must totally forget 
the beginning. ' Peace to all such ! ' 

To 4how, however, that I am not cjuite singular in my DOtions on 

«+ 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



thii fobject of coatciouuMHt And to rcmoTC) a* I think) evtry thadow 
of doubt upon it, I beg leave to refer my reader) to two pauagcst the 
ooe IB Roiinem, oimI the other io Abraham Tucker, in iup|M>n of the 
alnuMt obaokte prejudice which 1 have here endeavoured to defend. 
The one ia 3D argamcnt to prove thai judgment and scn«atton are not 
the tame, id the Vicar*t profession ol' faith in ' Emitiui,' and the 
other la the chapter on the independent exiiteoce of miod in ihe 
■ Light of Nature Purnied.' 

Tbe (auage in Rousseau seems evidently to hsve bem intended a» 
■a aararer to the roaxtin of Hetvetius that lo fiel it to jv^i, a&d to 
fait reasoning on this maxinit which is no follows : — 

*Tbe question being reduced within these limits, I shall examine 
at present whether the act of the miod in judging k any thing more 
tluo a scTi&aitoo> When I judge of the size or colour of the object* 
noutd me, it U erident that the judgment formed of the different 
iitfvanoas, which tbeae objects make upon my sentes, is properly only 
1 Ksntimi : that 1 may tay tndiscriroinatcly, cither I jvage, or I /ret, 
din of two objects, the one which I call a yard makea upon mr a 
4iSn«at imprcMion from another which I call a foot i that the colour 
aUcd rtd, produces a dificrcnt effect upou the tight from that which 
I call jf/biv ; and I conclode that in this axe to judge is only to feel 
or percetTe by the senses. But it n:iay be said, let us suppose thai any 
ODc dearca to know whether ttrcngtb of body is ptefetable to mere 
Wk ; are we certain that we can decide this point by means of the 
•aaet aloae? Most ondoabcedty, 1 reply : for in order to my com- 
i^ lo a decision on the snbjcct, my memory must firtt retrace to me 
Mfely the different situations in which I may happen moit frc- 
b> find myself in the course of my life. In this caie, then, 
to judge ia to sec thu in thuc diFfcrcnt lituationn sticogth will be 
oftnKT an adTantagc to me than size. But it may be rrioitcd, when 
ihr ^aeation is to decide whether in a king justice is preferable to 
aervy, ia it cooccirable that the concluiion here formed depends 
ncircly on smtaiioa? The afHrmatiTC has undoubtedly at lirit sight 
de air of a paradox : nevertheleii^ in order to establish its truth, we 
«ili presuppose in any one a knowledge of what is meant by good 
■d cril* xaA also of the principle that one action in worse than 
■Mhrr^ according as it is more injurious to the well-being of society. 
Oa this sBppoiition, what method ought the orator or poet to take, m 
witr to tbow most clearly that justice, prefenible in a king to mercy, 
fRHitea the greatest number of citi/cns to the state? 

'The orator will pretcni three scrcral pictures to the imagination 
ofhsa sappoaed hearer: in the (irit tie will represent a just king, who 
caadeniBs oid gives orders for the e.xecuiion of a criminal ; in the 

•5 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



konkI, will be mcd the good king, who opeo« Hit door* uT 
dioigeaa, and ttrike* oifth? chains of the ume criminal ; in the third 
picture, the criminal himself will te the prindjnl 6gatKt wlio, armed 
with a ponlaid, on his escape from hii cell haucnt to auauinatc lifty 
of bix fellow- citiien*. But who ii there that at th« nj^ht of thr«« 
three pictures will not inatantly perceive that Justice which, by llic 
death of a sinjilc individual, urcs the lives of fifty perunk, it prefer- 
able to mercy? Ne%-ertheleu, thit jitdgtnent it really nothing but a 
■cntatioQ. In fact, if from the habit of conocciing cacaio tdcai with 
certain words, the sound of these words may, as cxpcrieDce detnon- 
ttratei, excite in u* almost the time «ensatioi» which we thould feel 
from the actual prcicoce of the object*, it it cvideot that from the 
contemplation of these three piciore*, to judge that in a king jiutice 
i* preferable to mercy, ii to feel and eee that in the Bnt picture a 
•ingle citizcD is sacrificed, while in the third fifty arc tnoHacrcdi 
wbcDCC I conclude thai every act of the jtdgmcot is only a scfuattOD.' 
—Hrhvliui OB tht A Jin J, p. ii. 

On this itatemcnt I loay be permitted to remark thut at the aoihoi 
affirma that scnsati'on is the same thing as jud^mmt, so he x-cma to 
coDOCtn (hat the .iMeruoo of any piapoution is the came thing as the 
proof of it. He (up}>08c* three scvctnl pictures to be prcteoied to a 
mim of understanding, and that from an attentive contemplation and 
compaiisoD of the diffeient objecu and erenu comained in iliera, he 
comes to a judgment or ccnclutioD, tix. Tbat jtntUt ii prtferahk it 
mtrcy. ' NcvcithclciS,' he uys, ' this judgment w really itothiog bui 
a seoasiioo.' This is all the proof be briogi i and pefhauc, con- 
sidering the language and country in which th» celebrated author 
wrote, it is reasoning good enough. Do I say this with any view to 
throw contempt on that lively, ingenious, gay, social, and polished 
people ? No ; hut philoMphy ii not their forle : they are not 10 
carorit tn ihe«c remote speculations. In order duly to appreciate their 
wriiingm, we must coniider them not as the dictate* of the noder^ 
■tending, but as the eficcti of constitution. Otlierwtte we shall 
them great injustice. They pursue truth, hke all other things, as 
u it is agreeable ; they reason for their amuEement ; they engage in 
abstruse questions to vary the topics of conversation. Whatever does 
not answer this purpoie is banished out of books and society as i 
inorote and cynical philosophy. To obtrude the dark and ditlicalt 
parts of a ({uestion, or to enter into an elaborate iorenigatiaa of them, 
IS considered as a piece of ill-manneis. Those writers, tbercfbrci 
have been the most popular among the French who have supplied 
their readers with the greatcit number of dazzling conclusions founded 
on the most alight and superiiciai evidence, whose rcaaoniags could be 

86 



4 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



■lied to every thing, becaoK they exjihined nothing, and who mtxt 
tsaDy kept out of li^ht crct^ thing true cr profound or i&tcccit- 
dg ia a quenion. Who woold ever think of plunging into abstruse, 
iBeta|!liynca] inquifiea conceratng the niiture of the unilcfiianding, 
when be may with entire ease to himself and utitftciion to others 
toitt all the pheaomeaa of the mind by repealing in three worda, 
Jigpr r/t tenirr. As it wu the object of (he schoof-pliilofopliyf hy a 
jUgOD of technical distinctJotit, tg (harpen the cagcrocaa of debate and 
gire tnrth to cndlcu i-etbal coniioiersiea, so the tnodcrn Rysiem, tran>> 
fmiDg philoutpby I'rora the cloistered hall to the toilette and the 
dnwiog-roora, is calculated, by a Kt of portable phiascs, as famiiiar 
wA ai current as ihc forms of salutation, to silence every difference 
of O]naion,and loproduce an eutluinasia of all thought. I have mode 
ibcK remarks not to prejudice the question, but to prerent the preju- 
dice arisn^t on the other side, from serine the writers of a whole 
natiaot not deficient in natural talents or iaacouired advantages, agree in 
dcGTerin^ the most puerile .ibsurdiiiet as profound and oracular truths. 
The train of thought into which the author has fallen in the passaie 
jbOTc cjied is pretty obvious. Having undcnaken to prove that the 
ideas of justice and mercy are mere seniaiiont, and thai the conclu- 
noD thai justice is preferable to mercy is also a mere tensation, in 
m&tt to shew the pouibility of this he conjures up the ideas of a 
good and a bad king, of a crimioal, a prison, chains, a dagger, and 
^y citizctia masKScred bcTore the eyes of the spectator, which form 
(be subject of three imaginary pictures, and which are in general cod- 
lidered as so many sensible objects. All these ften«iblc objects he 
Nfpoaes to be implied in, aad to be the materials out of which we 
Inne the judgment or conclusioa, that justice is better than meicy : 
ad therefore he infers that there i* nothing e!*e implied in or reces- 
•ary to that Judgnicnt, and that coosequcntly it is nothing but a 
wnaatiao. Having succeeded in resolving the compound and general 
ideu of jiiatice and mercy, good and evil, into a number of sensible 
^pcaraoccs, hit imaginatjoa is entirely occupied with the novelty of 
tbe objects before htm, and he drops altogether the coniideration, 
«hetber the combiaation and comparison of these several objects or 
•OMatuxu which is aUiolutely necessary to tbcii forming the moral 
Idas or inference spoken of, is not the aa of some other faculty. In 
•hon, tbe principle that a judgment is nothing but a senution, is not 
ooly a perfectly sjatuitous aaacctioa, but an assertion either without 
■tailnb or a palpable coninidiction. For the tingle objects pre- 
sated n the foregoing metaphysical pictures, and which are supposed 
Ucoattitute the judgment, arc not oik leniation, but many. Now if 
It be meant that theae single objecu, us they are perceived se]>arately, 

87 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



or successively, one by one, vithout the imcrrcntioo of aay tcBcx act 
of the mind combining imd comparing them tomther, constitute a(| 
themselves the ]udgni<-nt, ' thai fustiM in preferable to mercy,' thi» it 
to fay, in bo many words, that the mind forms a comparison between 
tbingt without comparing them, and judges of their relatiom without 
perceiving them. On the other hand, if it be meant to include the 
acta of the mind in compiling, judging, inferring. Sic. in the tcmi 
tenitukti, then the proposition that judgment or senutioo are the 
same, will he nothing but an idJe and insignilicant abuse of word^ ' 
and will only prove that if to the scnuiion. or pcrccpiian of pariicula 
object! wc idd the faculty of comparing and judging, nothing farihe 
«ml be (leceitMry for it to compare and judge. I shall therefore^ 
disiDiEi this well known maxim a> no better thin a nuanonier, as an 
aticmpc to shonen the labour of thought by the intcrpoiitton of an 
titimeaning phrate, and to confound all the distinctions of the under- j 
etandicg by an cqaivoi{uc. 

It will not be amiss in this place to tianscribr a passage from 
Logic of the Abbi^ Condillac (a work which may be regarded u 
quintettcncc of slender thou£bt, and of the art of subttirDting wotiiij 
for things) to show how far tbe doctrine of the origin of all our ideal 
from seoKEtion may be carried, and what an imbecility it produces io 
the mind, and deadncss to any but external objects. The design of 
the passage is lo prove that morality is a risible thing. This how- 
ever is a work of supererogaiioo, even on the principle supposed : for 
it is not Dcccstai-y to refer morality to any thing visible or audible, or 
to any other of the senses, but the sense of pleasure and patn ; outj 
feelings of this kind being allowed to come from, and make a part 
our orij^inal leosaiions. But this system is not an improrcmcci OD 
reason, but a progrcsaioo in supcrficiBlity and absurdity, a vast Tacuity, 
where ■ fluttering its pennons vain, the mind drops down ten thoutand 
fuhoms deep.' 

* ^fo^al ideas,' says my author, * seem to elude the senses : they at 
leait elude the senses of those philosophers who deny that our knowl«]ge 
proceeds from seniatioo. They wouldgladly know of what colour virtue 
ts,orof what colour vice is. I answer that virtue consists in the habitual 
performance of good actions, as vice connsts in the haluiual performance 
of bod ones. Now these habits and these actioiu are visible. 

* What, then, is the morality of actions a thing which falls under 
the cogniLance of the senses \ Wherefore should it not I Moralitj;j 
depends solely on the conformity between onr actions aiMl the law* |^ 
but these actions arc rtiiblc, and the laws arc ao ciiually, since they 
arc certain conventions made by men. 

'But it will be said, if the laws are only things of convention, they 

n 



t^N THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

altogether arbitrary. They may indeed be sometiTncs arbi- 
trary I there are bac too rainy such Uwi ; but tlio«e which determine 
whether out action* are good or bad, arc ool ao, nor can tlicy be h. 
They arc the work of man, it is irue. bccatue they are conTentions 
which we have made; ceverthHew, we alone hare not made them: 
nature mode then at well u we, the dictated them to ua, and it waa 
MK u our power to make otl|(ra. The wama and the faculties of 
mao faeicg given, the law* which are to regulate hit conduct most 
BMCMsrily follow: and though we enacted them, God who ha> 
created ai with nch wants and nich faculties, is in truth our sole 
legiilator. In obeying the lawt whidi are conforruable to our nature, 
we render obedtenee to him who is the author of our nature ; and 
ihia is that whkh perfccu the morality of actions.' — Page 56. 

For a work entitled Logic, there are a pleaunt number of contra* 

dktiaaa in this puaage. To pass over mnny of theni, if the taws 

' Bokcn of arc such merely in coiucqucacc of their being Tisible, 

1 all vinbic objccii are lawi, and all laws arc equally moral. But 

m! there are tome arbitrary laws. Now if che goodness of the law 

Jtpcndi on their conformity to our wanu aad f^cuUicSf neither of 

iMK arc viublc, any more than God who is said to be our only law- 

fmt. So that * the latter end of thin syitem of law and divinity 

nrgcu the beginning.' That cbo«c actions arc moral whkh arc 

MofiMinablc to a moral law, sod that those laws arc moral, which 

m ^reeable to our nature and wantH, may be readily admitted : hut 

I camot myself think that ilus cooformit)- is an object of the senses, 

or that the tnic featurca of morality can ever be discerned hot by the 

r}e of the underitandtng. The friends of morality, ii seenifl, accord- 

■U to our author, .uc not to despair, or to suppose that the dinisctioos 

of right and wrong are banished entirely out of the material lystem. 

Tbej only beconte more clear and legible than ever ; wi- are siill 

right in ascerting rirtuc to have a real cxiitcocc, namely, on paper, 

ad 10 supposing thai we have wmc idea of it, as consitiing of the 

hven of the alphabet. Almoat in the tame mannt-r, Mr. Home 

T(M>ke very gravely dchncs the cMcnce of /aw and /■//, from the 

etymology of these word), to coasist in their being •omcthing /atJ 

dttm^ and Mmething orJend (Juttum) ; and wlien preiaed by the 

diffiealty that there are many things laid down and ordered which 

■re aciUier laws nor just, be makes answer that their obligation 

depeods on a higher species of taw and justice, to wit, a bw which 

ia no where laid down, and a justice which it no where ordered, 

except indeed by tbe nature of things on which the etymology of 

■bete two words does not leem (o throw any light. 

On all the other poimi of the modeni metaphysical tyttem, mch 

89 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



m die nature of ifattraction, judgrnral and msoDiog* the mxtcriility 
of the loul, Iree-will, the atsoctaiion of ideas, &c. Mr. Locke either 
halu between two opiniona, or elie tahei the comnoD-pbce ude of 
the quntioa. The motion of the STttcm, which bean hit name and 
which bjr thii rery dciiy gained ill that it wanted to become popolar, 
wit retrograde ia him, not progrcssiTe. The extracts I am about to 
^ve (tma hiKwork will I think citaUith thii point. They will at 
the tame lime show him to be a man of strong poetical wiite, of 
much serious thought and iiKjuiry, and contiderable freedom of 
opinitfOt and a real lorcr of truthi though not >o bold and trncinatic 
a reaaoner, or so great a dealer in paradoxes at wme othen. Modera- 
tion, caution, a wish to examine erery side of a question, and an 
uawilltDgncM to decide till after the most mature and circiatnipeci 
inrmigatioot and then only according to tbc ciearncn of the CTidencc, 
seen to hare been the chiracterittica of hit mind, none of which 
denote the daring innovator* or maker of a lyctcm. What there Jti 
of aydem in hii work it Hobbci's, aa I hare already shown: the 
deviations from its common sense and getten! obaervuioo are fats own. 
There is throughout hts reatooiag the same contempt for the schoci 
meni and the tame preference of native, nulic reason to learned 
authority : the tame notion of the nccetiity for reforming the tystem 
of philo4ophy, and of the powibility of doing thi* by a more exact 
use of words: there is the aarae diMaitaJVciioa with the prevailing 
ayatem, but he at the nme time enteitairwd doubla of hit own. Whit 
he wanted was conf>deoce and decision. The prolixity and atnti- 
gtiity of his style seem to hare ariacn from thi* source: for he i> 
never weary of examining and re-examining the same objection, and 
he auues his argumeota with so many Itmitatiooa and with luch a 
TBriety of cxpreaoioa to prerem miaapivehension, that it is often 
difficult to gnctt at his real meaning. There it it must be confessed a 
son of heavinces about him, s want of cleartM«« aad connection, which 
in iptte of all hia pains, and tbc real |Joddii>g atreogth of his mind be 
was never able lu orercome. To rettim to hn account of complex 
ideaa : the beginning of his observitioni on this subject ia aa foUowa ; 

* Wc hare hitherto coondered thoae ideas, in the reception whereof 
the mind ia only paaaite, which are those nmplc onea received from 
semation sad reflection before mentiQaed, whereof the miitd cannot 
make one to itself, nor have any idea which docs not coosiat wholly 
t»f them. But as the mind is wholly pauive in the reception of alt 
ita simple ideas, so it exerts tercral acts of its own, whereby out of 
its simple idcsa, is tbc materiala and foundations of the ics;« the other 
arc frameil. The acts of the mind wherein it exerts its power over 
iu simple ideaa, are chieRy these three. 

90 



ON THB HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



Conbtoing seven) timplo ideas 



nnotind 



itnd 



one comt 
tta all complex ideas arc made. x. l he tccood is biinging 
idai, vbether simple or cumplex, together, arttl tetting them t^ one 
mthcf* to as to take a view of them at once, without iniitmi thetn 
iUo ODC t >n vrhtch way it gets all its ideas of reltUiau. 3. The 
third » Mparariog ihem rrom all other iiieas that accompaDy them in 
thnr real esistettce ; this is called atitraelron : and thus all its general 
fiat are made. This shows man's power to be much about the 
wne is the material aod iQtellectual world : for the materbls id 
hitli being atich is he ha* no power oKr, either to make or destroy, 
^ dut man can do is either to uottc them together, or to act them 
}ij ODC another, or wholly to sepante them.'— VoL i. p. 151. 

The first great point vhich Mr. Locke labours to prore ia bis 
Elay, ia that there arc 00 innate ideas, which he secmt to hare 
t«abIislKd eery fully and clearly, if indeed so obrioos a truth retjutred 
my foeraal demoimration. Hit chief prooft .-tre frcun the cue of a 
foat bom blitkd, who has no idea of colours, and from the ignoraace 
vlach children and idiots have of thote first principles and universal 
ntxims, which some philosophers sad theologians, confouttding the 
bnit>es of the mtod with actual impressions, had supposed to be 
le{3>ly engraven on the mind by the hand of its author. For the 
MffXMRg the understanding to be a distinct faculty of the mind no 
more proves our ideas to be inosic, than the allowing perceMioo to 
be a dininct original faculty of the nund, which ercryboay does, 
proves that tliere mud be innate senraEion*. These two posilions 
■a*^ however, been raiDettmes considered as convertible by the 
pSRisaat 00 both sides of the question; the one arguing from the 
existroce of the soul and the power of thought to the positive percep- 
tion of ceDain truths, and the others concluding tfajt by denying any 
original inherent imprestions, they had ovcrturocd the supposition en 
■Jie di^cfeet faculiJet and jxiwers which must be in the mind, to 
account for the first production or subsequent modification of senta- 
tioa or of thought. For instance, it has been made a consequence 
of the doctrine that there were no inn^iic ideas, that there could be 
BO nich thing u genius, or aa original ditfeiencc of capacity i as 
if the capacity were not perfectly distinct from the actual imiiresiiions 
by the very theory itself, and as if there might not tw n difference in 
the capacity of acquiring ideai is all experience shows, ihongh none 
in the kiMwledj^ acquired, because this capacity had never yet been 
e:xeTted. As well might we argue Uiat of two housei that arc juit 
b«ilt one is as commodious aod eapacioui ai the other, as well fitted 
for the recrpiioi) of guests and the disposal of furniture, because at 
It neittier of them is furnished or inhabited. 

9» 




J 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



The rollowinfi patsafrei will tbow the masaer in which out authot 
trcdta this part of bis »ubjca : 

* Tbe child ceruiuly kaovn that the dutk that feeds h U oeither 
the cat it plajr* with, nor the blaclumoor it i* aftaid of: that the 
wormiccd or musuid it rcfiiMs is not the apple or txtffii it cries for ; 
this it h certainly iind undoubtedly awnred of: but will any one say 
it is by virtue of ttiii prind|>le, TmI U u impojiihJe/or iht tamt ihit^ 
ie ht and not to be, that it so lirmly oHeots to these and other psru 
of its kcowledKc ? Or that the child has any doIiod or apprehensioo 
of that propo«ilioD at an »fp, wherein yet, it u plain, it knows a 
{Kit many other truths i He thai wilt lay, children join these icTcial 
abstract speculations with their suckiof; bottleii and their rattles, nuy 
perhaps with juetice be thouj;ht to have more pusion and zeal for his 
opinion, but less siacenty and truth than one of that ajc. Though 
thctcTorc there be scrcral Kcneriil propomiona that meet with coDitant 
and ready afcent as soon as proposed to men grown up, who hare 
atuined the use of more general atid abttract ideas, and oames 
Btandins for them, yet they not bcioK to be found in those of tender 
years, who nevertheless Icnow other things, they cannot pretend to 
universal assent of inteIHgent perioco, and so by no mean* cjn be 
supposed innate : it han^ impossible, that any truth which is innate 
(if there were any such] should be unknown, at leau to any one who 
knows any thing else. Since if they are innate truth*, they must be 
iooatc thoughts i there being nothing a truth in the mind which it 
has never thought on. 

' That tlie general rnaximx we are discoursing of, arc riot known 10 
children, idiots, and a fieat part of mankind, we have already suJli- 
deotly proved. But there is this farther argument against their 
being innate, that these characters, if they were native and original 
tmprcfsionsi should appear faireM and clearest in those persons to 
whom yet we (ind no footsteps of them. And it is tn my opinion a 
strong presumption that they are not innate, since they are least 
known to those in whom if they were inQatc, they must need cxen 
themselves with most force and vigour. For children, idiots, 
savages, and illiterate people heing of all others the least comtptcd 
by custom or borrowed opinion, learning or education having i>ot 
cast tlicir native thoughts into new moulds, nor by BU|x'rinductng 
foreign and studied doctrinejt, confounded those fair characters nature 
had written there ; one might reasonably imagine that in their minda 
these innate notions should lie open liiirly to every one's view, as it is 
eensin the thoughts of children do. One would think according to 
thuc men's principles that all these native beams of light (were ibcrc 
any luch) should in those who have no reserves, no acts of conceal- 

9» 



O.N THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

tncni. thine out ia their fuU ituur, and leave na in no more doubt 

of ifa«ir being there than we are of their Icve of pleoiure and ;ibhor- 

mcc of pnD< Bui das, affioogit cbildreo, idiot*, «i)-ascf, and the 

pt»iiy illheraie, what gcoerd maxima arc to be found ^ What uni- 

«end priociple of knowledge i Their notions are few and narrow, 

faoTFOwed ouf Boat tboK objects they hate had moot to do with, and 

which have made opoo their kuks the frequentrst and stroo^it im- 

pmtiona. A child knows his nurse and his cradle, and by degrees 

die plaTthiof t of a litdc moie advaoced age t aod a young lavage haa 

jahKft bis head filled with love and huoting, according to the fMbtoo 

of hi) tribe. But be thai from a child untaught, or a wild inhabitant 

of the WDod> will cx|>ect tbe*e abetntct aiaxims and reputed principles 

of Kietice, will I fi^ar find hiniK-lf mititakeo. Such kind of ;<cner3l 

(n^MMtioai [as that which it, is; and ihai it is impowible for the 

■UK thing to be and not to be] arc *eldom mentioocd in the huts of 

IidiaDt, much Icis arc they to be found tn the thouj^hts of children, 

or any iinptcasiocs of ihcm on the minds of naturals. They arc the 

higMgc and biuincM vf the school* and academies of learned natioiw, 

JCnntoiDed to thii sort of coavcTiiation or learning, where disputci arc 

(reoDeot: these maximt being suited to artificial argumcniaiion, and 

wrol for convictioD, but not much conducing to the discovery of 

iruht or adraacentcnt of knowledge.* 

I do ool know that Mr. Locke has tuJficienily dtstrnguiahed 
betweeo two thingf which I cannot very well expreis otherwise than by 
a tofo of words, tutndy, an innate knowledge of principles, tad innate 
ptiBCiples of knowledge. His argument! seem to me conclusive against 
ifae 0M« bot not against the other, for I think that there arc ccrtBin 
ffmaii ptiDcipIca or forms of thinking, something like the nioulda in 
•Uch any thing is cast, according to which oiu ideas follow one 
nether in a certain order, thoogh the knowledge, «.<-., perception of 
That ifaeae principles are, and the forming ihem into diuinct proposi* 
(ions is the result of experience. It is true, the child distinguithea 
bttweea ita nurse and the blackamoor, between bitter and twcct : 
vhit lundcrs it from confounding them? The idca« of jamr and 
ifinrnl are tHit included in these ideas iheinselvcs, nor are they 
feeidiar to any of them, b«t general terms. Wliat then dcternunM 
the child to annex them tinifornily to certain thing) and not to other* ! 
Ii is plun iben, that our ideas arc nut at liberty to rcn into clusters at 
•hey please or as it happens, hut are regtdated by certairt bwi^ to 
vhtch they muat confoira i or that the maaur in which we conceive 
of ihtm does not depend simply on die particular nature of the 
diaM, but on the general nature of the understanding. Mr. Locke 
■•tKvfor certain innate practical priociplcs oi general tcndcucics 

9J 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



rcgulatiog all our actioni, aamcly, the love gf picuurc, and aTcition to 
fiiti. He docs Dot howcTcf admitt a I un 6Qii, of any thiag 
■imilar to the opcrationE of the understanding. The aiiaIo}>y, notwitJh- 
(Ufldingt boldi exactly the tame in both catcs. For die cbiid in na 
moie contcioBi o( any luch general practical principle rcgnUriog all hi« 
deoKt, than of any speculative principle regulatiog hii notion of 
thiDfrs : he gcti the idea uE Urtfa from expciknce of their effects ; but 
I tlunk that tf there were no nich princtpirt in the mind itielf, pre* 
Tioui to the actual impression of objecta, and merely developed or 
called into action by them, wl- luust be perfectly indtifercot both to the 
rccrpiioD of pleasure and pairii .1» wc should feel nu mote repugnance 
to admit one conclusion thui another, however absurd or coniradiciory. 
The neceeiily we are under of pcrceiring ceruin agrcemeou or dis- 
agreements between our ideas is as much, and m the same sense, ifac 
roundaiion of jiidfmeot and reasoDin^ as the general desire of 
buunew and avei&ioti to miMry is the touadition of morality. 

This property of the undersUnding, by which certain judgrnents, 
naturally follow certain pciccptioiis, and are followed by other judg- 
ments, it tlic faculty of rcaton, of order and proportion in the mind, and 
is indeed nothing Imt the understanding acting by rule or ncccsntyi 
The long controversy between Locke and Leibnitz with retpect to 
innate ideas turned upon the distinction here stated, innate ideas being 
thus referred not to titc iictual ■m|>restions of objects, but to the forms 
or moulds exiiting in the mind, and in which those impressions arc 
cast. Leibnitz contended that tlicrc wa* a germ or principle of tnitlii 
I prc^Wablishcd harmony between its innate faculties and its accjuired 
ideas, implied in the essence of the mind itself. According to the 
one it was like a piece of free stone, which the mason hews with 
equal ease in ;ill direction!, and into any sliapc, as circuoistaiKCS 
require: according to the other, it resembles apiece of marble sirongly 
ingrained, with the lipre of a nun, or other animal, inclosed in it, 
■nd which the sculptor has only to brparaic from the surrouodiiig 
ma». • 

1 will add one more passage to draw the attention of my readers to 
this intricate subject, and to show that the ditliculties surroooding it 
were not completely cleared up oi even apprehended by the author of 
the ' Essay.' 

*Halh a child,' he says, 'an idea, of impoitsibilily and identity, 
before it lias of white or bbck, sweet or sour ? Or is tt from the 
knowledge nf this principle that it concludes that wormwood rubbed 
on the nipple liuth nut the same taste that it used to receive from 
thence i Is it the actual knowledge of Impotiiiilt ttl iikm tut tt mm 
uu that tnalisi a child dtitinguish betwno its mother aad a stnnger, 

9+ 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



or that nukei it food of the ok, nod Oy the other i Or doei the 
mlod regulate iisclf and iis aMcni by ideas tiuc it never had i Or 
the uDderttanding draw coodiuiont from principles which it DCTcr 
Tct knew or underttood.^ The name* impoiMiiiy and idemiilj/ (tand 
lor two idciu, so far from bcbg innaici or born with vb, that 1 Uiiok 
it reauiret great care aod atteotion lo form dicm right to our viidei- 
sUadiDg*- They ate to (kr from beit^ brought into the world with na, 
u remote from the thoughts of infancy and chitdhoodi that 1 bcliete 
upon examicaiioa it will be found thai miuy grown men want them. 

' If identity (to instance in that alone) be a native impreMioo, sod 
axMcqannly w clear aod obviuus to us tiut wc must needs kooir it 
nen uom our cradles: I would gladly be resoUed by ooeof serenor 
leventy years old, Whether a man, being a creature eoousting of «mi1 
lad body, be the same maa when his body is changed i Whether 
Eophotbu) and Pyth^ora*. having had the tame soul, wctc ihr same 
■an, thongh tbey lived several age* uunder i Nay, whether the 
tKk too, wbich had the same soul, wctc not the tame witii both of 
ifcein? Whereby pcrhapa it wilt appear that our idea of santencw it 
a« BO settled and cleat as to dnerve to be thought innate in ua. For 
iftlioac innate ideas are not so clear aod distinct a« iv be vnivcrtally 
known and naturally agreed on, they cannot be tubjecu of universal and 
adoilbtcd truihi} bat will be the unaroidiiblc occauon of perpetual un- 
ocnaioty. For I suppose crcty ooc't idea of identity will not be the 
WDC that Pythjgoras and thousaad others oi his fullowcrs have : and 
which then shall be true, which innate i Or are these two ditTcreot 
ideas of identity both innate ? ' — Page 60, 

Two thing* arc obvioui to icniarli, on this pusagc. Pint, it seems 
dear that the child, before it can pronounce that one thing is or is not 
the same as aootber, mctt hare the idea of what lamt ii, i.<. of identity : 
K k would be impostiblc for it 10 know what is or is not the same. 
This idea, then^ is oecesurily included in or the result uf the first 
ccntpaiisoo it is able to make bctwcco any two of its imprcKiont at 
alike or nntike. Sccondiv, tlic dillicvJty of detcrminicg the question 
nopoaed by Mr. Locke ooet not arise from the meaning of the word 
(Mi/r, bnt of the word man. For if this it oocc clear and lenled, 
diere will be no great effort of the undcrttanding required to determine 
vbethrr a mas it the tame or not. They delinr him to be a creatuie 
ccnaisting of body and soul, aod it is plain that if ooe of these, the 
body, it altered, the man ia not the same. The whole question, 
therribre, faere teems to turn on deciding what qualitiet arc esienual 
to tbe idea of man, so that by keeping or leaving out some, lie will or 
■ill not retain bit identity, in the practical and moral scnae of the 
tcnn. It it the complex and general idea of man that the child 

95 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



wanu, not tlut of identity or aixmins which is reflected to it from 
crcry object it meets, iaa which it perceivca to Jigrcc or dtUKrec 
with toDW other. 

In a note to one of the chspten on Innitr Ideal, there it lORW 
atfcoiuit of the controt-crt)- between our nothor and the fiiahop of 
WorccMcr (Sullingllcet) on the <]UFUion whether th« idea of a God 
he innnie and univeriil. The Bishop iR anxioui to have the univerul 
belief in a Deity undciiiood in a ttrict seiuc^ while Mr. Locke thioka 
it niun be reduced co i very great and decided nujortty, there being 
inntmcet of whole naiiona without thtt idea. 'Thit,' he uya 'ti aJl 
the uniTcfBal cooient which truth of mattcr-of-f^ct will tliow ; and 
therefore all time can be made utcof t» prove a God. I would crarc 
leaw to a«k your lordxhiiv werr then- e»er in the world any athci>u 
or 00 i For if any one dcay a God, such a perfect Mni»cr«ality of 
conKct ii dcBt(oyctl( and if oobody doc* dcoy a God, what need of 
firjfumenti to convince atheimf — Pagi' 63, This ii the acttteMttuVj 
he ha* any where given 10 ao argument. 

I'hc coocludinfi pauia^c of hit itccouni of looatc ideas u worth' 
quoting. It b a good deicciptlun of the true (jiirtt of philosophy, in- 
clining a little too much to self-opinion, from which, perhaps, it isnctj 
easily teparabic : 

*SVh.it censure doubting thus of innate principles nuy deserre from 
men who will be apt to call it pulling up the old foundnlions of know- 
ledge and ocrtainty, I cannot tell; I persuade myself at least that the 
way I have pursunl, being conformable to truth, lays thote foundations 
surer. Thi* I am ceitaio, 1 hare not made it my btisiaets to ^uit 
or follow any authority in the cniuinf; discourse ; truth has been my 
only aim i and wherever that hu appeared to lead, niy thoughu have 
impartially followed without minding whether the footsteps of aay 
other lay that way or i^o. Not that I want a due respect to other 
men's opinioos ; but after all the greatest reverence is due 10 truth ; and 
I hope it will not be thought arrogance to uy, that perhapn we should 
make greater progress in the discovery of rational and contemplative 
knowledge, if wc sought it in the fountain, in tht eotuidtratioH oflth^i 
tktmitlvtt, and made use rather of our own thoughu than whet tnen's 
to Hud it. For I think wc nay as raboually hope to sec with other 
men's ryea* as to ktxnr by other men's uDdentandings. So much as wc 
oundns consider and compnhetKl of truth xaA reason, *a much we 
possess of real and true kDowledgc. The floating of other tnco'a 
opmioDs in our bralm makes us not oik joi the more knowing, though 
they happen to be tnie. What in them was science, is in us hut 
opiniatRty, whilst we give up our assent only to reverend oamcs, aod 
do not, SI tbcy did, employ our own reason to uodcrsund those ituihs 

y6 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



wfaicli gMe then rcpuiatioo. Ariuotlr wu ceruinly a knowuic 
mail ; Int nobody «vcr thought htm to, beau»e h« bliadly cmbr»c«a 
and confidently vented Uie oiiinionit of another. And if the tailing 
up of another'* principlet, withoot examiniDg them, made not him a 
paiJoMpber, I tuppoM it will hardly make any body clt« to. In the 
acicncci, every one has tto much aa l)e really knows and comprebendK : 
what he helieieit only and iake« upon trnit, are boi shtedK, which 
bowc«ef well in the whole piece, make no coiwdersble addition to hii 
Rock who {Btfaers them. Such borrowed wealth, like fairy moneyi 
tWwgh it were gold In the hand from which he receifed it, will be 
hat iiixt* and dti« when it come* to tme.' — ^Page 8o. 

In treating of the origin of our ideas, Mr. Locke Uboors to prorc 
that men think not alvaya: — thinki tig, according to him, being to the 
■ed what motion ii t» the body ; not it* eiience, hut one of its 
•poioooa. In thii opioioD he oiBy, ai far a* I know, be right i but 
I tkiDk hii proof of it drawn from the effecii of sleep fails. The 
msoD why I think so is that 1 wai never awakened suddenly hut [ 
fewd rayaelf drcamlD^, thou};h in the intcrTil required to awake 
jmiully fhxn sleep we fret^uently forget our dreams before we are 
^nte awake, the impressiont which objects have time to make upon 
<« bodic* taking place of and obliterating the faint trace) of our 
•kepiog ihoughis. The coiimion noiioo that the mind is then rao« 
ntke when the body is asleep, deserves the contempt with which Mr. 
Uckt iieatt it. It it one of the absurdities of tommtn tmu, which is 
DM cnmety free from them any more tlian philosophy. Those who can 
bd any argument ts favour of the immaterial nature and independent 

Cnofthc so«l in the sublime fiii^hli which it ukes when emancipated 
the iatmiioa of seniible objects nrnst have finer dreams than I have, 
[iwoold be well for this opinion if we could regularly forget the next 
naming the tmart rcpartcen, magnificent centiments and profound 
icmarks we so often dream we make. The singular significaiicc which 
bileep we attach lo abnoluie nonsense seems to arise from the very 
iafotenee of our efforts, as we fancy that we can Hy because wc cannot 
ant at all. Id slrep, indeed, the forms of imaginatioD assume the ap- 
Nanncc of reality, but this advantage theyseem to owe chiefly to what 
nobbeacalU the silence of sense. That sleep, however, consisti wholly 
BtUs iitencc of scctK (not afccttogihe mind itself) it so far from being 
tm, that it is not even necessary to it. Persons who walk in iheir 
■ktp,H I know ircm experiefice, get out of bed with ib«r eyes open, 
Ke sad feel the objects about them, open ihc window, and leisurely 
•wvey the opposite trees and houses, long before they recollect where 
ihey are, or before the fresh air and the regular succession of known 
object* dispel the drowsy pbantonu of the night. The only esscnttal 
TCL. SI. : o 97 



ON LOCKE'S E8SAY 

dilfcitmce between our sleeping and waking thought! I believe ti, that 
in i)e«p th« comprehensive facclt^r flagi aad droopc ; to tiiu being 
unable to conaJdcr many things at once ot to icUin a fUcccMion of ideas 
in mind, we confound things together, ai>d pats from one object to 
another without order or connexion, any lingle circum nance in which 
they agree being GuRicicnt to make u» associate them together or nib- 
ttitute one for the other. Otir thoughts are, as it were, disentangled 
from the ctrcumitaacet and con(ec|Uience« which at other times cleg 
their moboos : they are let loovc, and Iclt it liberty to waodci in aoy 
direction that chance prescoia. The greaicst singularity obacrrablc 
in dreams ii the faculty of holding a diatogne with ourf«J?et, as if we 
were really and effectually two persons. We make a ccmark* aod 
then expect ihc answer, which we arc to give ourselves, with the 
same gravity of attention, ^nd lie^r it with the same surprise as if it 
were really spoken by another person. W^ arc played opon by 
puppets of our own moviog. We arc staggered in an argument by an 
unforeseen objection, or alarmed at a sudden piece of information of 
which we have do appreheDsion till it Kcme to proceed from the 
mouth of fionic one with whom we fancy ourwlrcs cooreraingi We 
have in fact no idea of what the question will be that we put to our- 
selves, till the moment of its birth. 

Mr. Locke in treating of out sensations as effect* of the imprcssiotiB 
uf the equalities of rhiogi, disdnguishee these aualities according to the 
usual opinion into prim.iry xnd secondary. '1 he former he considers 
as really and in clicnisclves the same as they appear to out senses : the 
other as merely the effects produced by certain objects on the mind 
ttnd not existing out of it. As this<]uestion forms one of the conanMO- 
placcs of raetaphyaical ioqiuryi I shall give some account of it in hit 
own words. 

■The qualities that ore in bodies, rightly considered, are of three 
torts. 

* First, The bulk, figure, number, rituation, and motion or rest of 
their solid parts ; these are in thetn whether we perceive them or m ; 
and we have by these an idea of the thing as it is in itself; these I 
call primary ({ualitLN. 

' Secondly, The power that it in any body by reason of it* iosen- 
sible primary qualities to operate after a peculiar manner on any of 
our senses, and thereby produce in us the different ideas of several 
colours, sounds, smells, tastes, &c. These are usually called sensible 
qualities. 

• Thirdly, The power that is in any body, by reason of the par- 
ticular constitution of its primary qualities, to make such a change in 
the bulk, figure, texture, and motion of another body, as to make it 

98 




ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

operate oo oar wmn difTrrcody from whit it did before. Thus the 
nui hu ■ power to mikc wix wKite, and fire to make Irad Huid. 
TfacM are UHially calkd powers. 

* The Gin of tbctCf at hi» been said, 1 think, may be properly called* 
rol, ori^oal, or pnnury qnalKks, because they are in the things 
dioiMetm, whctfacT they are perceived ot no : and upon iheif diJTcrent 
nodi&catioai it t> that the tccondary qualities depend. The other 
iwo are only powers to act diflierently upon other thin];i, which powen 
rauh firoai the diS'treot modificMioo* of thOK primary <)ualitic«. 

* Bu though Uicw two laucr toria of i^tialitie* ire powers barely, 
md nothing but powers, relating to semal other bodies, and resulting 
fimi the differcat modilicatioas of the original <|ualitie«, yet tbey are 
genenlly thought: otherwise of. For the second sort, riz.. the 
powm to produce wveral ideu in ut t^ our sense*, are looked upon 
ss real equalities in the things thus afFccting ui : hot the third sort are 
ctUcd and esteemed barely iwwers. For example, the ideas uf heat 
«r light, which we receive bjr our eye or touch from il>e lun src com- 
Mwy tbon^t real qiuJitic*, exitting in the sun, and tomething more 
Am nere powers in it. But when we consider the sun to reference 
u wax which it melu or blanches, we look on the whiteneNt und 
■ofUrss produced in tite wax, not as ([tiilitiec in (he can, but etfecti 
praducca by pe^trt in It : wbcrct^ if rightly conndcrcd, thetc 
falidrs of light and wurnitb, which arc perceptions tn me when I am 
nimed or ealighinied by the sun, are no otherwiM- in the «un than 
ihe change* made in the wax, when it U blanched or melted* are to 
the sK). They are all of them equally powers in the sun, depending 
m tiB primarr qnalttirt : whereby it is enabled in the one ca^e so to 
iksf ilie tuu, figure, tcxtuic, or motion of boiim: o( the ioaensibJc 
part* of my cyn or huids, as thereby to produce in me the idea of 
e^ or beat; and in the mher, it is able so to niter the bulk, ligure, 
Ecnurc, or Drntioo of the iD*cn^ible parts of tlic wax, as to make them 
it lu produce in me (he distinct ideas of white and fluid. The 
itatoD why the one are ordinarily taken for real qualities, iind the 
Mbcr only for bare powers, seem* to be, because the idc^s wc have of 
titoMX colours souodi, kc.% containing nothing at all in them of bulk, 
i|ire, or motion, we are not apt to think them t)tc elTecti of those 
fCtaiary qusJitiet which appear not to our >eo*ei to operate in their 
frodnciioit, and with which they have not any apparent congroity or 
raoennble conoexion. Hence it ii that we are to forward to 
■■ag^M that those ideas are the resemblances of something really 
tMlii^ in the objects themselves. But in the other cate, in the 
owniioii of bodies, chinging the qualities, one of another, we plainly 
dMcover that the quality produced hath commonly no resemblaDce 

99 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



with any thin^ in thf thing producing tt ; wherTforr wr look on it t> 
a iNire clTcct of power, ror though rccctrtDg the ides of best or 
light I'rom the tun, wc urc apt to think it ia a perception aod rncni. 
blance of nch a quality in the lun, yet whra urr IK wax or » fair 
face receive change of colour from the «un, we CAaoot imagine that to 
be the perception or resemblance of any thing in the sun* becatue ve 
find not thoH different colours in the *un ittelf. Pof our craao being 
able to observe a tikeocM ot unlikene«« of lenRible qualities in two 
dificrcst external objects, we forwaidty enough cooclodc the produc- 
tion of any iensible quality in any subject to he an e^ect of bare 
power, and not the communication of any qunlity, which wa« really in 
the e/^clcnt, when we find no aach arnsible qiulity in the tbing thiit 
produced iu but ouraelrea not being able to diicooer any ucilikenc» 
Between the idea produced in ut and the quality of the object pro- 
ducing it( weareapt to imagine that oar ideas are membliaces of Mme 
thing in the object*, and not the cfTecu of crnain powcri placed in the 
modiiication of their primary qualltiei, with which primary qualities 
the tdeaa produced in ua hare no resemblance.' Vol. i. page 127. 

Prom the aecondary qualities later writeti, as Hume and Berkeley^ 
have proceeded to the primary ones, and have endeavoured to siiew 
that ihcy have not a real rxiitcncc out of the mindi any more than 
the others. Hume uys, * The fuodamenial piinciplc of the modem 
nhilotophy ia the opinion concerning colours, loundi, iMtea, nnellB, 
heat and cold,' Sec. ; and Bishop Berkeley- hai made use of the ume 
principle to haoiah the least panicle of maiirr ant of the uniTcrae. 
What Hume hat said is merely Uken from Berkeley, from whom 
his opinions aic generally borrowed. As 1 do not know that 1 ahall 
have a belter o[>]>ott unity, I will hcte slate Berkeley's arguments 
scaintt the existence 6f these jirimary qualities, or his utea/ systeni, in 
his own words. I will only tirnt obMrve, on the arf;umcDi agairni 
the existence of the secondary qualities of things, from their diiferent 
efTecu in diiferent circumstances and on dilTcrem pcrioni, which Hume 
conaidcrs at the only solid one, but which Berkeley ilunks more 
doubtful, seems to me no argument at all ; for that an object changes 
its colour, Of food its laite, is in consequence of distance or of the 
interposition of another object, or of the indisposition of the organ, and 
does not prove that the object has not a particular colour, or the food 
a particular tane, but ihit colour is combined with and altered by the 
colourof theair, and that taste is combined with and altered by another 
taste in the mouih or stomach. The logical inference is merely that 
one object his rot the came sensible qualities as another, or. ai Berkeley 
has remarked, that we do not know what the true or natural qualities 
of any objca are. 

100 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



■ It te cridcnt,' nys Biihop Berkeley, ' to my one wlio take* a 
mtmj of xht objects of Human Knowledge, tlut they aic either idcu 
Ktvaily tfnpiint^ on the leDses, or cUc «uch u src petceived by 
ttlcudiog to the pissioas and opeiattoos of the mind, or, Isatiy, tdcat 
brmcd by help of memory and imagination ; cithci compouading, 
ifiridrag, or baiejy rrpretendng those originilly prrceiTed lo the 
tfefcMid way>. By tight I have the ide^i of light and colouia, with 
Aaz Kvcral degren and wUtionit. By touch I perceive hard and 
nh, heat aad eald, motion and rcnittance, Sec. and of all these nwre 
a>d less, etihcT as to quantity or dcjtrrc. Smelling fumiihc* me with 
sdoars ; the palate with ta:it» ; and hearing conveys sounds to the 
' in all their variety of tone and corapotitioo. And as teveral of 
: are obttrved to accompany each other, they come to be marlced 

' oac name, and to to be reputed as one tbio^c- Thus, for example, 
1 cenaio colour, taste, smell, figure, and consistence, having been 
ehserted to go together, are iccouolid o«ie dtmnct thing, signified by 
the name oMir. Other collcctioas of ideas cortitituic a none, a tree, 
■ back, ma the like sensible things ; which, as they are pleasing or 
Agreeable, excite the paisioDi of love, hatred, joy, grief, fee. 

'J. But betides all ibai endless variety of ideas or objccu of 
bovledge, ibete is likewise soniething which knows and perceives 
tbcn, and esercisei diver* opentions, as willing, imagining, remem- 
^ing, &C. aboat chcm. This pcrccivinKi active being is what I call 
■in^ jpirit, soaJ, or mjjeff. By which words I do not denote any 
one of my ideas, bat i thing entirely distinct from them, wherein they 
niRi 01, which is the some tbinj;, whereby they arc perceived, for 
Ihe exifience of in ides consists in being perceived. 

' 3. Thai neither our thoughts, nor passions, iwr tdeas formed by 
the iBu^aation, exist witliout the mind, u what every body will 
ilhnr: and to tne it is no lest evident that tlic various sensations m- 
ideas imprinted on the sense, however blended or combined together, 
(Utat it, whatever objccu they compose,) canoot exist otherwise than 
a a m toil perceiving them. I tbtok an intuitive knowledge may be 
obtained of this, by any one that th.tll attend to what is meant by the 
mm txitlf when applied to sensible things. The table I write on, I 
mj, exitts ; i.r. t see and feel it, and if I were out of my study, I 
ifaoold say it existed, meaning thereby, that if I was in my study 
I might perceive it, or that some other spirit actually docs perceive it. 
There was an odour, t.e, it was smelt ; there was a sound, i.e. it was 
heard; a colour or figure, and it was perceived by sight or touch. 
Thii b all that I can understand by ihcac and the like exprcisions. 
For ai to what is said of the absolute existence of unthinking things 
■RfaoB wof relaiioo to their being perceived, that b to me peifectJy 

101 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



anjntelligible. Thdr tttt \% f*teipt, nor U it pouible tbe^ ihould hxve 
any cxiMcscc, ovt of the ntiodi ot thinkiDg ihiogt wbich pcT««in 
tbcm. 

* 4. It if indeed an optoion Kringtly ntvvultog amooj; iDen, that 
hotuct, mouniaing, tifcrs, aad tn a word all KDiiblc object*, ha^c 
an existence natufal 01 real, dittinct from ibcir bctnf; pefceircd by the 
undereundtDg. But with haw grut an anturance and acquieacmce 
NcrcT this pnnciplc may be cRtettaiiKd in \hK world, yet whoever 
shall find in hii heart to call it in t^ueitioD, imy» if I misialte not, 
perceive it to inroire a nunifeit coniradiction. For what are the 
fbrcmeotioned object! bat tbc ihiogi we pcrcctn; by •eotCi and what. 
I pray you, do wc perceive besides our own idcu or leoaaiiou i And 
IB it not plataly repugoanl that any one of these, or any combimtJoo 
of them, tboiiJd exiii unperceived ? 

* ;. If we thoroughly cKamine this tenet, it will, perhapi, be found 
at bottom to depend on tbi^ doarine of ai/tra/i idtnt. Kor can there 
be a nicer ttrain of abstraction than to ditiinguith the exttteoce of 
wntibic objrcM from iheir bdnji perceived, so as to coaccive thcin 
cxiiting unperceived ? Light and colours, tteai and cold, exteniion 
and figures, in a word, the ibinga we tee and feel, what are they but 
(O many senMiions, notions, idcaa, or imprcwiont on the seme ; and 
i> it potsible to separate, even in thought, any of ihew Irom perception i 
For my part, 1 might aa earily divide a thing from itaelf. 1 may, 
indeed, divide in my thoughts, or codccitc apart from each other, 
thoie ibiogi which, perhaps, I never perceived by ictise 10 divided. 
Thua I imagine thi- uunL: of a human body without tlie limbs, or con- 
ceive the smell of a rose without thinking 00 the ro«e itself. So ht 
I will not deny I cjd abstnct. if that may be properly called obttrM- 
tun which extcndfl only to the conceiving separately such objects u 
it is poMiblc may really exist or be actually perceived asunder. But 
my conceiving or imagining power does not extend beyond tbe 
pOHibiiity of real existence or perception. Hence, as it is imposnhJe 
lot me to see or feci any thing without an actual tensaiion of that 
thing, so it it imposnble for me to conceive in my thoughts any 
tensible thing or object distinct from the sensation or perception of it. 
lo trath. the object and the sctuation are the name thing, and cuioot 
thctrfore be extracted from each other. 

* 6. Seme truths there are so near and obvious to the mind that a 
man need only open his eyes to aec them. Such I take this important 
one to be, vie. that all the choir of bearea, and furniture of the earth, 
in a word, all tliose bodies which compose the mighty frame of the 
world, haw not any suhsicteoce wiihooi a mind, that tbcit tjif is to 
be |>erceived ot known ; that coitse(]ucody, so loag at tbey are not 

IM 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

actually ptKrivMl by mc, or dn not cxi«r in my mind or (hat of lay 
othci crutcd apirit, ihcy must ciU>ci ba*c no cxUtence it alitor eUc 
■ubiin in the mind of some Rrrnil tpirit : it being prrfrctly untntel- 
li^ble, and involttng all ihv Hhnurdtty of abstraction, to attributr to 
an^ tingle pan of ihcm .^n cximcdcc indcpcndmt ol' a >pirit. To 
make thii appear wich all tiic light and evttlencf of an axiom, it Koni 
lafficiem if I can but atvaken the rrd<Hnton of th« reader, that he may 
ttke aa iiDpmtial view of hit own meaning, and turn bis thtn^hts upon 
the nibjcct iuclft free and discniiBged from all embarrauufwordiand 
pfepoMewioa in favour of received miuakei. 

^ 7. From what ha» bna said, it is evident there n lot aay otltei 
nbmincc than spirit, or ih^t which perceive*. But for ihe fuller 
deaoiutration of this point, let 11 be coaftidered, 'he aensihle tjualiiiec 
at eoJonr, 6guT«, motion, (nieU, taitc. &c. ; m. the ideas perceived 
by acnac. Now, for an idea to exisi in an unperceivin?, thing is a 
nanfMT coDitadiciioo ; for to hive an idea it all one ai to perceive : 
th)U, therefore, whetein colour, tisure, &c- exift most perceive them. 
Hence it i* clear then; can be no unthinkin;: nibiunce or laiiiralwn 
«(iboae ideas. 

* 8. But, say you, though the ideas themselves do not exist wilhoni 
the mind, yet there may be things like them whereof they are copies 
or nwmblasces, which things exist without the mind, in an unthinking 
•ibMMKe- I answer, an idea can be like nothing but an idea, a 
colour or 6gare, can be like nothing but another colour or figure. If 
we look bot oe»cr so little Inio our thoughts, we ehilt find it impossible 
for OS to conceive a iikeoeu except only between our ideas. Again, 
l«k whether those suppovd originals, or external things, of which our 
ideas are the picinres or repreaencatioQK. be ihemselTes perceivable or 
Bo^ If they are, the& ihey are ideas, and we have gained our point ; 
b«t if you say they are not, 1 appeal to any one whether ic be vcnse 
to assert a ctuour is like tvmcihing which is invisible: hard or soft, 
Bkt Bometliing which is intangible, and so of the rest. 

*9, Some there are who nuke 3 distinction \xiyma primary and 

uaadiary ijualitics ; by the former, tbey mean extension, figure, 

-IHdoD, test, solidity or impenerrabiliiy, and number; by the latter, 

tbey denote all other sensible qualitie», as coloiir»i sounds, taslesi S(c. 

The ideas we have of these they acknowledge not to be the resem- 

^ hiances of any thing existing without the mind, or unperceivcd, but 

fifcty will have our ideas uf the primary qualities to be patterns or 

luaje* of things which exist without the mind, in an oitthinking 

■ ■bstance, which they call muntr. By matter, therefore, we are to 

Vdenund an inert, oselet* substance, in which extension, figure, 

■eooB, &c. do acusally subsist. But U is evident from what we have 

105 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 

already ahewn, that cxceiuioo, 6gure, and motion xn onljr ideas 
exiaung in thr mind, aad chat cttOK()uenily neither tlicy &or tbcir 
archeCyprt can extd in an unpercciving tubtuoce. Hence it it plsio 
chat the rery notion of what h called matur or corportal lahilaiuf 
iaTolrea a contradiction in it, ioBoniuch that I should not think ti 
necewary to spend mure time in rxpotiog iu ahnifdity ; but becatue 
the tenet of the existence of matter seems to have taken so deep a 
root in the minde of pbiloaaphcri, and draws after it to many ill coo- 
acqueocci, I choote rather to be thought prolix and ledioua, than 
omit any thin;> that might conduce to the full discovery and extirpa- 
tion of that prejudice. 

* lO. Tlicy who uuert that iigure. motion, and the rcM oT the 
primary or original t^ualitiet do exist without the mind, in unthtnktsg 
«ib«taficce, do a[ the same lime ackoowlcdgc that coloors, soonds, 
heat, cold, &c. do not, wliich they tell us are aenaatioiu exiatiDg in 
the mind alone, that depend on, and ire occaaioned by the different 
uze, texture, motion, &c. of the minute particlct of mslicr. This 
they take for an undoubted truth, which they can demonitrate beyond 
all exception. Now if it be certain that thoie original cjtialitiet are 
ifiieparaoly united with th« other sensible qualities, and oot, even in 
thought, capable of being abstracted from them, ii plainly follows 
thai they exist only in the mind. But I desire any one lo reflect aad 
try whether he can, by any abstraction of thought, conceive the 
extension aod motion of^a body, without all other acnublc (Qualities* 
For my own pari, 1 «ve evidently that it ii> not in my power to form 
an idea of a body extended and moving, but I must withaJ give it 
some colour or other aeneible quality, which is acknowledged to exist 
only in the mind. In short, extension, figure, and motion, abstracted 
from all other qualities, ore inconceivable. Where, therefore, the 
other sensible ()ualiiirKiire, there must tiicsc be also, i.t. in the mitxl, 
and no where else. 

'II. Again, grfai and tmall, iv^i a.n6 ilevi, are flowed to exiM 
nowhere without the mind, being entirely relative, and changing as 
tlic frame or |)0iittar) of tlie organs of sense varies. The extenstoo, 
therefore, which exists without the mind, is neither great nor small, 
the motion neither swift nor slow ; th»t is, they arc nothinx at all. 
But, siy you, they uce exteoKion in general and motion in generai. TfaiM 
we sec how much the lenec of extended, moveable tubsunee*, cxistiiif> 
without the niindi depends on that strange doctrioc of (i^ffrdf/fiitd/. 
And here I cannot but remark, how nearly (he vague and indeterminate 
description of matter, or corporeal substance, which the modem philo- 
■ophciB are run into by thcic own principles, resembles that antiquated 
and so much ridiculed notion of mrtttriafrima, to be met with in Aristotle 

10+ 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

Mttd his foUowcTV. Whlu»t rxteniion, soiidiiy cannot b« canctived ; 
iiac«, theicfofc, it )ui be«D thowc that cxtcoitoa cxi>t« D«t in an 
uotliinkiDg cubnancc, the umc muit alto be iruc QfiolidUy. 

•13. That nombet is enurely the creatiue of the mind, even 
though the other i^ualttics be allowed to exiu without it, will be 
cridcnt to whoever comidcrt ihat the tunc thing bean a ditfcrent 
dmonrintioa of ountber, u the mind riewi it with different aspectt. 
Tkw tbc nme cxtcuiion ii one, or three, or thirty six, recording 
u the nuDd ooondcri it with icfrreocc to a yaidt a foot, or la inch. 
Number i> so vinbljr reUtive, and depeodcDt oo meo's undersundingt, 
ihtt it it ttrange to think how any one thould girc it an ab*olute 
ndncace without the mind. Wc uy one bookt oik pige, wm lincj 
&C., all tbewr are equally uniti, though tome contain iCTcral of the 
ttiien; and in each iutance it i« plain the unit relates to »otne 
fvucnlar coRibinauoo of idcus atbiirartty put together by the mind. 

'ij. Unity, I know* some will have to be a simple or uncom- 
founded idea, accompanying all other ideas into the mind. That t 
hmaiiy uicli idea aiMwering the word umir 1 do not £nd, and if I 
had, methinki I could not miK finding it ; on the contrary-, it should 
Wtke moR familiar to my understanding, since it is uid to xccoin- 
{■■y all other ideaa, and to be perceived by all the ways of •cntation 
Md redectioo.' To say no more, it it an ahttratt i<lra. 

' 1^ 1 shall farther add, that after the same manner as modern 
(luiMophef* prorc ci^ouri, tastes, &c>i to hare no extsCrncc in 
wttct, or without the mind, the same thing may be likewise proved 
rf all other sennbk qualities whalerer. Thus for instance, it is 
a)d« that heat aod cold are aflccttont only of the mind, and not 
St all pailcmi of real beings cxisiing in the corporeal substances 
vkicb excite them, for that the same body which appears c(^d to 
Me hand, teems warm to another. Now, why may wc not m well 
atjDe, that figure and extension arc not patterns or retembUncet of 
■{(■fitiea existing in matter, because to the same eye at different 
■MiOM, or eyes of a ditfercnt icKturv at the same station, they 
^peat rarioas, and cannot thricforc be the images of any thing 
■nied and determinate without the miod^ Again, 'tis proved that 

' This nUtra la whit Ml. Lacitt uy» of unity, wliam all lucccediiiK H-ritcri 
■U* Bi4t a poinl i>r btingini fvtviad on all occiitaai, nifiely far the purpow cf 
Mwiic IVMn bin). They ki him up u ihc iiandsiil, or w ^ui Mim of profduitil 
^^^SB, aod jtt tt»j alwsirs contrive to go beyond him. I will ji»t add, by tlic 
If^M fha arcufiMnC aboot aumWr, th't the fail vrty of putliae it i> bj »kinf[ 
*tektl one cambinitioii of i4es) ■• nol ^'liffitat (rum anutlwr, or whcthrt one 
(Mar Me iocb ii th« ime wiUi lhJil]i.*ii fnl, or thirljr.iU inchci, not tvhetlKT 
W ttH m the oame ss thrtr-tii inttici. Olhtrwisr there viU nmiin a ml 
^hniiai •( iMBite, both in ids* and id ^ict. 

105 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 

vweetDMc ti luM rexlly in the npid thiog, because the ihiDg renmeiiig 
undtcrvd, tiit •wMtnew ■> ehtaMl into bitter, as io n»r of a firrcr, 
or othrrviK viii&tcd paUte. ft it aot a> reawoablc to ny, thac 
motioii it not without the mind, tince if the tucce«>ion of ideu in the 
miivd become «wirtrr, the motiofit it it ichnowledged, ihall appear 
alowei witliaut any extetiul alteration. 

'15. In ahoit, let any one con*uiei thow argument! vhich arc 
thought manifestly to prove that colours, taMe«, lee, exi*t only in 
ia the mind, and he will find they may with cqaal force be brought 
10 prove the name thing of rxteniioo, £f>tiie, and motion. Though 
it muit be confessed thi« method of arguing does not to much prove 
that there is do extension, cototu, Sec. in an outward object, as that 
we do not know by Bense which h the true extenrioo or cokMi of 
ibe object. But the foregoing argumenit plainly show it to be 
impowaolc that any colour or extension at all, or other aeosiblc 
quaitiy whatioevcr, should exi«t in an tintliinkinjr subject without tbc 
tnifld, or in truth, that there uhould be any sue)) thing as an uutward 
object.' — Prine^tt of Human KtiowliJ^tf pp. 54, S(C. 

Again, he uys, page :— 

■ But though it were |iaiiib]e that solid, figured movable sabttanceG 
may exiit without the mind, coftcipoading to tbc idea* we have of 
bodies, yet how la it ponible for us to know this i Either we mtin 
luiow it by sense or by reason. As for our seates, by them we have 
the knowledf:e only of our icosatioai, ideas, or thoie thingt that are 
immediately perceived by sense, call them what you wi)l; but they 
do not infomt un that things exist without the mind, 01 uopercdved, 
like 10 those whicb arc perceifed. This the materialim themselves 
acknowlcdjfc. It rcmiins, therefore, that if we have any knowledge 
at all of external things, it must be by reawn, inferring thnr exincoce 
from what is immediately perceived by sense. But I do not see 
what reason can induce us to bclinc the existence of bodies widiout 
the mind, from what we perceive, since the very pauons of maucT 
themselves do not pretend there is any rtecessary connexion betwixt 
ihrm and our ideas. I say it is granted on all hands (and what 
happens in dreams, frenzies, and the like, puts it bcj'ond dispute) 
that it 16 poisible we might be aBected with ail the ideas we have 
now, tliough there were no bodies existing without resembling them. 
Hence it is evident the supposition of external bodies is not necessary 
for the producing our ideas, since it is granted they are produced 
uonictimes, uud might possibly be produced always, in the same 
onler wr sec ihem in iit prcseol, without ihcit concurrence. But 
though we might possibly have all our sensations without them, yet 
pcihaps ii may be thought camr to OMiwivc and cxplato tiK nuaoei 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



of their productioB, by lupporiog rxtcrcAl bodiei in th«ir likfneM 

ntber than othnwiK, ukd »o ii might be at kast pr9l»l>lc there are 

nch things u bodies ihat cxciic their ideas in our miocli. But 

Miiher cic this be Baid, lor though we gire the nuterialist* their 

external bmlie*) '•bey, by their owa coafcsnos, arc ncrcr the nearer 

knowing how our ideas arc produced, tioce they own thcmKlvcs 

Muble to comprehend in what manner body can act upon sptTit, or 

h»w it i» poxibte it »hould imprint any tdctt ia the mind. Hence it 

iacvidcat the pnxluctian of ideas or tentaiioni in our miodst can be 

M reaion why we should Buppose matter or corporeal eubauncet, 

■DCe that ii acknowledged to leraatn c(|ually inexplicable with, of 

vhboin this tuppo*ition. If therefore it were poasJblc for bodies to 

oitt without the mind, jrct to hold they do so, muti needs be a rery 

prccariavi optnioD; since it U to suppose, without any reason it all, 

tlat God hu created innumeublc beings that are entirely usclesi, and 

Kne to no manner of purpo^. 

' fini ny what we can, some one perhap* might be «pt to reply, 
hcviJl stiil believe his 4enKS, and nerer suffer any arguments, how 
flaiihle aoever, to prtrvail over the cenaintv of them. Be it so, 
aacn the evidence of seme as high as you pleaae, we are willing eo 
da ihe same. Tlut what 1 sec and hear, and feel, doth exist, i^. ia 

rrceived by me, I no more doubt than 1 du of my own being : but 
do not see how the testimony of sense can be Sieged as a proof 
fi)r the existence of any thing which is not perceived by seosc> We 
see MX for having any nun turn sceptic, and dtsbelieTr hit senses; 
en the contrary', we give them all the ttreis and a&HiT.ince imaginable, 
car arc there any principles more opposite to scepticism than those 
vt have laid down, as shall be hcreaficr clearly shown. Secondly, 
ii will be objected that there 'u a great difference beiweeo real iire, 
ht iaitanoe, and the idea of ^re, betwixt dreaming or imagining 
ooeiclf bsrat and anually bein^ so : if you suspect it to be only the 
ido of fire which you see, do but put your hand into it, and you'll 
convinced with a witness. This and the like may be urged in 
sition to our teoels. To all which the answer it efidcni froin 
kit hath been already said, and I shall only add in this place, 
^ihu if teal fire be ray different frvni the idea of lire, so aJso is the 
teal pain that it tKcaaJons veiy different from the idea of the same 
|aiB, and yet nobody will pretetid chat real pain either is, or can 
poinbly be, in an unpcicdviog tiling or without the mind, any more 
hi idea.' 
Now with regard to this system, whaterer we may think of ibe 
■oUdily of the fouodaticn, the »uper«inicture is as light and elegant as 
pOiciblCi There ia a peculiar character in the cnctaphysi&il writings 

107 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 

of Bcrkdrf which ii to be fooDil no where cl«. With all the 
clowaeu lod Rubtilty of the deepeti retlrctioo, they combioe the 
CMC axtd vivacity of a common ctuy ; to that th« moit Tioleat 
ptndoxcs and elaborate dtKJactioits arc rcndctcd ikmiliu by the 
■implicity of the ttyle. Hii writing! thow that he hid thought 
with th« uUno«t intraiity on nlmoK every lubject, yet he has the 
lamc careless ftccdoni of nianncr aa if be had never thought at all. 
He is never entangled in the labyrinth of his own thought!, ajid the 
buoyancy of hie tpirit turmounu every objectioa with a lingaUr 
Midiy, as if hia mind bad winga. It is pcrhap worth remailttng 
that the 'Principles of Human Koowleage* were puUishcd in 
1710, at a time when the author wa* only fiTC-aad-twentyt as was 
the * Essay on Viaiant' ihc greatest by far of all his works, and the 
moat complete example of eUboraie analytical rcatoniag and pantculor 
inductiofl jcuned together that perhaps ever existed. It is also gener- 
ally free from that air of paradox and fancifiil hypothesis which run* 
throujih hi* olher writings,' 1 mcotion this the more because I 
believe that the greatest efforts of intellect have almoK always been 
made white the pstsioflB arc in titcir greatest vigoDi, and before hope 
loses iu hold on the hean, and is the clastic spring which aniinnca 
all our thoughts. 

On ihc reasoning I hare jiut tjuoted [ will make one or two 
remarks without pretending to enter into the real diilictiliies of the 
question. First, it seems to me that the argument againn the exist- 
cS'Cc of the secondar)- qualities, drawn from the various effects pro- 
duced by them on dilferent minds or in dilfetent circumstances, which 
Hume memiont as the only solid one, and which Berkeley thinks 
more doubtful, is no argument at all. Thai an object at a distance^ 
for example, docs not look like the same object near tt in coaMqucacc 
of the interposition of the air, which gives it a dilFereot hue t the 
logical inference merely is thai one object has not the sanie scosibJc 
quaUtic« as another, or as Berkeley has remarked, since the cffea 
depends upon the comtnnation and reaction of a number of things that 
we do not know what the true or natural qualities of each object are. 

2. The proof of the Don-cxietcncc of the primary qualities or of 
matter altogether, as inconceivable by the mind, goes upon the lop- 
po«itioa that what ii diffeteot cannot be the sime. ' Aa idea/ uyt 

' Tht (WO men ol' the E'**tMt sbllitv in mo^srn timet as nitupbjniciaiss, that 
It, with tbc t:rcitc)l iwwir of icci»K thJDgi in (he stntncl, awl of pnraaioa s 
princifk iniii >tl its con*ci]ucncu, *r( is my aamioa Hobbci md Berkeley : sfto' 
thciri coiac Ksme BO<i Hsrtlcj. Compared with ihcK Lgct^ was ■ incre coounosi 
pnctical man i of the four, 1 think Hobbes was tt the heaJ, m the Mben only 
workie<l out the nuteriali with which he furnished ihein. 

to8 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

Bnkeley* ' cut be like oothtng but in idea, a perceptioo like nothing 
ba 1 pme|Kioa.' But it might br proved in thi* nunner that a 

C'lOl canaot rcacmblc a picture, bccauae that which haa colour caaiMl 
KjmeDted by any thing mthout colour. Tluc aa Cut a* our ideai 
m fercrptioni they do iKH. resemble any thing in muter iti line, bat 
no oo* erw *uppo«cd that in thi* rwpect th«rc was any rcKinblancc 
b(t«Tcn tbcm, or that mattcf liiought. Tlist they cannot be alike In 
05 thing doet not teem to me proved by ihit mode of reuioning : 
ferthit ouf ideas of thing* arc not mere perceptions i> evident Irom 
di^ that they arc different among thcniacNcs, tlut is, haic otlier 
Jiniiigutihing aualitiei betides being perceived. 

J. Berkeley t argnmeot agunsi the existence of matter not merely 
a the object or archetype, but as the cause of our Bcnaations, is 
facoded 00 the notion thai wc have a right to reject every general 
coodnwoe in which there ii the lease tiaw or dif^eulty. Caminon 
OK is brought to the bar, like an old offtndci. and condemned t^on 
(hrili^icK shadow of evidence. If ihc «vlgar tystcm ii vulneraUe 
in icy part, it is taken for granted that it ought to he discarded, to 
unit room for a perfectly ratioial and philosophical account, the 
aificieiKy of the aruiciEianding bring never once doubicij. But all 
tUi KTcre logic and scrutiny into the perfect connexion of our ideas 
omIksi when the author comes to explain (he cause of our external 
»mMaoris, or to find a subsiitnte for matter. This, he says, is God 
tr jB ill-powerfiil ipint, and yet he atfimis that we h.ive no more idea 
«f spirit ihoo of matter, and consequently the one ou^ upon this 
tkan to pais (or a nonentity as much as the other. 

'We perceive ;i continual aucceiiion of ideas, tome are anew 
excjctdi others arc chan;;ed or totally disappear. There is therefore 
me cause of those idcu, whereon they depend, and which produces 
mi changes them. I'hat thit cause cannot be any quality or idea or 
CtSibioation of ideasi is clear from what has been K»d. It must 
tlwreforc be a tubstancc, but it has been shewn that there is no cor- 
pmt or material lubsiance. Ii remains therefore that the cause ol 
>dtas U an incorporeal active subsunce or ifirit. 

'A sprit is one simple, undivided, Ktive being: as it perceives 
idaai, it is called the understanding, and as it produces or otherwise 
OKtates about them, it is called the will. Hence there can he 00 
Hci fisniicd of a soul or spirit. Kor all ideas whatever being passive 
ud ioert, they cannot represeni unto us by way of image or Eikeness 
du which acts. Snch is the nature of spirit or that which aas, that 
il caioot be itself perceived, but only by the effects which it pro- 
dnth. If any man ihall doubt of the truth of what is here delivered, 
kt kin bat reflect and try if he can fiame the idea of any power or 

109 



ON LOCKE-S ESSAY 



active briag. A liul« aiteniioa will moke it plain lo any one, that to 
tisvc an idcA wKich (ball be like that actirc principle of motion and 
change of jdua, is abtolutely impoatiblc' That it to aaj, mstWr ii 
here excluded from being the cause or in any way the occaiion of our 
idcu, bcMUK wc know not what it ic. and the inference ii, that the 
cause of our idczE mutt be ipirit, of which wv arc equally igooiant. 
The reatoning might have been rereraed. Bat it is thus thv philo- 
tojpbT tecfiw to be in gencrd nothing die but 'rca»n pandering 
wut. The literal conclusion from the foregoing arfiument it, that 
there ia nothing in the uniTerse but oneself, nor even that, but ooly 
the prc*ent idea : all other words must tignify nothiog. 

'io return to Mr. Locke. He haa treated on the ume question 
In the lecond rolume, but without advancing any thing temarkable 
on it, and it u efae only jihce in which he lows hi* temper, and 
substitutes ridicule for argument. 

In the chapter on Perceplioo, there are some obserTationB on the 
manner in which our judgmnts alter the impretttiooa of antible 
objcat, which arc well wonh notjcr* and show that the author was 
well acquainted with what may be called the practical processes of 
the hunijn mind. 

He says, p. 130, 'We are fiirthcr to consider concerning pcrcep- 
tioo, thai the ideas we receive by sensation are olic-n in grown people 
altered by the judgment without our taking notice of it. When we 
act before our eyes a rouiid globe vt any ti&iftfim colouft r.g, goldi 
alabaster, or jet, it is ccHain that the idea thereby imprinted in our 
mind is of a flat circte, variously shadowed with several degrees of 
light and brightncw coming lo our eyes. But wc having by use been 
accuaiomed to perceive what kind of appearance conYcx bodies are 
went lo make in ua, what alterations are made in the reflections of 
light by ihc difference of the sensible figures of bodies, (tie judgment 
prctenily, by an habitual custom, alters the appearance* into their 
causes ; »o that from that which truly is variety of shadow or colour, 
collecting the tigurc, it makes it pass for a aiatk of figure, and I'nunca 
to itself the pcrcr|nian of a convex figure and an uniforra cotottr, 
when the idea we receive from thence is only n plane variously 
coloured ; as is evidetit in painting. To which purpose I siiall here 
insert a problem of that very ingenious antl studious promoter of 
real knowledge, the learned and worthy Mr. Molincux, which he 
was pleased to send me in a letter some months since : and it it this : 
" iiupposc .1 man born hiinit, and now adult, and taught by hia touch 
to disiingnish between a cube and n sphere of the oanie metal and 
nigh of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt the one and the 
other, which is the cube, which the sphere. Suppose then the cube 

110 



ON THE HUMAK UNDERSTANDING 



sod fpbne ptaeed on a iMe, and ihe blind man made to we: Qnere, 

whether by kia sijtkt, before be touched them, he eoild nav dutin- 

gituh and tell which is the globe, which the cube ? " To which the 

lente and jiuticioui propoier answerii "No. For ttiough he lui 

obtained the experience of how a glohe, how » cube affects hi* touch, 

yrt he has iwt yet ittatncd the cx]>cricocc that what alTectA his touch 

u or to, Riuit a^ect his light to or to ; or that i protulieraai angle ia 

ihe cube thjt presMd hia haad une^juaJty, «ball aniear to bin eye an it 

doct b the cube." I agree ' (saya Mti Locke) ' with this thinking 

gentleauB, wkom I am proud to call my friend, in hia antwet to thia 

hi« eroUem; and am of opinion that the blind man ai firit aijcht, 

•ould not be ^Ic with ccruinty to aay, which wu the globe, which 

Ike cube, wtiilat he onljr law tbcm ; though he could unerringiy name 

them by bit touch, lad certainly ditunguiih theio by the difference 

of ikdr fifuci fdu Thi> I have ki down, and leave with my 

Rider aa an occtiion for him to coniidcr how much he may be 

beholden to experience, improvemeni, and acquired aoiioDfl, where 

^ thioki be hat not the icatt utc of, or help from them, and the 

ntkcr, becaute ihis observing gentleman farther addi, that having 

ifKH the occaaioD of my book, propofed thia to divcn very ingenious 

Dkco, be hardly c*er met with one diat at Jint ga*e the answer to it 

vliicfa be thinks true, till by hearing his reasons ihey were convinced.' 

Mi. Locke then adda other instances to the ume effect, as ' That a 

an vbo r«*di or bun with atteotion and understatiding ukcs liiUc 

■odce of the charKtcra ot tounds, but of the ideas that are excited in 

Mm by them. How fre<^uently do we in a day cover our eyes with 

(V cy«4id«i without at all perceiving that we are in the dark ! Men 

diu by Autom have got the luc of a by-word do almost in every 

iteoce pronounce sounds, which though taken notice of by others, 

themseh-es neither hear nor obttrvc : and therefore it is rot so 

image that our reiod should often change the idea of ixs scnsatian 

an that of iti judgment, and make one serve only to excite the other 

vilkMU our taking notice of it.' 

On the probletQ above stated, which has been often made a subject 
of dispute, I shall only remark that (be answer given to it, with 
vhich Mr. Locke agree*, is directly repugntnt to hit doctrine of the 
lui cxMcoce of the primary quiiliiics of matter, oanicly 6gure and 
cxttuioiL For it is plain, that if there n any thing in external 
t^jeen answering to their ideas in our minds, the ideaa we have of 
■bote qoalitiea and which arc conveyed by dilfctcni acoscs, must be 
nkt me another, tf the ideas of figure as a viiible and tangible 
■Inog have i» resembluice to themtelves, it ii ridiculous to suppose 
^ they cua coincide wttb any thing out (^ chcm ia nature, ficcondly, 

111 




ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



it appear* to me thu tbe mind imut recognise z certain limilariiy 
between the impieuioiii of diiTerent waKB in thti csk. For innaoce, 
the tudden change or diicontinvity of the lenuuoo, produced by the 
ibarp anglct of the cubct it gomcthtng common to both idcai, and if 
W, muBl afford a meant of compariag them logefher. Bcfkelejr, in bil 
< Euay on Vieion,' goei so fir aa to deny that there it any iatiiitira 
analogy between the idca» of number sti conveyed by different tcnsct, 
and auerta that the diitinction brcweer the two legs of a itatuei (at 
ioetance, aa pcrcri»ed by the touch or by the sight would not itoply 
any idea of like or tame. I grant thia coaacqucncc to be truct on the 
principle maintained by bim thai there are no abttract ideas in the 
mind, for o<n this principle there can be no idea answering to the 
words tame or t^rrrnt, but then tlii* argunient would destroy aU kind 
of coincidence not only between ideas of different «en>es, but between 
repeated impressions of the same sense. The * Essay on Vimoo,* of 
which I have already spoken, apparently originated in the proUcm 
here inserted, >ind it a more complete exempttfi cation of the cflects of 
association with retpect to objects of sight dian is to be found even tn 
Hartley's account of this tubjecl. 

Mr. Locke's account of the dtsiinction between wit and under- 
■tanding I have already noticed ; his expUnaiion of the diiferaice 
between idiots and madmen has been often referred to, and is M 
follows : 

' The defect in naluraU Kcemt lo proceed from want of quicknea, 
activity, and motion in the intellectual faculties, whereby they are 
deprived of reason : whereas nisdmen, on the other side, kcto to 
■uner by the other extreme. For they do not appear to mr to have 
lost the Tscully of reasoatng ; but having joined together some idea* 
very wrongly, they miMake tliem for truths ; and r,bcy err as men do 
that argue riglit from wrong principles : foi, hy the violence of iheir 
imaginations, having taken their laocie« for realities, they make right 
deductions from them. Thuu you shall lind a distracted man, fancying 
himself a king, with a right inference require suitable utiendance, 
reipect, and obedience: others, who have thought themselves made 
of glass, have used the caution ncccsMtry lo piciervc such brittle 
bodieii. Hence it comes to pass, tliat a man who i^ very sober, and 
of a right understanding in all other things, may in one particular be 
as frantic u any in Bedlam, if cither by any sudden very strong 
imprcMiOD, or long fixing h'n fancy upon one sort of thoughts, 
incoherent ideas have been cemented together so powerfully ii to 
remain united. But there are dcgrcci of madness, as of folly ; the 
disorderly jumbling together of ideas it in some more, and some leas. 
In short, herein seems to lie the difference between idiou and mad- 

111 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



mea i that madmen pot wrong ideas togethcft and no make WFOOg 
ffopositions, but argue and traaon (ighi from (htrni : but idtoct make 
«ery few or do propotitiont, tad jeasan scarce at aiV 

Mi. Locke'i account of Liberty and NcccMity, cooUuacd in hi> 
dapici * Od Power,' hn» bcm coninii.-Di«l upon in the jircTious Hssajr. 
Ai U there rernarked, it ii one which lias Wen more found fault with 
ibu any other port of his wurk* 1 tliiak without reason. He accmi 
tvivoOj to have ulmiclcd the deJiaition of neccMitjr, but not the 
lantiwluch is do* much to be wondered at, cotuideriDg the improper 
we to which it is liable, and which c^io icarcc be separated from it in 
ibc dotest reasoning, much leu as a term of gcnerJ ligniiicatioD : in 
other words, he denies the power of the mind lo act without a cause 
or motive, or, in any manner, in any circumstances, from mere 
ioiliforoce and absolute self-motion ; but he at the same time denies 
tfce inference which has been drawn from (hit principle, tliat the mind 
■ Mt an agent at all, but altogether rabjcct to external force, or blind 
mlse. 

Mr. Locke, in treating of complex ide;w, divides them into three 
xn*, those of modes, subttancee, and relattons. 

First, 'Modes,' he says, 'I call &uch complex ideast which, 
Weirr compounded, contain not in them the tuppoiition of subsisting 
if UttOksches, but arc considered as dependences on, or affections of 
MbRBOoei : ssch arc the sdcaa eijtnilicd by the woidit truuijle, gratitiidtf 
mrJrr, &c Of these modes there arc two sorts, i. There arc 
UM which are only variations or different combinationii of the umc 
uiple idea, without the mixture of any other, as a dvxm or jcmt, 
vfaich are nothing but the ideas of so many tlistinct units added 
together, and these I call simple mode*, i. There are others, com- 
poaoded of simple ideas of scvctal kinds put together, to make one 
complex OEie ; r^. ttduty, consisting of x certain composition of coloux 
and figure, canung delight in the beholder; theft, which being the 
ranccaicd change of the pottcssion of any thing, without the content 
of ibc proprietor, contains, as is visible, a comblaaiioD of several ideal 
<if several kinds, and these I call mixed mtiitt.' 

With respect to model, the author cndcaroutc to shew, I tbink 
imffDperlyt that as they arc pni together arbitrarily by the mind, 
iccoeding to circomstaniKS, that (hey hare no real existence in nature, 
snd that the ideas wc form of them are always correct. Neither of 
these consctiucnces will be found to follow : i.r. the circumstaDces and 
scaons which conuitute theft do actually exist without the mind and 
w DcocMuy to that idea, though it i* aioitrary in me accordii^ lo the 
occanoB 01 the purpose in view, to think of that collection of ideas or 
UQthcf, which shall constitute robbery ; that is, I may add or leuve 

«CL. u. : 11 113 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 



out the eircumntance of violetm, u it kspprM; tKoodly, I mayt] 
without bciajt aware of it, add oi kavc out wme circumstance 
oecciury to the combiDation of ideas spoVcn of, aad thss coofuac ooej 
idea with Another, and not merely mitcal, as yii. Locke nippoiei, bulj 
miiconccirc the mode id i]ue*tioa. We tbett nierety miical when 
though wc give a wrong name to a thing, the idea is kept perfectly 
diuiscE and clear from other idea*, othermie we confoimd 
nanea tad thing*. Bui it will not be cootendcd, that the idcat 
theft, robbery, and fraud, for instmce, arc alwaya kept clear in e^eryl 
one's mind, m that he ta at no lo4« ever to define them, or caa| 
immediately in all cues reter any action to the clat* to which it 
beloBjcE. Every collection of idea» which the mind puU together ii 
undoubtedly that collection and no other ; but in forming the idcai 
mixed mode), the miivd doet lotnething more than thit, or it w 
one collection of ideat to be the same as another which it haa had 
a former time, and give* a certain name to, and in this suppoann 
often err*. 

On this subject, the author is a good deal puzzled with (be qticMioD 
how it ih poifible for the mind ever to confound one idea witf 
another i It is indeed a puzzling cjuestion, bat the aniuer which 
girea co It in renolving it into a tniatake of words i* very unsatiafacio 
For there is no more reason why we should miitake one name ortij 
of an idea for another, than why we should miitake the ideas then 
selves. It e>e[y drcumstance belonging to our idcac mt iii i iwiiBj 
clear and self-evident to the mind, the sign affixed to it, which ii 
of those circumstances, would be so too, and we tind that in 
things with which wc have a thorough ac<4uaintance, wc never cc 
found one name with another, or if we should, it does not ditturb 
idea, and is of no consequence. 

Among the second sort of complex idea* Mr. Locke clssKa i 
of subftances. These, he says, are *uch combinatioos of 
ideas as are taken to represent distinct, prticular tbiagt, i 
by themselves, in which the sup|>o»ed or confused idea of 
such as it is, is alwayi the fintt or chief. Thus, if to subatanoe 
joined the simple idea of a certain dull whitish colour, with cena 
degrees of weight, hardness, ductility and I'usibility, we have 
idea of lead ; and a combinatroD of the ideas of a certun aon 
figure, with the power of motion, thought, and reasonins, joined 
subetance, make the ordinary idea of a man. Now of substances 
alio there arc two soru of ideas; one of single submanccs, si 
exist separately, as of a man or a sheep; the other of several 
those put together, a* an army of ntcn or a dock of sheep : whic 
collcciive tdeu of levera) subatanccs arc as much each of them 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 

na^ idea u ihit oF a nun or aa unit.' He then acUi, 'and Ote 
tfaird K»n of cgmpkx idcu ii thst vhkh wc caU relative, which 
tnuiiia in the caoudcriuoa and compiring ont idea with another.' 
Ilw bn lort of idea* eeems to ate tJw only ones that are perfectljr 
uiB|Je and lodiviubic : thing* thcmKWc* arc aJways cemplcx. 
Mr. Locke coniiderB rightly that wc know Dothiog of ihc nature 
t£ nbnanw, and that we cao oaly deHne it u an abtiraet idea of 
•HDe thing) that nppofta accidcnO or connects difTereot tetwiblc 
quaiitiet to}[ctbcr. For ihii modcfi confesuoit of hit own igooraiice 
br wu boweivr called to a Tery severe account by liie learned of 
ibt time, Bithup StilliogDeet and othciai who thought they kscw 
nan trf the matter, and could penetrate the eitencc of thingi. 
Tlie ' Baaay on the Human Understanding * i« swelled out with 
Rfacvd lod long extracts from thii controTersjr, and they are not 
Ac lout Tftluabic iwrt of the work, an they nbow tu whu thifts 
■a can br drifes, to defend K)'itrm3tically not truth but their ovn 
ofuuoo, who become blind and obititutc by implicit faith, and who 
9j adhering to crcry caublishcd prejudice orire others iato all the 
aimliiin of pradox. 

Mt. Locke's own account of our ideas of lubatance it a good 
4nJ ifiuD oto, and ia enriched with ai many illuatratioos from the 
^■litiea of gold, ai if be tiad been candidate for the place of auay- 
outer of the mint. The chapter • On Identity ' i* perhaps the b(«t 
Mwoed and the nkoM full ot thou^t and obaenatun oi any in the 
r: chough the author sets out with an obacmiion which nvmn 

togsr dilFcrmtly. For after explaining identity at it rebtes to 
bndiulity, or implies that a thing in the tame with ittcif, he tayii 
'From what has been uid it is easy to discoTef what i* so much 
ia^iifed after, the praieifHam inAvi^utmut : and that, it is plain, is 
exiMeoce iiMflf, which JacrmiDe* a being of any sort lo a particular 
tine and place, inconimunicable lo two being* of the same kind.' 
Hetbes, very witeiy <|uitting thit tirinciplo which would certainly be 
of bO osc to him, proceeds directly to account for the identity of 
fiAcrent things from a continuance, not of tlie same substance, bnt 
rf the same eaaence, or of ihe diaracterittic poperties of any thing, 
ovried on in tucccssion; at a river is the same while il Bows 
trough the same channel, or an oak while it retains the tame 
■piiiatiofi. and a man while he retains ihe aame life and continued 
c wei flaaoess. 

b ibc chapter entitled ' Of true and (kisc Ideas,' the author 
Mffosea truth to depend on some mental or verbal propotitioD, and 
din not* liJie Hobbei and the modern metaphytica! writers, make 
■tceosist eotitcly in a form of words. In ikc last chapter of the 

"5 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 

fini volume he crcau of the aaaociadon of ide». This chapter wu 
added aiter the fint edition of the work, and he confeMcs, that the 
Kubject wat lomeching new to Uim. He ku treued it in that mixed 
way of abtciration and rcaioaJng, in which the peculiar force of hit 
mind by. The account he hu given o( it does DOl fom a system. 
but the tragments of 3 tyMem, lomethiag like the French memoiri 
that ore to serve for the oiaccnals of a history. He doc* not appear 
to ha»-c laid down any general theorem on rhe rabjco. or to hare 
been aware of the pouibility of applying this principle to account 
ID u pjaatible maoncr fot die whole chain of our thoughts and 
freling*, a Hobbes and Hartley hate done. Sound* psscticalt 
Dcwd SHiEe, and a kind of discursive obgervation, neither grovelUng 
in vidgu conimuTi place, nor ooaring into the rcgtoos of paradoXi arc 
in fiict the general characteiiMic* of his mint), which has not been 
undcrBtood by his admirerf and comment at ort. A shon passage 
will auRicc to »huw his manner of contidcring Ihi* doctrine of 
association. 

■Many childreo,' he nys, * imputing the pain they endured at 
school to their books they were corrected for^ so join those ideas 
together tliat a book becomes their aversion, and tliey are never 
reconciled (o the Rtudy and use of ihem all their lives after: «^ 
thus rending becomes a torment to them, which otherwise po*^^^| 
Ehey might have made the greitt plcisurc of their live«. There vH 
roomi convcnirni enough chat some men cannot studjr in, and fashioni 
of vessels, which though ever «o clean and commoJious they cannot 
drink out of, and that by reason of some accidental ideas which arc 
annexed to them, and niake ilieni ofTcasive: and who ii there that 
has noi obsetYed tome man to fiag at the appearance, or in the 
company of some certain person, not otherwise superior to him, but 
because having once on some occasion gat the ascendant, the idea of 
authority and distance goei along with that of the penoo i And he 
that has been thus subjected it not able to separate them. Insuncea 
of this kind arc so plentiful every where, that if [ add one more, 
it is only for the pleaiuot oddness of it : it is of a young gentleman, 
wbo haling learned to donee, and that to great perfection, there 
happened to stand an old trunk in the room where he learned : the 
idea of this remarkable piece of liousehold stuff had so mixed httif 
with &U the tarns and steps of his dances, that though in that chamber 
he could dance exceedingly well, yet it was only whilst that tronk 
was there i nor could he perform well in any other place, unless thai> 
or aome such other trunk had its due position in the room.' 

The ibllowiDg panvage approaches the nearest to the BUtcmcnt of k 
geneni principle : 

lid 



ON THE HUMAN UNDERSTANDING 



*Thu stfoQg combination of idcu, doi allied by nature, the mind 
mktt in itwir tither Totuntarily or by chance: and hence it come* 
B different men to be very different, according to their different 
iecfiaitioQi, educations, intcTcau, &c. Custom settles h^biu of 
ihiflkiag in the imdeTitacding, u well aa of determining in the will, 
mi of motion* in the body : all which teemit to be but traint of 
notion in ibc uumal spirits, which once m aj^oing cootinuc in the 
lime fcep* they have been used to, which by often treading are worn 
iito a smooth path, and the motion in it become* eoty, and at it 
were n4nml. Aa far m we can comprehend thinkinj;, thus idea* 
Rem to be produced in oar mindi ; or if they are not, this may ter*e 
ttnjtlain their following one another in an habitual train when once 
Aey are put into that track, as well as it docs to explain tuch 
itmicai or the body. A musician used lo any tune will find, that 
Id it but once begin in hit head, the ideas of the lereral notes of it 
Ttll follow one another orderly in his understanding, without any 
car* or atteoiion, aa regularly as his finger moTcs ortlerly orer the 
kcyt of the organ to play ont the tune he has begun, though his 
■auuntivc tlkoughts be clKwhcrc a wandering. Whether the lulural 
CMK of these ideas, as well as of that regular dancing of the fingers, 
bt the motioo of his animal spirits, I will not determine, how probable 
iKm by this instance tt appears to be lo ; but this may help us 
a Utile to coDceire of intellcaual habits, and of the tying together 
tS ideal. That there are tuch associations of them made by cnstom 
in the ninds of tnosi men, 1 think nobody will <;ue«tion, who bos 
*cU coosideted himself or others ; and to this perhaps might be 
jnaJy attributed most of the sympathies and anttpathiet obierrable 
■ mcSf which work ** strongly And produce aa regular effects as 
If tlcy were natural, and are therefore cafled so, though they at first 
lad DO other original but the accidental connexion of two ideas, 
«1tieh ettbcT the strength of the (irst impresiioo or future indulgence 
» Dniled, that they alwajri afterwards kept company together in that 
nan's miod, as if they were but one idea. 1 cay, most of the 
at^hies, I do not say all ; for tome of them arc trnly natural, 
depend npon our original constitution, and are bom with ut ; but a 
great pan of ihoee which are counted lututal, would hare been 
kaewn 'o be from unheeded though perhaps early imprcssioost or 
Woo fiucie* at (ir»t, which would hare been acknowledged the 
DtigiDal of ibem, if they had been warily obienred.' 

Th< former part ot this pastage, relating to the dancing of the 
■anal spirits* the Abbe Condillac in his 'Logic' has paraphrased 
TCh a i^.«i[flic>eTKy, an asgumpiioo of originality, and a tmoothness 
oH&ffooKyt peculiikr aloioct to himielf. 

117 



ON LOCKE'S ESSAY 

On thr (ubject of maiCTialttm, NCr. Locke lecma to hart had rwo 
opinions; the liret, that as far at we cm di»ccrn, the propcnm 
of mind and nisttti i.n utterly distinct and irreconcileabU i the 
second, that Gud might for aught we know be able to nuperadd to 
matter a faculty of thinking: either the one or the other of these 
opinioDB muit be wittiout mcaaiDf!. In spcakiog of the diiiicuhics 
attending both sides of this tjucstioat he has, howerer* offered ooe 
of the best moral cauiiom against precipit^^ncy of judgment and 
impatience of inqoirjr to be fottod in any author. He says, {vol, ii. 
p. 203 :) ' He that considers how hardly sensation is in our thongbta 
reconcilable to extended matter, or existence 10 any thing thai hath 
no exteation at all, will confess that he is very far from certainly 
knowing what his soul is. It ia s point which seems to ine 
(0 l>e put out of the reach of our knowledge: and be who will 
give himielf leave to consider freelv, and look tiuo the dark and 
intricate part of each bypothetiii, will scarce find his rcasoo able to 
determine him fixedly ftir or against ifae soul's niueriality. Since 
on which side cofvcr he views it, either as an unextended substance, 
or a thinking extended matict, the difficulty to conceive cither, will, 
whilst either done is in his ihoughu, still drive htm to the contrary 
side. An uniair way which some men take with themselves ; who 
because of the URcoaccivablcncsf of some thing they find in ooe, 
throw themselves violently into the contrary hypothesis, thoufth 
altogether is unintelligible to an unbiassed understanding. Thii 
serves not only to show the weakness and scantiness of oar kiiowlcdgc, 
but the insignificant triumph of such sort of arguments, which drawn 
from our own viewK may Kaiiify uj> that we can find no certainly on 
one side of the queition ; but do not at alJ thereby help ui to tnjth, 
by running into t]>c oppoiiiie opinion, which on exantinuion will be 
found clogged with etjual diiTicuiiie*.' 

Mr. Locke has nott I think, himself enough fitiendcd to this 
admirable caution in his adoption of the commoo argument to dcmoa- 
strate tlie exitrience of (lod a frriori, towards which I conceive not 
the slightest advaocct can be made in (his method. For the axiom 
that every thin^ must have a cause can never be made to infer the 
exittenee of a first cause, that is, of something without a cause. 
It is equally impoisibk for the human mind to conceive of the 
beginning of cxiaiencc, or to past from nothing to something, dchcr 
by the help of an inliniie series of fiflice eiisieoces, or by the infiiiite 
duration of one limple, absolute existence. 'Lliose who wish to eee 
how far human ingenuity can push a complete confiision of ideas into 
the verge of the strictest logical demonstration and self-evident tniih, 
may tind all that they want in Dr. Clarke's celebrated work on the 
118 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OP PURLEY 

■ AuribuKc,' whicb contains more logical acuieneai and mor« power 
of KkoloMic ditpuutioQ thu any otbcr work ibu I know vf in 
udna times. Hartley hii* iott him»clf id the same rndlcu iaby- 
rloih of ticiic and infiQicc tttm. And Locke'i staiemeot of this 
<|MiMa it oaly better, because it i«(liciter, and goc«*traightforward, 
imImv MopptDg to anivcr diilicttJtie*. 



ON TOOKE'S 'DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY' 

I wotiu) dati the merit* of Mr. Toolce'it work under three head* : 
Uk nynological,. the gruniDJiuul, and lHc philowphical. Tbc 
etjnolog^cal part ia excellent, the grammatical part iodifTeccnt, aaA 
tht philocophical pan to the laic degree deantcabie ; it it downright, 
B^oalificd* BOicdecmcd nooacOK. Aa Mr. Tookc liiiuKlf says tbu 
aD maaphjrucal reasoaing is nonicnic, it is tcarcefy rude to aay ihat 
b netaphjrsical reawming it to. It appeart to me to be ' mere mid- 
nmincr madncM.' He ought not indeed to have meddled with logk 
ot inetapbyuci afici such a dcclaraiioD ', he ang,hi to have auppcied 
ilu he laboured under u>me natural defect in thU rcipect, at a man 
who fiadi DO baimoDY io any tunc thai la played to him, may without 
Buch (Dodcuy conclude that he has no car for muiic. 

The opinion which I have here advanced of thit writer's merits as 
a acDcral ceatoncr may ircm a bold one ; but the proof oF it it not 
dincolt; it is at easy as transcribing. I have only lo take a few 
pusgei in which be has applied etymology to the illustration of 
wraJ and metapliyiical truth, to make ha uodjitioguisbing admirers 
bkub, Dot for their idol, but for the wcaknctt and boundt^ faculties 
of hsnan nature. 

Mr< Tookc lays i: down as a maximt that the mtod has nciiher 
cnnplcx &or abatact ideas. He was in Eonic thiogs n zealot, and bit 
ml h«d led him to belieTe that his system of etymology would in 
mc way or other ettabliah this meuphytical principle, and orcrtuni 
ibe cMablishcd notions of law, morality, philosophy, and divinity. 
The full deielopment and execution ot this project is reserved for a 
fiitan volume, Mt there are perpetual hinu ana intimattoos of it in 
ibe two first, something like the aerial munc and 6yiQg noises hi 
Protpeio's isUad. The author seems constantly in his own mind on 
the poiu of detectng all imposture and delusion with the Ithuriel 
ipear of etymology, buc be as constantly draws back, and postpooet 
las triumph. The second rolume of the ' DitcislDDS ' consists chicdy 
of about two ihouiaod instances of the etymology of words, to proTc 

119 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 



that there can bf no ubttract ideas: Bnrcely oat of whkk two 
thoutaod meanings Is snything t\fe hut a more abstract ides iban the 
word was io general Mipposcd co conrc;r • ^^^ cxamplci the word /m/* 
commontv suind* for a pretty ■ubatantia), >olidi uu^blc kind of an 
idea, and is not suspected of any latent, very refined, abstracted 
meaning. The author abowe, on the coDtrary, that the word has no 
inch [ulpablr, jmsitive meaning, n the particular object to which wc 
apply it, bot mcTcly djjnifics (omerhiog, any thing, mitcd or /iftfd up, 
A siagular method, aufcly, of rcducmj: all general and abstract signs 
to individual, physical objecu! Yet wc find this tiresome cudogoc 
of dcrimtionft concluded in thin manner. 

' And on this subject of tuiaut&mi I will at present exercise your 
patience no farther : for my own begins to flaR. You have now 
instuncei of my dactrine in, I snppo&e, about a thoiitand wordi. 
Their number may be easily increased. But I truit these are suffi- 
cient to discard that inugined oprraiion of the mind, which has been 
termed ahsiranian : and to ptorc that what we call by thai name, is 
merely one of the contrivances of Laognage, for the purpose of more 
speedy communication.* — Page 396, »ol. ii. 

How a thousand instances of words, signifying a common qmBtf 
or abstract idea, with somelhing understood (/HfiowAtaM), can be 
auppo»ed to diKard that imagined operation of the mind called 
abstraction, or in what subaudition ditfert from abstraction, or wfaetber 
(here it not something tuHitttUKium, ai well at ttAaa^hm, — that Ji, 
certain circumstanccf left out by the mind lor the necessary progrew 
of thought, as well as in language, for its more speedy communicztion, 
— it is not ea»y to guess. This farcical mnmmety, this inexpticable 
dumb show, this cmphatica) insignificancti neither admits nor deserves 
any answer. 

The only places in the worlc in which this wary reasoner has fdrly 
committed hiraiclf, and giren an intelligible explanation of hts mode 
of apptytng his system to general questions, arc in hit account of the 
woras, ri^ anJ vrremg, just and mjiul, in hii lift of meuphysiod 
nonentities, demonstrated to be snch because tbey ate expressed by 
the past ptiticiples of certain verbs, and in hts deJinition of Truth. 
These, iberefore, I shall give as specimens, and I hope they will be 
quite satisfactory. The ' DiTersioni of Purley,' it should be ofascrred, 
it supposed to be carried on in a dialoigue between the anthor and Sir 
Francu Burdett. 

* Enough, enough,* says Burdett, 'innuntertblc tiMtiBCti of the 
same may, I gnni you, he given fnxn all our ancient ntbors. But 
does this import us any thing i ' 

* TooKk. Surely, miach, if it shaO lead ns to the cleu uadcrttaad- 
1*0 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OJF PURLEY 

ng of the wordi wv me in ctiscourte. For ii &r u wc " know not 
Mr owe mcanmg," » fkr at "our purposes ut tun radowcd with 
word* to nait tb«in known," so iu wt " gabble like thinge mon 
bfitUi." But Uk importance liac* highert when wc rcflrct upon the 
iffdicatian of words to mecaphjrtics. And whvn I say metaphysics 
fMwill be picuni to remember that all gcocril rca«un:n£, alt {wlitici, 
», tnoraliiji and dirinity, air mrrrly (netaphjNcs.* [What u tfai* 
gnwral rvMocing of Mr. Tookc's f] 

*We|],' tepliM his pupil) 'you hare Mtivfted me that wrong, how- 
ttKT wriitcR, whether wring, wroog or wrung, like the Italian torta 
lod Ihv Fresch tort, is merely the past tenoc or participle of the verb 
to wriog ; umI has merely that meafiin;;. 

'Toou. Tree; it mnDB wrung or wrested from the right or 
ttimd line of conduct. Right ik no other than rttttim, the past 
■rtiatile of the Latin rcrb rtgtrr. The Italian ilrUto, and the 
Pitnch dnitt arc no other than the past participle iHrtcium. In the 
■se manner our English word jtut is the pan pa;tici|Je of the rerb 
^itft [jtrtnm). 

*Bvii».TT. What, then, B law ? 

'ToOKi. It » merely the |ia«t participle lag, of the Gothic and 
Aabt^Saxon verb Irgon, poiun ; and it mean* someihing or anything 
UiJmn u a rule of condnci. Thui when ■ mio dcnunds his nghi^ 
k a*}y asks that which ti is ordtred he thall have. A ri^la conduct 
ii thai which It ordered. A right line i« that which is ofdned or 
^tcicd, not a random extension, but the ihortcst between two points. 
A n^hi and jvtt aaioa is such a one aa it ordered and commanded. 
The right hand is thst which cuitom, and those who have brought 
H op, have ordered or directed us to use in preference, wfaca one 
hwl only is employed, and the left hand is that which is finvj/ 
orlrit. 

' BiimsTT. Surely the word r^gf^ is sometunca lucd in tome other 
Knee* And see, in this newspaper before ua, M. Portalii, contend- 
Og for the tonnrdnt, «ays:— "The multitude are much more 
■pieMcd with what they are eanmandtd to obey, than with what is 
proTcd to them to be rigfrt uui jiui." This will be complete noo. 
Wfue, tf f^tt iod Jtiit mean ardtrtd and eommamdtd. 

* TooK£. I will not undertake to make scoee of the argumcnu of 
M< Portalis, The whole of his speech is 8 piece of wretchcil mum- 
aery, employed to bring hack again to France the more wretched 
■iMimiy of pope and popery. Writers on such oubjccts arc not rery 
wntioiu about the mconicK of their words. Ambiguity and equiroca- 

« their uroDabolds. Fxpiaciatioo would undo them. 

• BtfutTT. We!^ b«tt Mr. Locke uses the word in a manner hardly 

IBI 




ON TOOKE'S DIVEHSIONS OP PURLEV 



to be reconciled vith your account of it. H« nye: — "God hu i 
right to do ttt w« are hin crcuurci." 

•Toou. It appears to me highly improper to lay, that God hu 
« right, as it ii nUo to say that Cod i« juit. For nothing i* order«d, 
directed, or cummuniled conccritiitg God. The CKpretHOo* «re ioap- 
plicabte to the Deity : thoagh they are common, and tbow who ute 
them have the best intcDtioni. They arc s)ipltcable only to nwo, to 
whom iilonc liinguiigc bi*t<}ngit, and of whuae scauiioDS only words arc 
the rcprcicocuioni ; la men, who are hy nature the subject* of orders 
and commands, and whooe chief merit it obedience. 

* Bi/Rsrrr. Ercry thingt then* tliat is ordered and commaadcd is 
right and just. 

'TooKE. Surely; for that u only atlirming that what is ordered 
sod coramanded it — ordered and commanded. 

' BuaiJKTT. These icntimentt do not appear to have made you rery 
conspicuous ior obedience. There nre not n few poMsgei, I beliere^ 
in your life, where you hure opposed what wu ordered and com- 
manded. ITpnn your own principles, was that rigit ? 

'TooKK. Perfectly. 

' BtJftOETT. How now I wo« it ordered and commanded that you 
■hoold oppoac what wai ordered and commanded? Can the aamc 
thing be at the tuitne time both tight and wrong ? 

' TooKt. Travel bacit to the island of Melinda, and yov will find 
the diAiculiy most cA^Iy solved. A thinj; may be at the same time 
both right (tnd •wrojig, m well as right and /*/i. It may be com- 
manded to be done, and commanded not to be done. The l«w, >.'. 
that which ts laid down, may be dilTcrent by differeni authorities. 

* I Iiavc always been most obedient whim most taxed with dJB- 
obedience. But my right hand ts not the ri]>ht hand of MeitndA. 
The right I revere h not titc right adoied by £ycoi>hantH, the jm 
vi^gimt, the capricious command of princes or mintfitera. I follow the 
law of God (which is laid down ay him for the rule <rf my conduct) 
when I follow the laws of human nature : whtchi without any icvii- 
mony, we know must jiroceed from God, and upon these are K>iii>ded 
the rights of man, or what i« ordered fnr man.' 

On this paaaaKC I will obacrvc that I think it would be ditHcult for 
Mr. Tooke himself to find a more precious instance of unmeaning 
jargon in the writings af any school-divine. Mr. Tooke im pretewls 
gravely to define the CMcncc of Javf and Jutt from the etymology of 
those words, by aaying chat ihey arc tomcihiog laiJ dovn and socne- 
thing ordered i and when pretted by the difficulty that there are 
many things kid down and many things ordered which arc neither 
' Iaw ' nor 'just,' makes aniwer that their obligation depends on a 

tl9 



I 

I 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 

ju{^ier ipcctci of law and jnnicc, to wtti > law which ii no where 
I'Ud down, and a jofticcr which ii no whrre ordered, except indeed by 
utiuc of thing!, DO which the ctymoiogy of tbeic two wonii doet 
Kcm to throw much light. Ai one limci it tccmi ijuite liccnoni- 
tnble thai the e«*eoce of all law, right, and justice conaisis in it* being 
Didercd or commsnicated by wordi : the rery tdca ti absurd) ualeu we 
cooccire of it as tome tbiog eitbrr spoken or written in a book ; and 
yet the very next moment this faatidious reosoner sets tip the anwritteo, 
nconunuokated law of God, whtcli he tays mutt conform to the 
bws of human oaiore, as the rule of his conduct, and as p^iamount 
to all other pontire orders and commands whatever. What is this 
orig;ioal law of God or natuie, which Mr. Tooke «eu vf u the rgle 
ottighti Is it the good of the whole, or wlf-intercM ? le it the 
voice of reasoB, or cooicience, or the moral tense f Here then we 
have to set oat afreili in our pursuit, ai^ to firope oor way as well 
re caa through the old labyiinih of morality, dirimty, and meta- 
, hysics. This new-inrented ratent-Unip of etymology goes out jun 
M It is begisotng to grow dark, and as ibr path becomes intricate. 

Neither can I at all see why our author should quarrel with 
M. Pottali* for using thetr word* in ihetr common sense. He atHrnn 
that the whole of this gcntlenun't speech is a piece of wretched 
mummery, that his distinction between what Is tight and what is 
eomnundcd is a senselcut ambiguity, and that explanation would undo 
hun. Yet he himself, two pages after, discovers (hat this distinction 
has a real mciintng in it, and that he has acted upon it all his life. 
'The one,* he tays, 'is thc/iu vagiim^ the capricious command of 
prioce* i the other is the law of God and nature. It is not impossible 
Mt M. Portalii might liavc given quite as profound an explanation of 
bit own meaning. Juntui'a sarcasm did not, it teems, entirely cure 
Hr. Tooke ■ of the little sneering sophistrirt of a collegian.' 

Ht. Tooke next makes ttranj^c havoc with a whole host of nicta- 
fhyiical agenu; like Sir Richard Blackmorc, 
• (Indne* ereaiiMi »t a jerk. 
And of ledempiion makes damn'd work.' 

■ Rebelling nngvk, ihe fnrbidilen irv«, 
Heaven, hell, enrfh, rhan*, all ' — 

ire wcigbed in the balance and found wanting. Wc cannot tay with 

Marvel], that the argument 

< HoMt ui 1 while mi«doiib>ing hit intent, 
That he woulct ruin (for 1 »aw him «trong} 
The lacreil truth* in fahb' and oM toitg. 
(SoSampMW grM>«d theteraple't pool* in ipite) 
The wotld o'envndming to icveoge his signL' 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 



For Mr. Tooke Inva us in no doubi about his intent. All thnc 
sacred trutlic are, according to him, so msnjr taliehoodi, wbich by 
taking potMs»ion of certain adjectivM and participltti have palmed 
ihetntclves upon ihc world ai rcaliun, but whicli, by ■pelling their 
names bnckwarija. he iiropoiei to exorcise and reduce (o their original 
noth!ngn»i ag.-iin. Here follows a li«i of th«in which he has itnntg 
together, as a warning to all other pEcado-suibstaniircs. It i* rather 
stninge, by the bye, thai the author ihoiUd haie resoiwd to this mode 
of argument, since he atfirms thai adjertirei are the names of things, 
aa well as tmbttaniiTcs; and laughs at Dr. South for saying tbat diey 
arc the names of nothing. 

• These words, the«e pnniciple* and adjectives,* Mj» Mr. Tooke, 
'not imdcrstood as such, have caused a metaphysical jargon and a 
false morality, which can only be disRi^lcd bj- ctymolftgy. And 
wh«n they come to be examined you will find that the ridicule which 
Dr. Coaycrs Middlcton has so justly bestowed upon tbe papist* (or 
their absurd coinage of saints, is equally applicable to ourselves and to 
all other metaphysicians ; whose moral deities, moral causes, and 
moral oiulitics xrc not less ridiculously coined a»d imposed upon 
their followers. 



Fate 

Desdny 

Lock 

Lot 

Chance 

Accident 

Hcaren 

Hell 

ProTidencc 

Prudence 

Innocence 



Subatance 

Fiend 

Angel 

Apostle 

Saint 

Spirit 

True 

False 

Dc»ert 

Merit 

Fault. &c. &c. 



at well as /utt, right, and 'on-ong, are all merely pariiciplca poetics 
embodied and substantiated by those who use them. 

* So Church, for iostaccc [Don«n'tcum aliqmJ) is an adjective; 
and formerly x most wicked one : whose mifiinterpTecation caused 
more slaughter and pillage of mankind than all the «her cheat* 
together.' 

Sir FrancJK say*, 'Something of this sort I can easily pcrceiTe, 
but not to the extent you carry it. I tee that those ^am deities, 
Fate and Destiny, aliouid fatum, quelque chose Jtit'mie, arc merely 
the past participles at fori and ileitmtr. That Chance ("high 
arbiter," as Milton call) him) and his twin-brother Accident are 

124 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 

ncrd^ the pvttciplea of tuhnir, thtar, and tiuhrf, Aod thu to ny, 
ii benll me by ehatce or by aocideiii, is abiurdly nying it befell me 
by falUog. 

*1 agree with yoU| that pTortdcnce, Prudence. loDOceocCi Sub- 
■tancer and all Ihe rpst of that tribe of (jualiliee (in nff and anef) are 
Bcrely che oeutet pluiols of llie present participle* of orafcrf, Bw/rf, 
tiare, &c. &c. That Aagrl> Saint, Spirit, arc the nut participles of 
«y^AAciv, taaciri, ipirare. Thai the Italian tufoh, a cuckoo, ^res 
lu the verb to cucoj, and its pait uaniciple cuclcotd.' 

And what if ii docs : will Mr. I'ookc therefore pretend to »y 

thu there ii nu luch thing i Thi« is indeed turning etymology to a 

good accouou It i< clearing off old tcores with a vengeance, and 

raahliahing morality on an entirely new baaie. Fur my own part, 

I can only ay of tJie whole of the reaioning of thit author, with 

Voltaire'tCandide,*jbr//r flwtowmf .* onn*Mk ouFenfti.' Whether 

uy or all of thote nictaphystcal beings enumerated l>y Mr. Tooke do 

ot do not exist, what their nature or tjuiiIitieK :ire, whether modes, 

rtbtiTea, subctaoces, I «hall not here underulce to determine, but 1 

do Gooceive that none of thcK questions can be resolved in any way 

b]t inqoiriiig wheilicr the names denoting them are not the paRt 

pnid^ea of certatn verbt. A tihonrr method would I think be lo 

tty at ODCc that all mctiiphysical uid mora) tcruu, whether panicipica 

or not, are but naniea, th^t naniea are not thing*, and that therefore 

thr ihin^ themtelves have no existence. It in upon thia pliiloM^hical 

ftisciplc tliat the hcioical Jonathan Wild proceeds in hit definition of 

ihc word Honour, for after kuing himnelf to no purpone in the 

coniMB metaphyiical jargoa on the Ruh)ect, and in moral catnte* and 

^uaGtita, he comra at ijut to tbii dear and uncmWraascd concluiioni 

-—'That booouc con lilt* in tltc word honour, and nothing elie.' 

I will only ^ve on*; inttance more of this reformed ayatem of logic 
•ad mctapbyaics. 

' Btngcrr. I tiill wish for an cxpUoatioo of one word more : 
vbich on M;count of in extreme importance ought not to be omitted. 
What ia Truth I You know when Pilate had aikcd the same 
qaadoo, be went out and would not atay for an answer, and from 
that time to thb no answer has been given. And from that time to 
■ mankifid hare been wrangling and tearing each other to piccec 
the tnub, without once coniiidmng the meaning of the word.' 
• Toou. Tim word will give ub no trouble. Like the other 
^wordt, Irut it alio a pan participle of the Saxon verb irtontui, con- 
10 think, to belicTe firmly, to be thoroughly penuadcd oF, to 
trow. Tnu, at we now write it, or trtto, ai it was formerly written, 
tatuM umpiy and merely that which ii trowed, and instead of it* 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 



bdag a nrc coranuxUly upoo canJi, except «aly in wordi, there ii 
nothing hut iiuth in the world. 

* That cvffy man, iq hit commnniution vith othert, tbould ipeak 
that which he trowcth, ti ^feo great importance to mankind, that it 
ought Dot to aurprtsc (u, if wc lind die mou cxtraTagiini md 
exaggerated paite* benowed upon truth. But truth luppoiet man- 
kind ; for whom aind by whom alone the word U formed, and to 
vhora only it is applicable. If no mat), no truth. There isihcrcTore 
no &uch thing 41 eteinal, immutable, CTerlatting truth i unlcB 
nunkind, »uch ai they are at present, be also eternal, immutable, and 
cvcriabiing. Two persons may coniradia each other, and y« both 
speak truth. For the truth of one peraon may be opposite to the 
imih of another. To speuk truth may be a vice au well at a virtue 1 
for there arc many occuions when it ought not to be apokcn. If you 
reject my explanation, 6nd out if you can some other posiible meaning 
of the word, or content yourself with Johnson, by saying that trme 
u not faltc, aad/a/tt is^not true, tot so he explains the word*>' 
— Vol. ii. p. 407. 

In a note the author adds, ' Mr. Locke, it) the second book of his 
Esuy, chapter xitxij., treats of ime and /aJit ideas, and it mticb 
distrnsed ihtoughovt the whole chapter, hnrauBe he had not in hn 
mind any drterininatr meaning of the word tnit. If that excdlon 
man had himsell tollowed the advice which he guvc to hit ditptiliBg 
fticnds concerninj^ the word fiqvor; if he had followed his own rule, 
previously to writing about true and fa/n ideas, and had detenniaed 
what meaning he applied to true, tang, tfringf real, right, wnmg, be 
could not hare wiitien the above chapter, which exceedingly dinrcHcs 
the reader, who searches for a meaning where there Is none 10 be 
found.' 

Wheilier Mr. Locke would have been satisfied with Mr. Tooke'a 
account of these words, I cannot say. I know tbat I am not. I do 
not think it the true one. It is therefore not the true one. Mr. 
Tookc thinks it is, and therefore it is the true one. Which of ds is 
right ^ That whxi a man thinks, he thinks, and that if he speaks 
what he thinks, he speaks truth in one principal sense of the word, it 
what does not require much iltuMtrationg but whether what he thinks 
is true or false, whether his opinion is right ot wrong, or whether 
there is not another possible and actual meaning of the terms besides 
that giTCD by Mt. Tooke, is the old dilEculiy, which remaini JKSi 
where it was before, in spile of etymology. 

The application of the theory of language to the philosophy of the 
mind, Mr. Tookc has rcscrrcd for a volume by itaclf : the princttde, 
however, which he meant to esubltth, he has very explicitly laid 
i»6 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OF HURLEY 

dovn in thr brginninj; of fait Itrtt rolumc. * Th« bunnns of iIm 
waA,' \w tays, • at far si it concerns language, appear* to me to be 
very limple. It extend* no farther ilian Lo receive imprewiant, that 
b, to have lensalion* or freiings. Whn are called iu operattont, are 
■erdy tke operation of larteuage. The greatest part of Mr. Locke'i 
Euajr, that i>, all whicb relates to what he calls the tompanlim, d^ 
tiratiioH, CMfjtirxilf, ^tfural'natioH^ rtiittioit, &C. of ideu, doe* indeed 
nercly eoDcern language. If he had been *ooner aware of the 
loMpsnble conaexion between wordi and knowtcdgc, he would oot 
bive talked of tke compoution of ideai ; btn would luve seen that the 
oaly compoiition wa« in the terms ; and conM^nenily that it waa u 
inpropci to aik of a complex idea as of a complex lur. It ii ut 
HBty matter, upon Mr. Locke'i own principles aad a physical con- 
■tioD of the lenses and the mind, to prove theimpotubility of the 
litioa of idea* : and that they arc oot tdcw, but merely terms 
which are general and abstract. '—Vol. i. pp. 39, $1, tec. 

Now I grant that Mr. Locke'i own principlei, aod a physical coo- 
■■dctaxioQ of the mind, do lead lo the concluaion here stated, that id 
tM as absurdity : aod it is from thence i have endeavoured to show 
|^H>re than once tliai thoie principles, aod the considering the rornd as 
• physical thing, arc themseUes absurd. How a term can be com- 
plex othcrwuc than from the complexity of iu meaning, that is, of the 
idea attached to it, is diAculi to underiUnd. 

As to the other poncion, that we hare no geitetal ideas, but that it is 
the terms only that are general and abniact, Mr. Tooke has borrowed 
this piece of philosophy from Mr. Locke, who borrowed it from 
UobOM, ' Uairersality ' layt Mr. Locke, at quoted by our author, 
■bdoi^iKit to ihiDgs. which are all of them particular in their exiai- 
cnce. When, therefore, we quit particular i, the generals that reii are 
Ooly crcatnrei of our own ; their general nature being nothin]; but the 
rcspaciiy they are put into of signifying or representiDg many particu- 
lar.' [ have, bowever, betbre shoWD how Tcry looee, uncertain, and 
wavering, Mr. Locke'i reasoning on this subject is, though I cannot 
^tce with Mr. Tooke tliat it is therefore ' tvry tSffertnt /rom ihai in- 
ttomfumUf aalbor^t umal mtlhml <^ ^nxttditig.'' There ii one question 
■^whieb may be asked with respect to this sutemeni, which, if fairly 
■Dcwcrcdt will perhaps, decide the point in dispute : vm. if there is 
BO general nature in things, or if wr have no general idea of what they 
: have ib common orcbe same, how it it that we know when to apply the 
'. general terms lo different partictilarst which on this principle will 
nothing left to coimect tbem together in the mind '. For exsmjJc, 
take the words, a vtUlr horit. Now say they, it is the terms which 
aic general or commoo, but we have noijeacral orabtttact idcacortes- 




ponding to ihem. But if ve had no general idea of whttct nor any 
general idea of d fjone, we should hare nolhiog moie to guide us in 
applying this phnftctoany but the fira(hori«, than in applying the tercni 
of an unknown tunguc co ihcir respective objccifr. For it ii the idea of 
somethiag general or common between the leTcnd objects, which can 
alone determiBe ui in assigning the same name to things which, coo- 
ttidcrcd an particubr*, or setting uide thai general nature, aic perfectly 
dittinct and indqimdeni. Without ihis link in the mind, this general 
perception of the qu:ilrl)eii of things, the terms a wUte hortf could no 
more be applied, and would, in fact, be au more applicable to aninule of 
thit deacription genei^lly, than to any other animal. In shoTt. what 
■I it that * puts the same common name into a capacity of aignifyiog many 
particulart,' but tliai those partictdars are, and are concnved to be uf the 
same kind ' That in, general terms necetsarily imply a clasx of things 
and ideas. Language without this would be reduced to n heap of proper 
oatites : and we should be just as rouch at a loss to name any object 
generally, from its agreement with others, a* to know whether we 
should call the ^r«t nun we met in the Mreet by the name of John or 
Thomae. The existence and use of {general (emu i« alone a tulficieat 
proof of the powi-r of abattaction in the human mind ; nor is it 
poi*ible to give even a pluusible account of knguage without it. But 
Mr. Tooke has on all pflMiblc occationn »:icrificed common sense to a 
false philosophy and q)i};ran)mauc logic. Inon|>oiiiifln co this author's 
UKTtioD, thit we have neither complex nor abttract ideas, I think It 
may be proved to a demon«tration that we have no others. If our 
idcat were abBoIutely simple and individual, we could have no idea of 
any of thone obtectt which in this erring, half-thinking philosophy are 
called individual, at a table or a chair, a blade of grats, or a grain of 
sand. For every one of these includes a certain conliguratioa, hard- 
ness, colour, &c. i.r. ideas of diScrenc things, and received by dtifer- 
ent tennefi, which must be put together by the underAtanding before 
they can be referred to any particular thing, or foriQ one idea. 
Without the cementing power of the mind, all our ideas wontd be 
neceitarily decomposed and crumbled down into their original clemeois 
and BcNional parts. Wc could indeed never carry OQ a chain of 
rranoning on any subject, for the very links of which this chain most 
consin, would be ground to powder. No two of these aioraic im- 

Creteioni could ever club together to form even a sensible point, ntnch 
■M» should we be able ever to arrive at any of the larger masses, or 
nominal descriptions of things. AU nature, all objects, all pans of all 
objects would be c<|ually * without form and void.' Tie maJahnt u 
formalive, to borrow the expression of a celebrated German writer, or 
it ii that alone which by its pervading and elastic energy unfolds and 



I 



I 

I 



ON TOOKE'S DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 



espaodi our idew. that gi*e< ocder and consiuracy to thnn, that 
ani^iu to crery pairt it» proper pbcci and that conatruct* ifac idea of 
the whole. Ideas aie (be offipring of the undcTitoiulnift, not of the 
■eam. In other words, it u the undetsuadinii' alooe that perceivex 
rduioot but cvtrj object w made up of a bundle of relations. In 
•horCt there i» do object or idea which does not coniiit of a number 
of paru amoged in a certain manner, but of this amngemeM the 
puts tbemselves caoaot be coiMcioua, A 'phyMcal consider ati.oa of 
ibe seoan aad the mind ' can arret therefore account for our ideas, 
ereo of Hmible objeat. Mr. Locke's own principlef do indeed ex- 
clude all power of underBtaoding from the human mind. The manoer 
in which Hobbcs add Berkeley liave explained the n.iture of macbe- 
nminl demooKratiaa upon thi« syRtem ihow> ii« utter inadequacy to 
aay of the parpows of general rcaionin;;, and is a plain confession of 
the necesaity of abitract ideu. Mr. Hume conndcrs the principle 
that abstiaciioa ti not an operation of the mind, but of language, a> one 
of th« BKMt capital discoveries of modem philosophyf ano attribucei it 
to Biahop Berkeley. Berkeley has however only adopted tlic argu- 
iDcms anil indeed almost the very words of Hobbei. The laaet 
MShor in the passage which has been already quoted says, * By this 
nofontioo of names, eomc of larger, some of stricter signification, we 
tara the reckoning of the consequences of things imagined in the mind 
iuo a reckoning of the conse<]uences of appellations. For rx.imple, 
a BttB that hath no use of speech at all, such as i« bom and remains 
pnfrcdy deaf and dumb, if he set before his eyes a triangle, and by h 
two right angles, (Mch as are the comer* of a square figure) he may 
by aeditatioD compare and find that the three angks of that triangJc 
arc eooal to those two right angles that stand by il. But if another 
triangle be shewn him different in shape from the former, he cannot 
know without a new labour, whether the three angles of that alto be 
Equal to the same. But he that hath the use of words, when ht ob- 
■ema that such equality was consequent not to the length of the eidei, 
dor to any ochcr particular thing in hi> triangle, but only to thi«, that 
tlw adea were straight and the angles three, and thai that was nil for 
wbiefa be named it a trbngle, witt boldly conclude unieersaDy, that 
path equality of angle* it in all triangles whatioevcr; and register his 
inrcntioQ in thcac general lermi : £ve/y iriai^U Inal) iij ibret aagUt 
laaal 10 tttio righi onfi. And thus the consequence found in one par- 
ocwbr, comes to be registered and remembered as an universal rule; 
and discharges our mental reckoning of time and place, and dclircra 
M from all labour of ibe mind saving the first, and makes that 
wfaicb was found true ivr/ and itcw to be trve ia aJll'met and plaeu' — 
itewtaitaM, p. 14. 

VOL. n. : I IS9 



ON TOOKES DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 



fiiihop Berkeley givei the fame view of ihe ouiirc of abstract 
reasoning in the introduction to hts* Principles of Human Knowledge.' 
* But licic,' he says, ' it will be dcmBodcd how wc can kaow aoy pro- 
ixwiiion to be true of al) paittcular trianglca. except wc have fiift leeo 
It demonctrated of the ab«tract ideaof a triangle, which agrees equally 
to all. To vhich 1 aiuwcr, that though the idea I hare ia view, 
whilst I make the dcmoBstraTton be, for totiancc. that of ao iioKelca 
rectangular triangV, whone »ide« are of a determinate length, I may 
DCfcrthdcM be certain ii extends to all other rectilinear triangles of 
what sort or bignct* sorrcr. And thai because neither the right angle 
nor the eijuality nor the determinate length of the aidei are at all con- 
ceiDcd in the demon tli.ntion. 'Ti» true, the diagram 1 ha<e to view 
includea all these particular), but then there's not the leaa mention 
made of them in the proof of the proposition. It i» not said the 
three anglet arc equal to two right ones, becaute one of them is a 
right angle, or because the atdrt comprehend in;; it are of (he same 
length I which iuilicicntly shows that the right angle might havr been 
oblique and the sides unequal, and for all that ihc dcntODSintioD bare 
held Kuod. And foi this reason it is that I cooclude that to be true 
of any oblique angular or scalenoa, which I had demontirated of a 
particular right angled equicrural triangle, and not because I demon 
Btrated the pro|K]iiition of the abstract idea of a triangle.* — Page 34. 

This answer does not appear to me satisfactory. It amount to 
this, that though the diagram we have in view includes a number of 
particular circumsianccs, not applicable to other ca^cs yet wc know 
Ihe principle to he true generally, because tbtr/ it uoi lli hajl mention 
made !if these pArlitutari ia iht ^oiif of tht ptap6iiiif>K. 

When it is aaiicrted that wc mutt necessarily have the idea of * 
particular siic whenever we think of a man in general, all that i> 
intended t bt^licve is that we must think of ■ particular height. This 
idea it is supposed must be particular and determinate) just as wc 
must draw a line with a piece of chalk, or make a mark with the 
slider of a measuring instrument in one place .ind not in another. I 
think it may be shown that this view of the question is also extremely 
fallacious and an inver«ion of the order of our ideas. The height ch 
the individual is thus resolved into the consideration of the lines 
ternitnating or defining it, and the iotermcdiatc spcKC of which it 
proj»cr]y consists i^ entirely ovcrtooked. For let us take any given 
height of a man, whether lall, short, or middle-sized, and let that 
height he as visible as you please, I would auk whether the actual 
length to which it amounts does not conutc of a number of other 
lengths, as if it be a tall nun, the length will be six feet, and cadi of 
thc«c feet will consist of a« many incites, and thoac inches will be 

130 



ON TOOKE-S DIVERSIONS OF PURLEY 



again made up of dednuls aod thotc dcctmalt of other (ubordiintt 
and infinitcfimal parts, wbicb mutt be all distinctly perceived and 
added together before the mm total which they compote tran be pre- 
tended to be a diftinct, partkular, ot iodiridaal idea. la any given 
ri>iblc ob}cci wc hut stwayt a grosi, general idea of lomcthing 
exteoded, aod never of the precUe lenj^ih ; for tliit preciie length in 
it b thoaght to be ii oeceuarily compotcd of a oumbet of lengthi too 
many, and too minDic to be separately attended to or jointly comccived 
by ibemind, and at )ui Io«e« itielf in the infinite diviaibality of matter. 
Whit ion of dininctoesa or todividuality can therefore be foond ifl 
■ay risible image or object ofsenac, 1 cannot well conceive : it accmi 
lo me like weking for ccruiniy in the dancing of inaecii in the 
eveniag uut, or for fixedneaa ind rett in the motion* of the tea. All 
panicBlars are nothing but scoemli, more or IcM defined according to 
drcamsiancei, but never perfealy so. The knowledge of .iny finite 
being re*t* in general*, and if we ihink to exclude all generality from 
ov ideat of things, a> implying a want of perfect truth and clearness, 
we man be conitraiocd to remain in utier ignorance. Let any one 
try the experiment of counting a Hock of sheep driven fast by bira, 
and he will toon find his imagination unable to keep pace with tbe 
npid nxccMioo of objects ; and his idea of a particular number slide 
into the general notion of multitude : not that because there are more 
tibjccti Ulan he can poiiibly count be will think there arc none, oi 
that ibc vrotd JTott will present to his mind a mere name without any 
dea correaponding to it. bvery act of the attention, every object 
*e see or think ofi oifcr» a proof ul the name kitid. 

The application of this view of the subject to explain the difTerecce 
tetween the synthetical and analytical facultie!, between generaliza- 
tion and abstraction in the proper acceptation of this last word, between 
(ormnao tense or feeling and underManding or re»on, demands a 
wpnraic CMay. 

I do not think it powblc ever to arrive at the truth upon thcac, or 
tt prove the existence of general or abttraa ideas, by bcginniag in 
Mr. Locke's method with particular one«. This faculty of aburac- 
tieo or generalization (to vtc the words indiSrrently) is indeed by 
nnat considered u a sort of artificial refinement upon our other ideas, 
u an excrescence, no ways contained in the common impressions of 
tkin^ nor scarcely necessary to the common purposes of life j and is 
ij Mr. Locke altogether denied to be among the faculties of brutes. 
It is the ornament and t»p-«^dition of the mind of man which pro- 
ceeding from wmple sensation upward*, i« gradnally tuMimed into the 
afaairact no^ns ch things: *so from the root springK lighter the green 

~k, ftTKB thence the leaves more airy, last the bright consummate 



ON SELF-LOVE 

flower.' Od the oihet band, I imagine that all our tutidos horn fint 
to la«t arc, atiictly apeaking, general aod abairact. Dot abaolnte and 
particular, and liiat thU faculty mixn itself more at lew with crery 
act of the mind, and Id every moment of iti exittence. 

Lwtly, I conceive that the mind hat not been fairly dealt with in 
this and other ({ueBtiona of the Bsmc kiod. ThcdiAcuIty bclooging 
to the notion of absuaction or comtKchennian it ia perhaps impoMible 
ever to clear up : bet that i* no reason why wc should diacard thote 
operations from titc human mine) any more than wc should deny the 
existence of motion, extettiion, or curved lines in lutorc, becaoac we 
cannot explain them. Matter alone seems to have the privilege of 
prcicntiog difiicultici and coniradictioDs ai any time, which pact 
current under ihc name o{ fatts ; but the mamcni any thing of this 
kind is observed in the undersuniling, all the petulance of logicians is 
up in arms. The mind i» made the mark on which they vent all the 
modes and fifrum of their impertinence : and mciaphyiical tnitb has 
in this respect lared like the milk-white hlod, the emblem of pure 
faith, in Dryden'i fable, which 

• Has oft been chased 
With Scythian <(hafts and many wineed wound* 
Aimed a< her heart, wai often fo-rcea to fly, 
Anil doomed to death, though talt^d not to die.' 



ON SELF-LOVE 



THt modem tystcm of philosophy has one great idxanuge, which 
makes it dilEcult to attack it with any hopes of success, namely, that 
it b not founded on any of the prevailing opinions or natural flings 
of mankind. It rests upon a mrj^Ic principle— its boaated superiority 
over all prejudice. Uniuppcrtcd by facta oi reason, it is by this 
circumstance alone enabled to trample upon every diaate of the 
understanding or feeling of the heart, aa weak and vulgar prejudices. 
Id this alone it is tccuic and invulnerable. To this it owes iu giant 
jwwcr and dreaded name. Let the contradictions and fallacies con- 
tained in the sysiem be proved over and over again, «till the uniwcr 
is ready : — all the objections made to it arc tcwivcd into prejtuStt. 
Destitute of every other suppon, it suggers our faith in received 
opinions by the hardihood of its assertions, and derives its claim to 
implicit credence by the boldness of lU dcGaocc of all cstabtiahed 
authority. Common sense is brought to the bar like an old ofTeodcr, 
and condemned without a hearing. Under the shelter of thii pre- 



ON SELF-LOVE 



•onjriion then it ao abuirdity »o gmt >■ not to be advanced wnh 

impoflity. There if no hypolhnis, howrrcr gratuitous, howrvcr 

inadequatF, oi however onfounded, ihai is not held up at the true 

ooc, if it it bm coatrarjr to all obtervation and experience. The 

gnmett credulity nuccccda to the moti extravagant vccpticitm. From 

bring the lUvei oi authority we become the dupn of paradox. 

Eveqr opinion which i* to abturd » nerer to have been alfrmed 

before it converted into ao undeniable truth. Whoever dares to 

(jncftion it, unawed by the authority on the one hand, and undazzled 

by the novHtjr on the other, is eoDiidered lu a person of a narrow 

aad bigoud uodereumdiDCt *nd as rclin(|ui thing all claim to the 

rxcrciae of his rratoo. We are efTectually drleircd (rom protmini; 

agiiDM any of thne 'wite tiwa and modem iostancea ' by the dread 

of being imxcd up with the vulgar) and we dare not avoid the 

commoa feeUngs of humanity leai wr should be ridiculed u (he Hupea 

of telf-love, oe oi the whininj; cant of ntoralitts. There it however 

ito bigotry >o blind aa that which it founded on a eiippoeed exemption 

from alt prejudice. The mind in thn cate iijeniifirt every opinion of 

it* ovn with reaaon ittelf : and regarding the objrctiont made to it ai 

proceeding from a jaundiced and dittoited view of the caie, it coo- 

vtna them into the atrongeat confirmiitioni of the depth and compre> 

hentiveneca of its own view*. There are accordinglv no people to 

tittle capable of reMooiog »« thote who make the louaest pfetentions 

to h : and having WMmed the name of Philoiophen, are attonithed 

tbat any one thould call their title in quettion. 

I have been led to make cbeie obter*iiiion* from reading Helvetiut'a 
account of aclfJove, which i* nothing hut a teriet of niiiirepreteota' 
tions and aiauniptione of the qucsnon, and which can only have 
■npoaed upon his teadert from that tone of confidence and alertness 
which meo always have in attacking a received and long-established 
pril)Ct|>le, and a tacit and inrolutiury frelin^ that boldneu of opinion 
iiaplics suengih and independence of mirKf. A few examplei will 
show that thit censure ia well-founded. * What,' sayt this author in 
the beginning of hit view of the quettion, — *what tc the human 
BBderttanding ! It it the ataemblage of hit ideas. To what tort of 
■wlcratandtng do we give the name of talent { To the understanding 
OOacentmed upon a tingle mbject i thac it to tay to a large aiaembiage 
of ideas of the tame kind. 

* Now if there ate no innate ideas, human undcrtianding and gcniiu 
are only acquired ; and both one and the other have the following 
faoditu for their principles : 

'I. Pbyaica) tcoaibdity; witboot which we could receive oo 




ON SELF-LOVE 



* ). M«tnory, that i( to uy, the faculty of recalling the Koiatiooi 
received. 

* J. The interetc which we have in comparing our tcnutioiu 
together, that u to sxy, to ot»er*ing with attention the reeeniblancei 
and diffcreDCea, the ajiiccmcata aad tiiugrccmmtt of tcrcral objecti^ 
imongn them. It ia thi& intcreu wiuch lixci the attention, and la' 
raindt caiiimonty wetl-organtted, ia the efficient cante of under- 
■taadiog.' 

It if added in a note, ■ To judge, according to M . Kouascau, ia aot 
to feel. The proof of hit opinion is that we have a faculty ot pover 
which enable* ni to compare objects. Now tliia power according to 
him cannot be the effect of physical fcnBlbility. But,' continuef 
Helvecius, * if Rouvieau had more profoundly considered the ({ueftion, 
he would li.ive ptrceiwd that thii power (or faculty of onderttanding ) 
is no other than the inictcnt iterli which wr have to comiKirc ihrhe 
objecti, and that this interest latei its rise in the leeting of lelf-love, 
which ia the immediate effect of physical Bensibility.' This ii the 
author'* account of the ucdcrstaading. it is bold and decided, hut it 
is not on that account either more or lets true. It comei to ihii i 
that the faculty or power of understanding it owing to the uae 
have lor such a faculty i ot thiit wc h^vc a power of ooitiparing o«ri 
■enntioQii because we have an interest in comparing them, and that 
therefore this power is nothing but the effect of physical seodbility. 
So that a man before he hu any uodcrvtanding, feeling the want of it, 
Bupplies himself with this very neceasaty faculty by an act of the will, 
and out of pure friendly regard to himself. The ittierest or deaire la 
fly might at thi? rate tupply us with .1 pair of wings, or an effort of 
curiosity might furnish us with a new sense, or an effort of self-interest 
might enable a man to he in two places at once. All these con- 
scc^uenccB might very easily follow, it we were only (ucisiicd to bclicrc 
any extravagance of assertion, and to use word* systematical ly without 
cither connexiori or meaning. 

The whole of tliia writer's argument againtit the existence of a 
benevolent pnnctple in the mind is founded either on a play of words, 
or an arbitrary substitution of one feeling for another. He has 
conlbunded, and does not even seem to have been aware of the 
distinction between, self>lovc, considered as a rational principle of 
action, or the voluntary and delibersce pursuit of our own good as 
■ucb, and that immcdiaiv intercat or gratilica6oo which the mind 
miiy have in the pursuit of any object cither relating to ourtclvcH or 
others. He sometime* evidently considers the former of these, that 
is, a deliberatiag, calculating, conscious 8cllisbne«s as the only rational 
principle of action, and treats all other fcclingn « romance and folly, 

'54 



ON SELF-LOVE 



or tna dniei their exiimc« : while m other umn he comeitdf thai 
the most diunte rested genero«ity, patfiaium, and lore of &ine, ire 
c^oaUy and in the itricicsi scnic sclf-loTc, because the purwit of ihcfc 
objca» ii coDDccied with and icnds immediately and iDtcntionally 
to the gfuitintioa of the Individual who has an attichmenl le 
tbeoi. 

After ttniDg the sentimeni ofRouuciu, that without an innate and 
abttract sense of right and wroug we should not we the just mao and 
the true citizca cootult the public ^ood to h» own prejudice, 
Hclvrtiiu goes on tfaua : — * No oac. I reply, has ever bceo fovsd to 
promote the pabhc good when it injaicd his owd iniefeat. The 
^triot who fi»k» his lii'e to crown hiniMrlf with glory, to gain the 

Sblic esteem) and todelircr his country from davery, yieldn to the 
rfing which it most agreeable to him. Why should he not placv 
his hapjilDCbs in the exerdse of virtue, in the acijoititioD of public 
rcipect, and in the pleasure conte(|ucm upon this respect ? For what 
(caaoo, in a word, should he not cxpuM his life for his country, when 
the tailor and soldier, the one at wa, and the other in the treaehei^ 
daily expose theirs for a shilling^ Tlic tirtuout man who seems to 
lacrilice hi* own good to that of the public is only governed by a 
•cmiment of ooblc celf-interest. Why shouM M. Rousseau deny 
here thu interest i» the exclusive and uni>ertul motire of action, when 
he himtelf admits it in a thouKud ptaceit of hi* work ? ' The auihot 
ibeti quotes the following pasngr fron Roiuteau't ^Emilius' in 
wpport of his doctrine : — ' A man may indeed pretend to prefer my 
isUTcit lo his oiTD : however plausibly he colours over this falsehood, 
1 am quite sttre it is one.* But I would ask why, on the principle 
jw stated by Hclvetius, he nliould not ptefc: another to hinitctf, < if 
it ii igree-ablc to him '. ' Why should he not place hit liawiiness in 
the exercise of friendship ? Why should he not riik bin life for his 
Kritada as well as the patriot for hia country, or as the soldier or 
mSot for a shilling a day ? Wh;il is Ixcoim*, all of a sudden, of that 
Bot4e self-interest which identities u( with uur country und our kinil i 
It it quite forgot ? Has it cTsiwratcd with a bicatii i Is there 
Hllnng of tt Im ? When any instances are brought, or tuppoted, of 
(he acriiice of private interest to principle, or linuc, or passion, it is 
nnKdiaiely pretended that these iostaacc* ate not at all inconsistent 
nh [he grand uniTerial principle of self>tntcrcBi, which embraces all 
ihr wotiBMOta and affections of the human mind, even the most 
htroical and disinterested. But the momnit these intucces .ire out 
M tight and the evasion is no longer necessary, this expansive 
franple shrinks into its own luttiral Utilenesi again; and excludes 
tl ngard to ibe good of others at roniuitic ;ind idle folly. All those 

»35 



ON SELF-LOVE 



imtancei of virtue which are at one inoment perfecdy corapntible with 
thia ' uoivcrwl principle oi' action ' aic thr ocxt (nontnit uid to be 
incompatible with it, and (he author afur hit little rhctoiical frloziogs 
on the exun^ive views and geoerom lacriliws of •eH-taieiesi, irr- 
TTiediately dcKcodi inio the vulgar prorerh that *the mitfortnno of 
oihcts arc but a drnm.' To proceed : Hclrctiua aayi, (p, 14) : 

■ What we understand bjr goodneu or the moral tcDK in man, ii 
hia benevolence towarda olhera : and ibti beneroleoce we alway* Rod 
ia protiortkin to the utility they are of to htm. 1 prcin my fellow- 
dcizena to ctrangert, and my fiinid to my Mlow-citizciu. The 
welfare of my friend is reflected opon me. If be becotnee mote rich 
and more powtttui, I paitalce of hii riches and hi» pown. Bcnerc^- 
snce toward* others it nothing, then, but the rfftct of love to 
ounrlret.* 

The infisreace here atatcd, that benevolence is merely a reHection 
from (elf-love, it founded on the aunmption that we always fed for 
others in proportion to the advantsgc they are of to us, and this 
asmunption is a false one. That the habitual or known connexion 
between our own welfare and that of others, it one great source of 
our atlachment to thrm, one bond of society, it what I do not wish 
to deny i the question is whether ii ii the only one ta the mind, or 
whether benevolence \\aa not a natural buit of its own to rest upon, 
as well an self-love. Grant this, and the actual effeetn which we 
observe in human life will follow from both prtociplcs connbined ; but 
to say that our attachment to others is in the exact ratio of our 
oblintionfl to them, it contrary to all we know of human luture. I 
¥rou1d ask whether die alTcctioo of a mother for her child is owing to 
the good received or bcfltowcd; to the child's power of conferring 
beneJits, or its standing in need of otsittance ! Are not the fatij^ues 
which the mother undergoes for the child, its helpless con^iition, its 
little vexations, its suffcrioga from ilF health or accidents, additioDal 
ties upon maternal tenderness, which by increasing the attention to tb» 
wants of the child and ^nxiciy to supply them, produce a pr^vottion- 
ablc interest in an uitacliment to its wdfarc? HclTctiiis jasily 
obienres that we prefer a friend to a stranger, but die reason which 
h« assigns for it, that our interests and pleasure* are more closely 
allied, is not the only one. We panicipaic io the svccesscs of our 
Iriends, it is true, but we also participate In their dJstrewet and dis- 
appointments, and it is not always found that this lesjen* ovr regard 
for them. Benevolence, therefore, it not a mere physical reflection 
from self-love. His account of friendship agrees exactly with that 
which the grave historian of Jonathan Wild has given of the friendship 
between his hero and Count La Kusc : ' Mutual interest, the greatest 

H6 



ON SELF-LOVE 



all pnrpoM*, wu ihe ceneot of ihii aUiince, wbich nothing of 
eotuep^nct but lupcnor inter Mt wai capable of dtiiolnng.' 

The mechanical ptinciplc of utociuioOi andcrttocd id a strict 
fCQW, vill not accouDC for the muhtfariout and mixed nature of om 
iffvctiofu, and if we do not undcrstaDd it in a itrict uxaae, it will 
then aolf be uiothci nunc for cyinpathy, imagioaiioD, oi any thing 
die. 

■ What then is truth,' proceeds thii author, * u the natural Bond- 
acM, or moral kbm, m much extolled by the Engilih? What 
distinct idea can wc form of inch a icnte, or oo what eTidence found 
Its exiuoKe i If we allow a moral (eDse, why not allow an 
algebraical or chemical kiik? Nothing i» more abvurd than thit 
tbeologkal pbiloaophy of Shaitcsbtiry, aixl yet mott of the Eoglioh 
arc as much delighted with it a* ibe French formerly wrre with their 
muatc. It i* not the lame with other natiooB. No foreigner can 
ladrivtaDd the one or hear the other. It ii a lilm oo the eye of 
Ihe EngUsh, which it ia neccvury lo remoTe in ordei that tliey 
may tee. 

■ According to ihrir phtloaopliy, a man in a itatc of iodifFeteoce 
■tttng ia his elbow chair, detire* the good of otiieri : but in it tar 
W he ia indifTerent, man detire* and can dr»ire nothing. A itaie of 
deitre and inditferencc ia incompatible. These philoaophert rcjxat in 
nin that the moral aente it implanted in man, and makes him at a 
eonio onie ditpoted to corepattiooate the MilFertnga of hit fellavt. 
TUa lyitem is in fact nothing more than the >y«tcm of innate idcM 
tnennmed by Locke. For my port, I can form an idea of my live 
waN*, and ot the organ which cotucitute them : but I confess that 
I haw oo more tdea of a moral senic than oi a moral cleplutni and 
caole. The enthuaiasts for " mural beauty " are ignorant of tlie 
OMnnpt in which these nations are held by all those who, either in 
dw daractcr of atatcsmca, oflicers of police, or men of the wodd, 
bte an opportunity of knowing what human nuture it.* — Page 1 5. 

In really 10 the dognutieal queation with which this passage begins 
— 'What duitinct idea can be given of the moral acnsef * — I answer 
bt myielf, the following very explicit one : namely, that it is the 
KKDfal preference of good u> evil, arising from the conceptioa or idea 
^Kffled of them in the andcrsUnding. Those who assert a moral 
mt( aHirni that there ia a faculty of some sort or other inseparable 
ftmnilie nature of a rational and intelligent being, that enables ns to 
fcnaa conception of good and evil, or of the feeling* of pleasure and 
fU generally speaking, which ideas so formed hare a natural tendency 
loticiie certain alfections and actions. 

Th«c, 00 the other hand, who deny a moral aeose, or any thiog 

»S7 



ON SELF-LOVE 

eoiufalent to it, mun aflitiu either that we can farm no idea whucrer 
of the leelJngit of others or of good and evil geaeraiiy (peakioj^ or 
chu these ideu have no powible influence orcr 1^ mtnd.cxccpi I'svm 
their coaacxion with phyaicil impieuions, memory, habit, tclf-intcrcst, 
or eome other motive, (]uite diiitnct from the ideal themMlvec But 
I have alccody nhuwa tiiu wiLhoui the ciMjpcTaiioo of ibQdiuI nwtlTMi 
there could be neither habit, nor self- interest, nor Toiuniaiy acwm of 
any kind. The moral it therefore nothing but the 3{>plicatioo of the 
undcritanding to the fecliDgs or ideas of good. The <]ueMioD, 
coosct^ucntly, whether there is a inoril acDK, is reducible to ihi»( 
whether the mind can underatand or conceive, or be atTrcted by any 
thing beyoad its own physicaJ or mcchiiaical feeling*. If it can, then 
there is lomethtng in man besides bis five kuk-s and the ofganij 
which compose them, for these can gi*e him no thought, conception, 
or lympathy with any thing bcyood himself, or even with himself 
beyond the present moment. Tbe aaioos, and events, and feelings 
of humaD life, the passions :ind pursuits of men, could no more go on 
without the interference of the uaderitanding thiii vithout an original 
principle of physical sensibility. Neither the one nor tbe other 
expUinK the whole economy of our moral nature, but that i« no rcawBi 
why both are not essential and integrant parts of it. The 6*t sensH 
and the organs which compose them will nut account for tbe sdcncc 
of nionUtiy, let it be as iiDperfeci as it may, any more than for the 
tcience of algebra or cheraittry in the different degrees in which they 
art poese)«cd by dilfcrent men. I'he point is not whether reason is 
furnishing us with a perfect and infallible rale of action, ahtuluie over 
any other motive or passion, hut whether it ii any rule at all, whether 
it has any possible influence over our moral feelings. According to 
HelveiiuK, the moral sense is either a word without meaoing, or it 
must ii}<nify one of out live senses : that is, impressions not actually 
aifeciing one or other ut these ate to him absolutely nothing. It u 
strange that after this Ite should propose to take tbe &\tn fionthe eye* 
oftliose who ridiculously fancy that they have other ideas. It is as 
if a blind man should undertake to undeceive tho«e who can sec, with 
respect to certain chemical notions, called objecu of nghu In coo- 
ftrmation of hi« theory, he refers the romantic admirers of moral 
beauty to the opinion of certain classes and professions of men, whote 
risital ray has been purged, and who, it should acem, poneia a son of 
second tight into human nature, namely, ministers of state, officer* of 
police, and men of business. Either this argument it a satire on these 
characters, or on the understanding of his readers. If these respect- 
able, and, I dare say, very welUnieaning iiersann, are by ttie oarrowneas 
of their occupations and views, precluded from nny general iii»wledge 
138 



ON SELF-LOVE 

ef Imoub nature, or the Tifton of the human h«art, it iv an dncivil 
iron^ to propose tbcni as coniummatc judgci of the abotract nature of 
mao. If, on the other hand, in ipite of iheir emplo^ntent, they 
teaia the ume notion* and liberality cf feeling at other men, there ii 
so nana u> anpposc that they would subscribe to the tcotinicnt of our 
■uhor, thai morality * ii an iwair of the five tentea : ' a proposition 
which any minitter of ttate, ot police officer, or mao of the world, 
powcMcd of the Icut commoQ seme, would treat with ai much con- 
tempt and incredulity at Shaftesbury or Hutcheton. Our author*! 
obferTBtion, that the notion of a moral tenie or natural dtipotition to 
•ynpatbisc with others, ts only the doctrine of innate ideas in die(>ui«e, 
h another misconceptioa of the luiurc of the quemion. The actual 
feeling of campaasion is not, ai he layt, innate; hut this no more 
proTca that the ditpoiation to compoMion or bencvoteocc is not iaoatc, 
tku the Ibci that the ideas or feeliDgi of pleasure and pain are not 
ianace and horn with us, provei that physical tenaibility is not an 
origiRal faculty of the mind. Mora] ifoiibilily, or the capacity cf 
bdag affected by the ideas of cenain objeciti is a» much a pan of 
av Harare as physical seotiibility, or the capacity of being alfected 
n a certain manner by the object* thcmtelvet. Hdvetim says, 
Bhytical srasibility is the otdy tguality cHcntisl to the nature of man : 
I nswer, that physical icoiibiliiy it not the only quality essential to 
the tuttore of man. To thow how tencele^s and inrignilicant u this 
kind of rcaaonin^ I will refer baclt to Hclvctius's condac profession 
of hu mMaphytical faith, which is that he can form an idea of the 
fin inaea and of the organs of them, Uit of nothing die. Now, 
I may ask, how he comes by this itiea ^ Which of his senses or which 
of the organs of them is it that gi»e* liirn an idea of the oilier four ? 
Hat the eye an action of word^ or the eai of colours, or either of 
tiic impreHioiu of laMr, smell, or feeling f Which of them is die 
common tense i or if nunc, mu« we not suppose some euperinteoding 
fienhy lo which all the other imprcinoni are subject, and which alone 
can give him an idea of his own senses or their organs? Another 
instance of the utter want of logical and cooEeaiiive reasoning which 
duracierizes the French philosophers, might be giten in their singular 
proof of the sdfiibDeti of the human mind fi-om the incompatibility of 
a natr of dcnre and a ttate of indtfTeTence. The English philoraphers 
mre charged with representing a man in a state of indiifcrence, 'seated 
io ht> arnKbair,' a> detiiing the good of other*. This aira-cliair it 
h should aecm, no lew than his tiatc of indifTcTcncc, presents certain 
iiunnnowUable barriers to his de&irei, which they cannot past to as to 
adect hifu with the diglitett concern for any thing beyond it. So far 
ta a man it indilfcreot to cicty thing, he cannot it is true desire any 

'39 



ON SELF-LOVE 



^llluiB. All that followi from this is, that *o fiir a« be d««irc* iht 
good of others h« it not in a vtotc of iodifiVrmce. 

Thai a mnn cannot dnirc ao object aiul nuc desire it at the mat 
lime requires no proof. But what ought lo have been proved, and 
what was mesnt to be so, is that a man in a state of inditTerence to 
the welfare of others on his own account, cannot desire it for their 
sake, and this is whH it not proved by the truism mentioned. The 
genersl maxim, that I cannot deaire any object as lonj; us I am 
indifTcTCRC to it, cannot be made to show that sclf^ntcrnt is the onljr 
motive that can make me pt« from the one state into the other. By 
tnditfcrence, as used by the writers here ridiculed, in a popular aettK, 
is evidently meant the want of personal oi physical interest in way 
object, and to say that this necesuLrily implies the want of every other 
kind ofinicrt-st in it, of all ratiODai desire of the good oi others, is a 
meagre assumptioa of the point in dispute. It is strange that tbesc 
pretenders to [>hi[osophy ctioose to insult the Koglith writer* for 
daring to wear the plain, homely, useful, nuional goib of philosophy, 
while their most gloaiy and most fashionable euiu arc mode up of the 
shreds aa<t ptchct stolen from our countryman Ilobbct, disguised 
with a few spangles, linfielled bee, and tagged points of their own. 

Helrcuus'i paraphrase of Hobbc*'* nuxim, that 'pity i* only 
aftolhei name for self-love,' is as follows: 

< What then do I feel in Uie presence of an object of compusioo .' 
A strong emotion. What causes this emotion ? The recollectioD of 
the sutTeringa lo which man h subject, and to which I am myself 
liable. It is this consideration that disturbs, that lormeots me, and 
•o lonf; as the uofortunaLc sulTcrcr continuet in my prcseacc 1 am 
aiTected with melancholy Kniatians. Have t relieved him, — do 1 no 
longer see him ? A ciilm is tosenstbly restored to my breast, becaoie 
in proportion to the distnnce to whicK h* it removed, the r«memhrance 
of the evils which his si^hL recalled is ](radually effaced. When 
I was concerned for him, then, I wai concerned only tor myself. 
What are, in fact, the sufTcrini^s which 1 compcusioDate the most? 
They arc those not only which I have felt myself, but those which 1 
my still feel. Thoie evils the more present to my memory impress 
me more strongly. My sympathy with the sufferings of another is 
always in exact proporiion to my fear nf being exposed to the same 
suiferings myself. I would willingly, if it were possible, destroy the 
very germ of my own tutferings in him, and thus be released from 
the apprehension of the like evils to myself in time to come. The 
love ot others is never any thing more in the human miod than the 
effect of love to ourselves, and cooiequently of our physical seeaibility.' 
— Vol. ii. pj^ 20. 

l+o 



i 



ON SELF-LOVE 



I follow! : — What do I &cl in the 



of 



To ihtt 1 tatwcT aa lollowa : — What do I l«cl in iIk pretence 

an object of eompOMion f A ationg emotion. What cautet cbti 

emotion i Not, certainly, the jrcncral rccollcciion of ihc ndTcnaga lo 

which man in general ii subject, or to wttich 1 myiclf may be expoted. 

It U not this remote and accidentil refiection, which hat no particular 

lefcrencc to the object bct'orc mc, but a Firong icntc of the KifFcriDgi 

of tlie particular pcrion, excited by hii immediate pmcncc, which 

affect* me with compauion, and impeli me to his relief. The rehef 

I afford bim, or the abtcucc of the object* icueni my uQcasificaii 

mhrr b^ the contrmpUiion of the diminution of his cuffcno^i, to 

which I have contributed, or by dii-ening my mind from the eon- 

aderatioD of hit niHcringa. Keither the relief aftiTdcd, nor the 

afawncc of the object could produce thti effect, if the itroog emotion 

which I experience did not relate to the panicular object. It ■■ the 

buoftfac iadi vidua), aod of him only, which I am contrmplatin;;, 

lad my sytnpalhy accordingly nx3 and falls with it, or ai my attention 

ii more or toe fixed upon it. A total alTeradon in the ntiution of the 

■■dmdm] prodtice* a total change in my feelings with retpeci to him, 

wUcfa coaid otn be the cue, if my compMtion dcjicndcd wholly on my 

MMe of my own lecuritv, or the general condilioo of human nature. 

la feetin}> comp»Mioo for another, therefore, it wm notformytelf (hat 

I waa cocicemrd, but for the mifTcrcr : my feeling* were, in a maitoer, 

bcnaid up with hie, and I forgot for the moment both myself and 

Mfcen. Dut do I not compauionatc mo«t tho«e evili which I have 

fell myielf ^ Yes j bccau«: from my own knowledge of them I hare 

a mwe lively aense of what other* must aulfer from them : just in the 

UK manner I dread thoie evila most with re«pect to mywlf in time 

Ucanw. For those cvili which 1 have ixit experienced, I feel, for 

thai KMon, lees fympathy in respect to others, and less dread with 

tffeenee la mywlf in time to come. Neither do I always feel for 

others ID proportion as I dread the umc feelingn myself. The 

■inogy of my past raffctings cannot exctic my disposition to relicTe 

Ant of others, and the imagiaary apprehension of my own /uture 

■lAcringa can only tend to produce roluntary action on the same 

principle as my imaginatioD of those or others. I do not wish to 

jtewor their sufferings as the germ or cause of mine, but because they 

xt of the tame nature a* mine. Benevolence, therefore, is not the 

tffea of self lore, though it is the effect of our phyucal sensibility, 

tOfflbised with our other faculties. 1 will in this place insert the 

Rriy of Bishop Butler { a true philosopher ) to the same argument in 

Habbes, in a note to one of hit sermons. 

'If any persoo can in earnest doubt whether there be such a thing 
■•IMd-wiU ia one mas towards another (fo( the question U not con- 

I4i 



ON SELF-LOVE 



ceming dtber tb« degree or exicnsivefieH of it, but coDceming tha ' 
alTection tttelf,) let it be obierred, ihaE tvhtthtr maa bt rbuj or othaM 
v/ite fomtittiud, v/hoi it the in-vtarJ framt m thni panimlar it a mere 
qucitioD of fact or naturdt bitiory, not proTcabk immediately by 
reaBon. It is therefore to be judged of and deiernuned in the same 
way other factt or historical mattci* an; ; \>j appealing to the external 
•enies. or inward perceptions. rcspectiTely, ai (he matter under con- 
tidention is cogniiah]e by one or the other t by arguing from 
acknowledged lactK and attiont, inquiring whether thcK do not 
luppotc and prove the matter in queoiioo so far as it ii capabk erf 
proof. And, lastly, by the leBtimony of mankind. Now tlwt there 
i» aome desiec of beoevolcoce anioag»l mcn> nuy be as ttrongly and 
plainly proTcd iit all thnc wayii u it could poMihIy be prDved, 
tuppofing there was thia nffection in our nature. And abould any 
one think fit to asMit, that recentTuent in the mind of man was abNl- 
uicly nothing but reasonat>Ir concern for our own vifcty, the faltity of 
this, and what i<« the real nature of that passion, could be shown in no 
other way« than those in which it may be shown, that there is such a 
thing in jome Hfsrtr at real good-will in man towards man. 

* There being manifestly this appearance of mrn'i subxtituting others 
for theintelvei, ind being carried out and alTceted towards them M 
towards themvclvr* ; some perwni, who hare a system which excludee 
every affection of this sort, have talcen a pleasant method to solve it t 
.\nd tell you it is ml aaetbtr you are at at! coticeived about, but your 
itifoniy, whcQ you feel the siTection called compassion; i,t. there ia 
a plain matter of fact, which men cannot recdnolc with the geoeni 
account they think lit to give of things; they therefore, ittstead of 
thai manifest fact, nubscilutr anotbtr, which it reconcilable to their 
own scheme. For docs not e*ery body by compassioD mean an 
affection the object of which b anoiher in distress ? Instead of thi», 
but designing to have it mistAkeii for this, they speak of an afiicctioo 
at passion, the object of which is ourselves, or danger to oursetvra. 
SnppOM a person to be in real danger, and by some means or other to 
have forgot it i any trilling iiccidcitt, any xound might ularm him, 
rccaU the danger to his remembrance, and renew his fears : but it ii 
abnost too grossly ridiculoui (though it is to show an absurdity) to 
speak of that sound or accident ax an obji:ct ofcompauioo i and yet, 
according to Mr. HobbcM, our greatest frieiHl in diitms is no more to 
us, no more the object of comp-ission or of any aCccdon in our heart. 
Neither the one nor the other raises any emotion iu our mind, but only 
the ilioughtt of our liablcnesx to calamity, and the fear of it : and both 
eqiully do this. 

' There «c often three distinct perceptions or inward feeUngt BpQn 

'4» 



ON SELF-LOVE 



tight of pcrsont in di«trcn : real lorrow anci concrm (m ihc miicry 
Lof our fellow-erratum ; tome degree of utiilaaion from i conicioitt- 
[jwu of oar freedom from that uiiery ; xai, aa the mind pasiet on 
am one thing to ADoOier, it u oot unnutucal from «uch an occattoo to 
[rrflecT upoo our own liableneu to the ume or other cdamitic*. The 
[.two btt frequently accompuy the first, but it ia the firtt o(«^ vfaich i» 
L^Qpcrly conipatsioit, of which the distrewed oie the object) aod which 
^directly carrict uswith caltnticss^ind thought to their ^ttmtance. Any 
ooe of lhe«e, ffom varioui and complicated rratona, mav in pv- 
ticulu caie* jircvail OTcr the other two ; and there are, I au^xMCt 
CCS where the hare j^ht of diMte**, without our feeling any 
•'compution for it, may be the occstion of cither or both of the two 

I aball proceed to exzmine the objection to the doctrine of bnie- 
nilnicr, oothe tuppoution that our tympathy when it exitta is realiya 
rt of our tDtcrett. Thi« objection wm long ago atatod by Hobbct, 

Lochcfbocaolt, ami Mandetille, .mil hai been adopted and glossed 
OTer by HelTctiua. It is ptetendcd, then, thai in withing i« telieve 
the dUcrcsws of otbeit we only desire to remove the uiKMioesi which 
pity creates in our mind ; tliat all our actions arc unavoidably selfish, 
as they all arise from the (ecfing of pleasure or pain existing in the 
mind of the indiv»daat, ind that whether we intend our own good or 
thai of others, the iittmcdiaic gratification connected with die idea of 
any objra is the sole motive which deterraineH ut to tlie pursuit of it. 
Ftrsi, this objection docs not at all affe<t the main question in 
diaputc. For if^it is allowed thai the idea of the pleasures or pains 
oF others excitrt an iramediair interest in the mind, if we feci sorrow 
and anxiety for their iimginary distresses exactly in the lame way 
we do for our own, and are impelled to action by the same prin- 
de. whetlier the action has for itt object our own good, or that of 
I^Otbefs ; in a word, if we sympathise with other* as we do with our- 

elves, the nature of man as a voluntary agent must be the umc, 
whether we choose to call this principle self-lore, or benevolence, or 

rhtiever refinementK we may iniroducc into our manner of explaining 
lii< The icUtioD of man to himself and others » a moral agent is 
plxinly determined, whether a radonil pursuit of lits own future weU 
ttr« aiwJ that of ocbert it the real or only the ostensible motive of hia 
actioDs. "VVcTc it not thai our feelings arc so siiongly uUchcd to 
tama, the rest would be a qacition more of ^culacive curiosity than 
pnctice. All that, commonly sgieaking, is meant by the mon di»- 
natemtcd benevolence is this immediate sympathy with the feelings 
of others, as by self-love is meant the tame kind of aiuchment to our 
OVS future imereits. For if by self-love we undemand any thing 

'43 



ON SELF-LOVE 



beyond the impulse of ibc present moment, sny thing diiTcreot from 
iDclinartios, let the object be what it will, thii ctn no more be a 
mechsniciil thinf; than the moat refined md comprehennive beaerolence. 
Self-love, tited in the btmc which the aborc objection impliea, mutt 
iherefure m»n lome thing very diiTerent from an exduuvc principle 
of delibentr, calculating aelliiJinett, rendering ut inditfereni to every 
thing but our own advanUf^e, or from the love of physical plcwure or 
avcTaion to physical pain, which could produce no inicrcn id any but 
tenitible iniiirestiont. In a word, it expreMM merely any inclination 
of tJie mind be it to what it will, and doc* not at all determine or 
limit ilic object of puifluit. Suppoainj;, therefore, that our moat 
generouE feelingt and accioni were ho far e<]uivocal, the object only 
bearing a *haw of dininlereittednctt);, the lecret motive beirtji always 
■elliBh, ihia would be no teaaoo for rcjcaiof; the common uec of the 
term dit'mtertsud iiaavolmct, which expresKS nothing more than an 
immediate reference of our actioot to the j^ood of other*, at telf-love 
cxpresse* a coaicious rclcrcncc of them id our own good as meam ID 
an end. Thia ia the proper meaoing of the lermi. Ifwedeoooninate 
our actions not from the object in view, but from the inclination of 
the individual, there will be an end at once, both of * iclfiihncM ' and 
•benevolence.' 

But farther, t deny that there is any foundation for the objection 
itacif, or any reaaon for tciolring the feclingi of compauion or our 
voluntary motives in general into a priodplc of mechanical Klf4ofc. 
That ihe motive to action exiita in the mind of the person who acts, 
ia what no one can deny, or 1 tuppoie ever meant to deny. The 
pnsiion excited and the impretuon produciog it muM ncceiaarily aflect 
the iitdividual. There mutt alwayi be lome one to feel and act, or 
there could evidently be no such thing as feeling or action. If there- 
fore it had crer been implied a* a condition in the lore of others, tltat 
this love should not be felt by the person who loves them, this would 
be to say that he must love them and not love them at the lame time, 
which it too palpable an absurdity lo be thought of for a moment. Ii 
could never, I say, be imagined that in order to feel for others, we 
mu»t in reality feel nothing, or that beaerolence, to exist at all, must 
cxin DO where. This kind of reasoning is therefore the mon arrant 
trifling. To call my motives or feelings tel^sh, because they are fdt 
by myself, is an abuse of all language : it might just as well be said 
that my Idea of the monument is a selfish idea, or an idea of oiyKlfi 
because it is I who perceive it. By a selfish feeling must be meaat, 
therefore, a feeling, not which belong* to myself ffor that all feeling* 
do, at is undenlood by every one} but which rdatu to myself, and 
io thii sense benevolence is not a sellish feeling. It is the individual 

144 



ON SELF-LOVE 



wtu ttt\i both for himBcIf and otben ; but by »e!r-lovc ia iDrant ttial 
h« fnh oa\f for hitnielf ; for it ii ]ire«umcd that the word ^r// has 
tame racaning ia it, and it would hxxe abtotmcly oonc at all, if nothing 
more were inteodcd by ii ttuin uny object or imnreiiion existing in 
the nnnd. It therefore becom«« necessary to »et limtu to the meaninfi 
of ibc icrme. If wc except the burl«<]uc inierprctatioo of the word 
juK noticed, Mlf-lovecan mean only one of these three thinj>i. i. The 
coatcioiM portnit of our own good tu tuch ; z. The love of physical 
Bkamre aad averaion to phyticil piio; 3. The gruification derived 
(ram our lympathy with oihcrB. If all ocr actioos do Dot proceed 
from one of thece three principles, thej' are nil retolvable into wlf- 
lo«b 

Firx, tbcQ. telf-kmr may properly lignify. n already explained, 
til* love or affection excited by the idea of our own tateieat, and the 
CQMciom portstt of it an a genera), remote, ideal object. In thii 
■■K, thai h, cuoridcrcd with mpect to the proposed end of our 
idiixn, I have shown tulficieatly that there is no cxclusite principJe 
of lelf-love in the horoan miod which coailantly impels ut| as a Kt 
fwposct to poicue our own adranlagc and Rothing but that. 

Seooodlyt any beinf; woald be atrictly a sellish .igeni, all whose 
iaplbe* were excited by toere physical ple:isiare or pain, and who had 
■0 icaK or imaginiitiont or anxiety about any thing W ha otra bodily 
Min{». Sach a being could hate no idea beyond ttt actiial, 
■OBMBtary exinence, and would be equally incapable of rntional 
Ktf'bre or benevolence. Bat it it allowed on all hands that the 
noD and desires of the human mind are nut conKned within the 
limin of hi* bodily sensatioas. 

Thirdly, it U said that though ntan is not merely a physiciil agent, 

btt it naiurally capable of bring influenced by imagination and tym- 

fKbjr, yet that this doe* not provr him to be potseeted of any degree 

0^ ififUKemtediKM or real good-wilt to others; since he pursue* the 

g»od of others only fnm ita contributing to his own graiificatton ; 

tint ia, not for their sakes, but for hi« own, which it trill telKshness. 

Thai ia, the indulgence of ccT.ain aifcctioni oc^eisarily tends, without 

mr thinking of it, to our own immediate gratilication, and the imputae 

10 prolong a statr of pleasurable feeling and put a ttoji to whatever 

prtt the mind the least uneasinett, is the real spring and over-ruling 

fnadple of our actiom. If out benrrDleocc and aympathy with 

Mfecn arow out of and was entirely regulated by thia principle of 

icU^g^tificalioo, then these might indeed be with juctice regarocd as 

the oatOMible accidenul moti>-cB of our actions, as the form or vehicle 

wfcieli acrved only to transmit the eAcscy of any other hidden prin- 

cif4e, sa the mask and cov«r of lelfiahneat. But the supposition ittelf 

vou It. : a 14S 



ON SELF-LOVE 



ii the atMonlcit that can well be conceived. Self-lore ud t^miuth; 
tfc inconaiatcnt. The ianant we qo loDjicr suppOK man to be a 
physical agent, and allow him to hate ideas of things out of himaelf 
and to be inHucnccd by them, that i«, to be endueti with aympatby it 
all, be must oecMsarily ccanc to be a merely aclfith agent. The 
ioMaat he h tuppo&ed to conceive and to be anected by the idcu of 
other thiagt, he cjnnot be wholly governed by what relate! to himself. 
The ictiDS 'tclfish' and 'oaiuial agent ' arc a coniradictioD. For 
the one expression implies that the mijad is actuated lolely by the 
impulse of self-love, and the other that it is in the power and under 
the coDtrol of other motives. If our sympathy vith other* doca not 
always origioate in che pleajuie with which it !■ accompanied to 
ourselves, or does not cease the momeat it becomes troublesome to tu, 
then man i« not CDtircly and oeceHorily the creature of self-love. He 
is under another bw and another neceaaiiy, and in spile of hinuelf ia 
forced out of the direct line of his own interest, both future and 
present, bv other principles inKparable fcom hi» nature a* ao iatelligcflt 
being. Out sympathy therefore t» not the servile, ready tool of otir 
aelf-love, but this latter principle is itself subservient to and over-ruled 
by the formei ; that it, an attachment to others is a real indepcadcnt 
pj'incipEe of iiumaii action. What I wish to state it tliis : that the 
mind neither conhtantly aims at nor tends to in own individu^ 
interest. That in bcDevoIcocc, compassion, friendship, &c. the otiod 
does jum ar its good, is what every one must acknowledge. The oaly 
sense then in which our sympathy with others can be construed into 
sclf-Io«c, must bi: tliat the mind is »o coaslitulcd that without fore- 
thought or any reilection !n itself, or when teeming mott occupied 
with others, it is still govcrni-d by the tame universal feeling of which 
it is wholly unconscious ; and that we indulge in compassion, &c. oaJy 
because and in as tar ai it coincides with our own immediate gratifi- 
cation. If it could be shown that the current of our de«ire« always 
run* the same way, either with or without knowledge, I dMtild con- 
fess that this would be a strong presumption of what bat been called 
the falsity of human virtue- But it is not trtsc that soch la the 
natural disposition of the mind. It is not so constructed as to receive 
ao imprcMioDs but those which gratify it» desire of happiness, or to 
throw off every the leait uncasincas relating to others, like oil from 
water. It it not true that the feelings of others have no natural hold 
upon the mind but by their coDOCxion with tclf-iaurest. Nothing 
can be more evident than that we do not on any occasion blindly 
consult the interest of the moment; there it no instinctive nnerring 
btai to our own good, which in the midst of contrary motive* and 
doobtfii] appearances, puts aiidc all other impulses and guides them 
146 



ON SELF-LOVE 



l>« to iu owe purpotet. It it against all cxpcrivncr to lay that in 

^viag way to ibc fcclm^i of sympnthy, any more than to ihotc of 

tatioiul Klf-intcr«« (for the argument i« the utne in both caan), 

I alwaya ifietd to thai im^ulte which ti accompanied with fflOtt 

pkaawc at the time. It is mie tb« I yield to the (UongcK impulse, 

DBt not that my tiron^t inipulac ii to pEraiure. The idea, for 

iMtaace, of the relief I may alTord to a peraon in extreme dittrcRt, it 

o« ncocwuily acconi]nDicd by a corrcfpODxlcai dcf;iec of pleaaunUc 

■maacion to conoierbaUocc the painful irnaaiion hii immediate diureaa 

Mcaaiona in my mind. It tc certain thai cometimei tlie one and 

wnctioKa the other may prevail withoai altering my purpoac in the 

kaac 1 am led to persererc in it by the idea of what are the 

•Aring*, aad ibat it ii in my power to alleviate them : though that 

idea u twt alwaya the mott agreeable coQtemplation 1 could bave. 

Tkoac who voluntarily perform thr moit painful dutica of fricoiMitp 

Uf hamuiuy do not do them from the immediate gratification aritrng 

licrefran ; it it m easy to turn away from a beggar a« to relieve 

bm : and if the mind were not actuated by a Kenrie of trutbt and of 

Ibareal cooaequeoccH of its actions, we diould uniformly tiateo to the 

itmtmu cf otheri with the ume sort of feeling as we go to lee 

• tragedy, only because we calculite that the pleasure is greater th;iD 

tW pain. But 1 appeal to every one whether this is a true account of 

hma nanre. There it indeed a false nnd bastard kind of feeling 

COmBoaly called sensibility, which is governed altogether by this 

mctioo of pity on out own mindi, and which instead of disproving 

only iciTei more nrorgly to distinguish the true. Upon the theory 

here iiatcd the mind is nuppoaed to be imperceptibly ittacheil to or to 

Sy Iraai every idea or imprenion simply as it effects it with plejiturc 

or pain : all other impulses an carried into etfeci or remain powetleia 

tocording as ibcy touch ihit great spriag of human uHectiun, which 

dckrmines every other movement anil openition of the miod. Why 

Ihn do we not reject at first every tendency to what may give ut 

pain ? Why do wc sympathise with the distrcMcs of others at all i 

' T*he jealous God at sight of human tin, 
Sprnd* his Eight wings and in a moment ftiei.' 

Why does not our self-love ia like manner, if it ii so perfectly 
iadiffereiii and unconcerned aprinciple as it is represented, immediately 
^KflUDgle itself from every feeling or idea which it finds becoming 
faiofoi to it ? It should seem we are first impelled by self-love to l«ei 
UMsMiaeH ai another's snffeiingst in order that the same principle of 
lender concera for ourselves may afterwards impel us to get rid of 
that uaeuioess by endeavouring to remove the suSeriog which is the 

"4? 



ON SELF-LOVE 



came of i(. In desiring to relieTc ib« ditcnw of aootbo', it it 
prrtrnded that our only w)>h i* to rnaoTc the uoeaiiiWM it occasion* 
la: do we iilw feci ihi* uoeaiioeia in the Gnl latlaacc for the 
Mme reason, or from legard to ouikItcs ! It is Jibsuid to aay 
that in compuiioiuiing others 1 am only occupied with rajr own 
paio or unesuineu, tince thit very un»iinets arite* from my con- 
pas&ion. It ti to take tlic effect for the cause. One half of the 
firocest, namelyt our connecting; the tcnw of pain witli (he idea of it, 
hat evidently nothing to do with Bclflove : nor do I »ec any more 
reason for ascribing tlic active Intpuiic which follows to this priaciplci 
rince it does not tend to remove the idea of the object u it givei mf 
pain, or as it actually atfects "nietf, but as h it supposed to aHect 
another. Self, tncic positive self, i« entirely forgotten, both practically 
and consciously. The effbn of the mind is not to remove the idea 
or Che immediate feeling of pain as an abnract inipression of the 
iodiridual, but as it represents the pain which another fecU, and u 
connected with the idea of another'iv pain. .So long then as this 
imaginary' idea ot what another feein excites my sympathy with him. 
Its it &xes my atlentioo on his sufTeriogs, howerer painful, as it impels 
me to hit relief) and to rmploy the necessary incima for th.it purpose, 
at the expense of my cJiKr nnd satisfaction, that is, so long as 1 am 
interested for others, tt is not true that my oaly concern it for mytelf. 
or that I am governed solely by the principles of self-imeresi. 
Abstract our nympathy as it were from itself, and molve it inio 
another principle, and it will no longer produce the efleets which wc 
constantly nee it produce whereirer it exists. Let us mppose, for a 
momrni, that the nrntation* of others were embodied by tome meant 
or other with our own, that we felt for them exactly ai for guraeitet, 
would not this girc us a. real sym|iatliy in them, and extend out 
interest ;ird identity beyond ourselves^ Would the modres and 
principles by which we are actuated be the ssine 9« before? Bat 
the imagitMtioii, though not in the same degree, produces the «mc 
effects: it modifies and overrules the tmpitlsri of self.love, and hinds 
ui to the interexts of other* :ic to our own. If the imagination girn 
aa an artificial interest in the welfare of others, if it dctermion my 
feetiaga and actions, and if it even for a moment draws them off from 
the pursuit of an abstract prlttciple of lelf-inteTeit, liien it canacK be 
mainutocd that self-love and bcnevolcace are the same. The motiTa 
that give birth to our social a^cctions arc by tneant of the nnder- 
standing as much regulated by the feelings of others at if wc had a 
real communication and sympathy with them, and are swayed by an 
impulie alioxcihcr forei|;n to tctf-iove. If it should be said, that after 
all we are as lelfish as we can be, and that the modifidtiofii^ and 



ON SELF-LOVE 



fcalrirtioni of the principle of lelf-loTc are only a wcctnry cos- 
■e(|Bencc of the nature of a tbinkiog being, I antver, tliat (hi* it the 
frry point I wiih to cstabliih : or tlut ii is downright nooscDK to 
ulk of a principle of tntitc leltiahnest in connexion with a power of 
rcflectiooi that u, with ;i mind capable of perceiving the cot)«ec|uenceB 
of ihiogi beyond iitclf, sad of being afTecicd by them. 

Should any desperate metaphyEician pertist in AtTirmbg (hat my 
kite of otben ia ttill the love of mytelf, becaute the iropre*eioct 
aching my sympathy muK exist in my mind, and so be a pan of 
syielf, I would answer that this is using words without atfixing any 
Jitttoct nteaoiog to tbeni. The love or alfectioa excited by any 
ipieifti idea existing in my niindt can no more be said to be (he lore 
rf myself, than the idea of another person is the idea of myself, 
beaue it is I who perceire it. Thit method of reasoning, however, 
vil sot go a f>rcat way to prove the doctrine of an abstract principle 
of self- interest ; for, by ihe samr rule, it wuulH follow that in hating 
Mother person I hate myself. Indeed, upon (hit principle, the whole 
■tnoare of laoguage is a continued ab^urdicy. It is pretended by a 
nokat aasumptiun. that benevolence it only a desire to prolong the 
iiea of another's pleasure in one's own mind, hecaosc the idea exists 
llicre: malevolence must, therefore, be a disposiiion to prolong the 
idea of pain tn one's own mind for the same reason, that is, to injure 
taoeif, for by this philowphy no one can have a single idea which 
^ not refer to, nor aoy impubc which does not oiigtnate in, self, 
ikn the love of otbeis cannot be built on the love of scTf, cunnidering 
this last as the eAect of * phystcnl sensibility ; ' and the moment we 
motvc self-love into the rational purwitt ol a remote object, it has 
ken shown that the same reasoning applies to both, and thnt the love 
•f others has the same neeettiary foundation in the human mind as 
Aeloie of ourielves. 

1 have etidcavourcd to prove that there is no real, physical, or 
ntmial difference between the inoiivet hy which we are naturally 
impelled to the pursuit of our own welfare tnd that of Others. The 
tnith of this paradox, great as it seema, may be brought to a very fair 
tm: aamely, the being able to demonstrate tliat the docirtne of self- 
utttett, as it is commonly understood, i* in the nature of thingt an 
absolute impoaetbtlity ; and, the being able to account for that hvpo- 
thcsii,— chat is, for the common feeling and motives of men fr»m 
bafalts, and a coofitted association of idea* aided by the use of language. 
U* others cannot answer my reasons, and if I can account for their 
prt^xlica, I ehould not be Just i tied in hastily telinquiihing my 
opiotoB, merely on accnune of its singularity. It may not be improper 
btiedy to rccapiiulaw the farmer arptmeni as fat as it proceeded. I 

M9 



ON SELF-LOVE 

am far from dny^ing that there is a differracr bctwcn rr^ or phriical 
impulfcs and idt^al motives, but I cantmd that this diatioctioD ii (]uiw 
betide tlic present purpose. For scl/totc properly fclaies to actioo^ 
and all aciion relates lo the future, and m\ future objects are ideal, 
and the interest we take in nil Kuch objecis and the motives to the 
puiBuii of them arc tdcaJ too. The distinction between self-loTc and 
beneTolencc, therefore, as separate mtnciptea of action, cannot be 
founded on the difference between real and imaginary objects, between 
physical and rational motive*, innsmuch at the motiref and objects of 
the one and the otiicr are equally ideal things. Whether we Tolun- 
tarily pursue our own good or that of another, we must inevitably 
pursue that which in at a dimanee from ui, somcchioji out of ourselv«e» 
absuactcd from the being that acta and wills, and that is incompatible 
alwayi with our present sensation or physical existence. Self-love, 
therefore, as the actuating principle of the mind, must imply the 
cflicacy and opciaiion of the ima^inauon of the remote ideas of^lhings, 
as connected with voluntary action, ind the most refined benevolence, 
the greatest sacrifices of natural affection, of stneerity, of friecdtbip, 
or humanity, can imply nothing more. The notion of the necessity 
of actual objccia or imprcsiions at the motives to action could not so 
easily hare gained ground at an article of philasaphic.il faith, but 
from a petvetfc diatinction of the use of the idea to aburact defini- 
tions or external forms, having no reference to the fcctiags or passions ; 
and a^atn from amociniinji the word magmatim with tnerriy fictitiout 
situaiiona and events tuch as never have a real existence, and which 
coniei^ucntly do not admit of action. If then self-love, even the mott 
grots and {lulpable, c;in only lubtist in a rational and intellectual aaturef 
not circumscribed withm the nairow limits of animal life, or of the 
ignorant present time, but capable o( givioj; life and interest to the 
forms of iti own creatures, to the unre^il mockeries of fvture Cbiags, 
to that shadow of ittclf which the imaKinalion sends before; is it not 
the height of absurdity to stop here, and poorly and pitifully to sup- 
|)Ose thai thit pervading power must bow down and worship this idol 
of its own makiofi;, and become its blind and servile drudge, and that 
it cannot extend its creatures as widely around ii, as it projects them 
forward, that it cannot breathe into all other fofm& the breath of life, 
and endow even sympathy with viul warmth, and difTutc the soul of 
morality through all the relations and iratimmis of human life i Take 
away the real, physical, mechanical principle of self-iBterett, and it 
will have no basis to rett upon, but that which it has in common with 
every principle of natu:nl justice or humanity. That there is no real, 
physicjd, or mechanical principle of selfishness in the mind, has been 
abundantly proved. All that remains is, to show how the contioued 



ON SELF-LOVE 



idcDtity of the iodividiul whh himaeir had gircn nte to ttir ooiion cf 

wK-intneu, whicb afitr what hu born prpmiscd will not be a very 

dIfEcnit twk. What t *hall atietn^t to i>bow vill l>e, dial iadiTtdu- 

altty expRasci not ritlier abdoluu- unity or rml identity, but properly 

mch a particular relaiion beiu-ren a number of thing* as produces an 

tatmcdiatc or cottiioucd coaDcxion between them, and a correspoadent 

marlccd Kparation between them and other thingA. Now, in coexitt- 

tog thingi, one put may by means of thic communication niuiitally act 

and be acted upon by other*, hut where the cooDcxion is continued, 

«t id racccisire identity of the individual, though what folluwii may 

depend intimately on what hat gone berore, that ii, be acted apon by 

it, it cannot react upon it ; that i«, the identity of the individual with 

tae\i can only relate practically to ita connexion with iu past, and 

HH with iu fnCDre kIi. 

Hrery human being in di^ttn^utihed from every other human being 

bsili niUDciicaUy aod cbaracteriitically. He muit be numerically 

dinoct by the ■uppoatiioD, or he would not be another individual, but 

ihe oine. There U, however, no contradiction in nippoting two 

iDdiiridBali to poMcet the tame atnolute properties : but ihen ihetc 

oriffnal propertiet muat be dilTcreDiJy moaiSed afterwards from the 

McwMry dMereoce of their tituaiioBt, unleii we conceire thetn both to 

KCVpy Uk tame rclatiTc liluation in two diiiinci lyttcmi. COimpoodtDg 

exactly with each other. In fact, erciy one is found to differ cwentiaUy 

^om every oneelie; ifnotinorij<inal qoalitieg, in thecircumRanceianil 

r^ata of their lirei,and coDM»]ucntly in their ideas and characters. Id 

lUdung of a number of iodiriduata, I conceive of them ail Mdiffcriog 

b rarioui wayt from one another ai well at from myielf. They dilTer 

ia MIC, in complcxion.in fcaturci, in the exprcuioo of their countenaacct, 

in ife, in occupation, in minners, in knowledge, in temper, in power. 

It ii thii perception or appreheniion of their real differences that fini 

fluUes me to diacinguish tbc (crcral individuaiR of the species from 

•acb other, and that iccms to give rise to the most obviout idea of 

■tdividuality, as represeming, liru, |H>tiiive namber, aod, secondly, the 

■m of the dirierence* between one being and another, u they really 

uiii, in a greater or less degree in nature, or as ihey would appear to 

eiiH to an impartial spectator, or to a per^ctly intelligent mind. But 

/in rvH in reality mote different from other* th«n any one individual 

■■^om any other itKliTidsal, neither do [ in fact suppose myself to 

differ really from them otherwise than as they differ from each other. 

What IS it then thai makes the difference seem greater to ■»*■, or that 

aikci me feel a greater change in pasiing from my own idea to that 

of mxhrr person, than in paisinj^ from the idea of another person to 

tbic of Mty one else i Neither my existing as a separate being, nor 



ON SELF-LOVE 



my diAcriDg from otbcr«, is of it*clf tollicicat to account foi tltc idea 
of telf, ftince I might equally perceive others to exin and compare 
ihcir acnal diffcrencM without vitr having thii idea. 

Farther, individuality ii •omctimn u»cd to cxprew not fto moch the 
ibaolute ditTercncc or dbttnctton between one inaindiuJ and aiMthri, 
SI 1 rvtBtion or compftriwii of thM individual with itwlf, whereby we 
tacitly affirm that it i» in nomc way or other the •amc with itMlf, or 
one idc2. Now in one sense it is true of all exincDces whatever that 
■hey are literally the lame with themrelvet ; that ii, they are what 
they are, and not fomethinj; el»e. Kach thing it iiscir, ti that 
individual tiiiag, and no other ; and each combinartion of thtoi^H b that 
' combiaatioQ, and no other. So alio each individtial conKtoat being 
in necMtarily the same with hitnielf ; or in other word*, that com- 
bination of ideas which reprctcoii nny individual person ia that 
comt»natioa of ideai, and not a ditTerent one. This Hteral and verbal 
is the only true and abtclule identity which e:in he affirmed of aay 
indiridu.-il ; which, it ii j>laini doct not ariac from a compariMU of the 
different parts or succesBive imprpstions compoiing the ^eiwral idea 
ore with another, but each with itself or all of theni taken together 
with the whole. 1 cannot help thinking thai «omc idea of thm kind 
» frequently at the bottom of the perplexity which is fdi by mou 
people who ate not mcta physician* (not to mention those who are), 
when ihcy are told that man it not always the same with himKlJf, 
thrir notion of identity being thai he must always be what he ii. He 
is the same with hinuelf, in it far aa he is not another. When ihey 
My that the man i* the nmc being in general, they do not really mean 
thai he is the same at twenty that he is at sixty, but thcit gcDcral idea 
of him include! both these extremes, and therefore the tame man, that 
it, the tame collective idea, ii both the one and the other* This 
howcrer is but a rude logic. Not well undcrstatidin;| the pircx%at of 
dialing uishirg the snme individual into dilTerent metaphysical sections, 
to compare, collate, and set one again«t the other {»o awkwardlv do 
we at first apply ourselro to the analytical art^, to get rid of the 
dilficulty the mind produces a double individual, part real and part 
imaginary, or repeals the same idei twice over ; in which case it ii a 
contradiction to suppose that the one does not correspond exactljr with 
the other in all its parts. There ii no other absolute identity in the 
case. All individuals (or all that we name such) ate aggregates, and 
iggregates of dissimilar things. Here, then, the question is not how 
wc discinguish one individual from another, or a number of things 
from I nnmber of other things, which diatinctioa is a matter of 
absolute truth, but how we come to confound a number of thmgs 
together, and consider many thmgs as the tame, which cannot be 



ON SELF-LOVE 



•trictlj- inie. Thu id«a mtuc iheo mereiy »late lo <ach i cooiKxioa 

beiwwfl a number of ihtngB u dMefmion th« mind to cofuidcr 

tfacm u one wholct eich pan having a much ccaicr and more lutiag 

conoexioo with the rc»t than with any thing else noi included in the 

tame collective idea. (It it obriou* (hat (he want of thii cloie affinity 

ml intiinatc connexion bctwcm any number of ihingt is what >o 

far prodocei a coircapondcnt dininctinn and separation bclwccn ooc 

iadividual and aomber.) The eye ii not the tame thing as (he cart 

it ia a contradiction to call it to. Yet bolh arc parts of the >amc body, 

which coQtaimtheceaod infinite other diiiinctiont. The reason of thia 

ii, that all the pans of the eye have evidently a dittinet nature, a (eparate 

we, a greater imttgal dependence on one another than on those of the 

car t at the taiiic time thai there is a considerable conoextoD between the 

tyt ;iDd the ear, as parti of the same body and organs of the same 

laind. Similarity is in general but a mbordinatc circumitance in 

ducimiDiflg this relation. For the eye ii certainly more like the 

■me organ in anoihef indiwidual, than the ditferent organs of highland 

kewinjt >re likv one another in ihe Mme indiTidual. Yet we do Dot, 

■ Making up the imaginiiry mdiriitoal, aaociate our ideas iKcurilinit 

U ihis analogy! which would answer no more purpoie than the things 

ilnwelves would, so separated and so united ; but we think of them 

ia tbu order in which they are niecbanica.lly connected tt^ethec in 

Utue, and in which atone thry can serve to any practical purpose. 

KovcTcrt it nem* hardly ponible to define the dinrrent degreei or 

^adi gf identity in the same thing by any general rule. The nature 

of ifai thing will best point oot the senw in which it is to be the same. 

'■difidiulity may relate either to absolute unity, to the identity or 

* *Jir ky of the partit of any ihingi or to .in extraordinary degree of 

cnacxioi between things neither the same, nor simitar. This Ian 

*nw principally deternnines the positire use of the w«rd, at least with 

t^cei to man and otbrr organi^d beings. Indeed, the term is 

Willy rtrr applied in common language to other thtn^js. 

To itiMflt on the firm circmiuUBce, namely, absolote onicy, as 
<MO(ial CO iodiniduality, would be to destroy all individuality i for it 
•Mid iead to the lupjiosition of as many distinct individuals as there 
*n thtxights, feelings, sction«, and propertiee in the same being, 
£tch tbonghl would be a separate conscioosneas, each organ a. different 
syNnn. Each thought is a distinct thing h nature ; but the individual 
n composed of mmtberiess thouf^hts ind various faculties, and con- 
tndietory psMions, «i>d mixed habvts, all coriously woven, and blended 
MptlkeT in the aamc coaaciout tidng. 

Bat to noceed to a more pnicular accnunt of the origin of the 
*da o f sclt, which is th« conncxioo of a being with itself. This cu 

»55 




ON SELF-LOVE 



onlj* be known in the dm iniunce Troni reflecting on what panes tn 
our own minde. I ihould uy thit iodinduality la this scum does aoc 
afite either from the &b«oluie umplicity of tlie mind, or from iu 
identity with ttielf, or from itt divernty from other mindt, which arc 
not in the least ncccuary to it, but from the peculiar and iatimatc 
connection which iubu»u between the ceveral iaculties ind ixrcep- 
cioni of the tame thinking being conatituced an man i» ; so that, u the 
subject of hi* own rcilcctioD or coosciouuictB, the same thing* impreucd 
on any of bis faculties produce a quite dilTerent effect upon him from 
what they would do, if they were impietiied in the Rame way on any 
other being. The scoic of pcrtonallty seenn then to dcpcod cnurcly 
on the particular consciouancu which the mind has of iu own opera* 
tioM, lensations, or ideas. Self ii nothing but the Itmiis of the mind's 
consctouineis ; as far as that reaches it extend*, and where that ess 
go no furihcr, it ceases. The mind i« one, from the confined sphere 
in which it acta; or became it i* not all things. It is nearer and 
more preient to itself than to other mtsdu WHm passe* wiihta tt, 
what HctE upon it. immediately from without, of this it cannot help 
being conscious ; and this consciousness is continued in it afterwards, 
more or less perfectly. All that does not come within this sphere of 
personal consciousness, all that has ncTci come within it, is e«^ually 
without the verge of self i for that word relates solely to the differ- 
ence of the manner, or the dilfereot degree* of force aad certaintr 
with which, fcom the imperfect and limited nature of our fscullic^ 
certain thtngH affect us is they aa immediately upon ourselves, and 
are supposed to act upon others. Hence it is endent that personality 
itaclf cannot extend to futurity ; for the whole of this idea depcodi 
on the peculiar force and directness with which certain impulses act 
upon the mind. It is by comparing the knowledge I have of my own 
impressions, ideas, feelings, powers, &c. with my kaowlcdf:e of the 
Ktme or timilar impreciions, ideas, &c. in oibeti, sod with this ittll 
more imperfect conception that I form of what passes in their minds 
when this is EUpposcd to be entirely different from what passes in my 
own, that I acquire the general notion of self. If 1 could form Do 
idea of any thing pasaing in the minds of others, or if my ideas of 
[heir thought* and Icclingi were perfect rcpicscatations, i.t. mere con- 
scious repetitions of thrm, all pcisonal distinction would be lost either 
in pure sensation or in perfect universal sympathy. In the one case 
it would be tmpDtsible for mc to prefer myself to others, as I sfaotild 
be the sole object of my own. coDsdonsnee* ; and in the other case I 
must love all others aa myself, becanse I should then be nothiag more 
than a part of a whole, of which all others would be equally member* 
with myself. This distinction, however, subsists as necessarily and 

"54 



ON SELF-LOVE 



■pietety between myielf and tboee who moit uearljr reMinUe me, 
t between ntyietf and thotc whose character! and properaea ire the 
my oppDtiic (o mine. I&dccsi. the difiinction iiteli bccomct maiked 
aid intelligible in proportion ib the objects or imprcHioni ibcmtclvei 
ire istrinitcally the fame, ai then i; is impoaiible to miitake the true 
rriociplc oc which it ti foundcdi namely, the want of any direct com- 
■mbcjlion between the fce!inE;s of onr being and those of another. 
Thil will shew why the difference between our»eUe« and other» 
9pcar> greater to im than that betwcea other individtuli, thosfh it is 
Mt really w. 

Considering mankind in this twcKfold relaiioo, as they are to them- 

KlTe«, or aa they ipftu to one another, a* the •objects of their own 

tbougbis, or the thooghta of other*, we ahitll find the origin of that 

■ide aikd abiolute diatinction which the mind feeli in comparing itself 

with otbcrt) to be conlincd to two faculties, viz., leosatioo, or rather 

couciouancwi and memory. To avoid an endleis subtilcy of dit- 

linctioB, I have ikm given here any account of conscioumest in gmetal ; 

bM the Mine reaaoniag will apply to both. The operation of both 

ttme faculties is of a perfectly exclunvc and inditidual oaiure, and ao 

iu a their operation extendi (but no farther) i> man a pertonal, or 

if joti wdl, a »el(i»h bring. The sentation excited in me by a piece 

of tcd-bot iron ttrilcing against any pan of my body is simple, absolute, 

imiBMltng as it were in itaelf, not repreaenting any tiling beyond itself, 

tot cipable of being reprenMed by any other sensatiot), or commoni- 

ciied to any other being. The same kind of lenKation may be indeed 

ncitcd in another by the same means, but this sensation will not 

imfhr ay refiereocc tc, or coniciousneei of mine ; there ia bo com- 

■uoKMwn between my nerve* and another's brain, by which he can 

be aflected with my sensations as 1 am myitelf. The only notice or 

r'ceptioe which another can have of this sensation in mc, or which 
oa have of a similar seoHiiioQ io another^ is by mcaaii of the 
■apnation. I can form an imaginary idea of that pain as exiBting 
mof myself ; but 1 can only feel it as a sensation when it iti actually 
tnpcttscd on myself. Any tfflprcssion made on anolhci can neither 
be the cause oor object of acnsaiion to me. Again, the impression or 
slri Mt in my mind by this sensation, and aReiward) cxciied either 
^7 Kcing iron in the umc state, or by any other meaQe, >^ p(0))erly 
sn idea of memory. This recollection necessarily refers to some 
prrrioot impression in my own mind, aod only exisu in consei^uence 
ti that im&rcssioo, or of the continued connexion of the same mind 
Tik itself: it cannot be derived from any impression made on 
OMhct. My thoughts have a particular mechanical dependence only 
n ny owe previous thoughts or seosatioDs. I do not remember the 

'SS 




OS SELF-LOVE 



feelinge of my odc but myKlf. I najr, mdecd, rcroetnber the objecu 
which mwt have canted tuch lad rach fcclingi in othcn, or Ute <mi- 
wird Bgiu of paitioo which iccompanivd tHrm. Thnr, howrvcr, 
arc but the rccollcctJoni of sty own iminrdiatc impmMoiit of what [ 
nw, aod I can only form an idea of the feelingi themtelTci by meaiu 
of thr inugififltioB. But, though we tskr away ill power of imaj^ina- 
tion from the human iniod, my own feelings must leave behind them 
crnatn trace>t of reprcsetitatioRt of ihemiclKS reLuntng the ■amc 
grnetal propertiet, and having the tame intimair connexion with the 
conKioui principle. On the other band, if I wish to anticipate my 
own future fcclingat whatever these may be, I must do so by iDeani 
of the tame faculty by which I conceive of tho«e of others, whether 
pasE cr future. I have no distinct or scparatt faculty ca which the 
events and fceliDgs of my future being are imprcsacd before handi attd 
which shows, as in an enchanted mirror, to me, and oie alone, the 
reversed picture of my future life. It is absurd to tuppote that the 
feelings which I am to have hcrealtei, should excite ceriain corre- 
spondent impresiioDf of themcelvct before they have exicted, or act 
mechanically' unofl my mind by a secret synipathy. The romatitic 
sympathies of lovers, the exploded dreams ot judicial aatrologyi the 
feats of magic, do not equal the iiolid, substantial absurdity of this 
doctrine of prlf-imert-'st, which aiiriSute* to that which is not and has 
not been, a mechanical operation and a realinr in nature. I cao only 
abstract myself from this prcwni being, and ulce an iotemi b toy 
future being, in the umc tense and manner in which I caa go oat of 
myself entirely, and enter into the minds and feelings of others. In 
shon, there neither ii nor can be any principle belonging tu the indi- 
vidual that antecedently idetiti^es hii future events with his preseat 
&casation>, oc that rcllccts the impression of bis future feelings back- 
wards with the s^me kind of contciousnest that his past feelings art 
transmitted forward through the channels of memory. The size of 
the river as well as in taste depends on the water that has ^rcady 
fallen into it. I cannot roll tncic its course, nor is the stream next 
the source affected by the water which falls into it afterward*, yet w* 
call both the same river. Such is the nature of personal identity. It 
it founded (in the continued cotinexion of cause and effect, and awaits 
their graduBl progreK, and does not connst in a preposterous and 
wilful unscttliDg of the natural order of thinjci- There is an iliustra- 
lion of thii argument, which, itowerer (juaint or singular it may appear, 
I rather choose to give than omit any thing which may serve to nuke 
my meaning clear and intcUiKiblc. Suppose then a oumber of men 
employed to cast a mound into the sea. Aa far as it has giMte, the 
workmen paas backwards and forwards on tt: it atattds firm io ita 

I5« 



ON SELF-LOVE 



dd Uiouglt it advatiMi Tunher inct fvrthtr from the thon, it is 
Mill joined to it. A min'i p«r>ona1 idcotity and *elf-im«vM bare 
jun ilic aamc pitiiciulc and extent, and caa reach no farther than hi> 
tctnal rxiitence. But if any nun of i metaphyucal tuin, >ceing that 
(b« picT waji not yet £niBhed, but was to br- continued to a certain 
pointt and in a cmain direction, &bould take it into his head to iniin 
that what wat already built, and wliat w»> to be built were the wune 
pier, that the ow muat therefore afford a* ^ood footing ac tb« other, 
and ihoitld accordingly walk over the pier-head on the wiid founda- 
tioB of hia ntetiphyaica) hypothe*)^— he would act a great deal more 
tidiealotuly, but would not argue a whit more absurdly than thoae who 
feond « principle of abwiutc telf-iatcrcat on a man't future identity 
vith hia preacct bcin^. But, >ay you, the coinpariton does not hold 
nihia, that a man can extend hii thouj>hia (and thattery wiaely too), 
Wyood the ptneat moBieM, whercaa in (he other case he caonot 
tan a linglc iicp forwards. Grant it. Thti will only thow that 
the mind has wingi ai well aa feet, which i* a nlficieiit anawer to the 
•Hliih bypotbena. 

If the foicgoinft account be true (and for my part, the only 
fVfflexity that crosset my mind in ihinting of il ari»e« from the Utter 
■■imMbility of conceiricg of the contrary fuppotition], it will follow 
iliai those fnculties which may be said to connitute tclf. and the 
opnaiiant of which convey thai idea to the mind, draw all (heir 
mwriali from the past and preKOt. But alt voluntary action, a« I 
hate before largely ihown, miut relate solely and cxcluaively to the 
ham. That is, all th<ue impreMiom or ideas with which selfish, or 
Borc properiy tpeaking, peraoual feeling* muat be aituralty cooDcctcd 
ve jtM those which have nothing (o do at all with the motlres 
■• acdoa io tbc pnrsuit either of our own interest, or thai of others. 
If iadced il were pOMible for the humaa mind to alter the prenent or 
ll> pMC, ao aa cither to rccal what was pan, or to give It a still greater 
rcthiy, to make it exict orei again, and in some more emphatical 
■Mt, then man might, with some pretence of reamon, be supposed 
nocally iocapaUe of being impelled to the pursuit of any fiau or 
^rnmr object but from the mechanical excitement of personal motives. 
It might in thia ca»e be pretended that the impulies of imagination 
■id sympathy are of too light, untubntaoual, .tnd renwtc a creation to 
Bioctioe our real conduct, and thxt nothing ii worthy of the concern 
of a wise nun in which he ha* not this direct, unavoidable, and 
kowlik iotereU. This is, however, too absurd a suppotition to be 
dach m for a moment. The only proper objects of voluntary action 
■re (by oecestity) future eveou : these can excite no possible interett 
ii dkt BuBd but by the aid of the iroaginaUon t and these nuke the 

•57 



ON SELF-LOVE 



tame direct ap^peal to th«t fiKultjr, whether they relate to ouiKlvet or 
10 others, as the eye rcceivei with equal dircctocts the impreinon ai 
our own external form or that of othen. It will be easy to percetve 
by thii train of reaaoning how, noiwithBtandinj the contradictioB 
iarolred in the luitpositiuD of a generally abtohitc aclf-mtcrrBt, the 
mind cotnei to feel a deep and habitual conTiction of the truth of thii 
principle. Finding in itself a continued coBKiootneM of ita patt 
iniptcMiunn, it in naturally enough di>potcd to trantlcr the Mine Mrt 
of identity and coQ*ciousne»t to the whole of its being. The objects 
of imaginAtion and of the senus are, as it were, perpetually playing 
into one aaotlier'i hiindii, and shifting character*) so that we lose our 
reckomng, and do not think it wonh while to mart where the one 
ends and the other begins. As our actaal being is comuntly puatng 
iato our future beings and carries the internal feeling of coiwciousoeti 
along with it, we seem to he already idcntilicd with our future being 
in this permanent part of our nature, and to flrel by a mntual impulse 
the same necessary sympathy with uur future selves that we know we 
shall have with our pait selves. We take the tablets of memoryt 
reverie them, and Ktamp the image of self on thai which ai ye< 
possesses nothing but the name. It is no wonder then that the 
imagination, constantly dinregarding the progrni of time, when its 
course is marked out .-ilong the straight unbroken line of individuality, 
should confouDd tlic nccesiary dilTcreoceii of ihinj;*, and convcn a 
distant object into a present reality. The interest which is hereafter 
to be felt by this continued conscious being, this indefinite unit, called 
iM, sccm« necessarily to affect me in every state of my existence, — 
'thrills in each nerve, and lives along the line.* In the first place 
we abstract (he succeilive modtiicaiioni of our being, and ttirl'tndar 
temporary inlcrcst«, into one umplc nature and general pnocipk of 
aclf-intercat, and then make luc of this nominal abstraction as an 
artificial medium to compel thote particular actual interests into the 
cloiest affinity and union with each other, as different licet meeting 
in the same centre must have a mutual communication with each 
other. On the contrary, as I always remain perfectly distinct from 
othcn (the interen which I take in their former or present feehngt 
being like that which I take in their future feelings, never any ihiag 
more than the effect of imagination and sympathy), the same illuSMM 
:md transpoiieion of ideas cannot take place with regard to these) 
namely, the confounding a physical impulse with the rational moiircs 
to action. Indeed the uniform nature of my feelings with regard to 
others (my interest in their welfare having always the same soarec 
and sympathy) seems by analogy to confirm the inppoiitioD of i 
similar simplicity in my relation to my«elf, and of a poslitTe, oalutal, 
'J* 



ON SELF-LOVE 



ic iotcrtti in wHitcrcr bdonjti to that tclf, not coefinnl to my 
exincDCe, but extending ovrr the whole of my being. livery 
lion that I feel, or thit afterwards recurs vividly lo my memory 
fUcngtkenB the kdic of tcif, which incrrucd strcnjiih io the mcchsni- 
ul feeltog is indirectty iraotfcrred to the general ide>, and to my 
icnoCe, future, iroagiiury intereat ; whereas our sympathy with ihe 
fecUng* of others bciog always imBKiniiry, (tending only or iu own 
baiii, having no sensible iittefesc to iupj>o[t it, do teiilesi mechanical 
impulse to urge it on, the ties by which we are bound to others hang 
lowc upoD IU : the interest wc take ia iheir wclfkrc seems to be somc- 
thing foreign to our own bosoms, to be [lansieoi, arbltiary, and directly 
i>{ipo*ed to that necessary, unalienable interest we are supposed, lo 
iun in whatever conduces to our own well being. 

There ii another con»dcraiioQ (and that probably the principal 

mt) to be taken into the account in explaining the origin and growth 

af out »cl&sh habits, which is perfectly consistent with the ioregoiog 

tbcoryi and eridenity aiisci out of it. There is naturally, then, no 

enential dtffcfence between the motives by which I am impelled to 

ite pursuit of my own good or that of others : but thougli Uinc is 

n« a dilTerescr in kind, there is one in degree. Wr know better 

vkat oor owo future feelings will be than what thoK of ochert will 

be ia s like case. We can apply the materials afforded m by expert- 

ace with leu difBculiy and more in a mau in mxkiag out the piaure 

of oat fiiturc pleaiures and pains, without ftitlering them nny or 

denroyiog their original shajpnestes : in a word, we can imagine 

them more plainly, and must therefore be more interevted in (hem. 

This &ctlity in pasting fiosn the recollection of my former impreuiona 

ta ihe anticipation of my future ones makes the transition almost 

impcTceptiblc, and gives to the latter an apparent reality aod prcsenc- 

Hai to tbe imagination, to a degree in which the feeliagi of others 

tan Kircely ever be brought home to o«. It is chiefly from this 

grater reaotocas aod ccfiatniy witli which we can look forward into 

<wown mindi than out of us into thoac of other men, th»t that strong 

and uneasy MtBebmem to wif, which often comci at last to overpower 

tiay gacroHi feeling, takes its rise ; not, »s I think I have shown, 

fronaBy natural and impenetrable hardness of the human heart, or 

nccMary abtoryrtion of all its ehoughu and pui|x>W(i in a blind cxclu- 

■it feeling of self-iotcrcn. It conlttms this account, that wc coo- 

■Ucily are found to feel for others in proportion a* we know from 

hog acnuaimance with the turn of their minds, and events of their 

lives, • toe haiT'breadth scapes' of ihcir travelling history, or *Bomc 

dmtrous stroke which their youth suffered,* what tlic real aamre of 

tlwii fiMliasa i>t U)d that we have in general the stroogeat aineh- 

tS9 




ON SELF-LOVE 



mcDi lo Ota immcdUtc rclatins and (rieodf, wba from thii tmer- 
connDimiiy of ihougbu and feelingi may more truly be *aid to be a 
part of ourielv«i than from cvca the tie* of blood. Moreover, a roMt 
muft be cmiiloyed marc utuoily in proridinj; fox his own wants aiid 
hii own feelings thm ihoce of othCTt. In like minttet be ii employed 
in providirg lor the immediate welfare of hie Family and connextOD* 
much more than in proTiding for the welfare of those who arc not 
bound by any poiittvc tics. And we accordingly bnd tli;ii tbe aiten- 
lion, time, and faint beiiowed on theie leTera] objects give him a 
proportionable degree of anxiety abvot, and attachment lo his own 
ioteim, and that of those connected with him ; but it would be 
absurd lo conclude that his affectiooa are therefore circumscribed by 
u Qiittiriil nccMMty within certain impanable limita, either in the one 
ca>e or the other. It tbould not be forguttcn here that thii abmid 
opinion has been very commonly referred lo the elfects of natural 
oHeciion a» it hat been called) n> well as of self-intcint ; partmtal 
anil lilial afTcaiun Ixing suppOKtl to be originally implanted in the 
mind by the wt, of nature, and to move round the centre of lelf- 
interest io an orbit of their own, within the circle of our farailio and 
friends. This gt-ncral connexion between the tiiibiiual pursuit of any 
object and our interest in it, will accoum for the well-known observa- 
tion, that the affection of parents to childreo is the aerongeiT of all 
others, frequently uvcrjKiwcring self-lore itself. This fact docs not 
•eem easily reconciUMr lo the doctritie that tlic wcial affections are 
all of then] ultimately to be deduced from a««ociatiof>, or the repated 
conoexioit of immediate selfish gratilicaiioD with the ideii of some 
other (>cr»oii. If this were strictly the Ciise wr most fe«l the auongeGi 
Bttachraent to those from whom we had received, instead of thoie to 
whom we had done, the greatest number of ItiDdnesees, or where the 
grcateat quantity of actual enjoyment h^d l>eea uaociated with an 
indifTerent idea, .luniun has remarked that friendship it not CM- 
ciliaeed by the power of conferring benefits, but by the ctjuality with 
which they are received and may be returned. 

I have hitherto purposely nvotdcd saying any thing oa the nibject 
of our physical appetites and the manner in which they may be 
ihonghi to aUcct the principle of the foregoing reasoniaga. Thry 
evidently teem at firtl tight, to contradict the general concluiion 
which I hare endeavoured to establiiL, as they all of them tend cither 
cvcluMvdy or principally to the gratilication of the individual, and at 
the same time refer to some future or imaginary object, as the source 
of this gratification. The imptilse which they give to the will is 
mediiwcaJ» and yet this impulse, blind as it in. constantly tends to 
ami coalesce* with the pursuit of some rational end. That is, here 

ite 



ON SELF-LOVE 



itn ntd aimed at, ebe deiin and regular punuit of a known good, 
nd sll this produced by motives evidrntljr RiKhanicsl, ind which 
trrtf rmpcl tbe toiod btic ia a sclfislt direction : it makci no dilfcr- 
mcc in tbc qimtion whether the actrrc impuUr proc«:cd directly from 
At deiire of positive enjoyiiieni, or a wi«h to ^rt rid of tome positire 
■eaancM. I should say then ih»t, teitinf; a»ide what is of a purely 
fliyiical nstuTc in the case, the iR^vencc of appetite uver oar voliiioos 
aif be accounted for eon*i«ientiy enough with the foregoioj bypo- 
Mttfrom the natural effects of a particdarly irritnhle state of bodily 
ftdii);t icndcting the idea of that which will heighten and zratify its 
Mcepdhility of pleasurable feeling, or remove some p^nRu feeling, 
fttfornoaably virid, and the object of a more vehement de«ire than 
OS be excited by the same idea, when the body it supposed to be in 
1 Rate of indiTereacc, or only ordinary sensibility to that particular 
kad of grarificatiofl. Thus the imaginary desire ts sharpened by 
OOMaoUy rcccivinf, tupplies of punp,cncyi from the irritation of bodily 
Ming* and its direction ii at the same time determined zccotding to 
iht bus of this new impulse ; first, indirectly by having the attention 
(led 00 our own immediate tcnuUoii; tccondly, because that par- 
xuiar gratificuioo, the desire of which it increased by the pressore 
of phyueal appetite, man be referred primirily and by way of dis- 
baetiOQ to the same being, by whgm the want of it U feh, that il, to 
Dysclf. As the actual uneasiness which appetite implies can only be 
adted by the irritable sute of my own body, bo neither can the 
&Hre of the correspondent gratificatioo nibsist in that intense dcgrcct 
which properly constitutes appetite, except when ii tends to relieve 
thai very nme uneasiness by which it was excited, at in the case of 
tiuagei. There is in the lirst place the itrong nscchaaical action of 
the nermtu and muscular systenu co-operating with the rational desire 
flf my ovm belief, and forcing it its own way. Secondly, this state 
of uaeatiness grow* more and more violent, the longer the relief wliich 
it requires ii withheld from it : hunger takes no denial, it hearkens to 
n coDtprofnirte. is soothed by do (littery, tired out by no delay. It 
gnrt more importaaate erery moment, its demaadi become larger 
tbc leu they are attended to. 1'he lirst impulse which the genera] 
lavr of personal ease irceives from bodily pain will give it the advan- 
ti|[e over my diffposition to sympathise with oth«rs in the same 
ntuiioa with myself, and this diifcreoce will be increasing every 
cnomrat, till the pain is removed. Thus, if I at lirtt, either through 
tsapuooD or by an effort of the will, am regardless of my own 
wun. Mid wholly bent upon satisfying the more pressing wants of 
ny coa^nooa, yet this enfort will nt length become too great, and I 
shall be ittcapable of attending to any thing but the violence of my 
va(. n. I I. 161 



MADAME DE STAEL'S ACCOUNT OF 

owD *cniation>, or the mcaoi of allcTiating tbcni. h would be my 
to khow Irocn many thingc that mere appetite fgencralljr, at Irast, in 
rcanaable bnagi) ii buc the frasmCDl ot a veU-moviog ntachinc, but 
a son of half organ, a subordinate inatrument rvea in tlii: accomplith- 
ment of hs own porpoaes ; that it doec littlr or nothing without the 
ud of another faculty to inform and direct it. Before the impulMt 
of appetite can be converted into the regular pumitc of a ^ven ODJeci, 
they must first be communicated to the undemanding, and ratify 
the will through tha. Conse^juentty, as the dettre ca the ultimate 
gratiiicatton or the unpctite in not the same with tlie appetite itaelff 
that i( mere phyiiical uneaiciiieKt, but an indirect result of iii com- 
municAlioo to tht thinking or imaginative principle, the infliKnce of 
ap|>eiite over the will muat depend on the extraordinary degree of 
force iind Tividnei* which it give* to the idea of a particular object; 
and we accordingly find that the tame cauae which irritate* the detire 
of ttelfish grattlication, increase! our sensibility to the same dceires and 
gradlication in other*, where they arc coniiiteiii with ouf own, and 
where the violence of the physical impulse does not orcrpower erefy 
other consideration. 



MADAME DE STAEL'S ACCOUNT OF GERMAN 
PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE. 

fh Mifnag Ciitmitli.] [M. ], 1S14. 

The moBt interciting part of Madame Dc Stacl's very iogenioui and 
elegant work on Germany is undoubtedly (co literary readers) that in 
which she has iketched with to much intelligence and gnce, the 
present state of opinions with respect to philosophy and taste in that 
country, I have not yet seen any satisfanory aWraci of her reason- 
ing* on either of these subject*. The article in '11k Et/miurgi Revievi 
touches but lightly and incidentally oa thcmi from the variety and 
pressure of other topics of a more lively and general interest. I shall 
attempt to supply this deficiency, and ac the tame time to offer some 
farther thoughts 00 each subject. The two points on which I wish 
to enlarge are the view which Madnme De Stae1 takes of GcrnuD 
poetry, as contrasted with the French, and secondly of the spirit and , 
prindptes of the German philoaophy, that of Professor Kant, 
opposed to the French syatoa of philosophy which is not indc 
peculiar 10 them as a nabon, but common to the age. I shall begii 
with the last first, not only because tt is perhaps the most impotUnt, 
but because I think that as the English were the lirst to propagate the 
latter ayctcm (for the French have only adopted it from n** carryin 
162 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 



ill pcaoicil aod popular application rarlhcr), we ought aot lo be the 
lilt to ditcbim aod explode it. It may not be uninteretting ai a 
h^och of Duiood literature) to uke a grnrral view of the rise and 
VDgKM of tbrii philoMphy, before we came to examine Madame Dt 
Stael'i account ot the system which Rant has opposed to it, and to 
■ttew in what that ifBtcm is well founded, and where it fail). 

According to the piTTaiiin^sytten), — I ntcanihe iDaccrial ormodcrs 
)h)loK]|iby, XI it has been called, all (hought is to be retoUed into 
Knntioo, all morality into the l»te of plcature, and all acuon into 
ncchanical tmpuiie. Theac three propoutiona taken together, embrace 
ihwMt every question reUttngtoihc humxn mind, and in their diiTerent 
raBificatioos and intefM^ctions form a net, not unlike that u«ed by the 
csdiaater* of old. which, whosoever hai once thrown oter him, will 
Gndall farther el^rU vain, and hii uttempti to reason freely on any 
vbJKt in which hii own nature is conctrned, baffled and coofoundeo 
a every direction. 

Thia (yatcm, which Grn rose at the niggcttioo of Lord Bacon, on 
tbe rains of the school-philoiophy, has been gradually {rowing up to 
tu present hei£ht cxtr since, from a wrong interpretation of the word 
exptrvatt, confining it to a knowledge of thing* without ui ; wliereai 
ii is fact include* all knowledge, relating to objectt either within or out 
«f llic mind, of which we have any direct and pomivc evidence. We 
ooly know that we ourielvea cxiat, the moat certain of all truthi, from 
the experience of wh^t pxtteti within ountelves. Strictly speaking, all 
other (acts of which wc &rc not immediately conacioui, arc neb in a 
■emudary and lobordioate tense only. Phytical exiwricnce i* indeed 
the foundstion and the tett of that pari of philosophy which relitci to 
plyncal objecu : farther, phytical analogy is the only rule by which 
vt can extend and apply our immediate knowledge, or infer the dTects 
to be produced by the different objects around u». But to tay that 
pfapical cxpcriinent ie cither the ten, or source, or guide of that other 
pan of philoaopliy which relates lo our internal pcrceptioni, that we 
are u look in external nature for the form, the tubtitance, the colour, 
the very life and being of whatever exitu in our minds, or that wc 
cnoely infer the laws which regulate the phenomena of the mind 
fron those which regulate (he phenomena of niattei, ti to confound 
two dtiogf entirely distinct. Our knowledge of mental phenomena 
%mu contciousocsai reflection, or obacmtion of their correspondent 
Ngos m other* is tbe inie basis of metaphysical inquiry, as the know- 
fedgc tX fadtt commonly so called, ia the only tohd batis of natural 
pbOoKipfay. To assert that the opcra,tionsof the miodand the operations 
of matter are in reality the fame, so that we should always regard the one 
as «mibols or exponenu of the other, is to osiume the very point in 

16$ 



MADAMIC DE STAEL'S ACCOUNT OP 

dispute, not only vfithoui any endcnce, but in deGwce of crery appeac- 
atiM to tho coRlrary. 

Lord Bacon was undoubtnlly a great man, indeed one of the 
greateit that hnve adorned iliiii or any oihei country. He w»a man 
of a clear and .iciire ipirit, of a moiit fertile geniua, cf vsit deiigu, of 
gcDccal koowlcd^Ci and of [iiofound wiadoni. He itnited the powen 
of imaginaiion and undertiLinding in a gte^tter degree than almosi any 
OtHer writer. He wa« one of the mo«t remarltahk irttancM of tbo«e 
men, whoi by the rare privilc|{e ofihcii oatuic, arc at once |>ucia and 
pliiloaopher&, and tec equally in both world»— the inilitidiud and 
neniible, and the abtcracted and inielligible form* of thiaj;*. Tbr 
Schoolmen and their followers attended to notliio^ but Dames, to 
cMcncci and ipccies, lo Ubouied analyse! and irtiiicial deductions. 
They Kent to have alilce disregarded all kind* afexperience, whether 
relating to cxUtniil objects, or to the obKrvation of our own intcroaJ 
feelicii. From the imperfect sutc of knowledge, they hjd not a 
Buliicient number of tacts to guide them in thetr experimental 
rciearche»; and intoxicated with the novelty of their vain diHincttOBi, 
leamt by rote, they were tempted to despise the clearcat ai>d nvou 
obvious suggestions of their own itiindB. Subde, reitlesa, and lelf 
sutBciertt, they thought tlui truth wai only made to be ditputed about, 
4nd exiaicd no where but in their demoosl ratio ni and ayllogiami. 
Hence arose their * logomachies ' — their everlasting word-lighu, their 
sharp debates, their captioui, bootleat cotktrorenie*. A* Lord Bacon 
cxpreMcs it, ' they were made licrcr with dark keeping,' aignifying 
that their angry and UDinieltigible contests with one another were 
owing to thcirnot having anydiitinct objeettto engage their attentioi- 
Tbcy bulk altogether on their own whims and fancies; and, buoyed 
up b^' their specilic lenty, they mounted in their airy disputations in 
eodleu (lights and ctrclee, clamouring like birds of pecy, till they 
equally tost aight of truth and nature. Thia groat man, tbcrefore, 
intended an essential service lo philosophy, in wishing to recall the 
attention to facts and experience which had been almoat entirely 
ac^ectcd ; and thua, by iacorpoiating the abvtract with the concrete, 
and general reasoning with indindual ob«cTvatioii, to give to our con- 
elncions tliat solidity and tirmoeu which they must otherwise always 
want. He did potliing hut ianist oo tbciMcewity of experience, more 
particularly in natural iciencc ; and ^m the wider field that is open to 
it there, as well as the prodigioaa auccest it has met with, this latter 
application of the word, ia which it is tantamount to physical experi- 
ment, has ao hi engrossed the whole of our attention, that miiKl hat, 
for a good while put, been ia some danger of being overlaid by matter. 
We run from one crioi into aaodMti and as w« were wtoof ai fint, 

•*4 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 

» to ilttring out courae, we hxtt pu*ed into tht oppoute extr(^m«. 
We dnpised txperipncc aliegcib«r before: now wc would ha»c 
Hodiiai b« ncpcnencc, aod that of the grOMcit kind. Wc hire, h is 
tncvS^oed much fay not connilting the luggettiomoTourown mindiin 

r'lofli where tbey ioform ut of nothing, namely, on the fMrtieular 
■ad pbciwtncna of the m«icri^ world ; and we have hutilr con- 
dided (reronQg ibe nile) that (he beti way to arrive it the tnow- 
ieife of ooTKlvet alto, wa> to lay atide the dtctaten of otir own con- 
KJClWltfl, ihoHghu, and fcclin^E, as deceitful and insuflicieDt. ]^idct, 
dai|k they arc the oely means by which wc cm obtain the leait 
fight spoa the nbjcct. We »eem to have retigned the natural uie 
if our ooderttandio];!, and to have given up our own exigence a« a 
■neatky. Wc look for out thougthts and the diningubhinK propcnict 
of ow minds in wme image of them in matter ai we look to tee our 
bat a a glua. Wc no longer decide phytical problemi by lo];icaI 
ifih— lai, but wc decide quenions of logic by the evidence of the 
■MM. Imtead of patting our reason and invention to the rack 
bdificrcntly oD all queftioo*, whether wc have any previous knowledge 
of ibeni or not, we have adopted the caiier method of suspccdinjt the 
UM of our faculties aJtogethet, and setding tedious coniroveniet by 
BKanof ' foar champion* ^crce — hot, cold, moitt and dry,' who with 
■ frwmorc of the rctaioeTs and hangers on of matter dctennine all 
^■■ioM rebtrng to the nature of man and the limiii of the human 
NadentaBdiog very learnedly. But the tawi by which wc think, feci, 
ad tOt wv must discover in the mind itself, or not at all. 

TMb original bias in favour of mechanical reasoning and physical 
analogy wa» confirmed by the powerful aid of Hobbes, who was, 
ndeeil, the father of the modem philoMphy. His strong mind and 
body appear to have reciitcd all imprestions, but those vhich were 
derived from the downright blows of matter : ali hi* idea* leemed to 
ic like enbnanceii in his brain : what was not a itotidt tangible, 
dinnct, palpable object, was lo him nothing. The external image 
ftwed io close upon hU mind that it destroyed the power of con- 
•MMnna. and left no room for anrmion to any thing but itielf. He 
«K by nature a materialist. Locke asntied greatly in giving 
mduity to the same scheme, a« well by etpeusing the chief of 
HoUks's metaphysical principles as hy the doubtful rc«istance which 
Iiciude to the rcK. And ii tus been perfected und has received its 
liHpaliah aod rouodnew in the hands of lomc French philMophers, 
M CoodiUac and others. 

The modem metaphyncal ayRrin assumea at ita bssis that the 
operatiooi of the ineellect are only a continuation of the imptilaea 
nwiag in matter j or that all the thoughts and conceptions of the 

165 



MADAME DE STALL'S ACCOUNT OP 

mind arc nothing more than variotu moitilicuion* of ibc origtD) 
imprr*»ion> of thingx on a being cndunl with •cntaciott or umple 
perception. Thit tyetem connidcm idcan merely u they »re canted 
by outward iinprcasions acting on the organs of mdsc, and exclude 
the underittanding ai a dlaiinct faculty or power from at) (hare ia 
own opcratiooa. 

The following is a aunimary of the general priociplca of 

EhiloMphy aa they are expteuly laid down by Hobbe«t and by 
itetc writer* of the French ichool. 

1 . That our uUat arc copie* of the imprcMoni made by cxt 
objects on the icnics. 

2. That aa nothing exi«i> out of the mind but matter aixl motiftS 
•o it ia iticif with all it> operations nothing but maiiet and motion. 

3. That thoughts arc single, or that we can think of only om 
object at a time. 

4. That we hare no gcnctnl nor ab*iract ideas. 

5. That the only principle of connection bciwcea one thought and 
another is association, or their preTioua connection in tense. 

6. That reason and undemanding depend entirely on the mccli 
of language. 

7 and 6. That the sense of pleasure and pais it the aole spring 1 
action, aiul self.inierest the source and centre of all our affectioot. 

9. That the mind acts from a mechanical or physical necewity, 
over which it has no coniroul, and contequently is dm a moral or 
acccuntablc agent. — -Thr mannrr of rfojoning upon ih'u fait ^iuit»n 
ii the oniy cirtumtlante of mportance at vjhiih Hobta £ffert JedJtiilj 
frvm moarra tvriurt. 

10. That there it no di^erenee in the natural capacities of ml 
the mind being onginaily passiTc to all imprcisions alike, and becoming 
whatcTcr it ii from circumstances. 

Except the first, all of these position* arc ather denied or doubt- 
fully admitted by Mr. Locke. It is, however, hi* admission of the 
first principle, which has opened a door directly or indirectly 10 all 
the rest. The system of Kant it a formal and elaborate anttthesis to 
that which bears the tumc of Locke, and it ii bvilt 00 ' the jsAGiw 
restriction (as Madame dc Siaci cxprestci it) added by Lribnilz 10 
the well-known axiom tiihil in inttfUelti ^od non firhi in jeiuv—nai 

tHTElAKTUS IPrt.' 

It is in the manner of proving this retiricdon, and of ex}^ning 
this word, tif 'mt*!lt[t, that the whole question depeoda, and to this I 
shall devote another letter, 

Ak EhOIISM MllTlPHYSlCUIIa 



166 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 



THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED 

n- Nkm^ Or^mktr.} [ft*. 1 7, 1 1 14. 

Tm priDcipl? (hat aJi lie idtat, eperati«tti, avdfaevbiti oftke mind may 
it btctd to, and ul^mattiy acemaUtd fort fnm Mmpk itrua/ioMf it aU 
(WranaiDi of Mr. Locke'< celebrated Estay, and thai lo which it 
cm iu pmcDt rank smong philosophical producuoni. Hit variaQs 
Mtttpla to BMxJi^ thii piinciple, ur reconcile it to Eommon noiioos 
bftWo gradual!)- exploded, snd have given pUcci oac b^ one, to 
dK more leTere and logical deductions of Hobbei from the laitve 
gmnl principle. Mt. Locke took the facultie* of the mind as 
he fbnM them in himaelf and others >dcI iDttrad of levelling the 
•tnaurc, was coDienied to place it on a new foundation. By this 
mnproiBnc with prudeocc and candouf, he prepared the way for ti>c 
ncruictiaa of the priociplci which being once established, very toon 
omuned til the trite opiniooB, and vclgar prejudices, which had 
btcoN^operly sstociatcd with it. There wis in fact, ito place for 
t^ in tJie new «7Metn. I confcis it siiike* some degree of awe into 
tbc mad, and makes ii feel, that fame, even the beit, n not a tub- 
M«ia! thing, but the imcertain shadow of real excellence, when we 
t^ta ihat the imman^l renown, which attends the name of Locke 
adie great luminary of the »ge in which he lived, is hut a dim and 
bertowed luitre from the wriiiojjs of one, whom he himself cailt, and 
rto hu been unirerully considered u 'a justly decried author.' 
TW Mntence of the poet is at applicable here as it ever was^ 

' Fame ii do plant that ^tonn on mortal toil. 
Nor in the glistering foil 
Set olT to live world, nor in broad rumour lici ; 
But lives and spreads aloft by (hose pure cyei. 
And perfect witness of all-|udging Jove ! ' 

Tbe great defect with which the Essay on Human Understanding 
ii ckargeabic, is thai there really is not a word about the understanding 
u u, bor any attempt to (hew what it is, or whether it is, or is not 
uj iking, distinct from the faculty of simple perception. The opcn- 
uaat of thinking, comparing, discerning, reasoning, willing, and the 
Etc, which Mr. Locke generally aicribes to it, are the operatiooi of 
■aching, or of we know not what. All the force of his mind scemi 
B hare been so bent on exploding innate ideas, and tracing our 
dMaght* to (heir external source, that he either forgot, or had not 
Uton to examine what the internal principle of all thought it. He 
hu basis a bad simile, namely, that the mind is like a blank 

167 




MADAME DE STAELS ACCOUNT OF 

ih«ct of pspef) onginally void o( all chancters, aad m«r«ly puam Ut 
the imprcisian^ made upon it : for (hiii though true u lar a* rclatci 
to innate ideas, thai is, to any impicesiont previously cxining in tlic 
mind, it not true of the mind itself, or of the nuoner in which il 
(ormi iu idcuof thcobjccUactuallyimi/rcHMrd upon it. Thcobrtoot 
trndcDcj' of this simile wa> to cosveit the undernandiDg into the 
mere nwai?e receiver nnd retsioer of phytieal imprenioni, a comeRieot 
repository for the nniggling imago of thiogv, or a sort of empty room 
into which idea* are conveyed from withoat (brough the doois of (he 
sensct, as you would carry goods into an unfufDished lodging. And 
hence, againi it lia< been found ncceiury, by nuUe^ucnt wrners* to 
get fid of ttiOK diUcrcnt faculties and operations, which Mt. Locke 
elsewhere supposes to belong to the mind, but which arc in truth only 
comnattblc with the iclirc powcis, and independent osUuc of the 
mind imeir. Tt was to remciiy ihis deficiency that l.eiboits proposed 
to add to the msNtm of Locke, that ihtrr ii aoth'mji m iht imdtrjtmSag 
ivhitb wat nut btfnrt in tbi laiiti — 'that lublinte lettriction,' ao andli 
appt^iudctlhy Madame dc Staci— * kiccktthf uMin-RSTaNiMmiiTm^:* 
and it in to the eitablishnient and development of this diatioctton, that 
the whole of the Kantcan philosophy appears to be directed. Is 
what mnnnci, and in what sncceM (junging from the representations 
we have received ofli) remains to be shewn. 

The account which Mndame dc StacI h»s gircn of tlus system it 
full of the grace) of imagination nnd the charm of scntimeni : it 
passec slightly over many of the diflicuJties, and softrns the oliruptnesa 
of the reasoning bv the harmony of the style. It is therefore the 
most jiopular .ind |>lca«ing account which hat been given of the ayatem 
of the German Philosopher : but after all, it will be better to take his 
own (Utemcnt, though somewhat ' harsh and crabbed ' as the most 
tangible, authentic, and satisfactory. 

'The following,' tityti his Lfaiidator Willicli, 'are the clcnieots of 
his Critique of fturt Rtmon, the first of Kant's (yilcmatica) works, 
and the moti rcmarkiiblc for pofbund reasoning aad tiw striking 
tlluatraiions, witli which it throughout abounds. 

* We are in poftession of certain notions a priori • which are 
absolutely independent of all experience, although the objects of 

' Thii, If ihr tMMlilion ii CRmct, i« ptflviof a gttit ifral marc tliao Leibniu't 
rMlrklsoD of Lockr't iiuctrinc rcquicei, anil i), ■> ri ippcat* [o me, (he |nst 
XumblinK bloclc in Kani'* Pfailoiuphy. I( ii quite enough id thew, no) that ibctc 
tfc ctitaio ODtioiM li pniri oi inilcptnrlrat of icnuiian, bat cemla hnlilcs 
iodepciulent of the stnie* or KDtibk oljetti, nhich nrc the intell«t iUclf, anil 
ncemity, after Uic objrcti ne given, lo forin '.liai at ihem. Thsit tt to sty, 
tiittt air the rtaull uf tlw adioa of obiKlt on iu<h *aJ lucb ftcultio of iKc 

mini). fCint't aeiJoni i pmn, aMsn little better ihsn ific innsie iritsi of ijie 
(AS 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 

experwocc corrcspood with them, and wbich ir« dwtingBitbed by 

□ccctnitjr, and Mrict snircnaiity. To ihc«c are opposed empirical 

BOOODi, or «uch as arc only possible a feutrriori, thai ik through 

eipvriiace. Beiidct th«M, we have certain notions, with which no 

objecta of cxpcncocc erer correspond, which rise above the world of 

■BMe. and whkh wc consider ai the most lublime, such as God, 

Ebeny, immortality. There is always suppoeed in every empirical 

Mcioo, or impreasion of external objects, a pure perception apriorif 

a&rm of the sensitive faculty, 1^'ic. space and iin>e. This form lust 

rcsdcn every actual appearance of objects possible. By the sensitive 

bodiy we are able to form perceptions; by the undcrsunding we 

font general idns. By tbe senndve faculty we experience imprcsnoni, 

ud objects arc given to us ; by the uiuieruandinf; we brinj; reprcsmta- 

Mo* m these objecta before us : we think of them. Perception* and 

jmoal idcaa are (he elcmenu of all oci knowledge. Without the 

MMitive ticnlty, no object could be given (proposed to) us ; vithout 

tke tutdetstaBdjng none would be thought of by lu. Thetc two powers 

seically dt>eii>a from one another ; but neither of the two without 

tbefltber eao pfoduce a «Mioii. In order to obtain a dicrinci notion 

rfuy oac thing, wc must pic«cnt to our general ideas objecta in 

ptmpion, and reduce our perceptions to, or connect them with, 

tine general iileas. At the sensittv* faculty has its determined 

^ttvt, so has our undrritsodiog likewise forms a prim, Thcw may 

W fropetly termed mttgorlrt; they xre pure ideas of the under- 

■swdiog, which relate, a priori, to the objccu of perception in 

Sneral. The objects of experience, therefore, aic in no other way 

ftnble; they can in no other way be thought of by u«, tml their 

mkiplied diversity can only be reduced to one act of judgment, or 

to oite act of coosciowsaess, by meant of these categories of sense. 

HcDcc, tbe categories have objective reality. They are either 

utegorieaof 

I. QMnM/, as unity, number, totality ; or, 

1. Of Quaitjf, as reality, ne]|;aiioni limitation i or, 

}. Of fie/atien, an (ubcunce and accident, cause and eHect ; or, 

4. Of AfatiaJitjf, as possibility and impossibility, rxistcnce and 

aos-exiiteocc, necessity and contingency. 

' Tbe jadgroent is the capacity of applying the general ideas of the 

•chMl^ Of tbe PUiosk i|ka« or forms, whidi m I* nw the forms of iMti/*|. 
Tkc nIcbJ nmplc qBcttion i*, wlKtW ihttr alt not Certain inUlktliul facuUxi 
iaCBCt (ntn the ttsttrt, vhicii tun ailort lay I'irii cut be forniC'i, ,1 it !• not 
dsaisil hf 1*7 Ml«, itiit there art <eHM\n *eaiili» (■cultUs which muM eaist 
bt<s«t my NSMttotii can be Teceina. The one (uppmilian no tnwt implits 
: Ua»f dun tbe otbci im^ies innate (ensiiMnk 

169 



MADAME D£ STALL'S ACCOUNT OF 

undcrtunding to the information of cxpniracc. The object* of 
rxpcricncr .-ltp reguLaied accordiog to theie idcai ; and not^ w/ veriA^ 
<nr idea* accotdiog to tbe object*.' 

Sttcli i* the outline of thii author's Mcouot of tbc intellect, whidif 
aiter all, sppeari lo be rather dogmaiica] than demonttrative. He it 
much more intent on nitiag u exteosivc ood nugnificent fabriC) than 
on laying the foundationi. Bach [wrt doet not rest upoo iu owa 
separate basil, but, like the worknianship of tome lofty arch, is 
•apported sad rivetted to il< place by the weight sod regular boUncc 
ot the whole. Rant doci not appear to iFoublc himself abont the 
evideocc of any particular propotinon, but to rely on the conformity 
and mutual corretpondcnce of the didcrent parts of his general 
Byotein, and its sufficiency, if admitted* to explain all the phenomena 
of the human intellect with consittency aod accuracy; — in the same 
manner an the decyphrrer infer* that he has foond the true key of the 
hieroglyphic haod-wriiiog, when he is able to lolve every difficulty 
by tL However profound and comprehensive we may allow the 
news of human nature unfolded by this philosopher to be, his method 
is oeccsMrily defective in Bimplicity, clcarneso, and force. His 
reasoning ii seldom any thing more than a detailed, paraphrsMd 
explanatioD of his arif>inal siitement, iottead of being (what it ought 
to Dc) an appeal to known faciSi or a deduction from ackoowlcd^cd 
principles, or a detection of the inconsiitendei of other writers. 
The extreme involution and technicality of hi< style proceed irom 
the same source ; diat is, from the occestity of adapting a codtch- 
lional Iangu;<.ge to the anifictal and arbitrary arrangemrm of hts ideas. 
The whole of Kant's syKlem it evidently an elaborate antithesis or 
CDntradictioo to the modern philoaophy, and yet it is by no means a 
real approximation to nopulat opinion. Its chief object is to oppose 
certain fundamenul pnoeipie* to the tmfmital or mechanical philo- 
sophy, and it cither rejects or explains away the more commoa and 
established notions, except so far at they coincide with the ri^id theory 
of the iiutlior. He seta out with a preconceived hypothesis ; and all 
other facts and opinions aie made to bend to a predomtoaot purpose. 

The founder of ilic traiucmJnUal philosophy vcrv properly iossta 
on the distinction between the i.eniiitive and the intellectual faculties, 
and makes this division the ground-woik of bis entire system. He 
considers the joint operation of these differcnc powers as necesMry to 
all our knowledge, and eoumeratn with Bcrupuloni formality the 
dilFerent ideat which originate in this connplex progress, and poiaU 
out the share which each has in each. The author conceives of 
certain general ideas, as tattianct and aeddtm, cause and tficr^ 
letalily, numier, piaatiJy, relaltcn, pouHiSty, neetjtitj, etc. as puK 
170 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 



idfiu of tbc nndcniaodioK ; and he clauci ifati and timt as primary 
famu of the senKiUTe facility.^ All tbii may be rery true; but the 
proof nay alto be re^jutied, and it ii not given. Yet tnodern m«ti- 
phyiiciana are not likelyi either » iccptical iii<iiiirert after truth, or 
ai loreti of abetniie puadoxet, to be satiilied with the bare 
auumption of a eoniinon prejudice. They will uy, either that al) 
thc«e ideas have no real existence in the nund, that ihcy arc mere 
aburact ternu which owe their force and validity to the mechanicm 
ef langiiaje ; or adraitting their existence in the mind, they will 
cootcMl with Lockci that they are only general* reilcx, and com- 
potoid idea«, originally derived from acnsatioD. ■ Whence do all the 
ideu and operations of the mind proceed i ' From txfieritnte, it the 
■cwcr gircQ by the modcro philosophy — Fram enptritnte iutJftvm 
At wdtr/iimJhig, h the aniwer gi»en by Kant- The former solution 
haa the advaoiage of limpliciiy; and xlic logical proof is wanting to 
the latter. To compare grave things with gay, the i^iplay wluch 
thii celebrated philofopher makes of hii catcgoriei. hit (ormt of the 
■entiUTe foctilty, ha pure ideai, and i tSnorj principles, somewhat 
resemble* tbc method taken by Sir bpicurc Mammon in 7"^ 
jtlcfymut to persuade his iceptical friend that he it about to diicoTcr 
the philotopher's stone by overpowering his imagination with the 
description of the fine thing* he will do when he has it: — 'And all 
this I will do with the stone.* ' But will all this give you itir 
BtoDei' nyt Pcrtinax Surly, who 'will not believe antiquity' any 
OM>rc than our modem sceptics. 

I think, that the truth may be got at much more limply, and 
without alt ihii parade of words. The buainets of the mind ii 
twofold — to receive impressioni and to perceive their rcUtioDt; 
vitbotit which there can be no ideav. Now the first of these is the 
Df&ce of the erntet, and it the only origiiial function of the mind, 
according to the prevailing system. The tecond it properly the 
office of the undcrtianding, and in that, the nature or exiticncc of 
«rhich is the great point in debate between the conirndiog parties. 

* Nmr K»M, by |]i«a ttaating, m ht tpputatiy iloca, tbr rcptcttntaliont of 
apacE tnd time »* ionat ol th< Koiilive faculty, thfom up lb* whole aigumcci ; 
'Fat if lh«M very <«npUi {not lo iiy Witt met «•!) i'lnt.oa bt rtfccted to mctc 
•Buatiao, I rfA QM tet why ill the tot mty n«t. Time it obvioiuly m iJn at 
•Bcccuion or mtinory, and nnnot be the retult of an immediaif lenaible imprri- 
■M*. The only power of Ihr aeiuiiive faculty u to receive bliiKl, unconiclimt, 
MMConnectcil impfritionii ihe only ciietoiy of the undeiilati'linf ii lo pcttcive 
the rfXttMBi ittmta tika im^iann, to *a to (tinacit them (otiKioutiy tocdber, 
«■ W farm jitcii. Tcr tbi* nttnvy ot tcUliCDi ill the other poeia] calt(nri(l of 
^•uitii;, istaliiy, oaar anil finet, et«. ai byII at the iHcat of iface and time, ite 
■wests rJy (oa>«^Mnt aikl nbotiluMlc. 

171 



MADAME DE STALL'S ACCOUNT OF 

The nior« complex and rHintd cmrationt of thi« faculty, rach •• 
judging* icMoniDg, abatraction, willing, etc. are cither totally denied, 
or » belt [cmIvkI into limple idea* of leontion by modern meta- 
physical writer*. I know of no btcter vty, therefore, to eMaUMt 
the contrary hypothcsit than to t&tc these timpic ideas of the 
modern*, ind iihew that they contxin the Hame necntary principlei of 
the under (landing, the taitie operaliotM of judging, comparing, di$- 
tinguisliing, abnracting, which they discard with to much pcofound 
contempt, or treat ai accidental and artificial reiuka of some higher 
fsculty. If it can l« proved thnt the unriertunding, in the ttrict and 
cxcluiivc scnee, is Dcccsssry to our baling any idm whatcrcr,^that 
the rery terms arc synnnymous and inseparable— that in the liru 
original oonception of the dimplest object of aitore there it iinplted 
the some principle, a power of perceiving the rcUtioM of difTcrcnt 
things, which is only exerted in a more pcifcct and comprehensive 
manner :n the most complex and difficult prooenes of the human 
iotcllect, one would think that there must be an end of the qucffioa. 

Am EmOUSM METArKTSKUM. 



THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED 

Tir A<«rtnjr CirotiV/t.] {Martk ), ttu- 

'Far men to lia>« rt<«unc ta nttletiu in nising diiK<ultK«, lUii cIkb to 
COmpUin that (tiry diouH be ttkto off by minotcly cxtmininf thet« lubtlctirt, Is 
■ itninfc kinil at procceJing.' 

I CAMNOT better explain the modcra theoiy of the tuidentUMliBg 
(which it will be the object of this letter to canstdcr) than m the 
words of one of the Sert and ablest commentators of ih« school, 
Mr. Hornc Tooke. 

'The bu)inc»B of the mind,' he says 'appears lo mc to be very 
Rimple. It extendi no farther than to receive impmtions, that is^ 
to nave senutiorw or feelings. What are called it* operations an 
merely the operations of langUBKc. The greatest part of Mr. Locked 
Essay, that is, all which relates to what he calls ibe na^aiiti 
aitlraetioitf eowf/exity, gtatrafiZiilicn, rrlalioH, etc. of ideas, doei 
indeed merely concern langaagc. If he had been sooner aware of the 
inseparable connection between words and knowledge, he would not 
hnve talked of the corapoiicion of id»t, but would have seen that the 
only composition was in the terms, and cooKCiucnily, that it was as 
imptoper to talk of a complex idea as of a complex star ! I will 
venture to lay that it it an eaiy matter, upon Mr. Locke'* own 
prin^iiplcf and a physical comidcriiuon of the >cnsc« and the mind, to 

172 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 



prove th« iffl|)0«»ibility of (he compoiitioo of td«u, and ihu they arc 
not idcat, but mcrdy trrmid which iirc general and abetraa.'^ 
DivmionB of Purfcy, Vol. i. p. j^*. 51. Ac' 

Now ihU it rery explicit, and, I iUa conceive, very logical. For 

1 un mdy lu giant (bat ' Mr. Locke'* own principles anil a phyacal 

anxideratiOD of the mind ' do lead to the coociiuions here suted | 

nd it i« on that accaum that I shall attempt to shew that thoae 

pnacifdes and the con.fideraTioit u) the mindi aa a physical thing, are 

in thcmscivrs abwrd. ThcK* writers lalciDg up the priociple, thai u 

have aensotioDi or feeling! was the only realfacalty of the mind, and 

perceiving that the having aeoaationa rocrcly wan a ditTerent thing Iron) 

having an idea or conadouRneM of ihrir relatione ( inasmuch as do 

•nuaiion as such can include a knowledge of or reference to any 

other] have ioiencd very rationally that all the operationoof the mind 

finoded on a principle of general conacioiutnctit or common undcr- 

aaoding, vra. ftn^imJing, C9mparit\g, i£jcfmmg,/iu^if^, rtaiotm^, etc. 

vnc excluded fiom tlicir pbvucal theory of aenaatiga, aad must be 

l efe rrtd 10 tomt trick or acception of titc mind, the ineclianinn of 

bnguagc or babitiul auociation of ideas. Accoiding to this theory, 

Widcs the eetuible imprcseioos of indindual objects, and their disttsct 

tntcs left in the memory-— the rest is merely wordH. Id tupjxMtng 

thit «v combine thene difTerent impressions together, that wc compwe 

^ilttcat objects, that we reason upon them, it seems wc only deceive 

Mntlvc*! and miatake ■ rapid and nveclwuitcal transitiun from one idea 

to tBotber for the actual perception of the relations between them. 

Tbus have these philosophers sacriiiccd all the luiowo fact* and 

wnsciova opcraiioos of the mind to a literal deduction from a gross 

mbal fallacy. For what are tlieie single objects or individual ideas, 

of which the seascs arc competent to uke cosnizdocc, and beyond 

whidi the understaading can never advance a sieji^ Heither more 

M( Itu than complex and genertl ideat, which imply »ll the same 

'""tttfTltl' itDpossiDilities of comparing, judging, dtatiagaisbinj, ftc. 

*•»• of perceiving a number of divcrsijicd rclaiion&, of connecting the 

IS4NV into the oNf, which arc objected to tlie more deliberate and 

fcrcial MU of ttoderstMMJing and reason. The mind, say they, can 

ptrceive bat one idea at a time, that is, it may perceive a square or 

a tiiansle, but it cannot compare them together, or perceive their 

propO(tioo«, because to do this, it mutt attend to difTercni ideas at 

ODGc. Yet what is this iadividual idea of a square, for instance, but 

aa idcB of given lines, their direction, equality, cooncctioo, &c. all 

■ Set to ihr tttnc puipow Hobbet'i Humin Nature, p. :f, ind Levuthin, f. 
14. Birkrlaj'i PriiKipIc* of llumin Kno«kil|F, p. i; nntl 14. Kunies 
Trtatae, p. «(>. KclvttUi on tlu Min>l, p. 10, and Camlillac'i Logic, p> $4. 

»7S 



MADAME DE STAELS ACCOUNT OF 

which muit be combined logeihct in the mind, before ii can pouibly 
form any idea of th« object i Mr, Tooke uy*, the camplcxiti^ is in 
the trtni. I should my, the indiridaality ia in the ictrn, that ia, b 
the applicttiua of one name to a collective idea, which laperficiil 
reawnera, at once the *lave> of idle paradox and vulgar pfejudtce, 
hare therefore imagined to be one thiD|;. The whole error of thii 
syttem h^ indeed, ariiieQ from coniidering ideaa cheimelTca, or thotc 
particular objecti, which are marked by a itngle name, or ilrike ai 
once, and in a mafts, upon the icnKt, m timple things. But tbcfc » 
no one of these particular idni, ai ibey are called, which it not an 
3g);Teg:tte of many Uiingt, or that can lubaitt for a momeni but in ilie 
understanding. By deiuoying the compoiitioo of idcaa, alt idea> at 
well is all comhinanoQi of ideas, would be completely and for crer 
b;iniiihed from the mind : which would be left a mere tabula raia, 3 
blank, indeed, or would at all timei ftiictly resemble what Mr. Locke 
deacribct it to be in its original nace, ' a dark cloict with a little 
glimmering of light let in through the loop-holee of the seniCB.' 

Writer*! io geoeral, who have maintained the existence of <l 
distinct (acuity betides the aenscs, have applied themaelres to shew 
that, beside* particular ideat or objects, it was necesiary to admit the 
underotanding to explain the perception of the relations between them. 
My purpose in lo nhcw that the umc perception of reblion, the (ame 
undcistanding is implied in the very ideas or objects thcmiekes. To 
hare aeniationa Li not to compare them, that ii, Kauiion and under- 
BCanding arc not the tame tliing4 To hare ideas, it is ncccisary to 
compare our leniations, that ii, ideas and uodertiandiog are the tame 
thing. 

I can concei»c then of a being endued with the power of scontion, 
so as to receive the direct imprestioDs of outward objecit, and alao 
with memory, <o as to retain them for any length of tiitte, lu they 
were scTcraily and uocoaaeciedly presented, yet without any signs of 
underecanding. The state of such a being would be that of animal 
life, aivd Komething more (with the additiofi of memory), but it would 
not amount coioullecU As this diatinccion i* rather diffictdc to be 
explained, I hope 1 may be allowed to cxpreu it in any way I can. 
and without Bscrilicing to the graces. Suppose a number of animat- 
cuIki ai a heap of niitev in a rotten checK. lying at cUwc togetbci as 
they possibly can (though the example should be of sometbiog more 
■drossy and divisible' of something lest reasonable, approaching 
nearer to pure seatation thin we can conceive of any creature that 
exercises the fiincitioni of the meaneat inttioct). No one will contend 
that in chii heap of living matter there is any idea or intimatiOD of the 
number, pontion, or intricate involution ot that little, lively* restless 

»74 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 



tribe. Tbia idea if cTidcDily not conuioed in any of the pans 
aepmtel)'( nor it it conciincd id all of them put togctiMi. That ia, 
the aggregstr of nuny actual Mrnutionti ii, Wf hvit plainly lee, a 
tiMall]^ dinerent thing ftom the collective idea, comprehension or con- 
tcioiuaeu of thoic lenutions, at cunnccted together ioto one whole, 
or oTray of their relatioDn to each othei. We maygooo nuliiplying 
icoutione to the end of time, without ever advancing one txep in the 
other proceu, or producioe a tingle thought. Bui in wb^t, 1 would 
ailt, doc> rh'u tupposiiion difcr from thai of many diitincc paniclcaof 
■attcr, full of aninutiun, tumbling about, and prctiing againtt each 
otbcri in tltc tame brain, except tliat we make uic of thi^ braiD at a 
commati medium to unite their dilfereni de«ultory action* in the same 

Sneral principle of thought or conKiousneu — that it, undemanding '. 
r, if this comp>tri«oo should be thought not coutlty enough, let a» 
imagioc one of Mrs. Salmon's iiiU faced, comely wax-ligures, titling 
in iu chair of iiate, to be suddenly endued with life and physical 
Mganiucion but nothing more. Such an unaccountable /uw itatvrd 
vould answer exactly to the theory of modem mccjifhysiciani, or 
VOttfcl be capable of receiving feelingt or inipreuioni by iit dilferent 
ergaas, but would be totally void of any rcHection upon them. It 
■Oud be oaly a bloated mast DFlinleM sensation, a tordid compound 
of proud flesh and irritable humours, a mere animal existence, a liring 
MiQcnation, crawling ill over u-ith morbid feelings, but without (he 
nj of undcDtondinj:. or any knowledge of itaelf or of the thing* 
larouod, incapable of comtstency of character or purpose, of forenght, 
deliberation, tympathy, and of all that dittingiuibes human reaton or 
dignifirs huroan nature! 

Besides actual, sensible impressions. I suppose that there it a 
common principle of ihoughi, a superintending faculty, which alone 
ptrccires the rclaitons of chingi ana enables us to comprehend their 
eoimectionf, fotmi. and masses. This faculty is properly the under^ 
■anding, and it is by meant of this faculty that man indeed become) 
a reasonable losl. Without this surrounding and iotming power, we 
coold never conceive the idea of any one object, at of a tabic or a 
chair, a blade of griM or a grain of sand. Everyone of these includes 
* ceroio configuration, hardocM, colour, ti^e, &c. i.f. imprctiions of 
QC thtogs, receired by difTeient sentei. which must be put 
er by Uie underttaoding before they can be referred to any 
ticular object, or coniidered as one idea. Without this Acuity, all 
><nu idcat would be necessarily dccompoKd, and crumbled down into 
their original elements and lluxioaal parts. We could assuredly in 
itliis case never connect the dilTcrent links in a chain of reasoning 
ther, for the rcry links of which this chain must consiit would be 

'75 



MADAME DE STALL'S ACCOUNT OF 

ground to powder. Wc coald nchbcr form asy cMapaiiiDo bc t wecB 
our ideas, oot have any ideas to compatr. There wowld be so infinkc 
divUibility id the impreuioos of the mind, ai well u in the poru of 
m«tctial objects, hach separate ini|)ieMion muit remain abitolutcl; 
simple and ditiinci, unknown to and unconecioiu of ttie rest, shut up 
in the oarrow cell of hs own indiridualiiy. No two of ihew atonuc 
imprtMioiia could ever club together to form ereo a seanblc poisti 
much leu should we be able to arrive at any of the larger mauet or 
nominal detcripiions of ihingi. The mod that Eensation could poeiiblj 
do Tor us would be to turoiah the mind with ideal of wine of tbofc 
which Mr. Locke calls the simple qualities of objects, as of colour or 
pressure, though not as a gcnnal notion or difHited ffelingt for it it 
certain that no one impremon could ever contain more than the tin^ 
of a single ny of light, or the puncture of a ainglr particle of nutter< 
Perhaps we might in Ihtt way be nipposed to poMrss an infinite 
number of microscopic imprefsioDs and fractions of tdeu, but there 
being notiiing to arrange ut bind tliem together, the whole would 
pretent only a disjointed mau of blind, unconscious conlutioo. All 
nature, ail objectc, all pans of sll objects, wo«ld be equally * without 
form and void.' The mind alone u formaiivt, to u»c the expresiion of 
Kant ; or it is that which by its pervading and elanic energy unfolds 
and expands our ideas, that gives order and connstency to them, that 
assigns to every part its proper place, and fixes it there, and that 
frames the idea of the whole. Or in other words, it is the under- 
standing alone that perceives relation, bnt erery obieei is made up of 
a bundle of relations. In short, there i* nu object or idn which 
does not consist of a number uf parti atranged in n certain mnuwr, 
but of this arrangement the jMrts themselveK cannot be seoiible. To 
make each part conscioui of its relation to all the rest is to suppoar on 
ittiinitc number of intellects instead of ane ; and to aay that a know- 
ledge or perception of each part separately loithetit a reference to the 
test can produce a conception of the whole, it a contradiction in 
terms. 

Ideas then are the offinuing of the understanding, not of the teosef. 
An idea ncccMsrily imolies, not only a number of diuinct positive 
imprcsnons, but tome oond of union between them, some uneroal 
conscious principle to which tliey are alike communicated, and which 
grasps, overlook*, and comprehends the whole. The idea fS a •^oarc, 
for example, is not the sune thing with the compound iropression 
made by the figtire on the senses. For the immediate impressioa of 
any one of the sides cannot, as a mere seosatioo, be accompanied 
with u additional knowledge or reflex ima^e of the remaining three 
sides, but is a perfectly distinct, physical thing ; neither can the 
.176 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 




Od all theie imptntiun* br accomfionicd with i' 
^^^^ ' mutual relation* to Mch othtr, i.r. with an idea 
itf without suppwing same gcncrat rcprucntJtJvc faculty* 
v> whicb ihne dJMiixrt impreiRionit arc refcfrcd. 

Othcrwbr, difffrcfit impfeuionn made on the «me organiicd W 

drat bciag would no more produce the sliKhtcat continuity of 

[ht or id«i of the tame object than dilTcrent phyatcsl inipretuona 

to dilTerent organized bctngt would pioduce an immediate 

iac« of tJic«c ditTcrcnt objects or of the rcUboat betvccn 

If to hxTC KDUtiont were the lame thing ai to compaie tbem, 

t&a diflereot peraon* nedng dilTerent object* might without any 

oommunicatioo make an exact cointMnKra bctwccD ihcm. If lo have 

the Kiiaibte impreuion of the dincrcnt pans of an object were the 

tune thing as to form art idea of it, then different perioos looking at 

tht two balmi of any object would be able to compouod an idea of 

the whole between ihem. though each of them was perfectly 

iiooiu of what wu pusing in the other's mind. Unleta we 

tOBK faculty of chit *on which opens 2 direct commonicalion 

our pctceptioni, to thai the ume thinkiog principle la at the 

lime cogniaani of dilTereni irapresuona, and of their relation), to 

other, it sccmt a thing impowiblc to conceive how any com- 

fatiwa can take place between dificteni: impcc«Biona cxiaiing at the 

■Be time, or between our past and present inipreuionc, or ever to 

txpUia what U meant by uyicg. ■ / perceive luch and toch objecu, 

/ Kneinber mch and toch evenie,' since these dilTcrcnt imprcMioos 

uc evidently referred to the same conscious bnng. which very idea 

fJ Bdivirdulity could ocver have been 10 much ai cooceiied of. if 

ilwt were 00 other connection between our perccirtions than thai 

vdicb arises from the juxuposiiion of the panicles of matter oit 

vfcicli they are aetually impreticd, or from * a phyucal conttdcration 

if the Knsct and the mind.' The mind in this cue coDfiisting of 

tcthing more than a auccession of material pointa, each part would 

tewDuble of the corresponding part of any object which might be 

•ii^)rcMed upon it, but could certainly knuw nuthing of the impreMiion 

vfcicli was made on any other part of the same organic tubttancer 

eicnt by its commtinication to the lame general principle of under- 

ttoaiDg. Idea* would cxtnt in the niiDO, like tapestry figures or 

pictom in a gallery, without a *pcctatoT. On thU hypothesis, I 

perfectly agree with Mr. Horite Tooke, that it would be aa abcurd 

lo taik of a complex idea as of a complex »tar ; for each imprcwioD 

or iciuation must be aa perfectly diatinct from, and unconncaed with 

the reu, ae the stars that compose a cootiellation. One idea or 

imprewtoti would have do more coaocciion with uny otlicr, clian if it 

TOuxi. :st 177 



MADAMJS DE STAfiL'S ACCOUNT OF 

werr parcel of xnuther intdlea, or BoiMcd ia t}>c rcgiofi of the 
moon.' 

It it Btnogc thai Mr. Locke sfaotild rtok •mong (imjilc idn* that 
of* number, wliich he dclitic* to be the idea of unity repeated. But 
how the imprcHfiion of succcssivr or ditttnci unitn ihould ever give 
the i<lea of rcpctitioo, unless the former insiiDCfs are borne in mind, 
I have Dot the Kligbtot coficeptt^tn. There mi];ht be an cndteo 
mntition from one unit to another, bai no addition nude or ideal 
aggregate formed. As well might we (up]XM<i that s body of an 
inch diametei, by shifting froin place to place, ma^ enlarge ita 
(Itmeftciont to a fool i>r a mile, a* that a aucceiiion of uoiti, percn*ed 
icparately, thoold produce the complex iAe» of multitude. On the 
mechanical hypotheus, the mind can receive or attend to but one 
imprcuion at a linie, and the idea of number would be too niighc]t 
for it. Though Mr. l.oebe comiantly «uppote« the mind to perceive 
relations, and cxplatoi iia coruition opmiioDS on this principle, there 
ia but one place in his work in which he sccma to have been upon 
the point of diccnveriog that ihit principle lies at the foondatioa of, 
and is absolutely ncccMoxy lo all our idcaa whaicrer. He •aysi ia 
the beginning of his chapter oo Power, which he claMcs amoog 
timple ideal, * I confess power ineludei in it tome Had ^ rrtalitB 
(a reiatioD lo action or change), at, indeed, which of our ideas, of 

' * LamIjt, (till iheit U tome arte jitinciple «« tutxtancc, abtoUtf ly liaofilf in iU 
n4tDre,aod itiitinct ftoni evtry csmpoailisn of nutlet, wbidi >( ibe Kit of itiAiight, 
the (Oul of niin,inii the banri of nur rxiiimcr, wilt ippear evidenl lo ibj oMEwbci 
coRsiilrri the nuiuir (■r}iiilciiirnc mil cnrnforiton i wBcre boih terma of tlx tarn, 
tnA bnlh brancliTt uf (lgr other mu*t be i^iprchmilriJ lotethtr, tn otdcr to deter- 
miiK btlwKcii ()icm. Lirl unc tnin be tvrr tu k-cII acquiicilFil witk Si. Pctcr'l *l 
Rome, anri anutlicc witli Si. Piul'i in Lan<ion, tbc]r ua ikkt ult whkb it ibc 
larger, tW hinrliomrr, or mikr any other cvmpitiKia bd'vttn the two baiI<ItD(< 
by virtut or Ihif htioH'lrijjf. Hut you will tiy, tbr one may communiciM hdi 
lcnai«lF.lge ta the othtr i but thro (hat 9lher hii the idea of botb before him in 
hit imicinaiiun, anil it ii from tliit ihil he rormi hit jii<lgmetil. Norittbci 
iliffrrtni nith reaped (o the paria of i percipient bcia),-: lei the i^nof to eleg' 
be impieiMil upon particle t, iiKl thai b( a mouac upon panicle b, they can i 
know either jainily or lepiiitely wtiith i> the Uifcr creature: nor can ■ 
■neut b> formeif till ihe Ueaa of both coinci.le ia one •ad the aaiiM •a4ivi'l«tL 
Tlut it the eamoion aente of miiihiad. For when we make uae «J the pronoun*, 
I. He, Yoo.&e. tnrt itv, I itarj tiuM a ttvi^t I itw mi it Ufit; tt fitt mi a 
irMut'ev t are not theie liifFrreo; impreationa atl referreri by mptiealtnn lo tht 
tame simple indiviiluii t Or irerr I to aiy, that in tookini at i <hn»<batrd fal 
Initance, one part of mc aaw the yillix* kint, anolher the black, analber the 
quKB, another the bitbop, ami lo niii ihoulii I nut be laui:lK<i at by every bcdy aa 
not k-riawinjf what 1 via lilkian about'' — Tuckcr'i Liitbt «f Nature pumed, 
chapltf' an the Iniiepcndent EniiCracc of Minil. S*e alio RoD*arau*a reaaonifig io 
Aatww ID HtlwtMt, Etnlk, teiD. j. And BeBtley** Scroioflt at the Boyle 
Lectnre. 
178 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 



iritttluiKlaocTcrfWhcDattcQtiTdycDRBidefcdtCtoo not? For our Idcan 

of extension, duration, and number, do thcjr not all contain in tbctn 

3 »Kret relation of the parti i Figure and motion hjive toniething 

tdatire io them much more viitbly ; and tensible aualitici, at colour* 

ud tmrlls, what arc they but the povcrt of oifTercni bodiea in 

rcUtioa 10 our perception f And if cootidered in the thtngi iheni- 

leltcs* do tbcy not depeiKl on the bulk, figure, texture, and motion 

of the pact* ? All which include lomc kind of relation in them. 

Our idea, therefore, of power, I think, may wdl have a place 

amoogst other iimple tdeu, and be coandered a* one of them, being 

ne oSf thote that make apcincipal ingredieni in our complex ideas of 

aces.' — Eiiajf on Human Undetsuading, toI. i. p, 2^4. 

at ia to (ay, in other word*, the idea of power, tkcu];h 

con^aedly complex, according lo Mr. Locke, a» dcpmding 00 

the changes we observe produced by one thing on another, it 10 

pui iior a ample idea, because it ha as good .1 right to ibia denomina- 

tiDO aa otber complex ideaa, which arc uiu;illy classed as simple oncti. 

Itii tfaut thai the incjuiring mind M;cmH 10 be always horeritig on the 

brink of truth : but timidity, or indolence, or prejudice, makes us 

tiviDi back, unwilling to trust oursclrci to the fathomlcM abyM. 

I have thus given the best account which it is io my power to 
pn of ibe ufKJervtandiog, as that conscious, comprehensive ptinetple, 
vkicb is the source not only of judgment and reasoning, but which 
» implied in ewry posuble idea of the mind, or conception e*en o( 
•tanble objects, i^very such object, it has been shewn, ii made up 
«f a nombcr of individual imprcMioim yet how ihcie perfectly 
tlnached, and desultory impretsiont shouid of ihemseUes contain 
or produce a knowledge of their relalioes to each other, of their 
<rder, oambcr, likcncs*, di»ancee, limit*. Sec. by which alone they 
cm be connecled into one whole — without being firtt communicated 
b ibc same cooscious principle of thought, to one ditfusiTe, and yet 
■If-ceaicTcd inicUcct, one undivided active spirit, co-extended witti 
ike objea. and yet errr present to itself, thm 

* T^rilli in each ncrvv, and lives along the Gne,' 

it b difficult (o imagine. There is no idea that it not evolved from 
tflf* coitKiaorancout power io the mind. The aairiiy which 3hake- 
ipeare ascribes to jfn// is not greater than that which is necessary 
production of the meanest thought. •Jove's lightening* more 
«*>n> 3]k1 sight -outrunning arc not ! ' 

An EmCLISM MlTArilYSICUM. 





THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED 
(ON ABSTRACTION) 

Tit Mwrnng OrtmitU.] {Afrilt, 1(147 

I AM aware that the long (tigr«MioTi oo the fftrmatioa of our ideu, 
with which I troubled you in my lut, will be looked upon 31 rbjipaody 
and extrivaeaccc by the strictest acci of thoae who ire called philo- 
KOpher*. Ihe underRanding has beni set aside by these iogetUMS 
pcfsoni as an awkward incunibnuice, since they coDcciTcd 11 practic- 
able to cirrv on the whole business of draught and reason by a 
succession otitulindual imaDcsaod scnuble points. The fine setwork 
of the mind, tbc inteltcctual cords that bind and bold our scattered 
pcrceptioos together, and form the tiling line of communication 
between them, are dissolved and vanish before the clear light of 
modern metaphysict, as the gossamer is dissipated by the ssd. Tbc 
adepts in this sysicni smile at the contradictions involred in tbc 
suppoution of perceiving tlic relations betvTcn different things, and 
tay that the common theory of the undct»tanding ie<ids to the 
ibntrdity that the mind may attend to iwu ideas at once, which is 
vntii them impossible. What 1 have endeavoured to establish, is, 
that if the mind cannci have more than one idea at a time, it can 
never have any, since all die ideas we know of coniist of more than 
one ; and though the conviction we have of attending to ditferent 
impressions at once, when we eomptrc, distinguish, judge, reason, &c. 
has been gratuitously resolved into a deception of the mind, miuaking 
a rapid succession of objecu for a joint conception of them, yet it 
will hardly be pretended that wr deceitx our»elies in tbinktog ve 
have any idenn at all. Whether the advocates for this faypothetti 
will sii down contented under the total disapatian of all thought, the 
utter pritsiion of all ideas, to which, by their own argumeots, they 
will have reduced themselves, it renialnii for them to determine. We 
have seen that Mr. Tookr reitolves the complexity of our Ideas into 
the complexity of the terms made use of. How a term can be 
complex, otherwifx: than from the complexity of its meaning' that 
is, of the ide^ attached to it, it by no means easy to understand. 
Other writers, to avoid the seeming contradiction of supposing the 
mind to divide its aiicniion between different objects, have suggceicd 
the insunt of its passing from one to the other as the true point of 
comparison between them ; or that the time when it had the idea of 
botJi together, was the time when it had an idea of neither. To 
such absurdities are ingenious men driven by setting up argument 
a^inst fact, and denyng the most obvious truths for which they 
180 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 

eauiot account, like the *ophU( who denied the cximencc of motion, 
btcaiMc he could not undcntand its nature. Ii might pcrhapi be 
deemed X Rifficicni aatwer lo tho» who buitd ByBt«ini lod lay down 
tearord propositions on the principle itiut the mind ciin comprclicnd 
but ooe idex at a tinK, to say that they CDnac<]ueatl]r can have no 
neaainjr in what th«y writf, lince when thvy heffin a leniencF, they 
caonot have the lent idea what will be the end of it, and by tiic time 
they get ibne, miut totally forget the beginning. — * Peace to all 
fuch.'» 

Mr. Horac Tookc jiutly cofflplain* of the uDccrlainty, coofution, 
and laxity of Mr. Locke's reannin^ on the mbject of abnnct tdeit, 
though I cannot agm- with him that it it tht^refore * «-cry different ftoni 
(hat ioeompaiahlc authot's uiuaJ method of pcoctcdlog.' — Sec E*say 
on HoiriBii Undeistanding, vol. ii. p. i $, &c. 

I atn quite »t a toss to drtrrniiDe, from Mr. Locke's various 
axementi, whether he ically Buppo»cd the abstraction to be in the 
ideas, or nKrcIy ia tlic termi. There is none of this wavering and 
perpieziiy in the mbdi of his French commeni^itors, none of this 
Nspcioo of error) and aoxiou* de*ire to correct it ; no unforeseen 
cbJKtioni arise to itaggcr their natural confidence in themaclTcs ; it 
'» ill the same lig^t, ^ry, ielf-eom]>lai:eocy, not a cjieck is seen to 
•lily the clear sky of their philo»ophy, not a wrinkle disturbs the 
I and noiltog current of their thoughts. In the Logic of the 
rCoodtllac, that manual uf ihc modrTn Hciolim, the question of 
act ideas ia settled and cleared from all dilficultiet, past, present, 
ud to contc, with as little cxprncc of thought, lime, and trouble, as 
(MSnUe. The Abbe demcmtraies with ease. 

'But uihal in truth,' he nsks, ' is the reality which a general and 
tbxract ide« has in the mind ? It b nothing but a name ; or if it ia 
Vy thing more, it necesuttly ccaies lu be ^ilntract and general. If 
b thinking of a man in general I contemplate anything in this word, 
betides the mere denominaijon, it can only be by representing to 
nyielf sonie one man ; and a m.in can do more be a man tn the 
tfaitract in my mind than in nature. Abstract idcu are therefore 

[' Stttialt haa tha pincipic of ibr unity of lbou(hl aai< conicioiiinrM brcn cndar- 
',l)ul tvm Pr«f«Hor St'wmt, lh< gttif (himplon of the mlclUciuil ptiiUiophjr, 
ij rtJKts it, Mil lappoMt thai (he i>:>fa which the minil formi of >ny viiibto 
tfVSe ii odllling b«l a rapid aacceuion of lh« idea* a( the Mvctml parti. S«e his 
tnSMiai on Ifaia luhjeit mou ibty coitfoiEd in a work lately publiihcr!, entitled 
'An EaasT on ConKiooincu, by John Fcirn.'— Thia Esujr, in ipitc af the diMil- 
laaUfe at ifce mccbuiicil hypolhesla with which It ii cneumbere'l', ind the 
iM^ical obKuriiy «f the iiilc, eunlsiDa, I think, more c1c*c and original obaerva- 
I 011 the in<:liv:lti>t proeeian of ike human niind, than ant work publitbe-t ia 
ID the latt Afvf fesrt. 



r 



VS ACCOUNT OF 

only denofninatioDi. This confirmi what wt h&vc already drmoo- 
ttratcd, how ncconrjr wordi arc to ui ; for if wv had no jmcral 
term*, we ahouM havr no iburaci idca^i if w« bad no abttraet idcu, 
ve ohoold have neither genrra iK>r tpetiei ; and without genera a&d 
tpe('us, we conid rearoo upon nochitrg. To ipeak. to retton, to fixm 
gmeral and abttrnct idcat, arr (hen in fact the ume thing ; and thit 
truth, simple an it is, might pue lor a discovery. Certainly, men in 
general hate not even had ;i notion at'w' — Logic, p- ij'i- 

Now, in order to preTent the** gratr-ii and tfteut, and all rational 
idea* alonf; with themt from bcioj; prccipiuted into tbe emp^ abyn 
of wordi prepared Iot them by time philoraphcri, ii may tie proper 
to itk one <^untiun, vij. if we hate ro idea of genera and jfirifJ, or 
of what diKcrcoi ii\tag,a have in common or alike, that is, if the idea ti 
nothing but the name, how is it that we Icoow when to apply the 
■ame general name to dilf'efent particukftf which on iliia principle 
can bate notbin^ Icfi lo connect tbcm io the mind? For cxstopic, 
lake the words, a itihsit torn. Now, uy ihey. it is the letma whicb 
are general or common, but we hate no general or abstract idea 
correspoadioj; to cbem. But if we have no general ides of wikt, 
sor any K^^^tiJ ■''c^ of a /nrje, what hate we lc(i to guide aa in 
applying the phrase to any but the lim horse, any more than in 
appIyiQE ^c termt of an unknown tongue to their retpective objects.' 
In short, what in it that ' iruia the same common name into a capacity 
of tignifying many parti cubrt,* but that common nature or kind which 
ii conceited to belong to thetn ? CondiDac aaya, t^at without 
general tcrmi, there would be no general ideas ; it appeara to tne, 
that without general ideas there could be no general termi. I.ai^uage 
without this would be reduced to a heap of proper names, and we 
Bhoald be as completely at a Iom io clau any object generally frosn 
it* agreement with ottiers, or to say at tight, this i« a man, this it a 
horae, a« to know whether we *hould call the firu man wc accidcM- 
ally met in the street by ibc name of John or Tboraai. The tery 
existence of language is alone a lulFicient fioof of the power of 
akitrncuon in the human mind. 

Ii is so far from being true, according to ttic modem philoaopby, 
tliat we have neither complex nor general ideas, that, I think, it may 
be proved to a demomtiration that we have and can hare no othert- 
I naai premise, however, thai I do not bclicre it powble ever to 
atrive at general or abetract ideas by beginning in Mr. Locke's 
method with particular images. This faculty of abstraction it by 
most writers considered as a sort of artificial rcSnemcnt upon our 
other ideal, as an excrescence no ways contained in tbe common 
impression* of things, nor necessary to the common purposes of life ; 

163 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 



• 



!• by Mr. Loclte altogether dminl to be amoog the faculties of 
Ibrutei. It ii dctcnbcd si the orn:uncnt iind to]>-MJditioa of die mind 
6f tnas, which procecdiRj^ from ein)|ilc (cnutioiu upwards t* gtaduiLly 
tubliined into the ;tlMtract notions of things : — 



■ So from the root 
SpringB lighter the green inll:, from thence the teaves 
More airy, latt the bright Mmsummate flower.' 



On the contrary, 1 concei*e that nil our notion*, frotn Urn to bstt 
ue (Ki;ictJy •pcAing) gcoerai and .ibtlrocti aoi absolute or (Ktrtkidar i 
tnd that to have a perfccdy distinct idea of any one individual object or 
uacreie existence, either as to the |)aitt of which it is composed, or 
the differecKes belonging to it, or the circUTnitances connected with 
i;, vould require an unlimiietl power of comprchenMon in the human 
tnind, which is impossible. All particular things consist of, and even 
itid 10, aa infinite number of other things. Abstraction is therefore a 
acccisary cotuctfuencc of the limitation of the comprcheittivr faculty, 
ui mixes itieif, more or less, with every act of the undentanding, 
of «faue*vr kind, during erery tnomeot of tu existence. The same 
blbcy has led to the rejection of abstract and £caetal ideas which 
bt ltd to the rejection of complex ones, viz. that of stipposing 
lasiMe images to be perfectly simple or iodiridual things. But the 
tiwfa it, that there is no one idea of an indifidij.tl object which is 
mj tbkig more thjm a gettcral and imperfect notion of it : for as 
tbtrets so such idea which does not relate to a number of oon- 
plicitcd impteMtoos nod ihctr coooectlonsi to we can conceive the 
vbole of DO one object. Again, there is no idea of a particular 
polity of any object, which is perfectly simple and detiniie, but the 
resoll of a niunber of stmsiblc impressions of the sjune sort, classed 
ugccber by the mind uitder the abatract oolion of likeness, or of somc- 
ihii^ common between them, without sitending to their difference in 
Otfcer ie*f>ecU. 

This Ticn- of the subject it not, I ctrafess, very obTious at lirst 
aght, and requires strong and clear proof, but it also aduuts of it. 
The only way to defend our common sense against the sophisms of 
Ac noderos is to retort their own analytical diBlitictions upon 
than. 

In looking at any object, as at St, James's P«lac«, for example, it 
ia ukea for granted that the inipreuioii 1 have of it is a perfectly 
ditiiaci, precise, and definite idea, in which abstraction or generalin. 
tsoo baa no concern. Now it appear* to me an easy matter to shew 
t3ut this seiuil>te image of a particular building is itself but a raguc 
and confused noiioti, not one precise, individual impresiion, or any 

'83 







MADAME DE STAEL'S ACCOUNT OF 

number of imprcssionii diilinctJy perceived. For I would dcnaaad 

of any one who thinkn hii »rn»c> fumiab him with these infallibte and 

perfect images of thiaf;s, free from ail contrailictton and perplexity, 

wh&t ii the amount of the knowledge whicK he ha* of the object 

before hiiti ? For iniuncc, is the knowledge which he ha» that St. 

Jamct'i Palace it larger than the houies which are near it, owing to 

hit pcrcciTing, with a gUocc of the eye, all the briclca of which the 

front is compoied, or can he not tell that it contiunt a tiumbet of 

wioiJowK of ditfrrent niet, without diuinctly counting them? Let 

ui ereti luppotc thai he hat this exact Icoowlcdge, yet thii will not 

be eaou):h unless lie has alto a distinct perception of the number end 

lize of the panes of glasi in each window, and of every mark, itvn, 

or dent in each brick, otherwix, hi* idea of each of thete particulari 

will atill be gcDeial, and his most subnactial knowledge built oo 

ihadowi, that is, composed of a number ofparttfOr the parts of which 

he hat no knowledge. In the ume manner that 1 form an idea of 

Sl Jamci'B Palace, I caa form an idea of Pall-Mall, of the adjoioio}; 

ttreeci. of Westminster, and London, of Paris, of Prance, and 

England, and of the different ctttet and kingdoms of the world. At 

least, 1 do not sec the point of separation tn this progrcsnvc ecale of 

our ideas. May I not be able, in looking out of my window, to 

distinguish, 6rst, a certain object in the distance, then that it is a 

man, then that it is a person whom 1 know, and all this before I can 

distinguish his ponicular fcaturn ; and after I can distinguish tboac 

feature), what do I know or nee of them, except their general 

Form, expression, and effect i Little or nothing. Let any one, who 

is not an artist, or let any one who is, attempt to give an outline from 

memory of the features of hit most intimate friend, and he will feel 

the truth of this remark. Yet though he docs not know the exsct 

Turn of any one feature, he will infitancly, and without fail, rccopute 

the person the moment he meets him in the street, and that often, 

merely from catching a gttmp»c of tome part of hin dress or from 

peculiarity of motion, ihoujih he may be quite at a loss to define in 

what this peculiarity consists, or ic account for its imprenion on him. 

We may be said to have a particular knowledge of things, tn ptopor- 

tion to the number of parts which we disiinguiili in ihcra. But the 

real ultimate foundation of all our knowledge is and mutt be general, 

tiiat it, made up of niatoct, not of points, a mere coofused result of ■ 

number of iniprestions, not analysed by the mind, aiixe there it no 

object which docs not consist of an inlintte number of parts, and we 

have not an infinite Dumber of distinct ideas, answering to them. 

The knowledge of every finite being rest* in generals, and if we think 

to exclude all generality from our ideas of things, at implying a want 



L 



d^ 



GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 

of perfect trutli and cleamni, it will be impotsiUe for the mind to 
fbfinaa idn of any one ubjeci nrhau'ver. Lei any penon try the 
eiMfinicnt cf couDiio;; a Aocki of »hecp driven fatt by him, and he 
wJ ioon find his inu|;ination unable to keqi pace with the rapid 
■accession of object*, and hi> idea of a positive number ilide inia the 
geoerid noitoQ of multitude. But bccauK ibeie arc raore objMti 
pumg before him than he Ciin jKuaibly count, he will not, [hcTrfotc, 
UuBk that there arc nunc, nur will the word, _^uft, pteftcni to hii 
^Dd a mere name without any idea corrtspondin;; to it. Every act 
the atinitioo, every object we see or tbink of, often a proof of 
ilie nmc kind. 

These rentar ki will be fouod to contain the an«wcr to the commoo 
BgunKnc used on tfai* subject, that in thinking of a man in general, 
■c tnuK alwayf conceive of a man of a particular «zc and figure. 
Now if it be meam that when we pronounce the word man, we have 
nt^r no idea at all. or a diitinct and perfect one of an entire figure 
of a Baa witli all iti parti and proportioni, it would amount lo a 
kooviedge, which no icvlptor or painter ever had of any one 6gure 
it ttbicb be was the most thoraugh ma»tct, and which he had 
imiiKdiaTely before bim. Or if it be only meant that wc think of a 
panicalar height, which muit be a preciae, potitive, determinate 
xle*, eren thi* tuppoution may in the tame way be ahcwn to be 
Qcecdiogly fallacious, and an inversion of the natural order of our 
deas. For take any given height of a man, whether tall, short, or 
isiddtc-fizcd, and let that height be at visible as you please, yet the 
JCtoal height CO which it amounts must be made up of the length of 
thedi^erent pant, the head, the face, ibe neck, the body, limba, jic. 
all wtiich roufi be dittinctly «ddcd together by the mind, before the 
ma UNil which ibcy compote can be pretended to be a precise, 
drfnitt, individual idea. In the impresuon then of a given vitible 
object, wc have only a general idea of samething more or lea* 
eJOeodcd, and never of the precise length itself, for thii precise 
Jeogtb (as it it thought to be) is necesiarily composed of a number of 
■Dbordinatc lengths, too many and too minute to be tcpatately attended 
lo, or jointly conceived by the mind, and at last loses itself in the 
tttfinite dtvitibility of matter. What tort of abtoIiKe certainty can 
therefore be found in any ruch image or idea*, 1 cannot weit con- 
ceive : it seems to i»e like seeking for distinanesa in the dancing of 
inaecu in the evening son, or for fixedness and rest in the motion of 
lite i«a. All particulars are nothing but generals, more or less defined 
according to circiunsunces, bui never penectty so. 

Lastly, as the ideas of senftible objects can only be general notions, 
m> the ideas of seniibte qualities are properly abstract ideas of likenesi 

185 



ACCOUNT OF GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 

or of MTnmhinj cornmon brtwevn s number of •endble impr«MioM of 
Uic same clau or >on. Foi example, the idea I bave of ifac wbitc- 
neim of i marble statue u not the idea f>f a poioi, oor of any Dumber 
of points, with all their diiFereacei and circumiUnce*, but a rebtive 
idea of the colour of tJic whole statue. Now in artiriiif[ ac ihu 
general result, or in clasiing hi sensible imprcsnooi togeihci as of ibc 
same son or quality, the mind certainly is not conscious of erery stain 
in the coloni of the maiblei or streak thai may happen to vary it, or 
of it< shape or size, or of every difference of light and shade, aiiring 
from ine(]tia}ity of surface, &c. Yet if the idn falls any thing short 
of this minute and absolute knowledge, it can only be an itDpcrfect 
and abstract one. The idea of whiteness in the same object (or m a 
ftcniible (|t]aliiy) necessarily tmiplies the amc fovfei of aijrraetmg /rvm 
f^arlkularj in the mind, as the general idea of whiteness talcen from 
different objccis, from a white horse, a white cloud, a white wall, a 
white lily, or from all the other white objects 1 have ever Kt». 
The precise differences of form, size, and every other actual dr- 
cumEtaocc in ihcae panicular im^K^' ^'v '* ''"'(^ necesury to be 
attended to in forming the geoejal idea of whileneas, as the differ- 
ences of shape, size, and colour in every particle of the ttadu of 
white marble are lo the jtencral impreKsion of colour in ibe whole 
object. 

J will only add, that the mind has not been fairly denli with in this 
and other quetitons of (he same sort. The difliculiiee bclonginj; to 
the abitJTiction, complexity, general! ication, Sec. of oui ideas, it is, 
perhaps, impossible ever to clear up; but that Is no reason why we 
should discard these operatjons froin the hum^in mind, any nwre thaa 
we should deny the existence of motion, of extensioo, or of cttrre 
lines:, because we cannot explain them. Matter alone seems to bare 
the jirivilcfic of presenting dillicuhics and contradictionH at every torn, 
which pass cuxrent under the name c( /mu : but the moment any 
thing of this kind is observed in the understanding, all the petukuee 
of logician* is up in arms against it. The mind i> ni»dc the mark oa 
which thry vent all the moodh and figurci of their impertinence ; and 
metaphyricil troth has, in [his respect, fared like the milk-white hind, 
the emblem of pure faith, in Drydcn's iablc, which 'had oft been 
chased — 

With Scythian *haft*, and many winged noundt 
Aimed at her hfart, was often towed to fly, 
And doomed to death, though fated not t» die.* 

An Emcush MBtArHrsKUM. 



■86 



FINE ARTS— BRITISH INSTITUTION 



FINE ARTS. BRITISH INSTITUTION 

Tkk rxhitntion of thit ynt is, we think, upon the wfaok, tnrnior 

14 tbc one m two Uot cxbtbitiood ; fgr though the historJcai dcpart- 

nrat is ^uitc n mpcciablr filled, there ia not the nnr proportioo of 

pleasing rrpmratatioas of common life, and nstunl Mmtry. In 

•pitc o? certain cUwical prejudices, vrc thooJd be Mrry to «ce ibit 

vhich hu been tiie moot tucccwful wilk of the modern Enjilish 

•cfaool, neglected for the puritiit of prizc-medaU 2nd rpic manej, which 

W»lc well in the catalo^e. There h indeed n greater dilFerence 

bnwccn tn btMoricai picture, and a picture of an hittortcal lubjccl, 

dnn cTei) Mme eitiinmt painter* veem to h»«e imagined. But we 

■R, we confeM, 10 little refined in 6ur ta«te, u to preter 3 good 

Buttliaa of common nature to a bod imitation of the hixhcit* or 

rxbcr 10 an imitation of nothing, Msmj of the pictures exhibited by 

fnng artist* nt thin Intlitution, have ihewn a eapacity for correct and 

hapf dclincsiion of actual objecti and domritic incidents, perhapt 

mj inferior to the nuuer-piecet of the Dutch i^chool. from the use 

rf a (eu perfect vehicle, and the want of long practice, neadily and 

nfermly directed to the Kunc objccU But in the higher, and what 

■ ntber atTcctcdly called tlie epic «yle of art, — in giving the moTe- 

iimtt of the loftier and more violent paMions, thia country haji 

IKK 1 tingle painter to boa»i, who haa made cren a faint approach 

to the excellence of the great Italian paintera. We have indeed 

a good number of apeeimem of ihe clay-figure, the bonea and 

Ruuclea of the man, the anatooiical mcchaniam, the tegular pro- 

pCNiioiii meaaurcd by a two-fuot rule— large canraiaci covered with 

■tf figurei arranged in decent order, with tlie charactert and 

Hory correctly exprcMed by uplifted eyes or hands, accordioj; to 

old recdpt-booka for the psaaiona, and with all the bardneii and 

iidexibilitj of figure* carved in wood, and painted over in good 

imog body cotooffi, ihnt looli ni if tome of nature's journeymen 

Iwd made them, and not made tbcm well. But we itill want a 

Prmnctbeufi to give life to the curobrout tna», to throw an imellectua! 

light over the opaqne imafjc, to embody the inmott relinemcnts of 

thoujihc to the outward cjre, to lay bare the very loul of passion. 

Thai picture if of little comparative value, which can be completely 

tt^MtlaUd into another languaj;>e, of which the description in a common 

cmtogue is aa good, and conveys all that is expressed by the picture 

hjetf ; for it it the excellence of every art to give what can be given 

by BO other, in the same degree. Much lea* is that picture to be 

l%1 



FINE ARTS— BRITISH INSTITUTION 



C6tfcnied wbich only injurci and defaces the idea already exittiog i& 
die mlnd'a eye, which does Dot come up to the conceptiaa which 
the imiginatian formi of the Rihject, and *ubttitute« a dull reality for 
high KDtimcnt; foe the art i* u thii caie an incumbrance, t»t an 
auiatance, and intetferei with, iDilead of adding to, the nock of our 
pl(r.iiur;ibte •cnialiona. But we should be at a loai to point out (we 
will noi say any Gaglith picture, but certainly] any Hnglith painter, 
who in heroic and claiucal compoiruon, ius riKO to ihc height of hu 
subject, and aniwered the expectation of the well-informed •pectaior, 
or excited the same iinpre«*ioD by viiible meant at bad been excited by 
wiird»,or by reflection. Thai this infcrioriiy io Englishart is not owing 
to a deiiciency of genius, imagination, or passion, is proved suilicieotly 
by the works of our poet* and dramatic writers, which, in loflinest 
and force, arc ccnsinly not surpassed by those of any other natiop. 
But whatever may be the depth of intental thought and feeliog io the 
English character, it seemt to be m»rt iitlerna/, and (whether this it 
owing to climate, habit, or physical coniiUuiion ) to hare, compara- 
tively, a lets immediate and powerful cominuBicaiion with the orgaoic 
expression of passion, which exhibits the thoughts and feelings in the 
countenance, and furnishes matter for the historic muic of paintiag. 
The English artist is instantly sensible that the flutter, grimace, and 
extravagance of the French physiognomy, are incompatible with 
high history: and wc are at no lots to explain in this way, that it, 
from the ilcfcct of existing modclfi, why the producdona of tlic 
French school are marked with all the afectadon of national cari- 
cature, or link into tame and lifeless imitatioDi of the antique. M^ 
wc not account satisfactorily for the general defects of our own 
historic productions in a simiUr way, — from a certain isertnew and 
constitution u I phlegm, which does not habitually impress the workings 
of the mind by correspondent traces on the countciUQce, and which 
may also render us less sensible of these outward and visible signs of 
passion, eren when they are » imprcsted there i The irregolanty 
of ])roportion and want of symmetry in the itructare of the national 
features, though it certainly enhaaces the difliculty of infuBing oainral 
grace and grandeur into the works of art, rather accounts for our iwt 
having been ablcio ait^n the exquidie refinements of Grecian iculpturci 
than tor our not having rivalled the Italian painters in expreHion. 

The strongest exception to these general remarks in the present 
collection, is certainly Mr, BirJ'j PieUire of Jeh, surrounded by hit 
friends. Many of the heads and figures in ihia v«ry able com- 
poaition hare a strong and deeply infused Uocture of true history. 
The best of them arc in a mixed snie, which remind* us n the sune 
time of Annibal Caracci, and N. Pouasin. The three fioHt fignret 



I 



I 



FINE ARTS— BRITISH INSTITUTION 



sr« inxlotibccdly th(Mc of .lob, ind the nan ud wofnu trated on tnh 

■idc of him. The countcoancc of Job displajri a noble llrmncu wiih 

a mixture of nippreMed feeling, nut, perhap«, sutTiciently niirkcd for 

the character or lor the inleresi of the lubjcn. The full prey drapery 

which iiiTclopci hii witolc figure* has aa admirable elfcctt and lecmi 

in a maaner to ahrond bjm from the attacki of cxieinal miafortunc, in 

the cooKilatiORB of hit own mind. The action of the man on hit 

rigbt hand, pointing with hi* linger, and iadced the whole £k»ic, ue 

n^oally appropriate and ttriking. The posture of the man leaning on 

t nuuble ibb, is alio natural and pictureaque, though it hat too great 

to appearance of case and indificrcncc for the occMion. The 

drapery of thii lut figure it remarkably loose and flinuy, or what 

the piateT*, we beliere, call vroolfy. There are several other good 

in the picture ; but both the countenance and altitude of the 

I behind ibc messcngcrt and ihc face of the figure between Job and 

'Front figure tn red, are mean and vulgar — mere low life, without 

KBte or dignity. Theexprcatios in thccouDteoanceof themctKngcr* 

vbo comes to ioforni Job of the last calamiiy that haa befallen him, 

iioeliher intelligent nor beautiful ; and the whole of the figure, both 

by ill •itsatioo aod the <]uantrty of light thrown upon it, awn met a 

fmninence difptoporiioncd to iia importance, and throw* the real of 

dw compotidon into s kiod of half background. The story is 

Autrated (whether with ehronologic;il propriety or not we leave to 

Ibr crkica) by a group of figures Just behind the circle of Job and tiia 

fnttit, carrying off the dead body of one of hit children. The 

fftu faull of ihi* picture, which ditplayt much lenic, character, 

Mndy* and invencion, is the heavincuand monotony of the colour. It 

B cf ooe uniform leaden tone, a if it had been ameared over with 

putty, except where a ndden iiaoaitioin tn a glaring red or yeltow, or 

the introduction of a spotty light, not at all accounted for, serres, 

iMCead of relieving, to add greater weight to that mechanic gloom, 

which aiTecta, not the imagination, but the eye. We think It right to 

notice a defect which may be more easily remedied by attcniion, viz. 

tbat the cxiremhiea of Mr. Bird's figures are io general very ill made 

Ottl- 

Vb. Allcton's large picture of lie dead man rtMirJ le fjft ty ttiui- 
kg l&f boiui of Eliiha, deserves great praise both for the choice and 
origpDalirf of the subject, the judicious arrangement of the general 
flOOiKMBliotH aed the correct drawing and very great knowledge of 
the DDinan figure throughout. The figure of the revived toldiei in 
tbe foregTonnd is nobte and striking; the drapery about him is 
tt{va\iy well imagined and well executed. There is also a very 
beantinJ head of a young man in a blue drapery with his hands liitcd 

189 




FINE ARTS— BRITISH INSTITUTION 



togfthcr. and in the icc of »t«iuon lo another, who U poioting out 
the miracle, which haa mnch of Ow umpir dignity aod paihot a( 
Raphael. With revpeci to the jcnenil cqIout aad cxprcsiion of tbia 
piccurci wc thinlt ii hm coo much of the look of a French conipo- 
Bjtion. The facea are in the school of Le Bruo's heada — theoretical 
tliagramt uf the patatune — got natoral and profound cxprcMJooi of 
them ; forced and orerchnr^edi without prccidoa or nriety of 
character. The colouring, too, is without any nrongcK contnunt or 
general gradations, and ia half-loaed and balf-titited away, between 
reddish brown ilcah and wao-red drajtery, tilt all ciTcct, imioo, and 
relief, is lost. It would be unjun not to add, thai we think Mr. 
AlUton's picture denionatraic* great uleau, great profetmonal ac<iuir^ 
menu, ana eren genius ; but we suspect iliat he has paid too excluf ivc 
xn atcentian to the inviru mental and theoretical parts of hit art. The 
object of art is not merely to ditplay knowledge, but to gire pleaiurc. 

There i* a small picture of DumaSatJ^ii^t hy this geDiTemao, which 
we think equally admirable for the character and drawing. The 
koowiedge of the human tigure in thii pleating composition might be 
opposed with ;idvanugc to the utter ignorance of ic inaumc Muttdora 
iketchea, in which the limhn seem to hate been kneaded in paste, and 
are thrown together like a bundle of drapery. 

Ot Mr. HiJton'ii picture of Mary JUaj;JMcn amintirig th* fut of ftur 
Saviour, we bare little more to hay, than tliat the ligures are much 
larger than life, xni that, we undemand, it has been purchased by 
the Institution for ;oo guiocai. 

Mr. West's picture of I.M and bis Family is one of those highly 
jinished specimens of metalfor^ which too often proceed from the 
Pretidenc a hardware maDufaciory. Aa to the subject, we conceive 
it has been often enough treated in a country famed for ' pure religion 
breathing household lawn.' We da not mean to lay it down as x 
title, tbai the sublimity of the execution may noi redeem the defonnity 
uf the subjc-ci of a composition, aa there it a great and acknowledged 
difference k'twern Shakspe^tre and the Newgate Calendar ; but thii 
of Mi. West's is a mere furniture picture, and olTcis tw paUiadoa 
from the genius displayed by the artist. Having touched unawzte* oa 
this very delicate subject of the ethics of painting, weshidl just itoticCt 
that the jncturc of* Venus weeping over the dead body of Adooist' 
•eems to have been painted lout exfrtj, for the purpose of bdng 
bought up by some member of the Society for the Suppreasttin of Vice. 

Mr. Turner'* grand landscape of J^fitifSiu and jlpvi^ has om 
rtcommcndalion, which must always enhance the value of thia moK 
able artist's produciioai, that the composition is taken verbatint from 
Lord Egremont's picture of 'Jacob and Laban.' The bcauti^ 

tQO 



THE STAGE 



"irrmgefBcat ii Cbodc's; the powvrfal cxccndon it hit own. From 
thii ijKCimeii of parody, and ftorn hit nerer-cnough-to-be-admiml 
pknnc of ' Mercury and Htnc,' we could almoM wUh that this 
piwhiii III would slvays work in the tnmnKU ot' CUodr or N. 
PouMn. Ail tbc CUM md ill the iimgimiioo being borrowed, hit 
powtn of eye, band, sod memory, arc cqaaJ to aay thing. In 
gnmlf hit picturei arc i waste of marfaid ttrength. Thry giw 
fleumre only by the exceu of power triamphiRg over the barrcnocis 
of the nibject. The arttit driighu to go lack to the lirn chaotof 
the world, or to thai «taie when the watert were merely tepoxated 
from the dry knd, lod do creeping thin^ nor herb bearittg fruit wu 
•ten upoD the face oT the laoa. Tbc figurca in the prc«em picture 
4re execrable. Claude's are Aimty enough ; Ixit tkeie are impudent 
aod oborsiive vulgarity. The utter want of a capacity lo draw a 
diniiia outline wtu the force, tbc depth, the fulscw, and jureciuoa of 
dw anist's rye fur colour, ii truly attoruihing. There la only ooe 
ftn of the colouring of Mr. Tnmer't bodacane whJcfa did not pleaae 
ut: tt ia the blue of the water ncarcat the foregroucd) immedutely 
aArr the dark brown ihadaw of (be treea. 

Thepicture of the fjivvurife I.amt, bv Colliot, baa exauiate ImI- 
iog. The xroupc of childien luirounoiog the little nctiru, and 
arreating him in his progreat to the batcher*! cart, hai a degree of 
naaanl patho* and touching ttmdieity, which we have never aeeo 
nqnaaea tn aay pictttre of tbc kind. It may eaaily draw tears front 
eyva, at ail uacd to the rndting mood. 



» 



THE STAGE. 



Tig MmatMi Ckramtli] [FdrMrf 14, tSif. 

The Dunner in which Shakctpeare'i plays hare been generally 
altered, or rather mangled, by modern mcchaDisi&. n in our opinion a 
da igrace to the English Stage. The fatch-work RieharH which it 
acted oDder the tanction of hit oame, is a striking example of this 
rcnaik. The piay itself in undoubtcdlv one of the finest cffusiont of 
Sludievpeare's genius, tt is as truly Shaietpfdriitn — that in, it has as 
tMicb <n the auehor't mind, of paiaion, character, and interest, with as 
tittle alloy of the peculiarities of the age, 01 extraneous mailer, at 
almost any other of bit productioos. Wherever SbakeBpeare relied 
npn hiniMlf, and did not appeal to the taste of bit audience, he out- 
•cr^fied all competition, and this he did as often as he had a motive in 
bis subject 10 do so; he had oone ia bis vanity, or in theatfecution of 
coaiofBUDg to certain erilical rules. The winds blow ai they list ; and 

191 




THE STAGE 



the golden tide of passion no sooner rises in his breatt, ibu it twelli 
ind bean down every thing in iu mighty courte. 

The ground work of die ckuacier of Rie/rarJ^—thu mixture of 
intelicctui vigour with moral deprarity, in which Sbikcapeue 
delighted to shew his itrength, — gave hill scope aa well as tempiattoo 
to the exertion of hii genius. The character of his hero is almott 
ererywhcn: predominant, and marks its lurid track throughout. The 
original play ii, however, too long for repretenuiion. and there are 
some few scenei which might be better ipired than preferred and by 
omitting which, it would remain a complete whole. The only rule, 
iodctd, for altering Shakespeare, is to reaesch cetuin passages which 
may be considered cither as superfluous or obsolete, but not to add or 
transpose any thing. The arrangement and dcrelopcmeat of the 
story, and the mutual contrast and combinacioo of the ih-amat'u 
ftrtoHM, are in general as finely managed » the derelopement of the 
character* or the cxprcasiun of the pMion*. 

This rule ha» not been adhered to io the present instance. Some of 
the most important and striking paasages in the principal character 
have been omitted, to make room for tedious and misplaced extracts 
from othei plays ; the only intention of which seems to hare been, to 
make the character of RifharJ as odious and ditguiring u possible. 
A bugbear seems to have been always necessary to the l^nglith oatioDi 
and— ^vc them but this to vent their spleen upon — they will, either 
in matters of taste or opinion, * as tenderly be led by the nose aa a«se« 
are.' It it apparently for no other purpove than to make GloMttttr 
slab King Hinry on the itagCt that the nac abrupt introduction of this 
character in the opening of (he play is tost in the tedious whinniig 
morality of the uxorious King (uken fiom another play) ; — we say 
tediauii because it interrupu the busincis of the scene, and loact its 
beauty and etfect by having no intelligible connection with the 
previous character of the mild and well - meaning monarch. The 
passages which Mr. Wroughton has to recite are in themselves 
exijuisLtely pathetic, but they have nothing to do with the world that 
RickarJ has to ' biietle in." In the same spirit of vulgar caricature i( 
the Kene between R'uhard apd Laify Atuie (when his wift) — 
interpolated, merely to gratify this Favourite propensity to disgust and 
loathing. With the same perverse consistency, Rukard, after his lui 
fataJ struggle, is raided up by some Galvanic pioceos, to uUrr the 
imprecation, without any motive but pure malignity, which is so finely 
put into the mouth of Norlkumbtrlaii J on hearing of Prrty'i death. We 
hope that Mr. Kean, when he acta Matttth, will die aa Shakeapeare 
makes him, and not with four tines of canting [lenicence (a common* 
place against ambition) in his mouth. To make room for these need- 

1»> 



THE STAGE 

le» additioni aod iAterpoIatioD*. nuny of the mott nriktng puiagea in 
ifac real play hare been omined by ihr foppery and ignorance of the 
prompt' book critics. We do not meu lo intbi merely on pauagci 
whicb are fine ai [toetry and to the reader, tucb aa Ciarfti^/j dream, 
S[C> but ifaote which are imporum to the doclopemrot of the 
charaaer, and peculiarly adapted for mge elfeci. We give the 
fftUftwisg a* iaMaticet among many othen. 

Tbe firu is the icene where Ruhard cntcri abmptly to the Queen 
and her friendi, to defend himwlf : 

Emter GlovccsTIII. 

Gb. Tliey do me wrongi and I will not endun it, 
^Who arc lliej that complain umo the King, 
'Tbat I, fonootb, ara item, and love ilicm not t 

Bv holy Paul, they lot-c hit Grace but lightly, 

tnai nil hi* ran with luch ditKntiout luiDoun; 

BccauK I cannot llattrr, and look fair. 

Smile in mrn'i faces tnioalh, drrctve, and cog. 

Dock with French nodt and apith caurtny, 

I niuct be held a raneoroui enemy. 

Cannot a plain man live, aixl think no bann, 

Bui thus h» limple truth timtt be abuwd 

With (ilken. tij, intiouaiinK Jacki >. 
Grey. To nluun in all tnit pietence ipeakf your Grace * 
Gt», To thee, that ha>.i nor liooeiiy nor grace \ 

XVhcB km I injured thee > When done thee wrong? 

Or thee f or ibee > or any of your faction ' 

A plague upon you all ■ 

WhM can be more ebaractertitic than the turbulent preteniiom lo 
■nlDcn and timplicity Id thio addrni i 

Apis, the Tcraaiiliiy and adioitneai of RkbarJ it admirably 
dner^ed in the following ironical aniwer to Bnkeobury : — 

Bn^fHht^. I be««ch yout eracet both to pardon me, 
Rii Majerty hMh ttnutly given in charge, 
That so man ihall have private confcnnce. 
Of what degree wevrr, with joar brother. 

Git, E'en w, and please your wonhip, Brakcnbiiiyi 
You may partake of any ihinf; nc tay , 
We tpcak not reason, man— wc tay tnc Kinf 
I* wIk and vinuoui, and hit nobk VuMO 
Well etrook in ycart, lair, and Dot jmloua. 
We aay thai Shore 't wife hath a preiiy foota 
A chenj lip, a pavunz plea-'ing loogiie : 
Thar the Qtiem'i kindred are made gentle folkii. 
Wrrrr tajr yoii. Sir ^ Can ynu deny all this f 
roL. ai. : ii 19} 



THE STAGE 

Brai. With this, ni]F Lord, mywlf ham nought to do. 

GU. What, icUoir, nought to do with Mistrcn Shore } 
I tell you, Sir, hr ihil doth nou^ with h«r, 
Esifcpting one, were I>e»t to do it Kcretlj' aJion«. 

Brai. Wiiat one, my Lord ? 

Glf. H«r huKb«n(i, knave — wouldft thou bftray me * 

The feigned recondliation of Gtoucecter with the Queen'i ktnimea, 
it alto 3 maitcr-piccc. Ooc of the tincrt featurci in the play, and 
which tenet to shew, an much at any thing, the deep duplicity of 
Rutwd, is the unsuspecting security of ffatti^gs, at ihe very time 
when the icriner it plotting hii death. 

Perhaps the two most Iteiuliful pottage* in the originalt uc the 
ran-well apostrophe? of the Qiiten to the Towet, where her childrea are 
shut up nom her, and TyrrtTt description of their death. We wili 
lini«h our quotaiiona with them : — 

' Sgten. Stay, y« look back with mc. unto the Tower j 
Pity, you ancient itone*, ihotc tender habcs. 
Whom envy haih immiiml vrithin ynur walU i 
Kotigh craiHe for luch Hitlc preitv onet ; 
Rude, rugged mine, old lullen puyfellow. 
For Tender prince* ! ' 

The other passage i) the account of their death by Tjrref:—~ 

' Dighton and Forrwt, whom I did suborn 
To do thi» piwe of ruthlew butchery, 
Albeit they vfere Se»h'd villaint, bloody dogt, 
Wept like to children in their death'* ud (tory : 
O thu« ! <iuoth Dighton, Uy the j^enile babe* ; 
Thui, ihu*! 4UC11I1 Forretf, j^rdling one another. 
Within their innocent alabaster umn ( 
Tlieir lip* were four red ro*f* on a iilalk, 
And in that lunimer- beauty kiu'd each other; 
A book of pniyeni on their pilloT Uy, 
Whieh once, ciuotln Paneit, almost changed my mind, 
^ui Oh the Devil ! — there the vdlain rtopped 1 
Wlirn Dighton thun told on — we »mothered 
The iiiiiM irplcniihed tvrcct work of nature. 
Thai from tlir piiiiic creation ere Khe framed.* 

These arc thote wondeiful burnt of feeling, done to the very height 
of Dtture which our •Shakesgieare nionc could give. We do mm 
baiit on the repetition of these last passages as proper for the ttagc; 
wc should indeed Ik loth to tiuat them with almoit any actor ; but we 
«hou1d wish them to )>e retained, al least ta preference to the fantoccini 
exhibition ofthe young Princes, bandjring childish wit with their UDcle, 

«94 



FINE ARTS— THE LOUVRE 

Wr hafv taken the preient opportunity lo offer thcte rcmsrlct on the 
iKCCvitf of acting the pbys of our grot fiiin\, ir npirit and tubsuncCi 
ittiMid of bartnqtnng ibeni, because we think the stage has acquired 
io Mr. Kcan an actor capable of doing noguUr justice to many of hit 
fiont delioeationt of character. 



FINE ARTS— THE LOUVRE 

Ik Utrami Clftmlr] [M#rfil4, 1I14. 

•Ir Bliicher, if the CoMack», get to Pari*, — to PanB, the teat of 
Benipirte'i pride and inolence, — what mercy will they ihew to it, 
or why should they ihcw it any incicy ' Will they ipare tte 
jndow worki of art, to decorate the palace of a monster whom 
liny junly dete«? Will they treat the Thuilerics more tenderly 
tW the French Officer*, only fight months ago, openly thrc.iicncd 
U treat Berlin? tt Parit, Bonajxirte'K Paris, more tacred than 
Hotcow? or are the ilavet of the Cordcan more inriolahle than the 
hnn and mtooui ciltzeai of Hamburgh? No, no; the todignanl 
nrrior* will cry, — 

■' Ai»ay to Heav'n reiiicciive Lenity, 
Anil firc-ej'cd Fury be my conduct now." 

'Tliere is oo other mode by which the Paritians can disarm the 
nD|taf>ce which imw bo closely impends OTer iheni, than by dii- 
cjwinaji f^ *''" ^""^ whose crimei have been the joit cause of that 
■ngeaoce. Paris under che wbitc standard, returning to loyalty and 
nnni, may be spared by a generous conqueror ; — but Paris, identified 
vith Boupaite, most partake all the vindictive sentimetitB which are 
Vtiched 10 that haiciul name. 

[Tel some time ago this writer auured ut that if the l-'rench 
praple identified thenuelves with Bonaparte, they ought not to be 
•qaraied from hint.] 

' la what momentous times do we live ! Perhaps, the famoas city 
of which we speak may even dow be laid in ashesl Perhaps and 
ttore welcome be the omen, it may have returned to its allegiance, 
and proclaimed its naDie Sarcreign, and set a price on the head of 
that wicked rebel who still dares to call himself the Emperor of 
France.' — Hmtit Match 17. 

* Nay, if you mouth, I 'II rant as well as you * ' 

It i* a pity to spoil this morsel of Asiatic eloquence, so worthy of 
the subject and ihc leotimcBts ; but the evident meaning of it is, that 

'95 



FINE ARTS— THE LOUVBE 




ihe French mnn expecc to do peoaow in ssck-clotb and uhct, or 
eon«ent to put on the old iJTery jicketa, made up for them by oor 
srmy-agcnit long ago, nnd which hkvc unfortunaiely lain oq hand ctci 
jincc. If so, thcjr mu« needs be * jngcon-lirer'd, and lack gall.' 
Yet we hardly know what to aay to the chivalrouc and cliMical 
politiciani of the Stock Exchange. They are cot drircn to the 
extremity of Gothic rage bv the larikinc itivctrracyt acd old 
uniatislied grudge of the Pitt-Khool. Yet surely no piiiable 
enthusuit that 

• Scrawls 
Wth dnprmic charcoal on hU dukcn'd walli,' 

can be more incoriigible to rcasoo. They arc alwayt tctting out 
their w:iy to Pariii from Motcow, while the Pitt-school ■tudiotuly 
return to join Lord HawketbuiY in the year 1 793, or they think the 
whole ceremony incomplete ! The treaty of Piiniu doei not uud 
between our modern popular incendiariei a.nd theii Ju«t revenge I 
They live only in * iniB present igRorant time!' They ^ee the 
white ttandard a[ the Bouibons wavinj; over tlie wallo of Paris 
un(]Kiited with the blood of million* of rrenchmen ! They do not 
teera ever to hare known, or (with our poet-laurcat) they forget, that 
the 6anic atAndard to which our milky politicians adTttc the Fieoch 
people, lick of destruction, and panting for freedom, to fly for deliver- 
incc and repose, it that very wandard, which, for twenty yetn, 
horering round them, now seen like a cloudy tpeck to the dinaoce 
— now apreading out ita diooping liliet wide, hxi been the caase of 
that dettniction — hat robbed them at once of liberty and of repoie ! 

Moscow is, however, the watchword of the rencgado* of Tie 
Tinsft. It seem* to them juit titat Paria should be sacrificed to 
revenge the setting fire to Moscow by the Russian*, and that the 
RiODtuncntt of art in the Louvre ou^ht to be destroyed becaiue tikcy 
are Bonapartc'a. No ; they are oura as well as his ;— >they belong to 
the human race ; he cannot monopolize all genius and all art. But 
these madmen would, if they could, blot Uie Sun out of heaven, 
because it shines upon France. They verity' the old proverb, 
■Tell me your company, and I'll tell you your manners!' 
Tlicy, no more than their friends the Coaeacks, can |icTceivc any 
difference between the Kremlin and the Louvre. There !• ai least 
one difference, that the one may be buitt up again, and the o«h*r 
cannot. For there, in the Louvre, in Bonapaitc't Louvre, ate 
the precious monuments of art — the luicrcd pledges which human 
genius haa given to time and naiuie;— there * stands the statue that 
enchant* the world ; ' there is the Afello, the LMtooa, the Dying 

ig6 



i 



PINE ARTS— THE LOUVRE 

GiaAasor, the Htad ef thf Antinctu, Diana vtitb hrr Fawn, and alt 
the glories of the antique world ; — 

'There ti oUI Proteus t-oming rrora tlie tea. 
And MTcathnl Tritan blans his winding horti." 

TbcfCt tcM, arc the two St. Jtrwntt, Corrcgio't aod Domtiiichino'i i 
there is Kaphacl'i TraniJlgiiratioK, ihc Si. Mark of Tintorei, Paul 
VetoneBs's Marriagt e/" Cma^ the Dtt^r of Nicholi* Pouwin, and 
Titiui'a St. Peter Martyr; — all these, and more than thcKi of vhich 
the world it Kirce worthy. Yet all ihcic amouni to Do:hin)t in the 
ma of those *iriuosoc the Cosnclct, and their feUow-siudentB of Tbr 
Tmu ! ' What'* Hecubn to them, or they to Hecuba f But we 
DM be allowed to sec with our own eyec, and to have ccmin 
leeliogi of our own. We will not be brayed by these quaclu lih 
jteJt im a mwiar. We tovi a> Mr. Burke expreMC) it, huve 'real 
leeliogi of f)c«h and blood beating in our boioms.' * We look up 
vnh awe to Kingt; with atfection lo parliaments; with duty to 
(Ugistrates; with reverence to pric*t>; an<l with respect to nobility.' 
Btt all this is a marhinc that goes on of iiictf, and may be repaired 
if out of order. We bow willingly to Lordi and Commoners, 
ik)ugh we know that * breath ciin make them a» n breath hat niiide.' 
Btiicbcr. Wtttgeostcin, WtnEingerode, and Ktzichigoff) are true 
Wroei; their namci become the mouih well, and rouse the ear as the 
mmd of a tnimpet ; but they an the heroei of i day, and all that 
ikey hare done might be as well done by others to-morrow. But 
heir it is : once destroy the great monumeats of art, and they cannot 
be replaced. Tho*e mighty ^eniutei, who have left their works 
bdnod them an inheritance to maakiad, liic but oner to do honour to 
ifantnlTes and their nature. • But once put out their light, and 
(bm ia no Promethean heat that can their light telumine.' Nor 
ought it ever to be re-kindlcdi to be exiinguiihcd a Kcond time h^y 
the harprs of the human race. What have 'the worshippers of cats 
and onions' to do with those triumphi of human geniut, which give 
the eternal lie to their creed \ We would thererore recommend 
tbete accomplished pioneers of civilisation and social order, after they 
have done their work at the Louvre, to follow the river-side, and 
tbejr will come to a bare inciotture, Kurrounded by four low wallti. 
It IB the pbce where the BatdUe ttood : let them rear that, and all 
will be well. And then some whiffling poet who celebrated the fall 
of that nionun>eiit of mild paternal tway — that sacred ark of the 
caa6deoce of King*— that strong bulwark of ' time-hallowed laws,* 
and preciouf relic of 'the good old times,' in an ode, may hail its 
tiKoraiioo in a •oonetl 



WILSON'S LANDSCAPES 



WILSON'S T.ANDSCAPES. AT THE BRITISH 
INSTITUTION 

Tki Citwfim.} IMj «?, tSl*. 

Thl landocapei of this oelrbrated anin. may be divided into ihru 
claiKi; — hit lulian Eandtcawt, or imitations of the maoncr of 
CUudCi bit copies of Lnglisb scenery, and his butorical com- 
positions. 

'i'he Itrd of tl)e«e irc, is our o^itnion, hf niucli the best ; and of 
Uk pictuics of thib cloji ib the prcacat collection, wc ibould. witliout 
any hc»itaiion, give the ptcrcrencc to the yfpaffo anJ tht Setuont, »nA 
to die Phtulm. The iiguret are of coufte uut of the tjuection — 
( Wil«on'i RgnTtfi Kc at uncouth itnd alovcnly a» Chwlc'* ate insipid 
and finical)- — Wt the landscape in both pictures ia deligbtTuI. In 
looking at them we breath the tery air which the icene icipire*, aad 
(eel the gcniu* of the plicc prc«ent to us- In the 6rtt, there is all 
the cool tVeshncss of i misty spring morning : the sky, the water, the 
dim horizon all eonTey the same feeling. The line grey tone, and 
varying outline of the hlllt, the graceful form of the rdirtog bke, 
broken &till more by the hazy shadows of the objccia that rcpoM on 
ita boiom ; the light trees that expand their branches in the air, and 
the dark atone iigure and mouldering temple, that contrast strongly 
with the broad cleat light of the riuaj; day, give a chonn, a truth, a 
force ■iDt\ harmony to this landscape, whidi produce the gieatei 
pIcHure the longer it i* dwelt on. — The dictribution of light and 
shade resembles the effect of tight on a globe. 

The Phaeton has the dazzling fervid appearance of an auiiunnil 
evening i the golden radiance streams in solid mattes from behind the 
flickering clouds ; every object is baked in the sunt — the brown fore- 
ground, the thick foliage of the trees, the streams tlirunk and stealing 
along behind the dark high bonks, comhiite to produce that richness, 
ud chaiactciistic propriety of cffircii which is lo be fouad only in 
nature, or in art derived from the study aod imiiatioii of nature. 
I'he glowing splendour of this landscape reminds as of the saying 
of Wilson, thai in painting such subjecu, he endeavoured to give the 
ef^ct of insects dancing in the cvcoing sun. His eye seemed formed 
to drink in the light. T^ese two pictures, as they have the greatest 
general effect, are also more carefully finished in the particular details 
than the other pictures in the collection. This circumBlance may be 
worth the attention of those who are apt to think that iirength and 
slovenliness are the same thiog. 

Cir/ro M bis V\lla is a clear and beautiful rcpresentatioa of nature. 

198 



WILSON'S LANDSCAPES 

The (ky u admirable for ita pure azure tonr. Amoag the leu 
finithed producdoDs of WilKw'i pencil, which display his great 
knovtedge of peripecrive, are yf LaadKapt voith Jigttnt baihmg, in 
which the ligiirci axe wondcifully detached from Uie tea beyond i 
toA jt Vtrvi' in fialy, with a lake and i tittle bcni, which appear 
a an immeasurable distaMe Mow: — the bioat is diminiihcd to 

* A btioy ftlnmt too imall for tight.' 

jt yittu nf Anama; Adrian' i fiHa at Rtmt ; a small blue greenish 
Uodteape ; Th* I.aie ef Ndmi ; a iiinall, richly -coloured landscape of 
tlic bank* of a river: and a. landscape contabinK some lij^hi and 
elegant groups of trees, are masterly and interesting sketches. A yitw 
M ihe Tlitr, near Rome, a dark hndscape which lies finely open to 
die sky ; and A t-ltv/ 9/ Rome, are lucccuful tmiuiioDs of N, Poiusia. 
J l^iito ofSion Hovtt, which is hung almost out of light, is remark- 
lUe for the clearness of the perspective, panieularly in the diocaBt 
wiadiDga of the River Thame*, and sttll more so for the parched and 
drooghty appeirance of the whole Keoe. The air is adun, the graw 
boned op and withered : and it seems as if some Sgures, repoung on 
the level, »nHwth shaTcn lawn on the river'* side, would be iinnoycd 
by the parching heat of the gtoond. We coosidet this landscape, 
i4ucb is an old favourite, aa one of the most striking proofs of 
^X^Uoa's gcniiu^ as it conveys not only the iniagC) but the feeling of 
oatiTCi aod excites a new loicreii uoltottowcd fiom the rye, like 
the fine glow of a summer's day. There is a sketch of the same 
nbjcctt called A f^ifOf oa tht Ihamtf, 

A yitvf luar Uansolira, North Walci ; Oaiiampton Caille, Devon- 
itirt I and The Bridge at LiaiigtJin, are the principal of Wilson's 
Eflglisli Usdtcapcs. They want almost every thing that ought to le- 
TTWTiTirl them. The eubjeci* arc not fit for the laodscapc-painier, and 
there is nothing in the execution 10 redeem them. Ill-shaped moun- 
tains, or great heap* of caitb, trees that grow against thera without 
character or elegance, motionless witcr-falls, a want of relief, of [lana- 
prmcy, and distance, — without the imposinggrandeur of real magoittule 
(which it is either rwt within the province of the art to give, or which 
b certainly not giicn here}, arc the chief features and defect* of these 
pictines.— The same general objectiont apply to Sofiiudf, and to one 
or two pictures near it, which are masses of common-place confusion. 
In □C4r scenes, the effect must depend almost entirely on the dilfercnce 
in the exectition, and the details: for the difference of colour alone 
is not sufficient to give relief to objects placed at a small distance 
bam the eye. But in WiUon there are commonly no details; all is 
looar aod general ; and this icry circumstance, which assisted him 

199 



WILSON^S LANDSCAPES 

n giving tfae musy conennB of light and shade, deprived his pencil 
of all force iind prcciaion within a limited tpacc. In general, air 
t( nccoary to the landtcapc-pUDEcr : and for ifaii rc<uoo, the like* 
of Ciimb«rUnd aod WeumoreUod atTord few lubjccu for landscape- 
painting. Howetci vtupeodoui the Kcncry of (Jiitt covotry is, and 
however powerful and luting the imweseion which It must always 
make on the imaginatiofi, yn the effect is not produced merely 
through the eye of the spectator, but ari»ev chiefly ftoni collateral 
and aetociated feeling*. There ii the knowledge of the ditooce 
from which we have seen the objects, in the midst of which we are 
now placed, — the slow, iinprogreasive motion which we make in 
travcTsijig chcm, — tlie ahnipt precipice, — the lorreni't roar,— the 
dizzj TSptore and bounilless expanse uf the prospect from the highest 
mouBtains, — the dilficutty of their ascent, — their lofielinesa, and 
silence; — in shon, there i» a coostam sense and superititioiu awe 
of the collective power of matter, of the gigantic and eternal form* 
of nature, on which from the beginning of time the hand of man has 
made no impression, and which by the lofty reflections they excite ia 
hini, give 3 xort of intellectual sublimity even to his sense of physical 
weakness. But there is htt)e in all these circumstances that esa be 
UansUtcd into the picturesque, which depend* not on the objccit 
themselves, so much as un the symmetry lad relation of these objects 
to one another. In a picture a mouiHsin shrinks to a iDoIehtll, sod 
the lake that expands its broad bosom to the sky, seems hardly big 
enough to Uunch a fleet of cockle-shells. 

Wilson'a historical landscapes, the two Js^iebtJ, Cftadeti ami Amtia, 
Mtitajier tmJ Alaianla, do not, io our opinion, dc«erYC the name ; 
that is, ihey do not excite feelings corresponding with the ttcctie aad 
story represented. They neither display true taste nor fine tisagiaa- 
tion i but are affected and violent exaggerations of clumsy, coounon 
natnie. Tlicy are all made up of tlic same mechanical maieriaU, id 
orerhanging rock, bare shattered irecs, black rolling clouds, aad 
forked lightning. The scene of CdaAm and jimrlia, though it may 
be proper for a ihundet-slorm, is not a place for lovcra to walk tD> 
The Miltagtr and Alaianla w remarkable for nothing but a cattle at 
a dituocc, (-cry moch ' resembling a goo»e-py«.' The ligures in the 
two other plctvies arc not like the children of A'ssJv^ ponisbed by the 
Godi, hut like a groupe of ruatics, crouching from a bail-storm. In 
one of these, however, there is a fine break in the sky worthy of tbe 
subject. We agree with Sir J. Reynolds, that Wilran'a mind was 
aot, like N. Pouuin's, sutlicientty imbued with the knowledge of 
aati4)aily to tran«port the imagination two thnuaand years back, to 
give natural objects a sympatliy with preternatural creois, and to 

>00 



WILSON'S LANDSCAP£S 

infonn rockt, ud trcea, aod moonuiBi wi^ the preieoce of a 
God.i 

Tfac vrittT of the Preface to the Caulogoe of the Brltuh GaUery, 
ay* — ■ Few anisti ha»e excelled Wilson in the tint of air, pcrhapa 
the moat dilficult point of aeuunment for the Landtcape -paicier : every 
object io his piciuro kccpa its place, bccaUK each is Kca through ita 
proper medium. Ttai txcclUitt alotu gives 3 charm to hi* pencil and 
by judicious application may be turned to the adTUDt^ge of the Biitish 
aniat.' — 'I'bis praise it equivocal : if tt be racaot that ' the tint of air ' 
ii the only excellence of Wilson '1 landscapes, the obccnation U aoc 
tme. He had alio great truth, harmony, and richness of local 
eoloitfiilg : he tud a fine feeling of the proportions uod coodnct of 
Ughi and shade ; and. in general, an eye for grace^l fofm* as far us 
ttgards the bold and varying outlines of iode^nite objects — at may t>e 
tten in hit foregrounds, hilU, etc. — where the mind is left to chune 
xcording to an abstract principle, a* it it filled or aifcacd agrccahly 
bt oenain combiniUioiu, — and ia not tied down to an imitatioo of 
uaractcristic and articulate ibrait. Ip his figures, trees, cslilc, 
b«ildinx!> and in every thing which hat a determinate and regular 
rDm, Wdton's pencil was not only deficient in accuracy of outline, 
btt cvco in pcrspectire and actual relief. Hi* trees, in [tarticuJar, 
Kcm puced on the cannSt like bocaaiciil specimens. 

We shall close these remarks with ob*erviag, that we cannot 
n<b«eribe to the opinion of those who aBerri that WiUon was itiperior 
M Qaudc as a man of geaiui 1 nor can we discern any other grounds 
Ibr ttiis opinioa, than those which lead to the general concluaon, that 
ike more slovenly the performaDce, the iiaer the picture; and that 
tbat which is imperfect is superior to that which is perfect. It might 
u well be said, that a sign-painting is better than the leHection of a 
bndacape in a mirror; and the otily oT>jection that can be made in 
dw latter case cannot be made to the landscapes of Claude, for in 
dwraibe Graces themselves have, with thrir own hands, assisted in 
dii|MMiag sod selecting erery object. — Is the general effect in his 
nottim iojurcd by the details? Ii the truth iocoasislcnt with the 
MiKy of the imitation \ A/e the scope and harmony of tlic whole 
dtsuoycd by tlie cxi^niniic delicacy of every part? Docs the 



' Thr fs((« Cif N . Pssssin wsni *ipr*uioa, ti hl« spirts want tncf ( bai the 
Un4sc*fr part of hn hiHoticil mnputiiinni wsi nvuer lurpitwd. In hii piagut of 
Al-Knt ttK buildiiui Mcm slifT with horrar. Hii GiiMi tcitiil on tlic lupt of 
tliar faUrd noitiitsiBi, sad pisyiag on their Pan's pipes are at natural anri lamiliar 
IS ' silly tlMpbcrJs tittinc io s row.' The finest of hia bn<i)t;aF« ii hia picture 
of the Oelice. Tbf nin is jii« tc«ti wm and drovpiog in hit <i>ar>r, (hr sky >t 
bovcd tewn with ■ wci^t of witert, and h<a«eD soil cirlh seem <ominin fling. 

SOS 



GAINSBOROUGH'S PICTUHES 

l>cr[)ctiul profutioB of objtcta and iccficry, all perfect in UiciniclTef, 
iDtcrferc with tlie simple griindeurt and immeoK extent of the whole? 
I>oei the precifion with which s pbnt i> marked in the fbregnxuid, 
take away from the air-drawo ditlinction* of the blue, gliinn»mng 
dtiunt hoiizon ? Is there iiny want of tliat endlni airy s{MCe* where 
the eye wandert at liberty tinder the open tky, cxpleret diuaix 
object*, and returns back as from a delightful journey ! There it 
no comparifion between him and Wilaon. The landscapes of Claude 
have all that ii ex<fuitite :ind refined in an and nature. Every thing 
ia moulded into grace and harmoay ; and at the touch of hiK pencil, 
■liephcrds with their jlocki, temples and groves, and winding glades, 
and scattered hamleu, rice up in never-ending succession, undet the 
azure sky, and the TcA|ilendent fuo, ' while uDiveruI Pan, 

' Knit wiiti the Graces, and the hours in lUnce 
Leads on the eternal spring.' — 

There is a line apoatrophe in a voiiaei of Michael Angelo'a to the 
earliest Poet of Italy : 

' Kail) would I fn be what our Dante was. 
Forego the hjipjiieit fortunes uf mankind ;' 

What land«capc-paiRtcr docs not feel this of Claude! * 



ON GAINSBOROUGH'S PICTURES 

Th ClM/iM,] [/mlj n, 1I14. 

Tkeri is an anecdote connected with the reputation of Caimborough's 
Pictures, which rests on pretty good amhonty. Sir Joshua Rcynoldsi 
at one of the Academy dinners, sjicaking of Gainsborough, said to a 
friend, 'He ii undoubtedly the best English landacape-ptuntcr/ 
*No,' said Wilson, who overheard the conversation, 'he's not the 
best English landscape-painter, but be ii the hat portrait- painter in 
England.' They were certainly both wrong; but the itory is 
creditable to the variety of Gainthorough's talents. 

or his portraiti, in the present collection at the Briliib Gallery, 
the only fine one is yi Portrait of a Toulh. This picture it from 
Lord Gcosrcnor'a collection, where it uted to look remarkably well, 
and has been sometimes misukcn for a Vandyke. There is a spirited 
glow of youth about the face, and the attitude is striking and elegant. 

1 TI1C rtaiiei is rffcncd to in flc^nl and leiuliful ctrteriplion of Clauite, in 
Mr. Nofthtote's Dr«im o( 1 Psintei. 

tot 



GAINSBOROUGH'S PICTUHES 

Tlie drapery of Uue ladn ii admirabljr painted. The Ptrlrati t>f 
Gfirrifi u tnterrctiBg as i piece of biography. He lookt much more 
likes gcDtlciDan thin id Reynoldi'i tragicomic repicicnutron of him. 
— There it a considerable Hghton* and inielligeocc in the expretsion 
of ihr face, and i piercing t-incity about the eyes, to which the 
attcatioo is immediately directed. Gain>l>o rough's own porlruit, 
which has, bowevet, much truth and character, aad mike* a line 

?int, wcmt to have bepn painted with the handle of his brush, 
here it a oonrait of Tkt Prince Re^tnl UaiSng a horit, in which it 
niu*i be cofueued the man has the ^idTantagc ot the animal. 

Gainiborou^h'* landscapes arc of two cIbmcs, or periods ; his early 
sad his later pictures. The J«f mcr are, we imagine, the bc«t. They 
are imiutioni of nature, or of painters who tn)il4led nature ; — nich as 
a SfoQify Scene; another, which is a tine imitation of Ruysdale; and 
a X^ad SiJt, wirk J^m-ri, which has great truth and clearaets. His 
later ptcturei arc llimsr caiicaturei ot Rubenti, who himself carried 
ioxttaitioo to accuracy of detail to the utmost limit that it would bear. 
Lord Bacon says, tiut Mistilled books are, like distilled waters, 
Satfay things.* The same ni.iy be uid of pictures. — Gainsborough's 
btiCT landscapes are had water-colour drawings, washed in by 
mechuiical movements of the hand, without any communication with 
tfac eye. Tlie truth seems to be, that Gainsbotouj^h found there 
was aomething wanting in his 'earfy manorr,*— ^hai is, something 
heyond mere literal imiution of naitiial objects, and he seems to have 
condadcd, rather hastily, that the way to arrive at that nmetiing morr, 
was to discard truth and natuie altogether. He accordingly ran from 
one extreme into the other. We cannot conceive anything carried to 
a greater cxccm of slender execution and paltry glazing, than jf /ox 
Ammtn/ Vfttt grrjJxnadi, A romofttu Lmtjjeapt <aiili Sbttf at a 
FhmmroM, and many others. We were, however, much picawd with 
an upright landicspe, with figures, which ha a line, frcth appearance 
of the open sky, with a daah of the wildneu nf S.ilvator Rou ; and 
alao with jf Bant of a Rh'tr, which is remarlcahle for the elegance 
of the forms and the real delicacy of the execution. A Group 
tf Cattle in a tifarm Latulifape is an evident imitation of Rubcnt, 
but no more like to Rubens than * I to Hercules.' Lattiitcapt viith a 
W^trf^l should be noticed for the sparkling clcarneia of the 
distaocc. Sporitmm in a Laiidi<apt is copied from Tenicrs with 
noch taste and feeling, though very inferior in the original picture 
ID Lord Radnor's collection. 

Of the fancy pictures, on which Caioeborough'i fame clitcfly rests, 
«e ace diaposea to give the preference to his Cottage Cttildrai. 
There is, we apprehend, greater truth, Tuiely, force, and character, 

103 



GAINSBOROUGH'S PICTURES 



ID tbi> groupe, than in any other. The colouring of ih« light-haired 
child it pariicularly true to nature, and formt a ion of naturaJ aod 
ioooccnt caniraat lo the dark caniptexion of the etdei tiatcr, who a 
carrying it. The Girl giftng to ibt Wdl \%, luiwe«eri the general 
(aTouritc. The little dog is cccuialy adnmablc. Hit hut looki u 
if ii had been juit washed and combed. The attitude of the Carl is 
aiw peifectly easy und natural. But tliete ik a coEuciousnei* in the 
turn of tlic bead, and a scniimcDtal pcnuvcncss in the exprcurvn, 
which is not taken from oature. but intended as an improTcmem 
an it. There is a jegubi inupidity, a kyNtemrtUc tacaocy, a round, 
unvaried irooothncft, to which real nature \% a itraager, aod whicb 
ii only an idea exUting in ihe painier'a mind. Wc think the 
glois of art i» never «o ill bettowed ai on subjects of this kiod, 
which ought t£> be itudieM of natural hiitory. It it perhapt th« 
general fauh of Gainaborough, that he prcscnCB ua with an ideal 
commoD hfe, whereas it is only the reality that is here good for any 
thing. Hit nbjecu are lonened and aencimentalited too much, 
it ii not (implc. anaffccted nature that we see, but nature sitting for 
her picture. G:3inEborough, we suspect, from some of the pfctuies in 
thi< collection, led the way to that masouerade style, which pii^aieB 
iuwli on giring ihc nil of an Adonin to the driver of a hay-can, and 
modeU the features of a miik-maid on the principles of the antique. 
The Girl and Pigt it liirdly liable to thi* objection. There ii a 
healthy gluw ia the girl's face, which sccmi the immediate ctFcct vF 
the air blowing upon it. The expression is not i^uite so good. The 
FM-^ogi are admirable. The young one it even better than the old 
one, and hat uudeniablc hereditary prctcniiona. The ShtpbtrJ Btjt 
arc fine. We do not like the BQy4 tuitft Dogtjightitig. We see no 
reason why the one should be so haodsonie and the other so ugly, why 
the one should be so brown and the other so yellow, or why their 
dogs should be of the same colour as ibemEelvet: nor why ibe worn- 
looking of the two should be moat anxious lo part the fray. The 
skctcli ul the IVcodman, the original of which was unfortunately 
burned) fully juttilics all the reputation it has acouircd. It is a really 
fine study from nature. There is a picture of Gainsborough's some- 
where or ^ Shcfhtrd Bey in a Shrm, of wluch we many years ago 
saw an indifTeient copy in a broker's shop, but in which the uncon- 
•ciouK simphcity of the boy's expreatioo, looking up with his hands 
folded, and with liniid wonder, tlie noi»y chattering of a magipyc 
perched iibore hinii and the rustling of the coining tiorm in the 
branches of the trees, produced a romantic pastoral impfession, which 
we h«rc often recalled with no little pleasure since that time. We 
have always, indeed, fHt a strong prepowession in faror of Gnins- 



KEMBI.E'S PENRUDDOCK 

i>ugh, and wfrc dtuippointKl it not lindiag hit picture* in the 
preamt coUection, all ihu we had withcd to find them. 

He VM 10 be cooiidercd, pcrhap*, rather a« a man of tatir, and of 
an rlejani and fwlinj; mind, than at a idid of jteDtus ; u a lover of 
the an, rsthcr than an artitt. He puriucd it, with a ritv to aniuic 
and aootb hit mind, vrhh ihr nx- of a genckman, not with tbe 
trrcrity of a profenional itudrnt. He wiibed to make hia piciurea, 
like himKlf, amiable; but a too contiaot deairc to pleaae almoai 
neceuahly lead* ti» afTcctaiion and efTrminacy. He wanted thai 
vigour of intellect, which perceives the beauty of truth ; and thought 
that paiotiog was to be gained, like other minressesi by flanery and 
•miln. It 11 an error which we are diiiioecd to forgive in one, 
around whoie memory, both M n man and an artin, many fond 
recoUccttona, many Taio regrets nitut alwayi Ungcr. Peace to hii 
«lude!> 



MR. KEMBLE'S PENRUDDOCK 

' ClM^JM.] IJVav. to, 1S14, 

_ U. Kembu! lately appeared at thii theatre io the character of 
PenniddoclE, and wai received (not indeed with waring handker- 
cbic&t and Uuicl garlaoda thrown on the itage, but what is much 
beuer) with heaiifctt approbation and nlcot tcan. His delineation 
of the parr i» one of hit mo(t correct and Intereiting performance*, 
aixl one of the motr perfect on the modern suge. The deeply 
rooted, mild, pentive melancholy of the character, its embitieied 
recolleciiont and dtgnttied benevolence, were given by Mr. Kembic 
with equal troth, elcj^ance, and feeling. Thiiadmirabic actor appeared 
to be the unfonunate, but amiable individual whom he teprescnied; 
and the expreiiion of the •entimenit, the look, the tone of voice, 
exactly true to nature, cruck n corretpondent chord in every fcoiom. 
— The range of characters, 10 which Mr. Kemble thtnca, and ia 

■ "The .Acs of ibc D««(uil]i uf Cimf«rii>{> with natwr, nr pviog v-hal ia caitM ' 
ing litnttt, WM Miivnul ie xWn country fifty jcari k(a. Ttii* would m 
bt tlwiyi eM<r, if the whale a< Oit irl con*i*t«il in Invin; out, md bm 
pwllif la. Mrfaat ii tu be founJ in niturc. It may not fce impiopct to add hue, 
tlnc, in Mr ^inioa, Muiitlo ii «i ihc bnd of the claw of paiotcn, who hive 
OTBUd )«l}t<U of (ctDDHB Ufc Thcfc 1) Mmcthini in hi* fkturii which i> not 
■o be JmMid >t ill in ih* piorinciioni of the Dutch ichool. After tnakinj the 
colour* «D the <inviH f**! taA thick, l\\e ncit kf it thing ia Io idiIif (hrm brulht 
t»i Lve. But thin u in Murillo't pitiaret « laak of ml life, i cdfiliji Anw ol 
aninal ipiriM, to be met with ao where eUe. We might here ptnicuUrly refer to 
fcil finar* of lb* r«ii Sf^iait Btjgjr-Ufs in Ml. Deienlani cotleciian, whitfa 
OBBae be foesMien by iltcw who Itiit ever feen it. 

105 



KEHBLE^S PENBUDDOCK 



■upniw to CTcry ochn- xtor, air t&oae wbicb cosntt in the (Ieve)o|ie- 
ment of wme odp ceatiment or exclnam fumem. From i viat of 
rapiditj'i of KOpc, aad mietr, he ii often acficieat to cxptttmBg the 
buitic and complicatioo afdincrait intcmtSi nor doci he pMaen the 
faculty of orerpowvriag the nind by aaddni and iircMMible harit* of 
puiion. Dut ID gifiag tbc labitua) workugi of a prcdomioant feeling, 
at in Penniddock, Coriolaniu, and tome otliersi where all the puuioni 
move rouDd a central point, and have one master key, be ctandf 
uorivalled. la Penniddoclc, he bioodt orer the rccollectioa of 
dUappoiDtcd bopCi till it becomes a part of himiclfi it tinks deeper 
into nil mind the longrt he dwells upon it, and bis whole perion i* 
moulded to the cba/aeter. The wei^t of »entiincnt which opprcstei 
him ncTCt acems impended, tbc ipriag at hi* heart is nercr tightened, 
hii rr^teta only liecome more pnnouod as thejr become more durable. 
80 in Coriolanus, he exhibita the rnliag passion with tbe ume 
ccmiourd firmneu, he preserres tlie same haogbcjr dignity of 
demeanDur, the same energy of will, and unbending stemneai of 
lem]>er throughout. He is nrared by a (i&gle impvUe. Hii 
lenacioUKiesn of purgmac is only irritated by oppotttion : he tumi 
neither lo ilie right nor to the left: btit the Tchemence with which 
he move* forward increase* every tnatnnt, til! ii hurries hirn to the 
CBtaitiophe. Id Leontcs, in the Winter's Talc, the growing jcalouty 
of the King, and the exclusive poMeiiion which it at length obiaint 
of hit mind, are marked in the finest iDanner, particularly where he 
exclaims — 

• I* whiipcring nothing t 
la leaning check to cheek f is meeting novnf 
Kitting with iniide Ep * stopping the career 
Ot~ laughirr with a ligh, a note infallible 
or hrriking honeity > honing faax <m foot / 
Skulking in roraen f mihing clocki more sytih 1 
Uuiin cniiiuiei t the noon, midnight f anil a]] eye* 
Bliml with the pin and web, but thein; theirs cnly 
Ttut would uiii««n be wicked ? 1* this nothing f 
Why itien the world and all that > in 't it nothing. 
The rovering tky is nothing, Bohemia nothing, 
My tif* it naihing, if ihiibc nothing.' 

In the course of this enameratian etery proof tetls hsrder, his 
conviction become* more rinttcd at every itcp of hi* progress, and 
at the end hii mind it wound up to a frenzy of despair. In nich 
charsciera, Mr. Kemble has no occssioa to call in the reiources of 
tnTtoliuo, or the iricki of the art ; his excellence coo«iit« entirely in ' 
the ictcrcttung intensity witli which be dwells on a given feeling 
106 



KEMBLE'S PENHUDDOCK 



tafotte* a predominant paMton. Id Hamlet^ oo tlic contrary, M(. 
Ecinblr unavoidably faiU ffoni a want of Hcxibiiity, or of lh« qiacl: 
KDnbility, which yicMi to evrry nioiiTC, and is Iwmc awa^ with 
every brvuh of fancy, which i» diiuactcd by the multiplicity of its 
reflectiona, and loti in it* own purposes. There ii a perpctuiil undula- 
tim of f^ltoj in the character of Humlet (though it mu*i be 
confcMed, nit*ch of thic, which i« the c»«cDce of the pl»y, i« left oui 
on the iUgc), but in Mr. Kcmblc's acting 'there ii no variablc^neu 
DOT khadow of lurning.' Me playa it like a man in armour, with a 
determined iovctcracj- of purpose, in one uadcri^ting atiait line, 
which is m remote from ilic natural grace and eaay luKeptitniity of 
the character, at the tharp angles and abrupt >iari4 to produce an 
e^Tcct, which Mr. Kean introduces into tt. Mr. Kcan'« Hamlet ii, 
in our opinioot aa much too * iplenctic and raih/ as Mr. Kemble'f i* 
too deliberate and formal. In Richard, Mr. Kemhie hat not that 
t emp e s t and whirlwind of the patuont, that life and tpirit, and 
dazzling npidity of motion, which* as it were, fills the stage, ai»d 
bums in every part, which Mr. Kean ditpUyed in it till be wai worn 
oat by the managen. Mr. Kean't aciinf;, in general, strongly 
reminds us of the liocs of ihc poet* when he describe* 

■The (ifrj- toiil that Morkingout itn way 
Fretted the pigmy body to decay. 
And o'erinformM the tenement of elay.' 

Mr< Kemblc's manner on the contrary hat alwayt something dry, 
hanl and pedantic in it. • You thall reUih him more in the scholar 
ehaa the soldier.' But his mnnatooy does not £aiigae, hit formality 
does oat dirolcaie, bccaute there is always vente and feeling in what 
he does. The fineness of Mi. Kemble s figure has perhajM led to 
diat statue-like appearance which his acting h lometimet too apt to 
saaaUKi as the diminatiTenets of Mr. Kean's person has probably 
forced faim to buttle about too much, and to attempt to make up foe 
the want of dintity of form by the violence and cootrati of his 
xttitodes. if Mr. Kemble were to remain in the same posture far 
half an hour* his (igure would only produce admiration— if Mr. Kean 
were to stand sbll only for a moment, the contrary elfect would be 
produced. 

To return to Pcnruddock and the Wheel of Fortune. The only 
noTeliies were Mitt Foote in Hmily Tempest, and her lover, Mr. 
Farley, at Sir Daiid Daw. The laucr, who it a Welch Adonis of 
fire and twenty, from the natural advantages of his person, and the 
anilicial improrements which were :Klded to it, was a *ery admirable 
Ukcoets, on a reduced scale, of the Prince Regenu We do not know 

»07 





SIR JOSHUA REVNOLDS'S DISCOURSES 

whether ihe borleMjue wus intended, but it hti a laughable effect 
We «c knowledge that Mr, Farley i» one of ihoic pcTMDs wbotn «c 
alwayt wdcome tieanily whm we lee him. What with laughing at 
him and laughing with him, we hardty know a more comic perionagc. 
Miai Foote played and looked the part of Bmiljr Tempril very 
nalurally and very pteltily. tnii without gi*irg to the character either 
much interttt or much elegance. Her voice is in itaelf aa tweet at 
her pcreon, and when she cxcrtt it* she aniculain with eaw and 
clearoew: but we sWutd add, chat the h«t a hatiit of tripping in her 
commoi] ijieaking, that ia, of dropping her voice so low, except where 
a particiibif cniphaaia is to be laid, »t to make it difficult for the ear to 
follow the aeoae. 



INTRODUCTION TO AN ACCOUNT OF SIR 
JOSHUA REYNOLDS'S DISCOURSES 

Tie Ci-t^f*!'.] {Nfv. I-, tti4. 

Thk general merit of these DiacourKt ia to wdl cstablithed thai it 
would be needlesi to enlarge on it here. The grace* of the compoa- 
tioD aie such, that scholart hare been led to nupcct that it waa the 
■tylc of Burke (the (trst prose-writer of our time) careAilly aubdiwd, 
and tofietied down to perfection : and the taste and knowledge of the 
nibject ditplayed in them are so great, that this work lua bees, by 
common content, coo&idrrcd as a text-book oo the sobject of art. id 
our Knjjiith tchool of painting, ever tince hi puhlicxtton. Highlj^ 
elegant and valuable at Sir Jothua't opinioea are, yet they are 
liable (ao it appears to us] to various objections; and it becomci 
more important to state these objeccioos, because, as it gnieralljr 
happen*, the matt que«ionab1e of hit preceptt are thoae which ban 
been the most eagerly adopted, and carried into practice with the 
greaieit success. The errors, if they are such, which we shall 
attempt to point out, are not caraali bat systematic. There is a fine- 
spun metaphytical theory, either not rcry clearly undcritood, or ikh 
very correctly expressed, penradirg Sir .loshui's reasoning ; and 
which appears to have ted him in leveral of rJte most important poiota 
to conclustoot, either falic m only true in part.' The rulci ihiu laid 
down, as genera) and comprehensive maxims, are in fact fouiKled on 
a wt of half principles, which are (rue only ii far as they imply 
a negation of the opposite cciora, but contain in themaclvcs the germ 
of other errors just aa fatal : which, if atrictJy and literally understood, 

' This theory will be feuoil ccnIaLned in RichsriMn'i Eiisy ob Psinllikt, sad 
in CdTfcl't Ditcanreci 14 iht French A^tirtay, 
108 



SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS'S DISCOURSES 

cmoot be defended, and which by being ukcn in an cqaiTocal kuw, 
of coune leaie the itudeni u much to »eek » ever. The English Echool 
of paiiiung i* univef ully reproached by foreigner* with the ilovcnly 
and imfinithcd siaic m which they tend thcii prodnciiom into the 
world, with their iguoraDce of academic rules and neglect of the 
mbordiiute dctaiU ; in other word*, with aiming at t§r<t ooly in all 
their worLt of art : uul thoagb it is by no mcam occcMsry that we 
■boDld adopt the defecii of the French and German painteri. yrt we 
might learn from them to correct our own. There was do occatioo 
to encourage ovr coootituuonal indotepce and impatience by poutive 
ruleii or to incorporate oui vicious hatnit into a tyitcm. Or if our 
defects were to be retained, at least they ought to ha»e been tolerated 
ooly for the nke of certain collateral and chaiactcriBtiv excellencies 
out of which they might be thought 10 cjirSng. Thut a certain degree 
of preciBioa or regularity might be G^crificed rather than impair that 
bcmoeso, vigour, and origioality of conceplivn, in which the utrcngtl) 
of the national geniui might be aupjioted 10 tie. But the method of 
inftnictioD pursued in the Ditcoursec Eeeni! calculated for neither of 
thete objecti. Without endeavouring to overcome our habitval 
dciccta, which might be coriectcd by proper care asd tnudyi it dampa 
our zeal, ardour, and enfhuiiatm. It placet a full reliance neither on 
art oor nstore, but contmi^ in a kind of fattidiou« tampering with 
both. Both genius and induatry arc put out of coumenancc in turn. 
The height of inrcntian i« nude to coodst in compiling from other*, 
and the perfection of imita^oo in not copying- from nature. We low 
the rabs^cc of the art in caiching at a abadow, and art- thought to 
nnbrace a cluwl for a Goddeis ! 

That we may not »eem to prejudge the ouettion, we thall state st 
Ottc*( and witliout further preface, the |>(inctpal jMiints in the Dis- 
oomes which we deem either wiutig in ihemselret, or liable to mi»- 
cosceptioA and abuse. Tbey are the fo!!owinj; — 

I . Thutgttaut or iitvttition evnj'uU chiefiy in hmmiig iht tJtai of 
othrrt, or in using ofter mm'j minds. 

t, Thia the grtiU stfU in fatntmg dtftndt on {tavii^ mit tbt dftaih of 
parfimlar otfettt. 

}. Tias tht tiunce of ooriraii consuls i» giving tht gauntl tharacler, 
ralSfr ihaa iht iti£vidual fitetust. 

4. Tbat tht tiifxt of history connsls ht aiilraeting fmn in^vidmUiff 
of cbaratlrr atut exprrsjum at mueli as potsihtt^ 

{. That itau^ or idtal perft<Oo» consists m a cnilralfarm. 

6, Thai to imialt latvrt is a very iff trior otjetl in art. 

All of ihcK pomtioni appe^ir to require a separate consideration, 
which we ihall give them in the folluwiag articles on this subject. 

TOL. V. ; o 3C9 



ON GENIUS AND ORIGINALITY 



ON GENIUS AND ORIGINALITY 

lf~Ua"IadiR£ u)d raTonrite pMition of the DtKoutcct that goAu 
and iOTcntion are iiiincip^Jly tbewn in borrowing the ideas, aod 
imiuting the excellence of other*. DifTering eotirely from those 
♦who have undcnakcQ w write on the ati of painting, and ha»t 
reptcKnted it as a kind of inifiratiou, as a gift bestowed upon peculiar 
iiToariief at their btrth,' Sir Joshua proce^t to add, ' I am, on the 
contrary, pcnvaded, that by imitation Doly/ (that it* of farmer 
nuiilcTs,) 'variety and even originality of ioveniion is produced. I 
will go further ! even genius, at least what it genemlly called to, it 
the child of imitation.' ' There can be do doubt but tlut he wbo has 
tnoit matrf iaU has ihc greatest means of invention ; and if be bas noc 
the power of using them, it must proceed from a feebleness of intellect.' 
' iicudy is the art of using other men's minds.' ' It isfrom Raphael's 
baring taken to many models, that he became hinuelf a model for all 
snccecding painters; always imitating, and always original.' Vol. t. ■ 
p. 151, 1 J9i 169, &c. All that Sir Joshua lays on thit tubject) is ^ 
either vague and contradictory, or has an evident biiutl)c wrong way. 
That gentut either consitts in, or is in any proportion to, the kitow- 
Icdge of what other« have done, in aoy bruch of art or science, is a 
paradox which hardly admits seriouo refutation. The answer is 
mdeed so obviouc and so undeniable, that one is almost usbimeil to 
give it. As it happens in all iuch cases, an advantage is taken of the M 
old-fashioned simplicity of truth to triumph over it. It is aoothcr of f 
Sir Joshua's theoretical opntone, often rejvated, and almost aa ofufi 
retracted in hie lectures, that there ii no such thing as genius in the 
first formation of the human raind. That is not the question hcTCiHJ 
though perhapK we may recui to it. But, however a man may corac V 
by the faculty which we call ^/miw, whether it is the effect of hibtt 
and circumstitnccs, or the gift of nature, yet there can be no doubt, 
that what ia meant by the term, is a power of origiital obserTaiion and 
invention. To take it otherwiiK, is a sotceitm in language, and a 
nit&noincr in art. A work demonstrates genius exactly aa it contains 
what is to be found no where else, or in proportion to what we add 
to the ideas of others from our own stores, and not to what we receive 
from tbctn. It may contain alio what is to be found in other works, 
but it is not (hat which stamps it with the chaiacccr of genius. The 
contrary view of the cjuestion can only tend to deter thoae who hne 
genius front using it, and to make thotc who axe without genius, tlunk 
they have it. It is attempting to excite the mind to the highest ciFotis 
no 



ON GENIUS AND ORIGINALITY 



nteUecuu) excefiroce, by deny^ing the chief grottad-work of all 
iMdlcctiul diidoction. It is irom the cxnie gcDcral ajnrJt ot dirtnM 
of the existence or powct of naaMS that Sir Jothoa cxcbinii with 
coefiiieDCe and triumph, * There is one precept, howcTer, in which 
I tball cxJy be oppoccd by the i ato, the igoorant, and the idle, i am 
DM afraid that I thall repeat it roo oftcs. Yod Mtrsr have mo 
DCniiOCHCS ox rouR own cskivs. Ifyou have great talents, induitiy 
will ioiprore them. If you hare but moderate abilities, it will tupplj 
Acir deficinxry. Nothing it denied to well directed labour ; nothing 
can be obiaiaed without it. Not to eaicr into mctaphy^icaJ diicutnoni 
m the oatvre and e»»efice ofgeoiut, 1 will Tenture to aMcrt, that 
andoity unabated by iiitficuJ[y» and a diipotttioo eagerly directed to 
the object of iu purcuit. will produce ciTccti timiiai to those whicb 
MOW call the rfjth cf naivral powtrj.' P. 44, 4;. Yet m little 
tnflnence bad the meupHyiical theory, which he wiahed to hold in 
JfFrvmn over the young rmKui^i^xt, on iSir Jothua'* habitual unrefiecdng 
Mod tense, that he aiierwards, in speakinjioftheaTUiDmeatt of Carlo 
HaraUt, which, a well aa those of R^phuel, he attribute* to hti 
iniatitiD of other*, uyt. ' It in true there i* nothing rery captivating 
m Carlo Maratti ; but this proceeded ftom a wine which cannot b« 
OBmpktcly uipplicd* that i*, vfotU 0/ ttrengtt ^partt. In tiu, certaimfy, 
■m ar4 mm e^W; and a man can bring home ware* only in proportMD 
to the capital with which he goes to marlceu Carlo, by diligence, made 
the laott of what be had : but there waa undoubtedly a hestineH about 
bin, which extended itielf uniformly to hUinveotion, expreuion, hn 
drawing, colouiing, and the general rifecx of hi« pictures. The tmth 
is, he never equalled any of hn patterns in any one thing, and he added 
Hnleof hinown.' P. 171. Poor Carlo, il *cem4, then, was excluded 
from the bcneAt of the (Weeping clauKe in chii general charter of dulness, 
by which all men arc declared to be c<)ual in natural powcrt, and to 
owe their auperiority only 10 huperior itMJtutry. What is here said 
of Carlo Maratti is, however, an exact de«cri|xion of the fate of all 
tboMi who* without any geoiiu of their own, pretend to avaiJ thetn- 
•elvea of the geniiu of others. Sir Joshua attempts to confound 
genins and the want of it together, by shewing, that some men of 
Stat genius have not disdained to borrow largely from their pr«- 
dncMois, while othcn, who affected to be entirely original, ha*e 
mQy invenied little of iheit own. I'his ia from the purpose. If 
Rspbacit for initance, had only copied bis figure of St. Paul from 
MaaMcio, or his groupc, in the ucritice of Lyitra, from the ancient 
bas-relief, without adding other figurcB of equal force and beauty, he 
wooU have been considered » a mere pUgianit. As it is, the 
pictiim hdc icfcticd to, would undoubtedly bare displayed more 

III 



ON GENIUS AND ORIGINALITY 



graius, that ti, more originality, if tboK figuru had alto bceo hit 
own tnvcntioo. Nay, Sir Joihua hiniKcIf, in gi»ing the pitfrrencc of 
geniiu to Michael Angeio, doe* it on this rcry giovsd, that * Michicl 
Angclo's wotka tccnx to proceed from hii own miad entirely, and 
(lui mind «> rich and abundaot, chat he never needed, or wemed to 
diKliiia to look abroad for foreign help ; ' whetca*, ' RaffuUc't 
matcriali arc ][cncrally borrowed, though the noble airucture it hts 
own.' On the justice of thti latt ttatemenv we shall remark 
pr«»enily. Perhaps Keynoldi't general account of the inngnificancc 
of genius, and the all-eufficicncy of the merits of oibcrt, may be 
looked upon as an indirect apology for the gradual progress of his 
own mind, in selecting and appropriating the beauties of the great 
aritsta who went brlore him: he apnears anxious lo describe and 
dignify ibc process, from which he himself derived such felicitous 
renha, but which, as a general lyMem of insertictioo, can only 
produce mediocrity and imbecility, h ii a lesson which a well-bred 
drawiog-mister might with great propriety repeal by rote to his 
fashtanabie pupils, but which a learned professor, whose object was 
to Eead the aspiring mind to the heights of fame, ought not to haTC 
offered to thr youih of a nation. ■ You nmti hare do dcpencknce oo 
your own genius,' is, according to Sir Joshua, the utiivmal founda- 
tion of all high endeavour*, the beginning of all true witdom, and the 
end of all true art. Would Sir Joshua have given this advice to 
Michael Angeio, or to Raphael, or to CorregeioF Or wotdd he 
have gtreo it to Rembrandt, or Rubcni, or \andyke, or Claode 
Lorraine, or to our own Hoganh ? Would ii have bc«i followed, 
or what would have been the consequence, if it had ? — That we should 
never have heard of any of these personages, or only heard of them a* 
imtances to prove that nothing great can be done without genius and 
originality ! We are at a loss to conceive where, upon the principle 
here stated, Hogarth would have found the materials of his Marriage 
a la Mode '. or Rembrandt hin Three Trees i or Claude Lorraine his 
Enchanted Castle, with that one simple figure in the foregrouDd, — 
' Sole lilting by the sborcK of oid romance ^ ' 

Or from what but an eye always intent on nature, and brooding over 
'besuty, rendered atiil more l>eauiiful' by the exquisite feeling with 
which it was contemplated, did he borrow his verdant Uodacapca and 
his azure skieit, the bare «ght of which wafts the imagination to 
Arcadian scenes, *tliHce happy fields, and groves, and Jlowery ▼aica,' 
breathing perpetual youth and frcshncsc : If Claude had ftoc'c out to 
study on the banks of the Tybcr with Sit Joshua** 6rsi precept in 
his mouth, ' Lndtvidunl nature producer little beauty,* and had 

ait 



ON GENIUS AND ORIGINALITY 



r«turaed ponog OT«r ihr Kcond, which it like unto it, 'You miut 
hare DO dcprodcnct on your own genius,' the worlil would h&rc toat 
oat prrfrct painivrJ Rubent would hare tbared th« tame Tate, witti 
ill hit train of dtittfring Cupidi, warrion and prancinjE tlMdt, 
pantberi aod piping BaccbaDals, nympha, fawnt and latyra, if be bad 
not been reterred for 'the tender mercien' of the modem French 
critic*! David and his papilt, who thinl: that the Luxembourg gallery 
ousht to be destroyed, to make room for tbctr own execrable pcr- 
rormaDcet. Or we tbould neTcr hxte teen that fine fandkcipe of hit 
in the Uouvre, with s rainbow on one side, the whole face of nature 
rc&c^cd after the khowcr, and some ahcphcrde under a group of 
iren piping to thric heedleit flock*, if instead of painting; what he 
uw ana what he felt to be fine, he had aet himaelf to aolve the 
learned riddle propoccd by Sir .fotbua, whether atcitUnit m nuturr 
thould be introduced in landicape, since CUudc hat rejected ihcmi 
It it w^ ihnt geniui gd* the ttart of criticiHm ; for if ihece two 
jrcat lasdicapc painter*, not being privileged lo contult (heir own 
lattc ^nd inclinaiioRs, had been compelled to wait till the rules of 
criticism had decided the preference heiween their difTerent etylea, 
iBMead of bating both, we thould have had neither. The folly of all 
(och conipariMn* coniitta in supposinj; that we arc reduced to a ungic 
alleroatiTc in our choice of excellcDCe, and tbe true amwer to the 
anettion, 'Which do you like beat, Kubent't landMspea orClaude'i?' 
It the one which was given on another occasioo — both. If it be 
meant which of the two an artist tbotild imitate, the answer it, the 
one which he i* likely to imitate belt. A> to Kembrandt, he would 
not have stood the least chance with this new theory of ati. But 
the wartiing sounds, 'you mum have no dependence on your own 
genius,* never reached him in the little study whete he w;itched the 
£m ihadowa cast by his dyinj; embers on the wall, or at other times 
nw tlie clottda driren before the storm, or the blaze of noonday 
hrighnets bundng through his casement on the myaerious gloom 
vhicli surrounded him. What a pity that hit old matter could not 
law received a friendly hint from Sir Jothua, that gettiafL rid of hit 
vulgar muaty prejudices, he might have set out betimet for the regions 
of virty, hare scaled the ladder of taste, bavc measured the antique, 
lost bimtelf in the Vatican, and after ■ wandering through dry placn, 
teektag he knew not what, and linding nothing,' have returned home 

* Tki* psalter's book of tliniin lt<mt iiilurr, conmoiUjr culkil I.iift Frriuiii, 
ytt* the tiuth 0( Sir Joth<ia*> iwumplion, i\a\ hi) Imiriicipd art mtre 
il eimnposilianf, (ot the liniiLtH piiriiim arc hpitIv fie-itmiirs of the oriflnsl 

sltrtTW^ and what i* liAci to ibem in point of rcpilanty (if this addilkni wis sn? 

arf««aia^) wsi *t \ft Ih* reialt of his o<mi genies. 



ON GENIUS AND ORIGINALITY 

u great a critic and paiDtcr m >o ituoy othen hrr* done ! Of 
Titian, Vajidykc, or Coricggio we shall say nathlog hciCf bb wc bare 
said so much in another place. 

A theory, then, by whicli theie great artiits could have b««fl lo« 
to theiTiBclvcs and to the an* and which cxplaina awny the two chief 
•Uf^rtt nnd Koutcea of all arr, nature and gniur, into an unintelligible 
jar(;Qn of words, cannot be intrin»ic»lly true. The principlei ih« 
laid down may be Tcry proper to conduct the machinery of a royal 
academy, or to precede tlie diRtribuiion of prizei to Uie studems, oi 
to be the topic* of as^ni and coajtcatubtion among the members 
thcmf elves at their annual cxhtbiiion dinner: but they are so far 
from being c;ilculated to fonei genius or to direct its courve, that 
ihcy can only blight or miilesid it, wherever it exiata, and ' loae more 
men of ulentB to thii nation,' by the dissemination of false priociplcii 
thsn have been already lost lo it by the want of any. 

But it may be said, that though the perfection of portrait or land- 
scape may be derived from the immcdiiitc study of nature, yet higher 
■ubjecis are not lo be found in it; chsi there we must raise our 
imaginations by referring to -irtificial models; and that Raphael was 
compelled to go to Michael An^cto and the antique. Not to ioaiat 
that Michncl Angelo himself, according to Sir Joshua's xccouot, 
formed an exception to thii rule, it hns been well obserred on this 
Statcmeot, thai what Raphael borcowed waa to conccd o( supply bis 
natural dclicicncics: what hr excelled in was his own. Rapbad 
nerer had the grandeur of form of Michael Angelo, nor the correct- 
ness of form ol the antic^ue. Hit cxprcsaion was perfectly diffieteat 
From boib, and perhaps bettct than cither, certainly better than what 
wc have seen of Michael Angelo in the prints from him compared 
with those from Raphael in the Vatican. Is Raphael's faces, pu- 
ticulaily his women, the expression is superior to the form i in the 
antique stanieB, the form is evidently the principal thing. The 
ietcrett which they excite is in a manner external, it depends on a 
certain grace and lighinrsa of appearance, Joined with exquisite 
lynrunctiy and rcfmcd ausceptibitity to voluptuous rmoiioni, but there 
is no pathos; or if there is, it is the pathos of present and physical 
distress, rather than of sentimcul. There is not that deep iniemal 
intcrcBt which there is in Raphael : which broods over the suggestions 
of the heart with love nnd tear till the tears (ecm ready to gush out, 
but that they are checked by the deeper Bcntimems of hope and faith. 
What has been remarked of Leonardo da Vinci, is still more true of 
Raphael, that there is an angelic sweetness .ind tenderness in his 
faces peculiarly adapted to his subjecU, in which naiiira] frailty and 
passion are purified by the sanctity of religion. They answer exactly 



ON GENIUS AND ORIGINALITY 

to Milton'i dcKription of tht 'human fucc dirint.* The ancient 
fUIucK ifc finer object* for the eye to contempLite : they repment a 
more perfect race c( physical beines, but we have no fyoipitfay witb 
them. In RaphucI, all our natural ncnntbiliiies are raned M)d refined 
by pointing myiteriously to the intcicsl* of another world. The 
Mine mteniicy of pa«*ioD an>csr< also to diMinguUh Kaphael from 
Michael Angelo. Michael Angelo'a forma are grander, but iliey are 
not to full of exprewion. Raphael'*, however ordinary in them- 
•elve*, .ire full of expi'c««ion even to o'erflowirp : every nerve wid 
muscle ii impregnated with feeling, or buracin^ with meaning. In 
Michael Angelo, on the contrary, the power* of body And mind 
appear luperior tn any event* thjit can happen to them, the capacity 
of tbonftht and frclinn is ocrcr full, ncrcr tasked or itratncd to the 
utmott that it will bear. All ia to a lofty repo»e and wlitary 
grandeur which do human intcreitc can «hake or diiturb. It baa 
been uid that Michael AD;>.elo painted man, and Raphael meii ; that 
the ooc was an epic, the other a dramatic piinicr. But the distinctioa 
we have made is perhapa truer and more intelligible, viz. that the 
former garc greater dignity of [oTm, and the latter greater force and 
refincnieni of expresiiaD. Michael An^elo borrowed his style from 
•culptore, which represented in general only single ligures, (witb 
•ubofdinate accompanimentf.) and had not to exprcsa the conflicting 
actions and patsions of a multitude of persons. He is much more 
|Mcttiresi^ue than Raphael. The whole figure of his Jeremiah dtooj» 
and hangs down like a majestic tree surcharged with showers, tiia 
drawing of the human tijiure has all the characteristic freedom and 
boldness of Titian's landscape!. ' 

To return to Sir Joshua. He has given one very strange proof 
that there is no nuch thing as genius, namely, that 'the degrees of 
excellence which proclaims genius is diilereai in different rimes and 
place».' If Sir Joshua hsd aimed at a confutation of himself, he 
could not hare done it more effectually. For what is it that makes 
tbe difference but that which originates in a man's self, t.r., is first 
done by him, ii genius, and when it ii no longer original, but 
borrowed from former examples, it ceatea to be genius, since no one 
can ettabliih this claim by following the steps of others, but by going 
before them ? The test of genius may be differeDi, but the thing 
Haelf is the same, — a power at all times to do or to invent what hiu 
not before been done or invented, ft is plain from the pdisage 

' Sit losbu* <oi»i.ler< it <* • giMl i1<miI vantage W RiplucL in •tudjiag from 
the latiijut, l)i3t he had nat ihc (atititie* affatcled by nvixlcra piinu, but was 
forced tn wck oof, anil copy itinn ane by ane mi\h (test eire. We ibouN be 
4ltpaMil la revmr this concluiion. 

»«5 



ON THE IMITATION OF NATURE 



aboTt cited what bflneDCtd Sir Jiwhua's mind in hit Ttnri oa tlm 
nbject. He quarrelled with geniui from bcin^ annoyed with 
premature prettrnsiont to it. He was apprehrattve thst if j;«iiut 
wcie allowed u> «tand for any things industry would eo for oothisg in 
the mind* of 'the vain, tlie igooriiot, xad the idle- But u geitiin 
will do little without labour in U) art so mechiniea) at painting, so 
labour will do »till Icse without geoiut. lodeed, wlieccrer there it tnie 
gentu«, there will be true Ubourt that is, the exertion of that geniui 
in the lield mom proper for it. Sir Jo«hu3, frora htn unwillingoen to 
adinit one extreme, ha« fallen into the other, sod hu niiitalmi the 
dcicctioTi of an error for a deruoiutracion of the truth. ' The human 
underttandiDg,' sayn Luther, * resemble* a drunken clown on hone- 
back ; if you set it up on one side, it tumble* over on the otber.' 



ON THE IMITATION OF NATURE 

Tit Clmmfit*.] [Dtitmhir IJ, |tl^ 

Tki. tmttaiion of nature is die great object of an. Of course, the 
principle) by which thit imitation thould be regulated, form the 
IcadrD^ topic of Sir Jo«huji KcynoIdE's Icciurce. It is ccnain thai 
the mechanical imitation of individual objects, ox the part< of indivi- 
dual objects, doec not always produce beauty or grandeur ; or, 
generally ipcaking that tbt wiJe ej art deti not cotuiu in t^^ag 
nature. Reynolds seems hence disposed to inl'er, chat the whole of 
art coR«iiit in not imitatiRg individual nature. This is alio an erroTt 
and an error on ihc worst tide. 

Sir Joshua'i general lystem may be summed up in two words, — 
*'Iiat the great uylt in pmnting ettuhti in 4it«t^i^ the dtioi^, mtl 
fecM&aritUi ef partituiar ^hjetti' This sweeping princif^c he apolie* 
almost inditcrimiDaiely to ponraii, history, and landscape ;- — and be 
appears to have been led to the conclusion itself, from supposiog the 
tmttaiion of particular* to be incontisccut with gciKiat truth and eJfccu 

It will not be unimportant to inquitr how far thit opinion is well- 
founded : for ii appears to us, that the highest perfection of the an 
dependt, not on the separation, but on the union (as far as postibk) 
of geoerHl truth and eliect with individual distinctneta and accuracy. 

l-irttf it \i )i»id that the great style in painting, as it relates to the 
iiiinit.'diate imitation of external nature) consist) in avoiding the dctula 
of particular objcctH. 

It consittG neither in giving nur avoiding them, but In something 
^uite difTcreot from both. Any one may avoid the deuilt. So fat, 
dierc is no difference between the Cartoons, and a comown sint- 

li6 



I 



I 



I 



ON THE IMITATION OF NATURE 



pti'atiag. GmtDcii contitia tn giving the Urgcr masse* and propor- 
lioDi with mith ; — ihit dom rot prevent giving the imailer onei loo. 
Tkc otniDCt graiidnr of outline, and the broadctt matsn of Itghl aod 
■hade, ut perfectly compatible with the gtuteet minutcncu and 
ddicacj of detail, u may be u«n in nature. It ii not, indeed, 
ConnaoB to tee both auAliiteB combined in the imitation* of nxturc, 
any more than the comoinaiion of other excclleDcci ; nor arc we hcic 
nying to which the piincipal attention of the artist should be 
directed; but wc deny, that, conadcred in thetntelveft, the abMcice 
of the one quality is neccsury or sufficient lo the producdoo of 
the otbrr. 

If, for example, the form of the eye-brow it correctly ^vea, it 
wiU be perfectly indifTercnt to the truth of grandeur of the deaign, 
whether it cotuin of ooc broad marie, or ia composed of a munbcr 
of hair-lineii, arranged in the laroe order. So, if the lights and 
(hadei ate dispo<cd in fine and lurgc oiuks, the breaJA of the 
pKOire, as it ia called, cannot potsibly be atTectcd by the filling ttp 
of tboie maaaea with the deliiils ; — that is, with the lubordinaie 
dittioctioas which appear in nature. The anatomical dctaili is 
Michael Aogelo, the ever-varying outline of Raphael, the pcr^ct 
execuion of the Greek ilalues, do not asturcdty destroy their 
■ymmctry or dignity of formi — and in the !inc«t tpecimen* of the 
compoaition of colour, we may obtervc the lacgeat muses comtnned 
with the greatest variety to the prtc, of which thote mastet are 

COQpOKd. 

The groii style connitc in giting no dctaJlt, — ihv ^nkal in giving 
nochmg elie. Nature conuins bath large and small parts, — botb 
aasKS and detail* i and the (time may be nid of the mo«t perfect 
wotk« of art. The union of both kinds of excellence, of «trength 
with delicacy, a« Far at the limits of human capacity and the short- 
OcM of haman life would permit, is that which has e«tubli»lied the 
rrpuaiioo of the greatest master*. Farther, — their nio»r finished 
works are iheir best. The predominance, however, iif either excel- 
knee in these masters, has, of course, varied according to their 
opinion of the relative value of theac ditfereni <]ualitict>, — the lubouT 
they had the time or patience to bestow on their work«, — the skill 
of the artist, or the nature and extent of his subject. But, if the 
rale here objected to, — that the careful imitatios of the pant 
bjure* the enea of the wh«le, — be at once admitted, slorenhnes* 
wo«M become another name for getitus, and the mom unfinished 
performance would necessarily be the bcsL That such has been 
tlie confuted impeeuion left on the mind by the perusal of Sir 
Joshua's diuovrKes, t* evident from the practice as well ac the 

ai7 




M titu prinqpfe. 

•f UrtMHil tlMdfc B« br 
.tkMJBC***" tasMadi the MuniM < 

I itMilftn RMMhr B« pf«|(«a». The 

I «( A ikattjbt oar tbt iccwacy J a 

■W«Ji yiM t^ hm M NtiM fin* 
nAuaakHt ■MHit whicb i« made aa dedwr 
TttwWtk ■> tt te M aMM^ to uulKwitf, At , 
Im^ — ^> Nv I W <«• W«wl have bitn 6aiA Wk* 
Umm« m •• taMttfb ixf bDMlkiiif mc to be 
^ttimm^M^^Ll^tiuJmUi bMuw be 
^1 faiihli w Mi Wii t— w wait ihiBfi there w s 
«f ■•■■■ m Mikt H« furati mn tilt BnlcaoMi af 
iMt ai^ a^ MMi^ ImmmI <rf iimuciec it. He 
iKtk MtUffc « IK vJ|kl aplMar through a 
nnitttjp Ml aa h t«M- aNMWt to 0. It it tbe 





kokjMMaiilwii'lBMrMnnlly, sot as tfaf 
HSfMHWlMrikK >U l«b ia at bloooinv nl ~ 
•r « Ml. TMa% €BithiBB> «■> the coatnnrt ia < . — ^ _ 

tod atiMtMW to the cturtcMT ofmhu he ufia t au . ^fa 
Iht* tb« noct bok of aacurc, the nrj raoc aad «c 
Tho catllNa «»ritr^ ut' tua tiau ta blended into the pa t tm 
1'hoT* u a profer jr|r««' both of aolidity and tnmtf 
lh« pwia hMf i^albtt t wtny itnikc tvJJh aod adda t» 




To nndemaiKl tht vahtt of uy fzcellnirc, we mnat rc6? l» As 
vm which haa bem owtt of it. not to iaKtaoeet of ha aAan. If 
ihetc ia • cenuo iImno of iacd«ct«al mtcroecopic fi» h *i Mfc aUh 
w* netwr find uniwcr «Mt an aanxioa to other higher aid ^mt 
tediaptiMabU Mrtt »f the ail, w may tutpecl that there ia toadhiig 
iaeucD|«tibl* mtrcen (beni, and ibai the purtuit of tbc ov dmna 
the mind trom the aitaiiuwM of the other- Bni thia it the ml 
point to itop at — whece aloot wr (hould limit our theofy or oor 
efRifta. Wbrrrver different cxce lleocca have been actually mited to 
a cenun point of pctfectioo, lo thai point (ibctractedly ipvakiagl «c 
are lure that tkejr may, bikI ougtii to be united ajiiin. 7*befe m bo 
occation to add the iacitementt of indotcnce, affoctatioB, aad &lae 
theory, to the other caom winch comribute to the decline of an I 



ON THE IMITATION OF NATURE 



Jcwbua wtmE, tndKd, lo deny that Titian iiniihed much, and 

ay tbtit he produced, by two or three ttrokei of hit pencil, dfect* 

vhich tlir most laborious copyi^s would in rain attempt to e<)ual. 

Il is true that be availwl hiniielf, in a cODBiderdble degree, of what 

it called fxeeufi«n, to facilitate hi* imitation of natuie, but it was to 

bcilitatei not to Aupertedc it. By the mctbodi of tcumbling or 

ghfipg, he often broke the tnaMes of his fleth, — or by laying on 

l«ia|M of colour produced particalar effccu, to a degree that he could 

Dot othcrwike hare reached without coniiderahle low of time. We 

do not object to execution: it sarcs labour, and shewt a maMery 

both of baitd aiKJ eye. Bat then there it nothing; tnore dUtirct than 

execution and litmii^. Indeed, it in evident, that the only om of 

execution il to gire tbe details more compendtouily, and Rometimc*, 

even more happily. Lcare out ail regard to the detail*, reduce the 

whale into cr^c unTuying matio, and h becooncs totally ubcIcm; 

theie can be gircn jiut ai well without execution u with it. 

rilian, howe»er, made a very moderate, though » very admirable 

of tbis power; aod tboee who copy hia picturca will find, thu 

(implicity i* in the reiolts, not in the deiailR. 

Tbe other Venetian ^i'lnteit made too violent a u«e of execution, 

anleu cbcir aubjccti formed an excuse for Lbcm. Vandyke mccess- 

Ailly employed it in giving the last finishing to the deiaiU. Rembiandt 

employed it itil) more, and with more perfect irutli of effect.— RubenK 

•aijiloycd it e^wlly, but Dot bo ai to produce an cquA} rcwmblance of 

kttnre. Hia pencil ran away wttn hti eye.— To conclude our 

obtervaatona on this head, we will only add, that while the aniM 

tluaks that there ii any thing to be done, cither to the whole or to the 

ptm f>f hii picture, which can give it still more the look of natmei 

if he u willing to proceed, we would not advtie him to detiai. — This 

rale i» »till more oecettary to the young student, for he will relax in 

hu Klcntion m he grows older. And again, with respect to the 

nlxirdinaie paiii of a picture, there is no danger that he will bestow 

a ditproportionate degree of labour upon thrm, because he will not 

fee) the same totercst in copying them, and because a much less 

degne of accuracy will serve e»ery purpose of deception ; — the 

tucety of our habitual obtervations being always in proportion to our 

■otereM in the objrcls.^-Sir Jothtui somewhere object! to the attempt 

ID deceive by painting; and his reason it, that wax*wnrk, which 

deceiees most effectually, is a very disagreeable as well as contemptible 

an* It mtght be antweied, firtt, that nothing is much more unlike 

watmt than such figures generally are, and farther, that they only 

ftpiaee the appearance of prominence and relief, by having it in 

-in which ihey arc jut the reverse of painting. 

319 



ON THE IMITATION OF NATURE 



Secondly, with rc^rd to ixrusnoii, we can hinlly sgrcc with Sir 
Joibw that ^ iht pfrfnlim efimitaiioH eaiuijtt m yrW'y tht gentral idta 
vr rharatter, net t^ ^(uHaritict of inJixiJualt, — y'^c do not think this 
nile 3iX all well-founded with renpcct to port rait- painting, oor applic- 
able to hinory to the cxtcoi to which Sir Joehua carries tt. For 
lh« pfcseot, wc *hal) coaline oiuaclvet to the former of thetc. 

No doubt, if wc were to chuae Iieiwccn the geni-ral character and 
the prculiartties of feature, wc vv^ht to prefer the former. Bui they 
are lo far from being tncompatihlc with, that ther arc not without 
Mine diiliculty disiinjtuiahablc from, each other. There \t indeed a 
geiMral look of the (ace, a wedominanl cxnreuion ariniiig from tbc 
correspondence and connection of the differeot pans, which it it 
alwayi of the flrat and last importance to give ; and without which 
no cialxirniion of detached parti, or marking of tlie peculiarity of 
single featuret, is worth any thing; but which at the same linie, is 
certainly not dniroycd, hut aisistcd, by the careful liniihtng, and still 
more by gi»ing the exact outline of e:ich pjrt. 

It is on thiu point that the French and F.nglinh «ehooU differ, and 
(in my opinion) ate J>oih wronR. The Gnj^liih seem fjCDcrally to 
suppose, that, it they only leave out the subordinate parts, (hey are 
sure of the general result. The French, on the concrary, as idly 
imagine, that by attending to each scpantc pan, they must ■ofalllbly 
arrive at a correct whole, — not considcrin;> that, betides the fortit 
there n their rrintion lo each otl)l^^, and the general chariicter sumped 
upon tlicni by the mind itself, which to be seen miiBi be fdt, — for it 
is demon It I table that all expression and character are percetred by the 
mind, and not by the eye only. The French painters we only lines, 
and jitcciie difTcrcncct ; — the Enj^lith only genera] masses, aiul strong 
efTecis. Hence the two nations connantjy reproach one another 
with (hr dilfrrence of their styles of art ; the one as dry, hard and 
miDatc, the other bg groei, gotbtc, and uofiniihed ; and they will 
probably remain for ever latislied wsh each other' j dtfuti, which 
:itfbrd a very toleraiilc fund of consolation on either side. 

There is comething io the two styles which aiiiM, perhaps, from 
naiioool countcn.-incc as well as chariaer : — the French pbyiu)gix>m)r 
is frittered away into a parcel of little moveable compartmenU and 
dittiitct signs of intelligence, — like a telegraphic machinery. The 
English countenance, on the athcr band, is too apt to sink into a 
lumpish mats, with rciy few ideas, and those set in a sort of stupid 
stereotype. 

To return to the proper buaiscuof ponrait-paintiog. We mean to 
speak of it, not as a lucrative profession, nor as an indoknt amuiemeat, 
(for wc interfere witli so man'ii ptolitBor pleatum), but as a ^aajjiU; 

MO 



I 



ON THE IMITATION OF NATURE 

■n, the object of wluch u lo exercise the taleou of the aratt, and lo 
idd to (be itock of idut in the public. And in this point of view. 
we ihould inugine thai tbai tt the best ponriit which eonuina the 
AiUcK rcpretcotation of indiiidunl nature. 

Poruiit-piniing i» the biography of the pencil, and be who givet 
mou of the p«cai!uritki lod detaili, with itiott of the general char- 
■ctcr, — that ti of itefnng, — n tbc be*t biographer, and the bc« 
portrait-pa inter. What if Botwel) (the prince of biographers) had 
Dot giten ui the icene between Willcet and Johnson at Duly"* table, 
ot bad not introduced the litUc cpi«odc orColdtmiih Gtnitiiog about 
in hu pexch-colourcd coat after the »ucce»s of bis play, — should we 
hare had a more perfect idea of the general character of those 
cdebratcd pcrMoo Irani the omiHion of thcw particular* ? Oi if 
Rrynoldi hid not painter) the former a* 'Hinimg Sam,' or had given 
na tuch a repreaentation of the httrr at we cee of torae modem poeu 
Ml aomc roodem magajunci, the fame of that painter would have been 
confined to the circles of fashion, — where they natumlly look fbi the 
nme aelectioo of beauiien in a jwrtrait, a* of topict in a dedication, 
Of a copy of compltmentary vcrte* ! 

It hai not been uncommon that portratta of this kind, which 
prefeaacd to admit all the peculiaritiet, and to heighten all die 
cxcdtenee* of a face, have been elevated by ignorance and affectation, 
to the dignified rank of historical puruait. But in fact they are 
mcielj taritiUurr tramfostJ: that ii, i» the caticaturiit make« a mouth 
wider than it really is, «o the painter ci fiatirrntg Mtncuei (a« thev 
mt termed) maket it not ao wide, by a procetu juat as mechanical, 
and more iniipid. Inttead, however, of objecting captiotuly to 
common theory or practice, it will uerhapt be better to state at once 
OBT own cunccpttons of hiiiorical portiait. It coositta, then, \t\ 
tdztag the pfcdominant form or expression, and preserving it with 
tnah throughom every part. Il it representing the indii-idual under 
one consincat, probable, and itriking view ; or shewing the difi'ccent 
(euurct, mniclei, etc. in one action, and modified by one principle. 
A fiice thus painted, ia hutoneal i^thxt ii, it carries its own interna! 
ctidencc of truth and nature wiih it : and the number of individual 
pecaGaritie*, as loog at they arc true to nature, cannot lesiiro, but 
out add to the genera] strength of the impreiaioB. 

To give an example or two of what wc mean. We concdvc ttiat 
the common pontail of Oliver Cromwell would be lets valuable and 
nriJusg if the wart on the face were taken away. It correipondi 
mil the gcocnl roughncts and knottioets of the rcitof the &ce; — or 
if camidered merely aa an accident, it operates as a kind of cir- 
ftTtliW'*' evidence of the genuineness of the representation. Sit 

Stl 



ON THE IMITATION OF NATUHE 



Jotbua Rcyaolds'i portTsit of Dr. Jofantoa bu kh^sctlier that 
alugjiatincst of outward appcarsnce. — that warn of cjuickncsi aod 
veftaiility, — that abiorptloa of faculty, and look of purbtind redectioa, 
witich were charactemiic of hit mind. The accidentti ditcoflipoiore 
of bis wig indicates hU habits. If. witii the aaiuc fdiciiy and inilb 
of conception, ihh portrait (wc mean the commoo one reading) had 
been more nud<r out, Jt would not have be«D let* hiUorical, though it 
would have been more hkc and natural. 

Titian's pomaiii are the mom hirorical thai Cfcr were punted ; 
and they are so for this reason, that they have most ooaiisteticy of 
Form and exprc5Mun. Hi> poitraits of Hippolito dc McdicJi aod of a 
youD£ Neapotitaa ttoblcman in the Lourrc, are a striking contran in 
this reipect. Alt the lioee of the face in tb« one g — the eye-browt, 
the note, the conicis pf the mouth, th« coDUwr of the (iuc, — prevent 
the came sharp aoglcn, the same acute, edgy, contracted expresiioii. 
The other face hns the IrncBt expauton of feature and outline, *ad 
conveys the most cx<}uisiic idea postiblc of mild, thoa^hiful tcntiiaent. 
The harmony of the exprcMion coiutiiuie* as great a charm in 
Tiiian'f porti^tB, as that of colour. The aimilaniy lometiracs 
objected to them, is partly national, aad partly arises (torn the claai 
uf pcmoas whom lie jKiititcd. He paiutea only lulians ; and in his 
time none tnit [>cf(oiu of the highest nnk, senators or cardioaU, nt 
for their pictures. 

SirJofthua appears to hare been led into ncveral rrrort by a fsUr 
use of the term* general and fartiailar. Nothing can be more 
diifercQt than the various application of both these tetnis to dtfTercnt 
ihingB, aad yet Sir Joshua constantly uses and reatooa upon them as 
invariable. There are three sensetof the expression /nsrni/fjSiararWr, 
u applied to ideas or objecu. In the first, it sif^bes the general 
a^icaraoce or a];grcf;atc imprcasioa of the whole object, as opposed to 
the mere detail of detached p;irtfl. In tlie second, iL signifies the 
cUkk, or whnc a number of such obieci* have in common with onit 
another, to the exclusion of their characteristic differences. lo this 
sense it is laDisniount to ahiraet. In the third it signifie* what is 
usual or common, in oppoaittoo to mere ongulirity, or accidental 
exceptions to the ordinary course of nature. The general idea or 
characicr of a particular face. i.e. the aggregate impresaioa remltiag 
from all the parts combined, b surely very diff«'ent from the abatrace 
idea, or what it hat in common with Kvcral others. If on giving 
the former all character depends ; to give nothing but the latter is to 
take away all character. The more a painter nmfrthetuti of what be 
tecs, the more valuable his work will be: but it is net true that bia 
excellence will be the greater, the mote he aittratu from what he aeet. 



ON THE IDEAL 

— Tber« » »e easetuial diatisctioa wbicb Sir Jo«hua hai not obterred. 
Tbc dcuils and pecultariciet of ituure vt ooly incooiiitcoi with 
abctTKt ideas, lad oot with grncml or aggregate elTecu. By coo- 
founding the two thiogt. Sir Joibua excludes the peculiaritiea and 
deuili Dot only fiom his hiatoiical comuanition, but troro sn coUrgcd 
view and compreheniivc imitauon of xD(lividti:tt naiiue. 

We have here attempted to give tome account of what ihould be 
ncant by the itlcuJ in portrait-painting ; ia our ocst jud coocluding 
article oo thit lubject, wc ihill attempt an exjiUoaiion of this tcrnt 
■c it appliet to hiitorical patntiog. 



ON THE IDEAL. 
~nt a^fiau) [;nu7 1. tii(. 

■ Ft» I would by oo atcvu be thought to comprehend those writen 

«f uuprtsing genhu, the authort of inunetue romance*, oi the modem 

noTcl aad Aulantii wiilcis, who, without aoy utiataoce front natuie 

or history, record pcrsoos who oeTcr were, or will be, and facts 

which ttever did, nor possibly can happen : whose heroes are of their 

own creition, and then brain* th« cbao» whence all their milcfiaU are 

collccied. Not ihat nich writers deserve no honour ; so far from it* 

(bit perhaps they mcTii the highest. One may apply to them what 

Balzac says of Artiloile, thai they are a ueand aahtre \ for they hiTC 

so commuoicaiioD with the first, by which authors of an inferior class, 

who cannot ataod alone, are obliged to luppon ihemselvei, as with 

cnxtches.' — Ftnouic'i Joj^ AnJnwt, «oI. ii. 

What is here niil of certain writers of romance, would aj^y 
equally to a great number of painters of history. These persons, not 
without the sanction of high authority, have come to (he codcIumoo 
that they had only to quit the Tslgar path of truth and reality, in 
order that they ' might ascend the brightest heaico of ioTentioo.' — 
ad thai to get rid of nature wu all that was necesory to the loftieK 
fli^iU of art, as the toul discolaoglcd from the load ot matter soars to 
tta natise skies. Bat thU is by no means the truth. All ati is built 

rnitm ; and the tree of knowledge lifts its braoches to the 
It, only as it has struck its roots deep iaio the earth. He is the 
greatest amit, not who leiTC4 the materi.ils ofnaiurr behind him, but 
who carries them with him imo the world of invrmioa; — and the 
larger and more eoiitc the masse* in which he i« able to apply tbem 
to his purpose, the stronger and more durable will his productions be. 
Sir Joshua Reynolds itdmiu that the knowledge of the individnal 
forms and varioiis comhinations of nature, is necessary to the student* 



ON THE IDEAL 

but it is only in order that he may avwJthcta, and strrnng clear of^ 
all irprccenuiioD of ibingf as they actually cxiit, waodcT up and dowiM 
in th'e empty void ot bis oivn imaginitidD, haring nothing better 
cliog to, than certain thadowy middle form>t made up of an sbttnc 
tionofall ochcri, and conummg nothing in ihf-mM:rTe». Stnpping 
nature of Bubstance ind accident, he is to exhibit a decompoonded, 
diKnibodicd, Taguc, ideal nature in her stcadt kcd ihtough the miMy 
veil of mctaphyvics and coTered with the same fog and haze of 
confusion, while 

■Obtcurity her curtain round him dnwt, 
Aiid Mm sloth a dull <{uletui )<ng9.' 

The concrete, and not the abstract, is the object of paintingi asd 
of all ihc works of imaginaiion. History-pftintiog is maguury 
portrait>paiotiDg. The portrait-painter giies you an iodividiul, nich 
ai be is in himielf, and vouches for the truth of the likeness ai a 
matter of fact : the hisiorical painter girei you the individual such u 
he is likely lo be, — itiit is, approachet u near to the reality as hil 
itnsginatioD will enable him lo do, leaving out such particulars m ar 
incon»i»ceiit with the preconceived tdca, — as ore merely trifling aai! 
accidcniat, — and retaining all Hich at are striking, probable, and 
coniiitent. Because the historical painter hiis not the same immcdia 
data tu go upon, but must connect iodividual nature with m ims^aarjr] 
subject, is that any reason why be should diicard iodlviduil 
altogether, and thus leave nothing for hie inia:gination, or tlie imagtia-'' 
tioo of the spectator to work upon f Portrait and hiMory differ as t 
narration of facts or a probable fiction differ; but abstractioo is the 
essence of neither. That is not the finest historical head which has 
leait the look of nature, but which has molt the look of oaiurc, if it 
has the look of history also. But it has the look of nature, i.e, oT 
striking and probable natun, — as it has a marked and decided 
character, and not a character of iivditference : and a* tbe fcMUrc* 
and expression are coniistent with themtclres, not as they arc 
oonmton to others. The ideal is that which answers to the idea of 
something, and not to the idea of any thing, or of nothing. Any 
countenance airikcs matt ugion the imagination, eiilicr in a picture or in 
reality, which has mo«t diitiactnes* ffoni others, and mo«t identity 
with it«elf> The keeping in the character, not the want of character, 
it the essence of history. Without some such limitation as ve hare 
here given, on the general statement of Sir Joshua, we see oo re&tiDg- 
place where the painter or the poet is to make his stand, to at not lo 
be pushed to the utmoit i eigc of naked commonplace inanity) — nor do 
weundcrstand how there Uioold beany such thing u poetry or painting 

"4 



ON THE IDEAL 

tolenud. A t^vla raia, a rerbal drfinitioD, the lure namct muK be 
benrr than the most Miiking descriptton or repreEcnution j — the 
sTgumcat ofa poeni better tlua U)c poem ittclf, — or the caulugue of 
2 picture ihin the ongiiul work.. Whrrc ihall we itop in the euy 
dowa-hill pau of eifcminatc, unmraniDg insipidity f There it oae 
ciicnniitaoce, to be jituc, to reconunenii the ■yitcm here objected to, 
vhich i(, ih<t he who proiKHCi tfan idc^ perfection to himarlf. can 
hardly fail to lucceed in it. An arciat vbo paiata on the infallible 
pnoc^le of not imitating tutuie, ia rcpreteatiBg the nieetio^ of 
Xelcmachu* and Calypoo* will not find it diflicult to confound all 
ilifercDce of lex or pitnan, and in pounraying thr form of Mentor, 
will leare out every dittinctire maitc of age or wisdom. In repre- 
icnting a Grecian marriage he will refine on hit laTOuritc principles 
till tt will be ponible to transpose the features of the bridegroom and 
the bride without the leant tiolattoa of propriety . all the womeo will 
be like thcneo; and all like one anolher* all equally young, bloofoiog} 
Hniltn^ elccant, and iniipid. On Sir JoBhua's theory of ttie htaa Utat, 
Mr. Weflull's pictures are perhaps the be«t that ever were paiated, and 
oo aay other theory, the wont ; for they exhibit an absolute nc^tion 
ef all expreanon, charatMr, and disciimination of form and colour. 

We ihill codeavouf to explain our doctrine by >ome examples 
vhich appear to us either directly subrersive of, or not tcry obvioiuly 
included to. Sir J. Reynolds's theory of history painting, or of the 
ptittdples of art in general. 1* there any one who can possibly 
dooU that Hogarth's pictures are perfi'ctly and ewcotially hiiioruaji 
— 4r that they convey a story pert<;ctly iotelligj biy, with faces and 
expfcasiooa which every ooc must recognise I They have evidently 
a ccnmoa or general character, but ihiic gcnaal character is defined 
aod modilicd by individual pecoliaritiet, which certainly do not take 
■war from the illiuion or the effect any more than they would in 
aanue. There is, in the polling for votes, a fat and a lean lawyer, 
yet both of them are lawyers, and lawyers busy at an eleui(» 
Bijatbble. It is the same widi the voters, who are of all descriptions, 
the lame, the blind, and tlie lult. yet who all convey the very fcel- 
iog vhich the scene inspires, with the greaten variety and the 
jreaMtt cooaistmcy of expreasion. The character of Air. Mrabam 
Adami by Fielding, is somewhat particular, and even singular : yet it 
ii sot lew ifitelligibtc or striking on that account ; and his lawyer and 
his iaodladf, though copied from individuals in r«al life, had yet, as 
kc liunwif obacrres, existed four thouutod years, and would continue 
to make a tignre in the world at long as certain passions were found 
mited with certain litoattons, and operating on certaia ditponitioni. 
It will, we svppoie, be objected that this, though history and 



VOL. XI. 



221 



ON THE IDEAL 



imrcBtioii, it not high hiuonr, or poetical iovtiitioa. Wc 
UBwer thcD xt once by appealing to absketpcve. It will be : 
that hit characters are eoeticaJ ai wril as nalurzi ; yet the iadindBal 
portrait is almost as stnlcio^ as the general exprestion of nature aad 
pasuon. It ID ibis and tbi« oaly vhich duunguinhet him from tbc 
French Kchool. Dr. Johnwo, proceeding oa the lame theoretical 
prtnciples as hi» friend Sir Joshua, aflirniK, that the excelleace of 
ohalcupcarc's characters coniim in their generality. We grant in 
one tense it doe* ; but wc will add that it contius in their far> 
tieulnrity also. Are the admirable deecriptjoni of the king* of 
Thrace and Indc in Chaucer's Knight's Talc, lets poetical or 
historical, or ideal, because they are dittinguiihcd by traits at 
characteristic at they are nriking ; — in their iineamentt, their persons, 
their armour, their other attribute*, tbc one black and broadt the other 
ull, and fair, and frecklnj, with yellow crisped locks that gltUered as 
(he tun. The four white hulls, and the lions which accompany ihem 
are ec^uslly liac, but they arc not fine because they present no distincl 
image to the mind. The clfeci of this is somehow tost in Drydcn's 
Palumon and Arcite, and the poetry is lost with it. 

Mach more i* it necosary to combine individuality with tfae highest 
works of art in painting, ' whose end and use both at the first, now is, ^ 
and was, to hold as 'twere the mirror u{) to nature.' The painter fl 
give* the degree and peculiarity of expre*tioD where words in a ^ 
manner lea re off, and if he doc» not go beyond mere abstraction, he doe* 
nothing. The cartoons of Raphael, and his picturrs in the Vatican, 
arc aulilcicnily historical, yet there is hardly a face or Itgure in any of 
them wliich is anything more tlian fine and indiridual nature finely 
diipotcd. The Lite Mr. Barry, who could not be suspected of a pre- 
wifice on this iidc of the nuestioo, speaks thus of them, — *In 
Raphael's pictures (at the Vatican) of the Dispute of the Sacrsmrnt 
and the School of Athens, one teet ail the heads to be entirely 
copied from particular character! in nature, nearly proper for the 
persons and situation wliich he adapts them to j and he scenn to roe 
only to add and take away whit may answer hii purpose in liitJc pans, 
features. Sic : conceiving, while he had the head before him, ideal 
characters and expresnons, which he adapM these features and 
peculiarities of face to. This attention to the particulars which dis- 
tinguish all the different faces, percons and characters, the ooe from 
the other, gives hii pictures quite the verity and uoitfccted dignity 
of nature, which ttamp the distinguisliing dilTcrcncet betwixt one man's 
face and body and another's.' 

If any thing is wanting to the conclusiveness of this teuimony, it is 
onlv to look at the piciDTc* thcmsclTCf, particularly the Miracle of 

336 



ON THE IDEAL 



>CoDvernoR, and the Aurmbly of Suinti, which are little die 
a collection of divine jwrtratu, in natural sod cxjueuire 
attitude*, — full q{ ihc loftictt thought and fcclioff, and m vuied a* 
tbcy arc &ac. It is ihln reliance on the power ot natuic, which hu 
produced ihoec niastci-picccs l>y the urincc of palnteri, in which 
cxptcsuoii i» &11 in JI ; — where onv «)>trit — that of truth— -pemde* 
cTcry pan, bring* down bea^-en to caitli, mingles cardinal* and popei 
with angel* asd apostles, aod yet blend* and harmonise* the whole bjr 
the true tocchea and totcoK feeling of what is hcdutiful and grand in 
nature. It i* no wonder that Sir Joshua, when he first saw Raphael's 
picturefl in the Vatican, was at a Io«k <u diccover any great excellence 
ia them, if he wan looking out for hi* theory of the ideal, of neutral 
character and middle (ntnia. 

Aoother authority, which has been in some mcattire discovered 
tiacc the publication of Sir Joshua's Discourses, ts to be found in 
the Elgin Marbles, taken from the Acrnpuliti, and sujipoacd lo be the 
works of the celebrated Phidias. The process of fastidious refine- 
ment, and IlintBy abstraction, is cerUinly not visible there. The 
figures hare all the ease, the simplicity, and variety of nature, and 
look mote like living men turned to stone than any thing else- 
Even the details of the subordinate parts, the loose folds ia the skin, 
the veins under the belly or on the side» of the hone*, mure or len 
SKcIled as the animal ii more or less in action, are given with 
sctuptdous exactness. This is true nature, and true history. In a 
word, wt can illustrate our position here better than we could with 
respect to painting, by saying that these intaiuable remains of 
oatstfuity are precisely like ca«u taken from nature. — Michael Angelo 
Md the antique niay still be cited against ds, and we wiih to speak 
00 this subject witli great difiidence. We confns, they appear to us 
mach more artilicia! than the others, but we do not think (hat this ii 
their excellence. For instance, it strikes us tJiat there is somctfung 
^ettrical in the air of the j^te/b, and in the Hcrtultt an ostentatious 
sod over-laboured display of the knowledge of the muscles. Perhaps 
(he fragment of the liriruj at Lord Elgin's has more grandeur as 
•ell as more nature than either of thcni. The form of the limbs, as 
aSected by presjuie or action, and the general sway of the body, are 
betcr preserved in it. The scTcial parts in the later Greek Hisnies 
ire more baUneed, made more to tally like motlctn period) ; each 
pnccle is more equally brought out, and highly finished, and is 
better in itMlf, but worse as a part of a whole. If theae 
ful productions have a fault, it is the want of simplicity, of a 
due *ub(}rdituuioo of pans, which iomciimes gives them more a look 
of perfect lay-figure* put into attitudes, than of real imiiaiioos of nature. 

J27 



OS THE IDEAL 



The same objection may be orged igainit the works of MkkicT 
Angclo, and ii indcrd the necesurjr contec^uencc cither of lelcctiiig 
froRi 1 number of diflfereac modeh, or of proMeding od a •dndfie 
kaowledgc of ihc ttructurt of the ditfrreat ptru ; for the phydcal 
form 11 lontcthing giren and dclined, bvi motion » rarioo* and innnitc. 
The niperior tymmetry of form, common to the ancient ttatties, we 
have no hcsiution in attributing to the superior lymoietry of the 
model* in natuTe, and to the aujierioT opportunity Tor uudying ibcm. 

In gefiernl, wt would be undemood to mean, that the ideal it not a 
toluaurr 6ciion of the brain, a fancifu] piece of patcb-worlc, a com- 
womiie between the defects of nature, or an artilicial balance nruclc 
Mtwern innimwrable deformitieit, (a« if we could form a perfect idea 
of bcaaty though we never had tcea any such thing,) but a preference 
of what is fine in nature to what is less lO. There !« nothmg fine in 
art but what In i.-iken ultiiott inimedtateljf and entirely from what it 
finer in osture. Where there have been tbe lio<4t model* in tuture, 
there have also been the finest works of aru The Greek statuei were 
copied from Greek formt. Their ponraiis of individuaU were often 
vuperior to their pcrwnificationt of their goda ; the head of the 
Antinitui, for example, to that of the /fyeSo. Rauhad'e expressions 
were taken from Italian faces ; and we have heard it observed, that 
the women in the atreets of Rome seem to haTc walked om of his 
pictures in the Vaiicsn, 

If we are aiked, then, what it U that constitutes historic expression 
or ideal beauty, we thould answer, not (with Sir Joshua] abstract 
expression or middle forms, but conustcncy of expression in the ooc, 
and symmetry of form in the ncher. 

A face is hiitorical, which is made up of contistetit parts, let those 
parts be CYrr to peculiar or uncommon. Those dct&ili or peculiarities 
only arc inadmissible in history, which do not arise out of any 
principle, or tend to any conclusion, — which are merely canut, mtignt- 
ficaoi) and unconnected, — which do not ic/i; that is, which cither do 
not add to, or which contradict the general rcsalt,^which are not 
integrant parts of one whole, however strange or irregular that whole 
Rtay be. That history docs not require or consist in the middle form 
or central features is proved by this, that the antique heads of ftuns 
and satyrs, of Pan or SiUaut, are perfectly grotesque and tiogular j yet 
arc M uodoubtedCy hiatorical, as the Apollo or the Venut, because 
they ha« the same pTcdominant, iotellifrible, characteristic expression 
throii5;hout. Soeraset m aperson whom we recognise quite ai familiarly, 
from our general acquaintance with human namic, ai ^ItihiaJti.^ 

* The piclnn* of Ruben* at Btenheim ire snether proat of tJu'*^ andoensliUy 
£ntr than Uie LunEnbowrg galUty, 

«a8 



ON THE tDEAt 



I 



TTic (iinpliciiy or the fewnc** of the jiann of a head faciliMtci ihii 
effrci, Ixii u not ncceiiary lo it. The h«ad of a Dvgio, a mulatto, &c. 
introduced into a picture » aJwayi hiMorical, b«<au»e it is alwAye 
ditticct from the rcit, and DRiform with ttaelf. The &c« corcrcd with 
a beard t> hiuorJcal for the nine reaBOO, because it pmrot* diitinct 
and uniibfTD nasMt. Again, a face, oot bo ia itsclf> bccomca hiitorical 
b; the mere Torce of pauion. The lunc itrong jMuion moulds the 
featomi into thr ume emphatic cxprestion, by giring lo the mouth, (he 
eyes, tlie forehead, etc., the Ktini: cxpaiiiioo or coatraction, the tame 
volupcuoua moToncnt or pirful conMraint. AM intellectual and im> 
rastiooed facet are hittorical ; — the heads of |>hilo«opher(, porU, 
lorert, and madmen. Pauioa lomctime* produce! beauty by tbi* 
mcoQS, and thcic is a beauty of form, (he efTect entirely of exjucuioa ; 
u a nniUng month, oot beautiful in common, beconiM toby being put 
into that aetioo. 

Sir Joahoa was probably led to hit opinions on art in general by h It 
theory of beauty, which he malccR lo contitt in a ceruin central ioTta, 
ibc nKdnim of all otherc. In the &ret place, tliin theory it <|ue*tion- 
atlc in tiaclf: or if it were not to, it doca not include many other 
tbiaga of much more importance in hittorical painting (though perhaps 
oot to tn tculpture') namely, character, which nccessartly impliet 
tndiTiduality ; expreutoo, which it the cxccn of thought or feeling, 
stTeogth or grandeur of form, which it excets sito.' — There aeem^ 
boverer, to be a certain symmetry of form, at (here is a certain 
hannony of soundt oc colonrn, which givea pleaaure, and produces 
beauty, independently of cottom. Cunom it undoubtedly one aource 
or coodiuon of beauty, but it appear* to be rather its limit than itt 
«Mcncc; thai ia, there are certain given forma and proportions 
cnabliihed by nature in tlie nructurc of each thing, and unaioned by 
cuMom, without which there can only be dittortion and incongruity, 
bit which alone do not produce beauty. One kind is more bcautiral 
Hod another ; and the oSjecu of the lame kind are not WautiAil 
merely aa we are used to them. The roae or lily ia more beautiful 
than iJic daity, the twan than the crow, the greyhound than the beagle, 
the deer than the wild goat ; and we invariably prefer the Greek to 
the African &ce, though our own incline* more to the latter. We 
adaiirc the broad foichcad, the ttraighl nose, the small mouth, 
tic oval cbin. Regular featiuea arc those which record and a&nimilDtc 
jnoM to one another. The Greek face is made tip of smooth tlnwtng 
lisea, and correcpondent featuica ; the African face of iharp angles 
aad projectkina. A row of pillars ia beautiful for the same rcaion. 

' Micbid Aagelo took hii idcai oi jolntiitj from Ktilptun, ind Sir Jotltaa from 
Hkbad Aoplo. 

•99 



L. BUONAPARTE'S 'CHARLEMAGNE* 

Wf coflicu, on this tubject of beauty, we are h>lf-diipowd to fall into] 
the mysticitm of Raphael McQgt, who had eomc DOtioa about «| 
[inncipie of vaivmai Banncnji, if we did not dread the censure of oai 
eminent critic. 



CHARLEMAGNE: OU L'feCLISE DtLlVR^E. 

Tird^mfhrn] {Dttt^itr it, tSt4. 

It icldoiu hap])CDS thai the tamt familjr prodacc* an cropciour aadl 
ut epic poet. So it U, however, In ilie jiment inttanoe. The] 
brother of BuoDapttnc may i>c allowed to takf hi* rank araoog poeti^ 
u BuoMparcc himself has done amocg kjngu But the hittonaa of 
Charlemagne docs not appear to u< to preaeot quite the same formid- 
ahle front to the rnabliihed |>o»eason of the (eaia of the mujtce, as the 
imiutor of Chuk-maj'.nc did lo the hctcditanr occupiers of thrones. A 
tclf'will without controul, an ambition without bounds, a gigantic 
daring which buih itt conlidenceof luccewon the cuntrmpt of danger, 
were the means by whicb Buoruipartc obtained and lost hia portentooa 
power; and by whicli he would probably have loit it on the borders 
of the Ganges, or among the sands of the Re6 Sea, if he had not been 
prevented by the «nowt of Russia. 

Our poet is not the same monster of genius that his brother was of 
power. In the career of fame, he does not risk the micccss of hts 
reputation by the unlimited extravagance ot hit preteseioas. His 
niuac does not disdain tnlwrrow the concejitions of others, ot to submit 
tci the tuW of nrt ; and tEie boldest flights of his im^j^attoa seldoni 
pats the bounds of a well-regulated enthusiasm. Clrarlraia^nt is the 
work of a very clever man, raihcr t han a great poei ; it dispUya nnore 
Lilenc than gentus, more ingenuity thun invention. It ii mote artificial 
than original. In saying this, we would not be understood to mean, 
that it is without considerable noTchy, cither of dcscripuon or senti- 
ment. Far, very far from ti : almost every page preaenta examples of 
both, equally striking and elegant, which it would be dilficult to refer 
immediately to any similar passages in other authors. But the whole 
wants character: ii doet not lie.ir the stamp of ttie tame presiding 
mind ; no new world of imagination is opened to the view : we do not 
feel the presence of .1 jwwcr which wc have never felt before, and 
which we can never forget. ^1 

The tisnzaa arc all equally or proportionably good : but they are ai^| 
good separately, aa taken together : they do not run into one another ; 
Uiey do not luake a [wem. There is no strong impdsc ^veo. no 

230 



L. BUONAPARTE'S 'CHARLEMAGNE' 

Ovcrpovr«ring ffraiidcui of «frct. In scarcely any ^MX of ihe ttory 
doc* the rniod look back with terror and delight at what it pati, or 
hurr^ on with eager curimity lo wh;it b to come. The art i) too 
aptnmH. The author it too hu^y in managing hit materiilt, in 
(elect !ng, adorning, vafyiDg,iDd3mpliryiiigthenitoth«beiiiadvanta;;p: 
bul the)' teem tnmething rxiernul lo liim. His subject hat not taken 
entire potwtiioo of hU mind, anil therefore he dou not take full 
powcMBoa of hit readers. Vet it ii certain ihdt all the matcmli of 
poetry are here; — imageryt incident, chnracter, pstsion, thought, and 
otMerration — all but the dirine enthutiatm of the poei. which can 
alow commonicate true warmth and enthusi^m to otheri. 

There ia one praite which we mo«t willingly bcttow on thia i>ocitit 
vhtcfa a, that it it nnt Frtwtr. It it not anotlier Hknxiacc : — 
that it, it it not poetry devoid of at! inugtnatton, and of erery thine 
like inaginativn. On the cuniiary, it abounds with variety xM 
dittiactiicM of conception, and it evidently written on the model of 
Italian poetry. Wr were a Htile surpriKd to lind that the author had 
not adopted the coromoD heroic French vcrK, but hat borrowed ibc 
lulian Sianu with rarying rhymet, and a little half verse in the 
middle, which hai an agreeable effect i-noiigh in the lighter parts of 
the poem, but doct not accord eo well with the more serious and im- 
pmnve. The following stanzas will give our readers an idea of the 
(BCtrv, and of the general ttyle of description — They represent 
Charlrnugne travcriing the Alps the niglil before a battle. 

' Au d»iuK du mont Jove, un mom plu> exarpt 
S*cliincc daiu la nue, ct ta ciinc tirr4yantc 
N'olfrc point (lea Kntiert la mcc ramuiantc. 
Par lea vents oragcux aan^ ccnc il e*t fiappi. 
Id, plus dc forctSj plui de germt dc rici 

Sur la aurfocc unic 
L'anlenie caniculc en vain darilc sn fens : 
De* glatont entatfci (piramide JlcmcJIe I) 
EtouRcnt la nature ; n ilani cei tri>tes lieux, 
A u fccundiic la tcrre nt infidele. 

C'est par la qn'aujourri'hui Charlei t'omvre un pauage. 
Let cojrtierv dtlain^ errcnt <ians le vallon : 
T.t parmille dctoura le Terrible eicadron 
Avance lenttmcTit »iir la petite mivagc. 
L'aure dei Riiit* (iiivait ton court silencicux j 

L^t vcnit impciiittix 
Entrechoquant par folt let lanccc formidablcs, 
S'opponient vamcmcnt ii tK% audacieua. 
Qui suirsnt de Icur chef Ic* pas infati^ables 
Touchent cnfin le wl du piion touiciUcua. 

23' 



L. BUONAPARTE'S 'CHARLEMAGNE' 



Ba ocrdci itMcni* prti du Alt de Pepin, 
Sm digfua eompifnoDi au loin icitmt U vuc 
Sur unc t£nfbnuie rt profoodc cicnduc 
D< mobile! ripcun, (fe Diueci unt iin. 
Appujis ^ur leur g\uvt ilt domineni la sphere 

Oil Ic bniyant tonnerrc 
S'aTlainc fit \e choc dc» principes divers. 
Xx bude peint ains! Ic« ombfcft n-UtanUs 
D'Oku- et tic Piiigal errant itu hvut Ati ain, 
Be bnodiMUit encar Icim luicci 11«inboyantcs. 

Tel», wprii dllion, ]e% dieux cnfanti d*Hcnierc, 
FnnchiHUit de I'Mi 1m lommetscbnnlci, 
Pt^ du Ills d( Sicume en fou]e rauemblo, 
Sont d£c[i(s pr<rpannt In drdint de la terre. 
Cet l^anionnet dt^-ini faimt jadii d» prcux : 

L« tieclet tcnebreux, 
Onnt de Jf>iova dcniturer rimaze, 
DreiLKrent dc« ntiteli aiix lifroi rabuleuXi* 
Et de I'idalairie alfinmufint Touvn^, 
De cei gueftier* obacurs' Homere i>t de dieini 

Ainti le« paladin^ cnviionnant leur roi,* etc. 

C4tffi/ haitum*. 

We might refer to rtuoy other patu^ rqoalljr pcttirctqae, though 
pc;luipB to nooe ao poetioil. Such aa tbc comparieoo of Roland 
ukrn from (he scene of combat by Oliver, 10 a lion led ofT by an 
AiricAo, that atill roar* a» he follows hi( well-known f^idej— the 
firit appearance of Armelie, the death of Wilfred at tiic altar, the 
Tani(htRg of Adelard froin the sight of Cb^rlemagne, the forest of 
EresWourc, the Diuidical gjcrificc, and the funeral rites of Orlaodo 
in the valley «f R onAcrralles. 

TKe language of the poem often bears a striking resemblance to 
the laogtuge of painting, or seems like a detailed description of some 
thtfJ'mvvri of the art, rather (lian the creation of ihe poet's faac>'< 
V/k should hare Itttlr doubt lh.it the soliury church in the valley of 
RonsceralleK is copied from that in the b:tckgrDund of Titian's 
Sl> Ptttr Marlyr, and the massacre at the altar in tlic first canto ■■ 
ceruinly uiken from some picture of Raphael ! 

In the scmimcnts of this poem there is more feebleness, a greater 
number of Calliciams, than in the imagery. Wc meet with such 
covTtly expressions as theite : 

' Le» Fmnci i thmiiie insitant voietit tie nom-eaux guerrien 
StUiatfr rAeairmr ,i'tmirrasstr t/ar d^'mte f ' 



t$Z 



' Wliji fabulous «r obscnrc ? 



L. BUONAPARTE'S 'CHARLEMAGNE' 

Ilic dtr'il addnue* the deity vith the followia{> piece of high- 
Qowa tcntinicDt^ay i 

*Poiir bnrcr W rctnnni*, et la gtiic et la Aamnic, 
Jt ae deinaniie rim pf'iw ttulrafm d'espt^^ 

We lu»v» iodeed, from wheocc the alluuoa \% ultca, and we 
ftvndcr the more at the afTcctAiion implied in the alteration. It b 
like lome of Pope's refincmentB on Itaiiih. In giving an account of 
the Mcrow vhich prevaila io heaven at the diuetcrt of (be church of 
Chriit, the author ha* cxprct*cd a uiie theological KncimcBt wiUi 
nvaie felicity than wc recollect to have tKn it exjireued before : 

*On rnicnd ii cc!> mnti touirs In voix c£lfn» 
D'une douce iristcwc nbalcr Irs toupira. 
La hiirpe aiiui mumiurc au wuffle ties icphira. 
Let Iv^itant) du cicl n'ant point ce* sons fiineite»^ 
Qu'ici-bu In malheun urachcnl aux bumaiiu. 

Aiix pcinn, aux cha^rint, 
Aux piuiont ilii monilr ilt fic Mint plut en pitne } 
D'tin imoiir an% rnclangt iU gni'iicni la d<ni(--eur: 
Leun maiix itoni inoitis amen, piiu pun que notre Jolc; 
Et leur iriitrac >, peine allcre lein bonhcur.' 

The concepiioB of hu Heaven \\ much more just that) that of 
HcJI, though the execution is (almoEt as a matter of courfc) Icm 
powerful. The two figures of Adam and Motes, in the fotmer, arc 
fnticaluly fine : 

* Le per« dn htimiini voir m nnmbreuu raee, 
Et calrult, peniif, le nomhre dei flu* 1 

M(u'*e pre« de lui, d'lm uul rrganl embrvie 
Lm enfant* d'ltnel en tou* lieux rcpandu*.' 

Our poet bat, very good-naturcdlyi (and wc hope with the 
i^probation of hii bolioeiB the Pope, to whom ihu work is dcdi- 
cMed,] wt aside two ttaoui for the secret conveyance of the loola of 
nrtumu heathcDi and of little children, into the abode* of the blen. 

The author of Cbarlemagnt haj constmcicd hit hell upon an entirely 
new and fanciful theory. We »e* no aon of reason why Satan 
ihould not, in auict proprictyi tit upon a throne; nof why his 
foUoweis should be degraded from the rank of fallen angeli into 
■oodern French re volution ins- Wc like Milton'i account much 
better in all respect*; and our author htnitfclf, a* i* the natural 
consequence of all affectation, fiounden into contradiction in the very 
next »er«, where he gives a most superb account of Lucifer. In 
tlie same spirit, he ba« made a nioic colighteaed dtstribulioo of 

m 



L. BUONAPARTE'S 'CHARLEMAGNE' 

Climes and puoithmenu ; and eiubltthed an cottre oew Mt of regala- 
tioiu ar>d by^-Iawi in the regiont of the damneij. Alexander and 
the two Brutuscs figure there whh Cain and othtt murderers, while 
' the noble Cxur ' ii exempted. Now we have do notion of nich a 
philoMphicil hell ai our poetical catuict would earve out. Thii 
celebrated place is, wtr tbinlc, of all otbm the least liable to plant of 
reform. It i* almon tbe olden egtablishmcnt upon record, and 
placed ^tiite out of the reach of the progreit of reason and meu- 
phfsics. We hate disputes in poetry, scill more than in tcligioo. 
At leui, whatcrer appeals to the imjiginatioti. ought to rrtt on 
undivided EenttmeRi, on one undisputed tradition, one catholic Ciiih.* 
Betide*, the whole account of the inferoai rcgjona i» an excrcKencei 
equally niisplnccd and improhablc. None of the heroes of the poem 
descend there, but as Satan ii brought thence to appear to Charlemagne 
ID the ahapc of a lying priett, ihi« oppottunity it taken to dctcribe the 
geography of the place according to the latest diicovcrie*. There ii 
one point in which we agree with the poet, ivt. in hit indignation 
againtt tyrantt and their flatlcicn, though he doci not go to far at 
hoDol Qtieredo, who, when his hero woodcrs to we so few kingi in 
hell, maket hia guide reply niUenly, ■ Here are all that ever reigned.* 
We (hall conclude our remark* on this part of tbe poem with the 
author't dcicripiioo of the puoishmcDt of Cain, which we think the 
moEt striking. 

' lei nigit Cain, hi cbewox lieriMft, 
Et porlani nir nan front la marque langpiinaire. 

"-Caiu, Cain, rrpvndi: <]u'ai>'tu fait de ton fritc V 
A ccttc vol:! Ju Ci«t toim »ct »«tis soni glac^i 
Cun emit mi Abel itlataiit dc lumtcrci 

Et 'd'un brat tcmiiurc, 
II OK cncor frapucr I'objet de son courroux : 
II voudrait Ic privcr d'une tccondc vie: 
Mai* I'gmbrc gbricust £cha{^iuii a ks coupt. 
Redouble dan» tan cotur let loumienit dc Tcn^'k.' 



THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED 

Til CUwfian.) [Drcmlrr if, iSij 

Thi: story of a poem is seldom worth a long descripcion. It mayl 
tuflicicnt to tsy in the present case, tbat the danger to which 

' The pcrtonilinlian of the Deii^ it inoihtr initancc ot ciiiicil ronirai:ii 
lod lonctlt. Objctilng ta the fifnrci n{ Raphael *nit Michael AafftJ 
mythcloficil anJ lenliUc, he intr-oducel > little gDl<l«n triangk b«hin^ ■ 
(»iaijpifu in mitj n a phUotaphieil esiblmt of the Tiiniljr I 

«i4 



h. BUONAPARTE'S 'CHARLEMAGNE' 

cburch vaa txpotcd. aod from which it was aftcrwaidi dcIiTrrcdt 
arose from the iccond marriage of Charttrmigne with Arne&i, the 
daughter of DiJitr, the King of the Lonibaidi, who w.it exerting 
kiiiMelf to dcpoac Fopc AdrinD. Charlemagne had diTorccd hit firct 
wife, Adttmat, bui he is warned in a fision to ulcc her a^ain to hia 
bosom. He does lo, and DiJier aad his daughter coDcequeatly 
become the enemie* of thii Chiiitiia Eniperor, who takei armt to 
dclctul the Hoiy See. After the uiual casualtka and fluctuatioiu of 
fonune, the bod of Pepio finally triumphs. 

On a more careful examination, we m«: no reason to alter our (trtt 
opioioD of ihii poem. It has ^\ien us no strong impulsct nor left any 
permanent liace on our minds. It opens no new and rich rein of 
poetry, though certainly great lalenti Are thewn in the use whi^h is 
made of cximiDg materials. Perhaps it may be said that this is all 
tfaat can be done in a modern poem : if so, that oil is hardly worth 
the dwng. There is no one who has borrowed his materials more 
ihan Milton, or who has made them more compI>cieIy his own: there 
is hardly a line which does not bieaihe the same lofty ipirii, hardly 
a ihonght or image which he has not clothed with the majesty of his 
geaiu*. It is the same in reading other ^rcat poets. The informiog 
mind is every where prrKni to us. Who is there that does not 
knot? and feel senstbly the majenic copiousneM of Homer, the 
polished elegance of V irgil, cnaniourcd of lU own workmanship, — 
the aesere grandeur of Dante, the tender pathos of Tauo, the endEe« 
Toluptuoutnefa of Spenser, and the unnumbered graces of Ariosto? 
Ereo the myitcrtous solemnity of Omibui and the wild romantic 
interest of Walter Scott, are something gained to the imagination. 
Bu in the present ioitaitce, we do not feel the same participation 
with the author's mind, nor acccsMon of strength to our own. So 
little is it in the power ctco of the most accomplithcd art to counter- 
feit nature. The true Florimel did not diti'er more from the Florimel 
wiiich was made for the witches' son, than true genius from the most 
tucceufbl and claboiale imitation of it. 

We shall close these remnrlca with extracting two patsages which 
in the opinion of our readers will perhaps be thought to amount to a 
complete rcfbtation of our objcaioos. The first is the description of 
the funeral rites of Orlando, m the thirteenth canto. 

'CaiffVe a suiri ton guide au fond du precipice, 
0n clocher snittaire a frapp£ ses rcgaidi : 
Dans les jours du repot. In fidiles (pars 
Accourcnt au signal ilu dirin larrifice. 
Id du haul dc« monti decceiiiitnt Ie« pisteun. 
La vietge det duiileurt 

*35 



L. BUONAPAatE'S •CHARLEMAGNE* 

Dc vet iDortch obsrure y rc^t la piiere i 
Siir tin autcl ilc boH on a trulptc m tniui 
Ln nombniix ex-voio dt li oivine mere 
Dani en liciix £can^ atirMant In bicn&iu. 

Cn son pUintif et Murd vieot <!« frapper let ain ) 
C'ett raimit (]ui gcinit pour l«s pompfi funebm. 
Duii It utnpit le Jout a fait plm atuc ccncbnsi 
Dca *ifpic» Jt la RioTt t<B paroit at>M convent. 
Un aaint pontifir o1fra!( la victimc inclfable ; 

Et ta ix>ix tccoiintble 
Invoquait pout no* prcuit I« octette repot. 
Un simple sarcopliage au milieu de rencelnte 
Retrace a tout let ytxix la tombe du hetoi, 
£t rcpand dat» let cecun unc imteiic saiate. 

Le pretre det hamcaux, tuivani I' antique usage, 
Dans i'Eglite chi^tienne en (out tempt revere. 
Trait Fo'w avrc I'eau talnic et rencenxiir taere 
Fail w>lmiiellemrnt le lotir du tarcophage. 
" Dant le trin de ton Dicu toit hetircux a jamua : 
Roland, repote en paix." 
Du pontife (etie ert la fervente priere. 
Cw moti out tennxne le sacrifice tainij 
Et la foule te feml dant 1( ehamp funf-rairv 
0« gli, M>us une croia, le eorpt du paladin.' 

In the nineteenth canto, Lawrence and her chililrcti, after tlxir 
Mcapc fiom Bourdcaux, arrive at the canle of Melarict an old 
ehrwtian koight, when the following example of perfect deacription 
occura: — 

■ La nult envellopait ]» ehampi Si let retnpam [ 
Sur let mnrt inena^nti de la talle gothifliie 
Une tetnie pint tombre .t plut mflanrholique 
Cmi^tait l<A botii'lirrik, let glaivet, tc let dard« j 
Le vent du toirtoultiait det gorges du Pyrenej 

Et ta fougutiiic haleine 
Dn armurtt dct preux entrechoquait I'ainin. 
Let lancet, lei cimiecs rendeiit des t«n> Funcbreai 
Lcur murmurc plaiiiuf rtttemble au cii lointain 
D'un ^utrritr qui luccombc au milieu dei tcnebm.* 

The author in hU notes gives ut to understand tliat he is about toother 
epic poem, the hero of which i« Iiolier, a natire of Cornea, and 
which i« to bear the tarac tclaiion to ChailcniJignc, thu the Odyttey 
docs to tlie Iliad. 



J36 



FRENCH PICTURES 



LUCIEN BUONAPARTE'S COLLECTION, ETC. 

Tia OtMKfim.') [latmtrf ii, iltj. 

Wj hate been able to obtain acceti to the almoct ioaccewiSIe collcclioa 
oftbe Prince of Caniiio. The tiberality with which ch<^ collectiooi 
offortigD urinccs arc thrown open to itringcrs ami the jiubtic i* often 
boantcd of; but thii lilKralit)', we auiipoie, ceaara when the umc 
eolleetiom are rxpOKd in ttiia country for aale. The picture* of 
Lvcten Boonapirtc, which arc valued at ^40*000, are kc]n in mott 
' rile durance ' ; and c»«n the ticket of adminion, which we prewmtpd 
to a perton who inrmi placed :it ihr door to keep penons out, and 
not to let them in, was iotpected and objected to with the same 
•cnpulou* jealoujy a» if it had been a bank-note preaeoted in jiayinenl 
of tar purchaMv money of the collectioo. A mtrtOTy gbncr round 
the room w&a suRideol to explain the iource of so much mystery and 
ctutioQ. The pictures are in general mere trash. Nor iw the geneni 
dearth of attrsction rdiered by even a few rxamplm of firM-ratr 
exccllcDce. The only exception to these remarks which struck tit 
was an exquisite female head by Leonardo da Vinci. It is one fA 
the 6nett specimens we have se«i of that great m*«wr, both for 
rxpretsioa, drawio;;, the spirit and delicacy of the execution, and the 
pTeaerratton of the tone of colouring. There is in Leonardo's female 
heads a grscv and ctutrm of expretsion, which !* peculiar to himself 
—a character of natural iweetncu atid pbyful teademc«», mixed up 
with the pride of conicloun intellect, anil with the graceful reserve of 
peraonal dij^nity. He hiends purity with volupiuotuness ; and the 
«XpreMion of hp» women is equally characteristic of *ihe mistreis or 
the saint ! * His pictnrrs are always worked up to the utmoM height 
oftbe idea Yx had concrivcd, with an ebl>or.ue felicity. No painter 
made more > religion of his an! His fault ii, that his style of 
execution is too mathematical ; that is, his pencil docs not follow the 
eraceful variety of nature, but tubmtutca certain refined gradations 
both of form and colour, producin;) c<]U!il chan^jes tn equal distance*, 
with a mechanical Dniformity. Leonardo was a irun of profound 
learning as well as genius; and perhaps trantfcrrcd too much of the 
forinality of science to his fiiTOuriic art. In making thi» objection, 
we have had in ovr eye two of the most celebrated pictures, the 
Janmtitt in the Louvre, and the St. Jahn in the posieuion of Mr. 
Hope. The picture in the pr«ent coMection has more flexibility and 
Tarietyj as well as greater heightening of colour; and pcrhapf the 
latter eflect may be the cause of the former. It is not impossible 
that a certain degree of monotony may have been sometimes produced 

»S7 



FRENCH PICTURES 

by the rubbing otF of the hijhrr tints and SniBbing touch» of tbe 
l>cncii, ao ua to leatc little more of the picture than the gefwral 
ground- work. 

To return to the collcctjon before us. The onljr remaining ]iicturei 
which Ciin cxctlc any interect are, some curious upccimcnt of the early 
rajiiert, GhirUnd^io, Bellinoiaod otheri; — tome Emill sketches 
Titian t a finely coloured Holy Family by the same master j aportrav 
by Scb»tiun del Piunibo; a akctch t)l Diioa and ActcoDi by 
Caracci ; a bmUcajx; by Ruysdael ; and a transJiAuiatioD, slid to 
by Vssari. Besides these, there it a Freoehined Silvator Re 
coloured pink and biur, a copy of Domeaichino's head of St. Jcro 
one or two jireicnded Cbudes, and some amatory piaures of ibc' 
modern French school. To these shall we add the picture of Lucien 
Biionapaitc himself? Nothing certaiaiy can go beyond it is its way. 
It is the wry priggiim of portrait-painting. 

We ha»e already laid somcthinj> of the French style of ponraut^i] 
and we shall here add a few remarks in cxplioatioot tlioagh we an I 
awaie chat any hinm of a want of leliocmeot will t>e thrown away ooj 
a natioD so entirely ip'miuel as the French, and we are also amidi 
that some of our own artisia m;ty take credit to ttivintielvct for at 
many excellence*, a» we may ciiargv their neighbour* with defects. 

The French tystcm'ttically paint all objects as they would poiDti 
tlill life I and hence they in gcocial never paint any Uiing hu JtiSk 
l'^(. It is nut punsible to paint that which has life and modoin 
by the Bsroe mechanical process bv which that which has neither lifel 
nor motion may be represented. Thus it it not puttible to imitate thc'l 
huraaa counicoancct which is moreable and animated, as you uroutdlj 
imitate a piece of drapery, or a chair, or a table, in which the physical J 
appcanince is eiery thin^, and that appearance always remains the' 
same. The industry of the eye and hand will go n great way in jtiring j 
the effect of a number of parts of any external object, arranged in the] 
•amc order ; but to gire truth ot effect to that which is atwayt ] 
varying, and alwayt expresaivc of mote than strikes the Dense*, im3gi< 
nation and feeling are absolutely leijuircd. Whenever there is lift^ 
and motion, life and motion become the ptincipal thingi ; and any 
attempt to give ibene, without a ditninct operation or feeling of the 
mind as to what constitutes their essence, by a mm attention to the 
pbyncal form, or particular details, mutt necessarily destroy all 
appearance both of one and the other. To inuiance in cxpreMio 
only. This can only be given by being felt. Take (or instance the] 
outline t>f part of a iace, and let it be so pbeed as to form part of tbe] 
outline of a rock, or any other inanimate object. A copy of this, 
done with tolerable care, will seem to be the t^mc thing: but let it 

338 



FBENCH PICTURES 

be known that ttui ii mtly a put of a human counteaanc«, and then 
it win probably be round lo be quite different fnm the differtntt «/" 
txprttiton. Wc <iutin>;uish all objcoa more or kw bv babitval Vjsov- 
ledge ; laA thu knowlcitgc ia always acute in proportion to the intcrett 
excited, that it, to the intensity of the feeling or pattion vhich ia 
combined with the immcdiaic impression on the semes. ExprcssioD 
ia therefore only caught by sympathy; and it hat been rccei?cd at a 
maxim, that no painter can luccecd in giving an expreuioo which ii 
totally forcigD to bis own character. 'I'herc arc some painters who 
cannot paint a wiic man, and others who oLoaoi paint a fool : lome 
who cannot ^*e strength, and others loftneti to their worka. It ia 
the want of character, of dcxibiUtVi and transient cxpicHion, which 
i* the great defect of French portraits. Wiihou: the indicationa of 
the mind breathed into the eoDnteoance and moulding the leaiures, the 
whole must appear atifT, hard, mean, unconnected, and lifeless — like 
the maak of a face, not like the face iitclf — forced, affected, and 
unnatural. Aooiber consequence of this mode of copying tbe letter 
aod leaving out the spirit of all objects, k that the face in general looks 
the least iinishcd pan of the picture, for while the other pans remain 
(be nme, this necetsarily ranes, and the only way to make up for the 
wut of literal exanneis, must be by tcizing the force and antmatioa 
of the cxpreseioD. A head that does not look like life, cannot look 
fike any thing else.— The portrait of Lucieo Buonaparte is a striking 
coBfinnatioo of tbece remnrlii. We do not know how to deKribc it 
otherwise than by saying that it looks u if the anist had iini modelled 
the face in wax, oiled it over, painted the lips purple, stuck on a pair 
of aiti£ctal eyebrow*, and insetted a pair of dark blue glait eyes, 
nod then set to work to copy eycry pan of this pctTcrsc miarcpre- 
■entatton, with tedious and disgusting accuracy. In a portrait of 
the suthoe of Charlemagne, one has a right to expeet some reAnc- 
ment of inicUcct and feeling, if not the marks of clcvaied genius. 
No inch thing. The picture has Just ihe appearance of a spruce 
holiday mechanic, «rith all the hardness, littlenett, and vulgarity of 
cxprewon which is to be found in nature, where the countenance 
luu not been expanded by thought and sentiment, and in art, where 
this expreuion hat been entirely oterlooked. The French artists 
thcmsclres, both men and women, seem to be aware of the dilemma 
u which they arc reduced, and prefer copying from plaster casts, or 
lay figures, to painting from the life; which halves the mechanical 
ininuieDeiS and ' laboiious foolery ' of their atylc of aiu They Kt 
I about painiiag a face as they would about engriTiDg a picture, Thia 
cannot poiaibly answer. From the general idea of the liveliness and 
Tolatiliiy of the Fteocb chacactcr one would be apt to suppose, that 

»39 



FRENCH PICTURES 



itaUaA. of the cKthod Srr« deicribed, thtir vu'its would hare adopted 
tlic happier mode piopwed by Pope to dcKribiag hn cbanctcrs of 
women: 

' Comr, tbtn, thv colotin snd th« greiinil jirepare, 
Dip in ihe r»inbow, tridt htr olFin »ir, 
ChuM a 6nn cloud, before ii FftUt, anil !a it 
Cntch, «rc the change, the Cynthia ot' a minute I ' 

But tii« day* of Wattcau art over, and the plodding gravity of the 
Dutch baa succeeded 10 tbc iiBtur<tl levity of French art. It U no 
wonder : for both proceed from i want of real concentration and force 
of intellect.' 

There is anolbcr |*icturc in titia coUectioD which ve would reconi- 
mend to the ACtentLoa of all wbtm il may cimtrrn, ai a men irutructtve 
lesson of the vanity of human pretenaiona, and the capricioiMDe«>of 
national taate. It ia the bislotical picture of the return of Marcua 
Sextua, by Guerio, one of the moat admired paintera of the n»dcm 
Frmch achool. Thti picture combines all the vicet of that school 
in their most confirmed and 8gj;t*V^ MXc, and yet it drew, at the 
time when it vru f\rw exhibited in Patia, crowds t>f adnurers« whose 
raptureH were excited exactly in proponion as it flattered their 
hauiiual prejudices, and outrsged every principle of comiaoa aowe. 
It GODtiata of three figures, that of the huaband GUnding tn front of 
the bed, the wife whn liea dr»d upon it being behind him, and the 
daughter kneeling at hi» feet. Now ali these figure* seem as if Ihey 
had been cut out of pitteboard, anicarcd over with putty to repreaeot 
the shadows, and then stuck ilu against the canvaat to make a pictare. 
This is not truth, nor invention, nor art, nor osture : but it i« the 
French atylc of painting. Theii pictures arc sections of alatuei. or 
architectural etevHtioni of the human figure. They have th« rCeci 
aeiihcr of painting nor sculpture; for painting haa colour, and the 

) Whrn the wriler <if ihia iitkle wii in Fran<e iw«ln vein »fa, ■ ]rauag 
French iTtiii brpn to copy in pencil > Itgure of the Virgin by Leonarilo da Vinci. 
He retcrned to It day ilirr diy, ind vreclt after week. He irstslnraTi tker«. 
He wciulH lint cciuiich tn c)rrbro« or *n eyelash, then ilc tMiicth!a( to one of the 
Rnecri, (hen mark in t bit of the i\f»ftiy, anil then return to the ficc a|siii. All 
thJi he did, loinctiinet Icaniajt over the lailiai; before tlic picture, tometint* ahtlnt 
on ■ (foal, mcchinicilly ecrewKl «n to it, (omcliine* ttiailing oa «m Ug. H« 
■lao relieved the monotony of hit uniiertakioi;, by fetiring to ■ •m*ll divtuvce to 
compirc his topy with the driyiml, or thewed it to ume ttie Msr him, or went 
round la took over allien who war copyinj, or iloo'l ii the fire for an hoor 
ingeihrr, or lotlrrrd into the iculpture room, or vilketl ronRil the gollrry, anri 
([cncrilty obierveit at hi> Fcturn that Pouiaia wasciiellent *pouf li cairipoution,' 
Rapharl 'pour I'eapreiaioni' Tili-in 'p«uT les beaua lobri*,* W ibtt Divld aoil 
kia pupila uoilol aU theac (guaticie* lo (he Am forma 0/ the mtlijue. At tbe end of 
eleven week), wc left him perfecting hit Copy. For titgrthini we Icaow, ^ siaj 
b« at il atill. 

240 



'RENCH PICTURES 

ippcarancc of lulMtance, Kulpture has real lubitance wiihout colour t 
but these have neither colour, eubttance, nor the appearance of it, but 
cOMUt of mere lines. Whatever ihcy may do, wc cannoi think thi> 
the higheit «y!e of lustorf : bccjuw proceeding on arithmetical 
principlcfi only, i( waou two out of three of the physical reijutritc* of 
tlic ait of paiattDg. The picture of Guerin i> painted in itrotig con- 
trut of light and shade, and ought to hare proportioaable pronuaeoce 
and relief. Bat from the habit of attending only ro linet and detached 
parts, that u, of ncrct combiaing the Icncr nu»cs into larger ones, 
or of COD tempin ting the general appc.inincc of naiurr, the whole effect 
n frittered away, and D>ciiher the prominent prti stand out, nor do 
the receding odcs fall back. The »mc flat, imbecile, and dingy 
cfieci is producedtaH by (mearing white ttreak* upon a black ground, 
without knowtedgr or design, or reference to any actual object ID 
oattire. The drawing io tlm picture iti ctiually cbaracCcristic of the 
(Ricnt PreiKh ttyle, and equally repulnire. It is not easy to explata 
the elaborate absurdity of the proctvs : but it is in reality thii. The 
punter hu taken the figure of an antique statue for the Sgarc of hii hero* 
on iiodtog that the |)oattion would not answer his purpose ; be 
therefore gets a lay-ligure made from a cast of this statue, and dit- 
lorting it into the attitude lie wants, places it against some object 
which props it up, with the two feet stretched otil before it, as if it 
covld neither more nor stand; and this the artist calls painting 
hwtory, and copying the ancients. This is what oo other nation dare 
attempt. The exprestion which is given to thne mockeries of art 
and nature, is of a piece with the rest, ft is either copied tamely, 
•enrilely, and without effect, from the model before thetn, or if any 
thing is added to ti, all grace and feeling !s instantly lost in the 
rxtraTagxnce of grim.ice and affectation. The ambition of tliese 
refiners on nature is like chat of Pygmalion to give life atul animation 
to a Btonc, but no miracle has yet come to their assistance.' The 
Frtnch are incapable of painting true history, for they are a people 
cMendally without imagitution, and without a knowledge of the 
pUMcms that belong to it. All that is powerful in them, is imme- 
diate sensation — the rest ii either levity, or formality, or distortion. 
Take the picture of the deluge by Cirodct. In this, a daughter is 
rcprtsented clinging to her mother by ilic hair of her head* the 

* ll b nM esmit M njr tfcsl the French tlvtjrs oolant from th«Jr esais. They 
sanKtinm roofe them over with a beiatiftil rosc^coloor, or cover their Uy.fignna 
with ■ neih^cobarcl Nsnklo, like that which iiloRu the bodlet ot tticir opera 
rfMwm. Wc were ai a toil lo kcouiii ftn the Mlourini: otDtriA, till wc hcicH 
«( this conttivdicc. It a thui ihil thnc iccompliihed fcTsoDi think to (ivil t'hc 
haos •( Thiia aad C<me(tio I 

rau n. : u «4I 



BBITISH INSTITUTION 



MMlwr k dn^ag to tbe hudMocl, be it at tfae nac tin 
tw bsWr «idi ttit other urn, nd ia enabM to ■i^pk : 
tUl ca^iMM fanQj froupc by ukiog h^ of tfar Innck af a or 
«Ul& hM >Ml brolcen off bjr ttic wdghi. Tim e&n oT t amgi ma iu^ 
•laMl«^|«Millw exploit of the clown in tht paaiawae, vritoeaaenici 
Ittbaliaec ftjuco mm od one anothcr't Moddcfc IfPasHB « 
Rutel Wl hen foiiuDAie enough to nudjr la ibc coonl K^Mrii 
«f nn^ sto * diiference wovM this oew priadple of g i c i yat '"** 
iMndvced uOo their [licnuTi of the Dclsje tad the latrBdio ^ 
BoixiK 

Befara wr i^aii thi* subject of French an, we wooU oodce tlm 
iWtT *n t«« ptrton-t of the Emperor Nspolcoo lo be tcca u prcKn, 
•ar n l.rtccKer-bcUt. which ii very bad, and aoocher in the Addahi, 
\j LtMw. whkh ia lolenblj good. The laai ia one of the fant 
I'fTWCih pofUaiu mv htTt rvcr kcd. The eSoa bovrrcr » oolr 
fMiL Ttrj ecu, u4 it best when each pan ia Kcn through « rna^OF- 
Therr it conattfefable chaiuctcr, ftrnineas of drxwiB|j 
u Utr featurei. Still it docs not conrcf aa SiJetjoztc 
Um oTihsnaa. It ia heavy, pcrplcxcdt ind aullen. without aufficiext 
AtNttMa or tnefgjt and indeed without cither the high or the bad 
^mAm* of the onsioal. It faasi notwiihvlandingt the appcuancc of 
hiJM whM U uodentood bjr t fatthfiil likraeu, and ooly wuua that 
AlU •ereUtpenietii of the workioga of the tniod, which every portrsit 
nithi to havck 4Ad which, in i portnit like the preheat, would be 
HRahuhk. 



BRITISH INSTITUTION 

^M Exbibitiaa of llua yeari which opens to the public od MooiJay, 

)■ Mitl 10 be tolerior to tne Un: — thai vat said to be inferior to the 

btloiv it, — that lo the preceding ooe, and lo on. Thi* is the 

cut ttapcctiDg all lixfaibitiocai and the reatoo it obtioui 

rVKiiifH. We are natutAlIy Icm nruck by pictarea of the biidc degvtc 

rwd cbai of excelleDce, by the same artists, oo repetitioii than ai &u 

•i|>hii aod the an apprut to be retrograde, only bccawe it b Mt 

r^oyreaaivr. Perhapa, however, there it aome fbuDdatraa kr the 

k«hi>ceioo is the preieni iniiaiKe. At least, we think lber« b a 

ftUiog-off in the hiuorical depanment: though that ia the depart- 

■mi of the art which would leaai bear any kind of ""nhhntrtWr 

We do Rot know whether to lay the blame of the dete f ty «■ than 

artittk, who have been away thit lunuiMf oo their tini M tW PvokIi 

14a 




BRITISH INSTITUTION 



jital, or OB thote who htrt reniiinH behind. Tlir picnire in chit 
Dch of tfae in whidi picaacd ui tbc most oa looking into ii, iud 
wbich wr coocciTc hu drcidcdly tli« greamt number of excellent 
part«> though the geoer»l eliiKt it vet y fur from nriking, it ■ Smttu 
fxh^rirti^ (kt Romans to mtngt itt Daitli tf Lmrtii*! by C. L. 
EusUke. TIk artin will excuie ut, if we uy thn we think ifae 
principal fijwc, th« of Bnttiu, by much the wont nan of the picture. 
A more theatrical, and Ins imprcfaiie fi^arc wc hare Kldom aecn. 
He ix quite an orator of the modern uainp, and bu nothing of the 
■antiooe RoRiati * about him. He ii not a bit better than any of 
the bttiMering, caotiaj;, vamd, Canniog school, a»d ii cndci»ly ui 
gr to be disposed of. Wc woold advise Mr. Eutbkc to ultc a 

, fron a hign quarter, and get rid of him, at any rate, 'i'be effccr 

of [Le auiludc of thti figure, which is rcpreteoicd pointing with a 
sword to the body of hmttiia, behind him, it almost cotitely lost by 
the vitu of dittioct foreihoneaing aad promiQent relief.' The figure 
oi Bntlui tccmt in a line with that of /.ucrtiin. Indeed, the same 
defect perrades the whole piciure, which it laid-in like mosaic, and the 
general pale, stone-colour appearance of the dnpery, and of tbc flcsb, 
■(tds to this e^cct. No one figure comes out before the rest to the 
eye, till by tracing it down lo the feet, you find where il siaadt. The 
dead figure of Latrrsia hericif is a compleie piece of muble. We 
with to notice nwre particularly, because it is an excellence very rare 
in an English artisl, ihai tbc aiicntJon to costume in the decorations 
of the bier on which the de^ body lies, and in the other orMmenti 
to the iMck-ground of the picture, give» an nddiiiona] air of truth .nnd 
CDoacqucntly of intcrcji lo tlic Bcenc. The peculiar merit of this 
compoiitian is the great variety of distinct ficcs and characteristic 
expreasioiM to be found in it. Tfieie, if cot of a very high order, 
are at leaM much better than the pompouH Roncntitica to which wr 
are accustomed. There Is rciy tittle of puiioo or emotion given or 
attempted, but we think the expresMon of attention in the turrounding 
aadieoce it raricd * cry happily, and with great truth of nature. The 
iDon piatiresqiie and interesting part of the picture is the gioupe in 
which a girl with a back-figure is supporting (we suppose) the mother 
of Itucrtiia, The cxprcMioD of the countenance in the Istier remiixJcd 
ut of Annibal Caracci, and wc are always glad to be reminded of him. 
Certainly the unte effect was not produced upon our minds by the 
boy io tbe fore-ground, with sandy hair and weak eyct, who is crying 
M phcottsly : still less did we like the figure of a man in the right 
haod comer, who it explaining the story to another with his utt 

> A radicst objection to K, tn faint nf cnmpninan, [«, ihsi <I it sddreitini tht 
qectiior, Md bai iu tack larneri <o chc sudrcncc. 

»43 



BRITISH INSTITUTION 



dracbed, and in t boxing xtitade. The modrl For a Roman warrior 
u M little ro be (oagbt In a Firct Court, m of a KomoD patriot 

■.agliih 



ID > d^atag Mcictyt or ^*tn (vith tcavc be it »j>olccn) in ao 
Hooie of OwiinonG. We hire durclt th« locgct on this picture, 
bc OBi e tU taoiediate HFcct on the eye i> by no mcAn* ia pioportioD 
to its real merit. The drab-colouncd quaVcrism of thr toae conceals 
it frocD obwrranoa almoR ai much as if it had a veil over it. We 
do not really uodcrttaad the object of tbeic aiekly half-lintt, which 
all French artiitt, and nnie of our own, affccL Nicolas Ponsno, 
who had DO relief of light and ihade. bad strong contraEis of coloor : 
or even if he bad had neither, ihe great dittinctneca of bit outline, 
and hi* striluDg roanaet of telling the itoryi might ttill have formed a 
(BlTicietit cxcwc far him. In short, the style of colouring adopted 
in ihit picrare may, foe augbt we know, accord very well with lome 
more artificial aad recoadiic style of historical composition t but we 
are sure, it baa twching to do with natural expression, or immediate 
effect. 

It has been said, that 'a great book is a great evil.' We think 
the same thing might he a{))>lied to ]Mctures : or ;it lease we should 
not iostaoce the large pictnre in this collection of Tt» Burial tf our 
iMrdt by C. Coventry, as an exception to the rule. Wc admit, 
however, thai the face, dress, and bgnre of tbc old man holding the 
drapery over Christ, are picturesque, and in the fine mamwr of 
Rembrandt, The attitode and actioa of this (igore are exanly the 
tame as iboae of a similar figure in Mr. Bird's picture of the same 
•object. This is rather s tingnlar coincidence in two pictures 
exhibited at the same time, and which it is tlicrefore improbable to 
suppose could have been copied one from the other. The other 
figures about Christ we cannot bring ourselves to admire : they 
resemble painted wood. The colour of the Christ is a livid purple, 
the worst of all possible coloora. The women ate better ; though 
ihe fine turn in the wust of one of them is not in the best style of 
history, which docs i>ot profc» to exhibit women of fsshioa. 

Mr. Bird's picture of The EnlamhmnH oj Chriil, is, we conceive, 
very inferior to his nicture laai year of Jch ami hit Frun^, The 
colouring is equally oad, and the compotitioa is not equally good. 
There is one pretty figure of a girl, but her prettinew is not an 
advantage to the lubject. In all thingt, * It is place which leisetts 
and sets off.' Mr. Bird constantly introduces the extremities of the 
hands and feet into his pictures, only (o show how ill be can point 
them. The picture of Thi Sarrender a/ Catttit has been already 
before the public. 

Among the historical pictures, we suppose front its nunc, wc most 

•44 



I 
I 

■ 



RHITISH INSTITUTION 

rank dint of the Prophtt Ezra, \>j G. Hayt^r, though tt <ioct not 
Appear to US to belong to the claw. It u a fine, rich, and «tri>ng]y 
potDted picture of .1 man reading a book. The being able 10 copy 
nature with txudi and elfect 1* not hiuury, though we think it ia the 
first ttep to it. lo this picture, vhich we believe is a first esny, 
Mt. Haiftrr has not rcdrenicd the pledge he gave in his miniatures. 
If we cttuld paint tudi mtniiituret as he does, we would do ooiliing 
but paint miniatufes always i and laugh at the advertiirnMnU of great 
hucorical pictures tn ihc ncwsjapcrs. The Sl> Bmard, by the 
nme artist, it rcry indifTereot. 

Mr. Harlowe's Hthtri and Arthur is the jjfeaiest piece of cox- 
combry and absufdity wc rcmcmbci to h^rc seen. We do not think 
that any one who pleatet has x right u> [)aint a libel on Shakspeaie. 

The generality of the himorical pictures in the gallery are such a* 
have been always paiatcd, and as will alwayi be painted, in spite of 
all that can be said to Uie contrary, and therefore it ia as well to say 
nothing about theiti. 

Miss Jackson's Man lutthai hy Peace is a very picanng compou- 
lion. Both the face and expression of the figure of Pratt are thoac 
of a wry beautifiil »nd interesting girl, though from the tender 

CBircocss of the features she seems rather as if ocnding Mart out to 
le than disarniing bini ; and as to the God of War himKlf, he 
does not look like one whom 'deep snrs of thuntler have intrenched,' 
but at if lie had been kept a long time at home in a lady's chamber. 
Tbe CupiJs (when Ladies imagine CuiwJs, what can they be less?) 
are very nice, little, chubby fellows. 

There arc two pictures of The Sitt Pigeon and T61 FavouriU 
KtUtn by Miw Geddcs, both of which we like, gallantry out of the 
«Ktdon. The kitien in the last is exquisitely painted. You may 
UIBOA hear it purrirg. 

Among the foreign contributors ti) this department we ought to 
Dsention Mmie, by M. Mesior», in the manner of the early Italian 
naUcri, and Divciieti, a small pictutc by J. Laschallas, which i« hung 
alinosT out of sight, and which, if it were hung a little lower, we 
suspect, would be found to be 'a (^ood picture and a true.' 

To the scene from the Marrmgr of Figan>y by Chalon, no praise 
of ouri could add the slightest giace or lustre. We wonder where 
be got the figure of his Siuan, ox how he dared to paint her ! 

In the domeitic scenes, and views of interiors, fee- this exhibition 
is mach like the former ones, except that wc miu Collins, and find 
00 one to rejilace him. 

Of the landscapes, Burnett'*, Fielding's, Nasmvih'*, HoH.ind's, 
aad Glover's arc the best. In Mr. Glover's lurgc picture of Jacoh 

MS 



BRITISH INSTITUTION 

aiiJ taian (which we belimre wai exhitiited and mueh adintr«il tfl 
Pnri*], ihttt is 3 want of harmony and ItghtncM in ibe whole : bal 
[here ia a groupc of trees in the foreground, which Cliude himicl! 
would not have diidained lo borrow. Mr. HofUnd't bndicapvlrll 
without hHns much fintchc^, hnve the look, the tone, and frcshneiu 
of nature. The f'iem of Ei&ah%T%h is, we think, the best. iMntCl 
of the other* are too much abacracuoDi of aerial ]iert{)e«iTe : thry 
are naked and cold, and represest not the object* of nnture ao much 
aa the R^cdiiun thioogh wnich thc^ arc seen. We will only add, in 
our professional capncitj, tha[ this gentleman's inctures shew ihem- 
selves, and that he need not be at the trouble of shewing them. 
Nasroyih't pictures ^rc Dol loo much 6niihcd, but thej want a cenaiii 
breadth, which nature always adds to pcifect finishing. Fieldiogia 
a new ind mait promising artist, of whom ve mean to say more. 
Of the two Burnetts, wc shall oaly Tcmarlc at preacni, that they 
have made no addition to their live>stock since last year, which 
consisred then, as ii does now, of one blacic, one yellow, and one 
spotted cow. 



THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED 

7Kr Ciwt^i**.} [F<in«7 i±, i|t5. 

C^itazt ChU at Bttakfast, W. Collins, A. R .A. This ia a plMsing 
little picture, but inferior to Mr. Collint's ^ci>cra] pcrJormanccs. T^c 
shadow cast on the wall it like plaster of a darker colour, nor should 
ve hare suspected it to be meant for shadow, had it not been pointed 
out to us. RuAtrty by the same artist, is a niU greater falling ofT. 
The mixture of minute finishing and iloTcnIineu in the execution, 
and of blues and yelluwn in the colouring of this picture is to us very 
unaccountable. 

Drvotton, .1. t.aschallas. Wc wish that we could coojurc this 
little picture out of itn franic to ha»e a nearer view. 'ITie drawing, 
ejqmeaian, tone, and compotitioD appear to us admirable. 

A St^iiitig IVift : her fftuidoJ having jfent off hit Mmey at the 
FtUTt I" Cotsc. This ii not a very pleasant subject, nor very 
pleanntl/ treated. The little child blowins the trumpet it the preny 
part of the piaui'c. There is one fij^ure of a woman in a bine stan 
f^own, sitting by the liire-side, in an attitude of yawning, which both 
for the truth of^thc colouring and the action, i* immitable. 

yf Country Sceiu, by the same, has the hard brickduiiy tone which 
there ii in the faces of tlie other picture ; but the expression is 
natuial and good* 

146 



BRITISH INSTITUTION 

A C ckw'GrinJcr, R. T. Bonct ia t apirited and failbAd imiutioa 
ofoMire. 

A Shidf fnm Nature, J. Harriton, i« a weU-pUMcd bCfd. At 

the nmc dme, there is •omcthia^ aboui it very anplcMnt to «•• 

H^t and Syjtritt, bv H. Howard, R.A., were, we believe, in laiE 
yar't Exhibition at S<MneT««t-tMMue. Ther« U > cenatn grae^ and 
clcfiocc in both of them. The fantaslic, playfnl li^hiiKM of the 
Agorea in the laic ie perhapi carried to a degree of affecution. The 
neei of the Pleiadei arc veiy pretty and very inriptd. 

Camradt amd Gulnarr, H. Singleton. We couM neither undentuid 
this picture nor the lines from Lord Byron'a Carjatr, which are 
iawaded to explain the lubject of it. 

Srvtuf nhwiiitg tht Romatu It rtvngt ihe Dtatk «f Imcn^. Of 
tUs compotitioD we jind we hare already laid quite ciMmgh. 

VUvif Arthur' I Stat luar Edmivrgh, P. Naamyth, ia a Tery nicely 
paiatttl landMapc. We like all thit gentkioui's lu>daaipc», except 
jt Fttva 9/ E^^r^h, which is just like a paindng 00 1 lea-boani. 

Brtcihg tbf lie, by Jamea Burnett, h a very delightful picture. It 
has the effect of walking out in a fine wintec'a morning. Many 
incidcntiil uiociations are very happniy introduced ; the pigeons 
collected on the thatch of a ihedf and the robin-redbreast perched 
ID a window of an out houte. The pigeoo* are, however, too imall, 
aod the colour on the breast of the robin is on fire. Perhaps these 
objeaioiw ire too minute. The pigeoD-bouae looks luspended in tbe 
iir, and the sky and branches of the trees seen against it arc painted 
whii admirable brilliancy. Ptaiimti going 10 Mariet, by the same 
■niat, is of equal merit. The skirt of the drapery of the petiani 
prl looks M if the sun shone directly upon it. The docks in the 
jorcgrouod of the picture are very hi^ily finiihed, and touched with 
great spirit, but we never saw this kind a plaat of the lightish gtcea 
coloof, which is here given to it. 

MiUia^, by John Burnett, is a very brilliant little picture The 
red dress of the girt at the milk-pail in as rich as possible. The tree* 
at a liule distance are too much in sharp potiKs ud touches. The 
cattle in the landscape* of both the painters of this nunc are too much 
in beavT masses, and (bna too violent a contrast to the lightness of 
the liBdKspe about ihem. 

TU Watering Plate, P. H. Rogers, deserves comiderablc prsMTt 
both for the coloiiiing and compo»iuon. 

Bamkj ^ tbt Thamtt, J. Wilson, is a very clever picture. The 
(ongTOand and the distance arc equally well painted ; but they do 
not appear to keeping. The one i* quite clear, and the other 
coverco with haze. 



IIRITISH INSTITUTION 

Mvim^, and I'lra from Rjdal IVoaJt, by C. V. Fielding, atr 
bolh mittcily pcrfoTTttaocet. Xhc last, in particular, is a rich, mellow 
landscape, aod prcMnU a fine, woody, aad ronuDtic sccfic, which in 
•onic degree calls off our admiration from the merit of ibr artist to 
the beaucici of nature. This is a tacrifice of telf-love which many 
of our artittt do not leeni witliog to make. They too often chvte 
their subjectn, not to cxhltni the charmt of oatute, but to dii[J;ty 
their own e.ktll in makinj; something of the mod barren subject*. 

We think thi* objection applies to Mr. Hofl^nd's hndscapcs in 
general. The scene he selcas is repreacntcii with great inith and 
felicity of pencil, but it ii, generally apcaktng, one we should neither 
with :o loolt ni, nor to be in. to his I^ch-LamonJ and Stirling 
CaiiU, the effect of the atmonpbeic is finely given; but this is all. 
We with to enter our protest againut thiit principle of (Cpanting iht 
Imitaiion from ifft thing iwilaitii, p:irticiitnrly as it is eountenanced by 
the autliority of tlic ablest landscape painter of the present day, oi 
vliose landscapes some one said, that *ihey ueie pictures of nothing, 
and very like I ' 



THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED 

Tin CAAmpkm.l [Fthmaij t^ iSlJ. 

BalfU-picit, B. Rarkcfi la a spirited skcuh, harmonioust; coloured. 
In force oFilrawing and cxprL-ssion, it is inferior to Itt Standard, by 
Ab. Cooper. There is too \iolenl an opposition of white and black 
in the horses in thih picture; and the rye docs not immediately 
connect the heads of the animils with the rest of their bodies. I'his 
fucture, however, displays great knowledge of the subject, and 
considerable strength of comitosition. j1 Study from Naiwrt^ by the 
same .irtiit, Ab. Cooper, it a nuKerly little picture, BirJi, from 
tkiture, and PUt^t, from nature, by M. Chantry, are both excellent 
in their kind. 

yiexu 0/ Ruhtnond, Tvritbire, by W. Wenall, A.R.A. is deficient 
in perspective and in other respects. The river below seems to be 
on a IcTcl with the high foreground from which it is seen. The 
rcpreicniing declivities by meant of iieiiat fieripective ti, we believe, 
one of the difficuhirs of the art, and we do not remember any success- 
ful instances of it, except in some of Wilson's landscapes. 

/f Bey famtttttitg lit Death of hit Fttvwtrilt RaUiil, W. Cavtaon, 
it a very pleasing compouiion in the style of Gainsborough. The 
landscape has too much the blue greenish hue and slender execution 
of Gainsboiiough's backgrounds. The boy ts well paiotcd. There 

148 



WILKIK'S nCTURES 

m 1 ptcttirc of ihii kiad by Murillo in the collection at Dulwich, 
which wc wouki earnestly recorniQend lo ercry paiatcf of such 
Ribjecu. Or wc nigbt m welt, in othet voids, recocnneiid thcu 
to look St sarorv. 

Forat Seentf b]r J • Stark, u pftiatcd with grot tiufa of colour Bad 
cffeci. 

Sutikf Hajt P. Drwint, hu ^T^st merit. 

Jaai taiiitg thargi of lie Ftoikt and HenU of I^almt, J. CloTtT. 
Wr hare alxndy tpcActi of ihis piaurc- The group of tall green 
trret in the forrnosBd is excellent, but there is a leaden tooe spread 
cncr the rot oi the picture, which is actthcr gratifying lo the eye, 
nor true to nalutc. 

7~i^ £mffrer ^Uxomiir, in hii DrweJbi, by A. Saacrweidr, is like 
all the uthei viclore*, busts, &c. wc have seen of luni, and not at 
all like the dcscripttoos we have heard of his fine person and 
countenance. 

Tit Duit f^ W^eJSn^len allaei'ms ibr Rrar tf Manhai ^W/*/ ^t^ 
on ibt i'aml tit Afiitrai voer tbt Grtai fail of SclamBn£, ami puriaing 
tbrm thrtt^h iht Pat4t» if lit Siura Morme u Penagaly 1 809, irom 
a sketch by Major-general Hawker, by Perry NorMy. This is not 
a good pictare ; but it givcii one a good idea of the spon which it to 
b« fonnd in this sort of royal game. In looking at it we hare 
pooicthing like ocular demotutralion of the truth of what Cowper, 
the jwci, «y» — 

• War ii a game, which were their subject* wi«e. 
King* would not pby at! ' 



ON MR. WILKIE'S PICTURES 

"7% Cbm^'M-] \MMtk {, iSis. 

Cm one of Archbuhqi Herring's tetters, wntieti during a tour in 
Wales, is the foltowing very pictuiesque description of a scene at nn 
inn. ' I Kt o«t upoo ^is advcnturotia journey on a Monday morning, 
sccompaaied (as bishops usually are] by my chancellor, loy chapbiot 
•ecimry, two or three frieads. and our servants. The first part of 
our road by across the foot of a long ridge of rocks, and was over 
a dreary morasa, with here and there a small dark cottage, a few 
sheep and more goau io view, but not a bird to be seen, save, now 
sad then, a Mliury hern, watching far frogi. At the end of four of 
tbetr miln, wc got to a small village, where the view of things 
mended a little, and the road and the time were beguiled by trarelling 
for Uitee mile* along the side of a fine Ukc, fiiii of fish, and irnns- 

>+9 



WILKIE'S PICTURES 



parent as gtan. That plMaure over, our work bsCRine very atdnou, 
tor we were to mouot a rock, aatt id many places of the road, orcc 
natural itairs of atooe. I aubmiitcd to this, which, tbcy told me, 
waa but a taste of the country, and to prepare me for worie thingi to 
come. Hqwc^-ct, vone Uiiogi did Dot come that moraiog, for ve 
dined loon nftcr out of oui own wallctf ; and though our ino *iood to 
3 place of the moAt frightful solitude, icd the bis*, formed for the 
haoiutioD of mooki (who once poftcucd ii) in the world, yet wc 
made * cheerful racal. The noTcity of the thing j^avc me spitita, aod 
the air gave me appetite, much keener than the knife I ate wHh. We 
hod our mutic too ; for there came in a harper, who toon drew about 
III a group of 6f;urca, that Hogarth would give any price for. The 
harper was in his true place and atiiiiide ; a nuin and a woman stood 
before him* ttncing to hii tniiniment wildly, but not disagreeably; 
a Ihdc dirty child was playing with the bottom of the harp ; a wonun* 
in a tick night-cap, hanging over the ttairs; a boy with crutchet, 
fixed in a staring attention, and a ^rl carding wool in the chimney, 
and rocking a cradle with her naked feet, interrupted in her bunncM 
by the charms of the niutic; all ragged and dirty, and all silently 
attentive. Thete figure* gare us a moat entertaining piclore, and 
would please you, or any man of observation ; and one renectioo pre 
me particular comfort, that the asBembly before ub demosnnted, that, 
even here, the intlueniial stin warmed poor mortals, and iMfired them 
with love and muRic' 

The figures in this description form a very striking group, and wc 
«hould like much to xee them trattiferred to the canvass. Those of 
the girl with naked feet rocking the cradle, the little child pUyiog 
with the bouoni of the harp, and the man and woman ringing wildly 
before it arc th« most beautifiil. There is one observation made by 
the writer to which we do not assent, that the figures arc inch u 
Hogarth would have giren any price for. We doubt whether he 
would have meddled with them at all, for there was no one who 
undcrttood his own powcri better, or more >cl<lom went out of hii 
way. His /orie waa satire, he painted the follies or vices of men, 
and we do nnt know that there ii a single picture of his, containing 
a rqirescncaiion of nicccjy natural or domestic scenery. The subject 
described in the passage wc have given ftbo»c would have exactly 
DUitrd an excellent painter of the present day, we mean Mr. WUkie t 
and would indeed form a very delightful compaakm to hi* Blind 
Fiddlct. Wtth all our admiration of this last-mentioned compontion, 
we think the story described by the bishop clearly has the poetry on 
its tide. 

The highest authority on art in this country, wr undentatid, 

3 JO 



wnxiETs ncnntEs 



^T< 



•rui 



Mr. « 






He 



I^uT 



L w uj iMj faM. He win 
irfnMvfarhMi^i^ca; 



Mr. 



nsfbc caaaJend «d«ric3^ oc mimma of vine iipH 
aboai OL Hofwtk, as ikr coKtarj, ii cMmidly « < 
tan pienrci ire tat M t Miu e M , ■unfoaiaM ~ 
nMn, bs ticfa* cxabs^ nam mn k. He b cvrwd nsj by k 
HMoa far Ak riJaJmu. Hii eojea it *u> tbew lioe ber mra 
MMvs, Mors her «n iB*xe-' He ia m £« (ran twwriif h«Melf 
wilk i^ Bfie, tlMt Ik m aiwiTt on ibe mp of cnkMarci tba< | ^ 
■iilw rm &fli^ imd k. He iloa not rg y r M e m fbfly or rice m 

[ M pcTdl tato all Mm of ■SecuDon, ury, mtoituiouit ami extnvm' 
ga£. FoQy ii there Men ai (be bcigh: — ttic mooo u at the fall— «t 
ia • tbe ivtj error of tb« nm«/ There is a perpcnial coUiao* of 
cccenirkitie* — a lilt and eosnianicni of abmrditict^tfac |rcjadice« 
and cxpricei of mankind arc let looac, axid tet locrihet by the nn, m 
in a bear-nrden. Hoganh painta Dothiag bot comedy, or tnf^- 
cofDcdy. Willuc patou neither one oar tbe other. Hoguth ncTer 
look* at any object but to find om a moral or a ludicrous etiVct. 
Wilkie nercr locks at acy object but to lee that it ii there, 
logirtb'i picture* are a perfeci jertbook. from one end to the other. 
Vc do not remember a rinjtlc joke in Wilkie'i, except one Tcry bad 
leof the boy in The Blind Fiddler, acraping the gridiron, or fite- 
>tel( we forget which.* In looking at Hogufth, you are ready to 

* Tke water dnwiaf dw Mik in iht Rmt-daj, k tnothtf riceptian, md ^ita 
HopnhUa. 

151 



WILKIE'S PICTURES 



bant yoia »dci witli laughing at the uaaccoimtablr jumUc of odd 
tJiingi, which are brought cogethci : y^au ioolc 2.1 Wilkie'i jnctorcs 
with a mingled feeling of curioBity ind admiration it the aceancy of 
ihc ic y reie a tatwa. l-'wr tDtUncc, there i» a most adminUe bead of a 
DUD coughing in The Rmt-Dajr : the aciioo. tlic kccpiag. ihcj 
choaked umsatioo arr inimitable : but there ii nothing to Uugb at is 
a naa coughing. Wh^ ttrikca the niod it the di£cdtj of a roaa't 
being paiotei! coughing which here certainly ii a mavter-pwcr of art. 
Dut turn to the black'gij:;ird cobler in the Election Disner. wbo ha»j 
been stnuttiag hi* oeighhoui's fa«c over, and who a lolling tu* tongue ' 
out at the joke with a mont suiprising oblicjtiity of viiioo, and 
■DiRMdiMely ' your lungs begin tu crow like chanticleeT.* Agaia, 
there it the Jitlle boy crying in The Cut Fiogcr, who otJy giwi you 
the idea of a crots, diaagrcenhlc, obKinatc child ia pain : wbcreat the 
ihr axnie face in Hogunh't Noon, from the ridiodous perplexity it ii 
in, and iti extravagant, noii)', unfelt disticM a; the accide&t oTbavtng 
let (alt the pye-diah, is quite irrcnittiblc. Mr. Wilkie in hta picture 
of the Ale-hou«e door, we believe, painted Mr. Linon as one of the 
figures, vithout any great ctfect. Hogarth would have gi«e& aay 
mice for such a subject, and would hare made it worth any moiwy* . 
We have never ieen any thin^, in the cxpresnon of comic bnmoiU't 
e(]ual (o Hogarth's ptcttires, but Liston's face ! 

Wc have already remarked that we did not think Hogarth a fit 
pcraoo to plint a romantic icene in Wales. In faa, we know no 
one wbo had a less pastoral imagination. Mr. Wilkie painta interktin: 
but still you iilways connect them with the country. Hogarth, even 
when he paints people in the open air, represents tbem dther om 
coming from London, as in the polling for vote* at Brcdtford, or a* 
returning to it, as the dyer and his wife itt Bagnigge Wells. lo this 
lut picture he has contrived to convert a common rural ittuge toco ■ 
a type and emblem of city cuckoldoni. He delights in th? thick 
of at. Giles** or St. James's. His jiiccures breathe a certain cloK 
gnuy tavern air. The fare he serves up to us consitrs of high- 
HMOOcd dishes, ragouts and olla podridas, like the supper in Gil Bias, 
which it requires a strong stoniitch to digrtt. Mr. Wilkie presenu 
ns with a sort of lenten fate, very good and wholesome, but rather 
iHbid than OTerpowcrtrg.i 

As an artist, Mr. Wilkie is not at all equal to Tenters. Nehber 
{tt truth and brilliant cle;imessof colouring, nor in facility of execu- 
tion, is there any comprison. Teniers wm a perfect master in both 

' Mr. Wilkie'* pi{f ittci arc is gcRcnl much bcltct pajstcd thio H«tartli'i 1 
bvl the Mirriap «-U-nadc U ■upcrioi both in c«l«ur xui tt/Kniiva 1« aBv of 

wak<*'>. 



ON ROCHEFOUCAULT'S MAXIMS 

iheee recpects, and our own coontryman is posiiirely dcfeciire, oo(- 
witliMasaing the very laudable care with which he iiniilics every part 
of his pictures. There ir an c*idcn; smear and drigging of the paim, 
which is also of a bad purple, or pottjiah tone, and which never 
iippear in the picttirtis of the Flemiih ariiit, any tnore than ia « 
looking-glau. Tcniers, jirobably from his facility of execution) 
succeeded in giving a more local and momerkiaTy exprcBeion to his 
figutu They »eem each going on with hi« particular amutement or 
occupation ; while Wilkie't have in general more a look of silting for 
iheir pictures. Their conjpositioDS are very different also: and in 
thia res}>ect, perhaph Mr. Wilkie has the advantage. Tenicrs's 
boon aie uBuilly amunng lIiemKlvct at skittles, or dancingi or 
drinfcios, or smoking, or doing what they like in a careless desultory 
wtjf t and so the composition is looM and irregular. Wilkie's figuTes 
are all drawn up in a regular order, antJ engaged in one principal 
action, with occasional episodes. The wory of the Blind Fiddler it 
the moit interesting, and the be« told. The two children before the 
moMciAn arc delightful. The Card-plnyer« is the bent coloured of 
hit mcture», if we ire not mistaken. The Politicians, though 
excellent as to character and composition, is inferior as a picture to 
those which Mr. Wilkie h.is since punted. Hit latest piaures, 
however, do not iippear to us to be his best. There is something of 
manner and af&ctxtion in the grouping of the figures, and a ptnk and 
ro«y colour spread over them, which is out of place. The hues of 
Rubens and Sir Joshua do not agree with Mr. Wilkic's subjects. 
The picture which he his just finished of Distraining for Rent is 
trry highly spoken of by those who have teen iL We must here 
coiKlude this icry general account; for to point out the particular 
beauriet of any one of our artist's pictures, would require a long 
artick by itsell. 



ON ROCHEFOUCAULT'S MAXIMS. 

n* X^mmr.] [Ottttf ij, 1)14. 

Thi celebrated maxims of Rochefoucault contain a good deal of 
tnitfa mixed up with more falsehood. They might in general be 
easily reversed. The whole sitiiicc of the author consints in availing 
bunself of the nrVi/ nature of motivet, so as 10 detect some indirect 
or sinister bias even in the best, and he then ]>rocerdt to argue u if 
they were limpic, that is, had but one principle, and that principle the 
worst. By the same extreme mode of reasoning which he adopts, 
that i*, by taking the exception for the rule, it might be thcwn that 

»5J 



ON ROCHEFOUCAULT'S MAXIMS 

Ui«r« is no tueh thing ai eelfiihoew, pridei vamy, nrngt, nry. Sic. 
in our naturc> with quiu a> miicli plauiibility ai he hxt attempted lo 
thtv that there is no such thing as loTtt friendthip, gratitude, 
gencfoiity, or troc benevolence. If the slightest usociaied circum- 
siancc, or latent impulse connecte^l with our aaionst is to be magmlied 
into the whole motive, mrreljr by the microscopic acuieness which 
discovered it, why not complete the paradox, by resolTing onr ric«< 
into lome pretence to virtuci which iilniust alwHy* accompanies and 
<|iMli(ie* them? Or is it to be talcrn (or granted that our vicct arc 
sincere, and our virtues only hypocrisy and atfectntion ? Shukesprare 
hiu ^ivcn n. much simpler and better account of Lite matter, when lie 
nys, ' Tlie webof our life is of a mingled yarn : out virtues would be 
proud, if our faults whipped them not; and our vices would despair, 
if they were not ctieriihcd by our virtues. ' The nio6t favourable 
rcpreicntations of hum^n nature are not certainly the must pognJar, 
The chatKCer of Sir Charier CrmuSien is insipid compared with that 
of Love/due, aa Sulaa ia the hero of ParaJite Loil ; and Mandcvillc'a 
Fahle of tie Beei \a i«ad with more intercKi and avidity than the 
Praxi'ue of Fitly or Grove's Elhin. Whatci-er devjnies from the 
phin path cf duty, or coouadicts received opimons, »ecnis to imply a 
strength of will, or a strength of understanding, which iieizcs forcibly 
on the attention. Whether it it fortitude or cowardice, or both, 
there it a itron^ propensity in the human mind, if itt sutpicions are 
once raised) la iaaw the vjanf, ]t is the eanic in Npccu!.vtion as in 
practice. When once the fairy dream in which we have lulled our 
senses or imagination is disturbed, we only feel ourselves secure from 
the delusions of self-love by distrusting appearances altogether, 4nd 
revenge ourselves for the cheat which we think has been put upon us, 
by laughing at the credulity of those who arc still its dupes.' Even 
the very love of virtue makes the mind prcijioctionahly innpiiticBt of 
every tning like douUi respecting it, and prompta u« to escape from 
tormenting itispense tn total indifference, ■!« jealousy cures itself by 
destroying its objccu The PaUt ef the Beej, ihc Maninu of Roche- 
/oucauU, the Treattu on ibr Pafjilji of Human Vtriuei, and the book 
De P£iprit have owed much of their popularity to the consolation 
they alTordcd to disappointed hope. However this may be, a collec- 
tion of amiable paradoxes on the other side of the question, would 
have but few readers. There would be leu point and satire, though 

' • And «< ! huw dark the hickwirci iireim 
A littk cnbnient pMt bow smilin); t 
Anil ttill pcrhipi, with fiittilni {Icam, 
Same othet Loiunr beguiling.* 



WtfJtUMUl. 



_*s* 



ON ROCHEFOUCAULTS MAXIMS 

there would not be leu truth nor, at fsr ai the aoalyticil proceu is 
Lconcernnl, Im ingenuity, in exulting our had aiulttin into virtuct) 
llfcu in dcbuiDg our good ones into vices. I will give an example ot 
■ of whju I mean. 

ThuK, it might be nigucd that therr is no such thing as envy : or 

that what it called by that nainc, does aot (if strictly examined) 

hariac from a hatred oi rcil excellence, but fioni a sunpcion thu the 

l^cxcdlffnce it not real, or not so great .u it is supjxjscd to be, and 

■equcQtly that the prefcieoce given to others i* an act of injustice 

dooc to ourselves. For wheacrer all doubt is removed of the reality of 

the excellence, either from our own conviciiono, or from the con- 

'dirrcnt opinion of mankind in general, c^vy cesses. This ii the 

reason why the rcpiuation of the dc:ad never excites this paesioiii 

l)ecau£c it has been fully ettablislied by the most unequivocal 

testimony, tt has received a sanction which fills the imagination and 

tiDS the asecnt at once, and the fame of the great men of past times 

placed beyond the reach of envy, because it is placed beyond the 

[reach of douht. Wc feel no misgivings as to the solidtiy of thetr 

reuniioos, nor any apprehension that our admitaiion or praise will 

tlirown Jiway on what docs not deserve tc. No one envies Shalic- 

Pcpeare or Rubens, because no one entertains the lean doubt of their 

f;cnius> Wc uc as prodigal of our admiralioo of universally acknow- 
edged excellence, making a sort of religious idolatry of it, as we are 
Diuardly and cautious in fixing the mmp of our approbitioo on that 
vntch may turn out to be ouly counterfeit. It is not because we are 
'competiiOTt with the living and not with ihe dead : bui because the 
Vlaimt of the one arc fully esiablishrd, and of the other not. Why 
laltc indeed ate wc competitors with ihc one and not with the other ? 
Accordingly, where living merit is so clear as to bring immediate 
and entire cunviciion to the mind, we are no longer disposed to stint 
or withhold our applause, any more than to dispute the lij^ht of the 
■UR. For instance, who ever felt the least diHiculty in acknowledging 
ilhe meriu of Wilkie or Turner, merely because thete artisu are now 
ivia^i If immediate celebrity has not always been the reward of 
[extraordinary genius, this has been owing to the incapacity of the 
jwiblic to judge of the highest works of an. There is no want of 
' iDstaaccs where the popular opinion has ouUtrippcd the claims ot 
.^tice, whenever tbc merits of the artist were on a level with the 
, common understanding, and of an obrioos character. Sir Joshua 
ReyikOlds had his full share of popularity in his life-time. Raphael 
Sungs wu cried up by hii countiymcn and contemporaries bb cqtul 
to Raphael; and Mr. West at preient standi as high in the estima- 
tion of the public as he does in his own. On the other hand, .md in 

»S5 



ON ROCHEFOUCAULT'S MAXIMS 

oppfliition lo whnt vrat said above (though chccxcrpiion ttill coniinnB 
the nJc), th« French hut Shalceapcarc and Rubens, for no other 
mson thnn because there is nothing in their roind* which r»Uy 
enable* them lo understand or relish cither. Thr admiration which 
they hear others express of this great painter and greater poet* appears 
to then a delution, an instance of lal<e taste, xni) a higotol preference 
of that which is full of faults to that — voiieb it wh^M^ brmititj. 
The disputes and jealousies of different nations rcipccuag each other's 
productions, arise chiefly from this source. We despise French 
painting, French poetry, and French philosophy, not because they 
arc French, but becaoBC they appear to us to want the essential 
requisites of genius, feeling, and common senw. Wc do not feel 
any reluctance t» iidmirc Titian or Rembrandt, or Phidias or 
HomcTt or Boccace or CerTsntcs, merely because they were not 
IvDgliih. They speak the universal language of truth and oaiurc. 
Our national and local prejudices for the most part opente eoly at a 
barrier against national and local absurdities. To the same purpose, 
I might mention Kimc modern poets and critics who are actuated by 
nearly as intolerant feelings towards Pope and Dryden, as if they had 
been their contemporaries.* Tbey are not their cotcmporark*, but 
the explanation is obvious. From the want of congeniality of mindi 
and a uite for their peculiar excellencies, the space which those 
writers occupy in the eyes of the world seems comparatirely di»pro- 
ponionate to tlicir merits ; and hence the irritation and gati which 
follows. The highest reputation and the highest excellence almost 
always dcotroy enry ; whereas, oo the cofflmoo supposition, we 
ought to feet the greatest envy, where there is tlie greatest superiority, 
and the greaieirt admiration of it in others. If we never become 
entirely free from it in modern works, it is because with re«pect to 
them wc can never ' maVc assurance double euro,' by having our own 
feelings conGrmed by the united voices of ages and nations. True 
genitti and true fame seize our ndmiralion, and oar admiration, when 
once excited, bccomcsa passion, and we take a delight iocxaggeratisg 
theexcelEencenof our idol as if they were our own. On the contrary, 
wc all envy that repotaiion which is acquired bj- trick or cunning, or 
by mere shewy accomplishments, as when with roodcraic talents. 



' Mt. Sovthc]' ii, il ii hoped, politicall)' tccuncild to Mr. D[T<ini, ibct his 
siKcotion to the Liumtship, Whicb «f tht<e two wrilrra ia tbc btltcr port, (t 
wouM Sc pretuinptiioui in gi to >l«Urnitoc. Vtr nmld loonei determiiM vluch 
wii iIiE hnnottf min. Mr. Dryilen, w< belitvc, ntvtt wrote lUpeMc SMtaMs, 
Jacobin 0<)«i, or Revolutionaiy Epic Poem*. How the Prince miut Isa^, if Iw 
on bath *t sny (hin|. He might a* welt faive mide his chiplain his histvrlul 
psiout I 
156 



ON ROCHEFOUCAULT'S MAXIMS 



dexteroiuly applied, or sn ippctl to igtuxsot ctedulity, a man ' gna 
ibt tan of th« maJHlJc woifd,' and obtaint the highett charactrr for 
. quaUtics which h« dots no4 po«KH. It becomes aa impoiturc aod ao 
f'HWult, which we rewmt as auch. 

Tbe jealout^ and uneasiness produced in the mind by a pedantic or 
daztJiag ditplay of UKlc8t> accotnplishnieats may be traced to a similar 
■•Onrce. Hence the old objeclioni malcriam tuptraiat e^u/. Tnic 
I warm ih and vigour communicate warmth and vigour: and we are no 
llooger inclined to dupute the inipiratioo of the oracle, when wc feel 
the ' present Dirus* in our own bonoms, Wui when without gaining 
any new light or heat, we only find our ideas thrown into confiuion 
aod perplexity by ao an that we caanot comprehend, this t« a Icind 
of superiority which must always be painful, and can never be cordially 
admitted. It is for this reason that the extraordinary talents of the 
late Mr. Pitt were always riewed, except by tho»e of his own pany, 
with a sort of jealousy, and gnidgingly ncknowledgrd : while tliose of 
hi* more popular rivals were admitted liy all parties in the most 
onreaerved manner, and carried by acclamation. Mr. Burke was 
Komed only by the common herd of politicians, who did oot undcr- 
■und him. So on the sUgc, wc im;tgine Mrt. Sidduns could hardly 
have excited envy or jealousy in the breast of any person, not totally 
devoid of common Hcosibility ; because her talents bore down all 
opposition, and tilled tbe mind at once with delight and awe. Mr. 
Keto has a nroDg ai>d most absurd party ag^nst him : but we will 
venture to say that if his figure, «i his voice, or his judgmcat, wcic 
better, that is, if he had fewer defecti, he would hare fewer detractors 
from his excellencies. Any peculiar defects excite Hdicute aod 
enmity by bringing the whole claim lo our applause into <]ucstion> 
A perfect actor would not be an object of en*-y even to aonic news- 
paper critics. Perfect beauty excites this feeling less among women 
than half pretcnsioos to ii. In the sumc mafincr, upstart wealth or 
oewly acquired honour* produce contempt rather than respect, from 
not being accompanied with any itrooc or permanent associations of 
pleasure or power. There is nothing more apt to occasion the 
feeling of eniy than the sudden and unexpected rise of persons wc 
have long known tinder different ctrcum stances, not from the 
immediate compsrisoa with ourselves (the extravagant admiration of 
each other's talents imong friends is an answer to this suppontion) to 
much as from the disbelief of the reality of thnr pretenrions, and our 
iiubility to overcome our previous prejudice against them. It is the 
aame where striking mental inequalities exist, or where the moral 
propettien render us averte to acknowledge merit of a different kind. 
Of where the countenance or otaaaer docs not denote genius. Every 
voLt XI. : K i{7 



PREDOMINANT PRINCIPLES IN THE MIND 

tuch incoognihy iocrcatn ibe difficulty of coonectbg hearty admira- 
tion with ideal lo oppo&iie to ii. 1 ha7e known aitist* whoie 
pbynognomy wit co mucti againct th«in, thit oo one would evcT 
tliink highly of ihcm, though they were to paint like RBphacI ; and 
I oace heird 3 very scntible man say, thai it Sir ItXK Newtos bad 
litp«d, h« could not have fancied him 10 be a great mia. I myielf 
hare felt a jealousy of prcicnsiont which I thought inferior 10 my 
own. hut I never knew what envy of great lalenti vat. I da not 
indeed like to be put down by percon* I d«spi>e, or to (eetn to 
mytclf lc» than nothing. Id a word, we feel the nine jealousy xnd 
irritation ac seeing othert ^uipaueij, whom wr have been accoscomed 
to admire ; and what h more, grow jealoua of our own approximation 
to an cnguolity with them, livery iogcnuou* isiod >hrtnk> from a 
comparison of iieclf. with what it looks up to, and is uhitned of any 
adranuge it may ^ain over those whom it regardi aa having higher 
powers and pretcntioot^ I'he idta of fame >■ too pure and nctcd to 
be mingled with our own. Our admiration of ochcri » Kroncer than 
our vanity. Poor indeed is that mind which has no other ulol but 
tcir. It is the want of ail real imagination ud eotluiniiUiini or that 
little glittering halo of pcrional conceit which surrounds every 
Frenchman, and does not suffer him to see or fed any thing beyond 
it, that makes the French perhaps the most contemptible people in 
the world. 

ON THE PREDOMINANT PRINCIPLES AND 
EXCITEMENTS IN THE HUMAN MIND 
* The web of our lives is ol a minBled ytm.' 
nr&Hnw.] [Fiimtty a6, tti{. 

* AkTHOmv CooRLt Uftcttis, a most learned and unfortunate Italian, 
born 1446, -was a striking instance' («ay» his biographer) *of the 
miieriet men bring upoo themselves by setting ihcir aifections un- 
reasonably on trifles. This learned mn-D lived at Korh, and liad an 
apartment in the palace. His room waa so Tcry darki that he was 
forced to use a candle in the day time ; and one day, going abroad 
without putting it out, his library was set 00 lire, and some paper* 
which he had prepared for the press were burned. The instant be 
was informed of tJiis ill news, he was af^ctrd eien to madness. He 
ran furiously co the palace, and, stopping at the door of his apartment, 
he cried aloud, "Chcist Jcnis! what mighty crime have I commincd ? 
whom of your followers haTC I ever injured, that you thus rage with 
inexpiable hatred again*t me i " Then turning himself to an image 
of the Virgin Mary near at hand, "Virgin " (says he) '* hear whxt 

»J8 



PREDOMINANT PRINCIPLES IN THE MIND 

I hare to My* for [ (peak ia eirtiMt, and with a componed cptrit. If 
I &haU happcD u> addicM you in my dying moiDcniF, 1 humbly cauuC 
JDU ool to hesr mc, nor rcccirc mc into heaven, for I am dctciininMl 
lo ipcnd all eternity in hell." ThoK who heard these bluphemoui 
cxpiCMoat cDd»vourcd to comfort him, but all to do purpotcj for, 
the Mcicty of mank^ind being no longer iupponabjc to htm, he left 
the city, and retired, tike a tange, to the deep solitude of a wood. 
Sonw uy he was mmdcrcd there by rufiiaat ; others that he died 
at Bologna, in 1500, oflct mnch coniriiion and penitence.* 

Abnott erery one ma^ here read the history of bin own life. 
There U tcareely a momcot to which wc are not in tome degree 
guilty of the uiue lund of abiurdity, which wit here carried 10 such 
a BDgalar excett. We waste our tegreii on what cannot be recalled^ 
or fix our dctire* oo what we know cannot be atuincd. Erery hour 
is the eUvc of the lait ; and wc arc ocldom ma&tcTi cither of our 
ibougbtB or of our actioni. We are the creaturei of imagination, 
Miioo, and Klf-will, more than of reason or even of sclf-intercit. 
MNHacau, in his Bmilius, proposed to educate a perfectly reasonable 
nan, who wat to have pastions and alfections like othei men, but with 
an abaolute control over them. He wai to love and to be wiie. Thia 
it a coatradiciion in lermi. I£vcn in the common tranuciioos and 
daily iaiercourK of life, we arc governed by whim, caprice, piejudtce, 
or accident. The ^liitg of a tea<up puti us out of temper tor the 
day : add a quarrel that commenced about the pattern of a gown may 
end only with our lives. 

' Fricmli now f«« ivrom, 
On a Hinenuon of a iloii, break out 
To iHtlcmi tnmiiy. So felled foes 
Whote paoioni and whow ploti havr broke their tieep,* 
To take the one the other, by wime chance, 
Some trick not n-orth an egg, thai] grow dear friendi. 
And ioieijoin ilieiT iuuH.' 

We are little better than humoured children to the last, and jilay a 
mischicvogs game at cioca purposes with our own hap^'iix'** "id that 
of others. 

W« have given the above story as a itrlktag cootradictioa to the 
prrrailio^ dociiinc of modern systems of morals and metapbytics, 
thai man is purely a sensual and scllish animal, governed tolely by a 
regard either to his inunediate gratiiication or future intefcst. This 
docuinc wc mean to oppoK with all our might, whenever wc meet 
with it. Wc are. however, less disposed to qoarrel mth it, as it is 
opposed to teaMtn and philosophy, than as it interferei with comntoo 

>S9 



PREDOMINANT PRINCIPLES IN THE MIND 



aeiuc and obicrvittoii. If Uic abwniity in qocfdon had bcca coofiacd 
to the Bchoola, we Khoald not have gone out of our way to meddle 
witb it : but it haa gat abroad in the world, hu crept iato bdiei' 
toiJcttct) ia cntcicd in the c<>ininon-[)Ucc of beaux, is in the mouth of 
Ihc karncd and ignorant, and forma a part of popular opinion. It i> 
perpetually applied as a false measure to ihe characters and conduct 
of men in the contmon affairs u( the wurld, and it is therefore our 
buiioeu to rectify it if we can. In (act, whoerer tet> out oo the 
idea of reducing all our motives and actions to a simple principle, 
muat either take a rery narrow and nupcrGcial view of human nature, 
or make a very pervcriie use of his UDderttaoding in reatoning on what 
he sect. The frame of our mindB, like that of our bodies, is 
exceedingly complicated. Uetides mere »enaibtlity to pleasure and 
pain, there are other originiil independent pctnciplcDi neccwarily inter- 
woven with the nature of nun as an aairc and intelligent being, and 
which, blended logcthcr in differeat proportiooi, gjic their form and 
colour to our lircv. Without some other eucntliil t'^culties, such ai 
will, imagination, Sec, to give effect and direction to our physical 
«en»bility, this fuculty could be of oo possible uw or inJloencc; and 
with thotie other faculties joined (o it, this pretended instinct ofielf- 
love will he subject to be trver lastingly modilicd and controlled by 
those faculties, both in what regards our own good and that of others ; 
thiit in, muitt itself become in a. great measure depeniJem oo the very 
instrumeiitl it tmn. The two most predominanl priDcipIca in the 
mind, betides sensitnlity and self' interest, are iroaginatioa and self- 
will, or (in general) the love of strong excitement, both in thought 
and action. To tnete sources may b« traced the various paacions, 
pursuits, liabitt, afTections, foUtei and caprices, virtues and vices of 
miinkind. Wc shall confine outselvei in the preaest article, to give 
fome account of the influence exercised by the imagtnaUon over the 
feetlnge. To an intellectual being, it camnot be ahogctbet artntnry 
what ideas it nhiill have, whether pleasurable or painful. Our tdeas 
do not originate in our love of picuute, and they cannot therefore 
depend abiolutely upon it. They have another principle. If the 
imagination were ' the aervile Hiave ' of our aelf-Iove, if oar ideas were 
rmaioations of our senittivc nature, encouraged if agreeable, and 
excluded the instant they became otherwise, or encroached on the 
former principle) then there might be a tolerable pretence for the 
Epicurean phitoRophy which is here tpoken of Dut for any ouch 
entire and mechanical subserviency oi the operationi of tlie one 
principle to the dictates of the other* there ii not the sligbtett found*- 
tion in reality. The attention which the mind gives to iu ideas it 
not always owing to the giatilicatiOB derived from them, but to tho 
160 



PREDOMINANT PRINCIPLES IN THE MIND 



atrmgtli and truth of the imprruionE ihcmiclvci, r^. to theti tnvoltio* 
tary power over ihe mind. This ol>«cfvaiion will account for a very 
KcDcrd principle in the mind, which cannot, wc conccite, be uti»- 
utctordy explained in any other way, we mean ibe po<axr of/ajciitatian. 
Ever; one hu heard the (tory of tlie giil wlio being left alooe by 
her compamofit, b order to fri|;hteii her, in a room with a deftd body, 
at firat attempted to get out, and shrieked riolenily for asustance, but 
finding hervff nhut in, ran and embraced the corpae, and waa found 
fcowlcsa in it« arms. 

[| ii said that in such cases there is a desperate ciTbrt made to get 
rid of the dread by convening ii into the reality. There may be 
•omc truth in this account, but we do not think it contain* the whole 
tneb. The event produced in the piesent iniuncc docs not bear out 
the concluiion. The progress of the pasuon does not seem to hare 
been that of diminishing or rcmoring the terror by coming in contact 
with the object, but of carrying this terror to its height from an 
interne and irresistible impulse, overcoming eveiy other feeling. 

It u a vell-kiMwti fact that few persons can stand safely on the 
tdge of a precipice, or walk along the parBpct wall of a house, 
without being in danger of lliroving themselves down ; not we 
preaume from a principle of self- preservation ; but in conse<]uence of 
a strong idea hiring taken poascstion of the mind, from which it 
cannot well escape, which absorbs every other consideration, and 
confounds and overrules all «elf regsrtls. The impBlse cannot in this 
case be resolved into a dcvic to remove the uneaetncss of fear, for 
the only danger arises from the fear. We ha^e been told by a 
penon, not at all given to exaggeration, that he once felt a strong 

I propensity to throw himself into a cauldron of boiling lead, into 
rhich he was looking. These are what Shaketpear calls ' the toys 

lef detperation.' People sometimes marry, and even iiill in love on 

fthia pnociplc — that is, through mere apprehenttoo, or what is called 
a lataliiy. In like roaoocr, we find instances of persons who are as 
H were naturally delighted with whaterer is disagreeable, — who 
cudi all sons of unbecoming tones and gcsiiues, — who always say 

Evhat they should not, and whai they do not mean to say, — in whom 
tntemperanee of imagination and incontinence of tongue are a disease, 
and who arc governed by an almost inf^illiblc instinct of absurdity. 

The loTC of imitation has the same general source. We dispuie 
for ercf about Hogarth, and the question can never be decided 
according to the common ideas on the subject of Ustc. Hit pictures 

. appeal to the love of truth, cot to the sense of beauty ; but the one is 
much an ctsemial principle of our nature aa the other. They fill 

■■p the roid of the mind ; they preient an everlasting succcuion and 

t6t 



PBEDOMINANT PRINCIPLES IN THE MIND 



variety of idcoi. There » a fine obecmtton tomewhcrc nude by 
Aristotle, that tlx mind haa a Dacuril appctiic of curioai'.y or desire 
10 know; and ■mntt of that knowlKige which enmet tn by the eye, 
fbi this prcKBta ua with the greaictt rariety of di JTercocei.' Hogarth 
ii relished only by persons of a ceriain strength of mind aod pcneua- 
tion into character ; for the lubjects in themseivcs are oot pleating, 
and thit objccticn !• only redeemed by the cxerciK and actirity 
which they gifc lo the uodcrsiandiDK- The jtreat difference between 
what is meant by a severe and an etfeminaie taaie or (tyle, defends 
on the dittinction here made. 

Our teasing oursclres to recollect the names of placed or persons 
we have forgotten, the love of riddles and of ibiiruse philoutphyt aic 
all illuttration* of the lame ^neral principle of corioaicy, or the love 
of inicliccnial excitement. Again, our impatience to be delivered of 
a secret that we know ; the necessity which lovers have for cooSdaou, 
auHculsr confewion, and the declarations so commonly mide by 
criminals of thcit f^ili, are etTccis of the involuntary power exerted 
by the inuginaiion over the fecHngs. Nothing can be more untrue, 
than that the whole courie of our ideas, patsioni, and pursuits, is 
lei^Iated by a regard to self-interest. Our attachment to certain 
objects is much oflener in proportion to the strength of the imprestiDn 
they make on ut, to their power of rivetting and lilting the attention, 
than to the gratification wc derive from them. Wc arc perhaps ntorc 
apt to dwell upon circumBtances that excite disgosc and shock our 
feelingt, thnn on those of an ,igr««able nature. This, at leait, ii the 
case where this disposition is particularly strong, as in people of 
nervous feelings and morbid habits of tliinking. Thus ilie mind !s 
often haunted with pninfiil images and recollections, from the hold 
they have taken of ihc imaginatioD. Wc cannot shake ihcm oft", 
though we strive to do it: nay, wc even court ihcit company; we 
will not part with them out of our presence; we strain our aching 
sight after them i we anxiouslv recal every feature, and contonplatc 
them io all their aggravated colours. There arc a thoaiaiid passions 
and fancies that thwnrt our purposes and disturb our repose. Grief 
and (em are almost as welcome inmates of the breast as hope or joy, 
and more obstinately cherished. We return lo the objects which 
have excited them, we brood over thcra, they become almost insepar- 
able from the mind, necessary to it ; they aMimiiate all oVjeCtt to the 
gloom of our own thoughu, and make the will a ]>arty agaiim Itadf. 
This is one chief source of most of the passions that prey like 
vultures on the heart, and embitter bnmao lite. We hear moralist* 
and divines pcqiciually exclaiming, with mingled tndignatioo aiKl 
nirpriae, at dte folly of mankind in obstinately peniating in tfacw 
*6s 



THE LOVE OP POWEE OR ACTION 

tofumitiufi £Dd Tiolpnt poMionc, mcli as ravy, rcvtngp, solIenaoH, 
dmatr, 4cc. Thi* is lo them a mystery -, and it will slwajr* remain 
an inexplicable one, while the love of happincM a coondcrcd u the 
onlv spring of tiumao conduct and deiirea. 

We (halt re*ume tbi* lubject in a future paper.' 



THE LOVF. OF POWER OR ACTION AS MAIN A 
PRINCIPLE IN THE HUMAN MIND AS SENSI- 
BILITV TO PLEASURE OR PAIN 

Tit BjimoMtr.'] Ijifril^, 1815. 

Twt love oF power or action ii another iodepeixlent principle of the 
bumaa mind, Id the diiTcrcai degrees in which it exists, and which 
are not by any meanii in exact proportioo to its physcal sensibility. 
It iMin* erideflily absurd to suppo*c that seniiEnlity to pleasure or 
puo is the only principle of action. It it almost too obvious to 
renark, that teoiibiliiy alone, without an active principle in the mind, 
coold never produce action. The soni might lie diswlved in 
pleasuict or be agodiscd with woe; but the impulscB of fccliof, in 
order to excite passion, desire, or will, must be first communicated to 
M>mc other faculty. There must be a principle, a fund of activity 
KHnewbcrci by and through which our KDsibilicy opctaics ; and that 
this active principle owes all its force, its precise degree and direciior., 
to the settaitive faailty, is neither self-evident nor true- Strength of 
will is not always nor gcDcrally in proportion to strco^h of feeling. 
There are different degrees of activity at of sensibility in the mind ; 
aad oar passloot, characters, and purtutu, often depend no lets upoa 
the ofie than on the other. Wc continually make a distincijon in 
conimoo discourse between sensibility and irniibility, between passion 
and feeling, between the nerves and muscles ; and we Had that the 
most voluptuous people arc in general the most indolent. Every one 
who has loolccd closely into human nature must have observed pcnont 
who are naturally and habitually restless in the extreme, hut without 
any extraordinary lusccptibiliiy to pleasure or pain, always mailing or 
finding excuses to do something, — whoK actiont cooitantly outrun 

' At » contritt (■> th< •lory al tlir brgmniog of Ihii articlr, i( will tv not imiM 
(a iiwdIhmi thil of Sir t*Mc Htwtnn, on ■ <oni4wlul litniUrocoiion. H« hsd 
Brvptrcl Mmc pipen (oi Ih? prctt wtlh gtttl care sad iiudy, but htpprninii to 
ksve ■ lighicd cindle mi ihr lablt with itwm. his Jog Disrnond uvFtiuintd tbe 
na<llr, ia>l 'he tiboor of vwrat yetn w» dctlrovetl. Thit great ciin, un Kt'tag 
wttst WM ilone, onlf iboolc hit held, *di1 said wnh ■ imite^ ' Ah, DiamiMil, jrou 
dM't knw wlkai BUtdiKf yoii have •lane I ' 

363 



THE LOVE OF POWER OH ACTION 



the occanoi], and who ar« »gcr ia the jninuit oF the gmtctt trlflea, 
— whose impacieoce of the Rmalleit repose keept (hem alwiyi 
employed aSoat nothing, — and whose whole Uvet are a cocitinucd 
work of (upcrerogatton. There arc other* again who teem born u> 
act from a ipirii of contradiction onljr, that is, who are ready to act 
not onl^ without a rcaioo, but against it, — who are ever at crow- 
purpoK* with thcmitelTeK and otherV) — who are not satisfied unlcu 
they are doinj; two opposicr thing) at a timei — who contradict 
what you say, and if you assent to them, coatradict what they have 
■aid, — who regularly Icare the purvuit in which they arc successful to 
engage in some other in which they hare no chance of cuccen,— who 
make a pornt of cncoanierino difficulties and aiming at impoisihilitiet, 
that there may he no end ortheic exhaustlcu task : while there is a 
third class whose vli inrrUr scarcely any motives can ovcrcoin^^ 
who arc devoured by their feelings, and the slaves of their passioai;, 
but who can take do painti and uae ao means to gratify ihcm, — who, 
if roused to aaion by any unforetcen accident, rt^uirc a coatinued 
stiffiolus <o urge them on, — who fluctuate beiw«m desire and want of 
rctolution, — whose brightest projects burst like a bubble a* soon si 
formed,— who yield to cTcry obotaclr, — who almoii sink uodcr the 
weight of the atmosphere, — who cannot brush aside a cobweb in their 
path, and are stopped by an insect's wing. Indolence is wuit of will 
^-thc abMrnce or defect of the active principle— a rcpugORnce to 
motion ; and whoever has been much tormented with ihif ponion, 
must, we arc sure, have felt that the inclinatioa to indulge it is 
something very distinct from the love of pleasure or actual enjoyment. 
Ambition is the reverse of indolence, and is the lore of power or 
action in great things. Avarice, also, as it relates to the acquisition 
of riches, ii, in a great measure, an active and enterptisiog tccling; 
oor does the hoarding of wealth, after it is acquired, seem to hive 
much connection -with the love of pleasure. What is called niggard- 
liness, very often, we are convinced front particular instances that we 
have known, arises teis from a sellith principle than from a love of 
coDthvaace, from the study of economy as an an, for VMt of a 
better, from n pride in making the most of a little, and in not exceed- 
ing a certain expense previously determined upon ; all which is 
wilfulness, and is perfectly consistent, as it is frequently found anited, 
with the most lavish expenditure and the utmost disregard tor 
money on other occasions. A miser may in general be looked upon 
as a particular species of virtuota. The constant desire in the rich to 
leave wealth in large masses, by aggrandising some branch of their 
families, or somrtimei in such a manner as to accumulatr for centuries, 
shews that the imagination has a conBidenible share in this passion. 
164 



THE LOVE OF POWER OR ACTION 



latempcraDce, dcbaacbcryt gluttony, and other vices of that kind, 
imjr be attribuud to an exceM of Kotuality or groM lenittttlity; 
ifaougb even here, we think it evident that habitK o( ioloxicUioB are 
produced <]aiteaa mucli bjr ihc atrcnj^tb u by the j)|;rccablcDc« of the 
excitement ; and with mpect to some other vicious habits, cuttosity 
mnke* tnany nwre voUne« than inclination. The love of (ruthf 
when it predominates, produces iD^uititive characters, the whole 
tribe of gouips, tiJe-bearerit, harmleaa buty bodiet, your blunt 
hMMtt creatures, who never conceal what they think, and who are the 
more sure to tell it you the ic» you want to bear it, — and now and 
then a philosopher. 

Our passions in general are to be traced more imfnediareljr to the 
utivc pari of our nature, to the lave of power, or to strength of will. 
Such arc all thoie which arise out t>f the difficulty of accomplishment, 
which become more intense from the e^ortt made to atuun the 
ebjecL, and which derive their strength from oppositioiL. Mr. Hobbcs 
■aya well on iht^i subject : 

■ But for an utmost end, in which the ancient philosophers placed 
felicity, and disputed much concerning; the way thereto, there is no 
•uch thing in this world nor vriy to it, than to Utopia; for while we 
live, we have desire*, and desire pre>uppo»eih a further end. Seeing 
all delight if apatite* and desire of Bomclhing further, there can be 
no coDtcDtmcnt but ia procctdtn;!. and thcrefoic we are not to marvel, 
'wbni we see that as men attain to more riches, honour, or other 
power, so their appetite continually groweth more and more; and 
when they arc come to the utmost degree of some kind of power, 
they pursue some other, at long as in any kiiui they think themceives 
behind any other. Of those therefore that have atuined the highest 
' degree of honour and riches, some have affected mastery in some art, 
tu Nero in mtiiic and poetry, Commodus in the art of a gladiator; 
and such as affect oot some such thing, must lind divcrsioa and 
rccreaiian of their thoughts in the contcniion cither of play oi business, 
ai>d men justly complain ss of a great grief that they know not what 
to do. Kelicily, therefore, by which we mean continual delight, 
consists not in having proipcred, but in prospering.' 

This account of human nature, true as it is, would be a mere 
ronuoce, if physical leotibiiity were the only faculty essential to man, 
thu is, if wc were the slaves of volupluoas indolence. Bui our 
desires are kindled by their own beat, the will is urged on by a 
restless impulse, and, without action, enjoyment become* insipid. 
kThe |»Baioas of men are not in proportion only to theit sensibility, or 
to the desirableneis of the object, but to the violence and irritability 
of their tempers, and the obstacles to their success. Thus an 

165 



THE LOVE OF POWER OR ACTION 



object, to wbkh wr were almost todifTerent while we thought it in our 
power, often excite* the moti ardent pursuit or the nKHt paiafiil 
regret* at iood xi il is placed out of otir reach. How eloquently i» 
the conuadictioD between our deiires and our saccesi dewribed in 
Don Quixote where it it ttud of the lover, thai ' he courted a ttatoe, 
hunted the wind, cried alond to the dr«crt ! ' 

The necenrty of action to ihe mind, and the keen edge it gives lo 
our desires, u shewn in the dilFcrent rittuc ue set oo pasi and future 
object*. It i* commonly and wc might nlniou uy untrertaJly 
nwposed, th;ic there it an esseottal dilTerence in the two cases. In 
thit innance, however, the strength of our ptriorw has converted an 
evident absurdity irto one of the niott ioveurate prejudices of the 
hum:in mind. Th^i the future is really or in itself of more COD- 
seqaeiicc than the past, is what ve can neither asteot to nor even 
CDDceire. [t is true, the past has ceased to be and is no longer any 
tiling, except to the mind : but the future is sliil to come, and hu aa 
existence in the mind only. The one is at an end, the other hot not 
even had a beginning ; both ate purely ideal: so that this argvmcDt 
would ])t«ve that the present only is m any real ralne* and that both 
p.-ist nnd future objects are equally indifFcrem, alike nothing. Indeed, 
the future is, if possible, more imaginary than the past ; for the pa<t 
may in some sense lie said to exist in its consequences ; it acu still ; 
it is present to ui in its ef^cts; the mouldering ruins and broken 
fragments still remain i bvt of ibc future there is no trace. What 
;i tdank does the history of the world for ihc next six tbousarul years, 
present to the mind, compared with chat of the last ! All tbsi 
strikes the imagination, or excites any iatcicst in tlic mighty Kent* is 
wiai hat irrn. Neither in reality, then, nor as a ntbject of general 
contemplation, has the future any adtrantage over the past ; bnt with 
rrspccC to our own passions and purtuils it has. Wc regret Uie 
pleasure* we hare enjoyed, and eagerly aoticipntc those which are to 
come; we dwell with satisfiiction on the evils from which we have 
escaped, and dread future pain. The good that is past is like 
money that is spent, which is of no use, and about which we give 
oursdves no &rther concern. The good we expect ii like a store 
vet untouched, io the enjoyment of which wc promise ourselves 
lafiailc gratification. What has happened to us we think of no 
consequence, — what is to happen to us, of ttie greatest. Why to i 
Because the one is in our power, and the other not ; because 
the cfTona of the will to bring an object to pass or to avert it 
strengthen our attachment to or out aversion from that object ; 
because the habitual pursuit of any Mirpoee redoubles the ardour of 
our pursuit, and converts the speculative and indolent interest we 
266 



THE LOVE OF POWER OR ACTION 



.ihdllkl athenrisp akc in it into ml pianan. Our regrns, uudety, 
■nd witbea, are thrown away upon the pott, but we encourage our 
diipositioo to exaggerate the importance of ihc future, u o( the 
atnxMt uie in aiding our resolution! and EiimuIaiiDf; our exerttottt. 

It in tome measure coafirm> thi> theory, that nien uttach mor« 
or less tmjiortaiice lo p»i and future efmt*, according as they arc 
morr or lets n^ged in action and the busj' tcenes of life. I'hon 
who hiTc a fortuoe to mske, or arc io pur*uit of rank and power, arc 
rcgardlna of the past, for it doee not conuibucc lo their views : thoic 
who have nothing to do bat to think, ukc nearly the tame ioterrR in 
the pau » in thr future. The contemplation of the one i* as deiighi- 
fal and real at of the other. The Ncawn of hope comet to an end, 
bm the renwmbrance of it it left. The pan Hill lirt^ in the memory 
of thoM who have Iciture to look back upon the way that they have 
trod, aad aa from it 'catch i^limpsci liiit nnaj make thcni Ictt 
forlorn.' The turbulence of acrion and unr<iitine«i> of desire muti 
dwell upon the future ; it it only amidst the innocence of thephcrdt, 
in the tunplicity of the pastoral age», that a tomb was found with this 
intcriiition — ' I al^o vfx% ax Akcatium ! ' 

We feel that tome apology it necettary for haTtng thut plunged 
our reader* all at once into the middle of iiietapbyiicB. If it should 
be asked what k9c such studiet are of, we might answer with Humci 
ptrbapt ofnoiu, txeefl thai ihert are etrtan ftrnni wh»^ii more tnler- 
taiitmtni ia item iban t/r any other. An account of thii niatler* with 
which we were amused ounu'lTcs, and which may therefore amuie 
othert, we met with tome time ago in a mttaphytjeal allegory^ which 
begins iu this manner : — 

* In the depth of a foreat, in the kingdom of ladoaun, lived a 
mookeyi who, before hit latt step of transmigration, had occujned 
a htuiian (cncmeni. He had been a Biamin, ekiiful in thcologyt and 
ia all absirute learning. He was wont to hold in adraiiation the 
ways of Nature, and delighted to penetrate the myiteriec in which 
abc was enrobed; but in pursuing the foottUps of pbiloK>])hy, he 
wandered too far from the abode oi the social Virtues. In order to 

Surtue hit studies, he had retired to a cave on tlie banki of the 
uniDa. There he forgot society, and neglected ablution ; anil thcns 
fore hit soul was degraded to a condition betow humanity. So 
tBTctnate were the habiu which he had contracted in his human 
Hate^ that hit tpini was ttill ioflacnced by his paction for abitrusc 
■tod/. He sojourned in thit wood from youth to age, rcgudteu of 
everything, tavr locoa-nalt and mtiaphyna. For our own part, we 
should be content to paat our time much in the time way at this 
learned savage, if wc could only iind a substitute for his cocoa-nuts I 

•67 



THE LOVE OF POWER OR ACTION 



Wc do not faowever vriih to recomaieiKl the umc purimt to othcn, 
eor to dustude them from it. It has tti pleasurei ^ad ha paint — iti 
(u<ccMcf and its ditappointmcDU. It ■• neither quite to fubtime Dor 
({iiltc M tinintcrcEting as it if iomctimct rcpicsrrircd> The worei it, 
that much thought on difficult suhjectB tends, after a certain time, to 
deitroy the natural gaiety and dancing uf the spirits ; it dcidcni the 
dwtic force of the mind, weighs upon the heart, and nuke* ui 
imeDitble to the common cnjoytnents and pursuits of life. 

* Sthencc no fairy lighti, no quick'ning ny, 
Nor itir of pu]»e, not object* tu entice 
Abroad tli< >pirit»( but the clo^tci'd heart 
Sit» iquai at liome, like {Higod in a niche 
Obncurc." 



Metaphytkal 



als 



of the 



of 



reuoning it alto one braach 
ledge of good and evil. The study of man, however, doe&, perhapt, 
lew harm than a knowtcdgc of the world, though it must be owned 
that the practical knowledge of vice and misery makes a itrongcr 
impreaaion on the mind, when it hat imbibed a habit of abstract 
Tcaaoning. BtiI ihua bccomci embodied in a general principle) and 
thewt it< harpy form in all things. It it a faul, ineviuble neccuity 
hanging over us. It foUowi ui wherever we go : if we fljr into the 
uttemioBt parti of the canh, it is there : whether wc turn to the right 
or the left, we cannot etcape from it. Thi», it it true, it the disease 
of phito«ophy ; but it it one lo which it is liable in mindi of a certain 
cast, after the GrsI order of expectation has been diubuscd by 
expeiieoce, and the finer feelings have receired an irrecoverable 
shock from the jarring of the world. 

Happy arc they who live in the dream of their own cxittcncc, 
and sec all things in the light of their own mindt; who walk by 
faith and hope ; to whom the guiding (tar of their youth teill shiiM* 
from afar, and into whom the spirit of the world has not entered t 
They have not been ■ hurt by the archers,* nor has the iron entered 
their loult. They live in the midtt of arrows and of death, uncon- 
scious of harm. The evil things come not nigh tbcm. The shafts 
of ridicule pais unheeded by, and malice loaet iu sting. The 
example of vice doei not rankle in their breasti, like the poitoned *hirt 
of Nctaui. Hvil imprcuiont fall off from them like drops of water. 
The yoke oflifc is to them light and lupportablc. The wmM hxs 
no hold on tliem. I'hey are in it, not of it ; and s dream snd s 
glory ii ever orouod them ! 



a68 



ESSAY ON MANNERS 



ESSAY ON MANNERS 

Tit ex^miiur.] [S/filtmifr J, tftlj. 

NoTHiHG c»a frequrmly be more tiriking than the difference of ttyie 
or (nannci) wbcfc thr matirr rcmiuns the unic, at ia paraphi3«e» and 
traiuUtioni. The most rcniailublc example which occurs to as i» in 
the beginning of the Fh'wer amJ I^a/hy Chaucer, and in die modem- 
iutioQ of the tame pusage by Drydcn. We (hall give .-in extract 
from both, that the reader may judge for faim»cir. The original nina 
thui: — 

* And I that all ihit picaxaunt Mglit sec, 
Thought sodainly I felte to twcct an aire 
Of lh« elgtmcrr, that ccTtaincly 
There is no licttf I iirtne. in »urli ili^^iaiif, 
Ne with thought!! fniwanl and ronttairc 
60 overbid, but 11 ihoiilil Mione have bote. 
If it bad uRC* felt thii Hvour lote. 

And as I itaotl and rail ajiide mine eie, 

1 wax of ware llie faireiC meillef tiec. 

Thai eret yet in all my hfe 1 tee. 

As liill of BloHome* a* ii might be. 

Therein a goldfinch leaping pretile 

Pro bough 10 bough, and ai him liit he eet, 

Here and there ot Mi<lt and Jloum iweet. 

And to the herber tide was joyninj; 
This faire tree of which I h«»e you loUl j 
And at the laat the bird began to Hng, 
When be had eaten wlui he <« wold, 
So paanng tncctiy, that by manifold 
It waa more plcakauni ihaii I <.t>uld devite ) 
And when his song nas ended in thii wim. 

The njghlln^le with 10 mery a note 

Antwrrcd him, that all the wood rang 

So wdainlyt that as It wen a »ote, 

I rtood attonicd, to wa« I with the tang 

Thoniw Tavithcd, that till iacc and lang, 

1 n< YTttt in what place I wat, nt where. 

And aye xat thought she tang erm by mine ear. 



Wherefore I waited about budly 
Ob every side. If I her might see. 
And at the last I gan fuirHcU cspte 



169 



ESSAY ON MANNERS 

Where ihe «t in a fre*h green hunt tree, 
On the further suit even riaht by me. 
That K^ve to pasung a deli-ciou* Knell, 
Accoioiiig to tlic tglenteTC full well, 

Whereor I had to inly ^ac pleasure ; 
Tliat as me ihoug^t I lurely nvlshed wm 
Ino Par»Hi«, where my ileHre 
Wm tor tn be and nn further to pane. 
At fur that day, anil on the tnie gtaise 
I at me dowiie, for as for mine intent. 
The birdei long was tnore convenient. 

And mure plcasauni to inc by inauifold, 
Than RicM 01 ilrinkc, or any oihet thing, 
Thoeto the herbcr nu >o frtali and cold, 
The nholcAomc savoun eke to camfoningi 
That a I deemed, eith (he beginning 
Of ihc HTorld ma never lecnc or then 
So pleuaunt a grouni;] of none earthly man. 

And at I sat, the birdn barkening ihui. 
Me thought that I hevd voict* i«dainly, 
The Tno»t iweeteU and mott deliei«tii 
That evir miv wtght I trow truly 
He«rd in their life f for the harmony 
And iwect accord wm in to good muukc. 
That the voice* to angeli mont wm like.' 

In ihii pauag,c ihc poet hu let Iook the rery tod of plcuure. 
There is a (pirit of enjoyment in it, of which there seems no cikL. It 
is the iDtcDBc dclif;ht 'which accompanies the dctcriplioo of every 
object, the fund of natural Mrnsibility it diipiayst which cooBticutes its 
whole essence and beauty. Now thii a shewn chielly in the manner 
in which the diifcrcnt objecu are antici]>ated. and the eager wdcome 
which u ^Tco to them ; in hii tcpcatinK and varyioj; the circuni- 
iiancea with a renleu deltghl ; io his quitting the lubject for a moment, 
;tnd then returning to it again, at if he could never have ht« fill of 
cDJoymcnt. There is linlc of this in Drydco's puaphraae. The 
tame ideas are introduced, but not in the same maoner, nor with the 
tame tpirit. The imagiaatton of the poet it not borne along with the 
tide of pleasure — the vcric is not poured out, like the natimil Btraina 
it detcriWs, from pure dctigh^ but according to rule and measure. 
In>tead of being abeorbed in his subject, he is diHatttlied with ii,trte« 
10 p.ivc an air oi dignity to it by nctitious orDatneottt to amuse the 
leader by ingenious allunons. and divert his attcntioo from the progrcu 
of the itory by the artifices of the style. 

»70 



ESSAY ON MANNERS 

' The painted Irirdt, companiont of the iprin^ 
Hopping from *pra;r to 'pray. "''"^ heatrf (o »ingj 
BoiB tyti ind MFJ rrceiired a like delight, 
Enchanting mu^ic, and a chaiminK (igiil) 
On Philomel I tixrd m^ whol« detm, 
And linmd for the qiie«n of all the quirt i 
Kain would I hear htr heivmly vnice to (ingt 
And wanted yet an omen to inc ipring, 
Thui a* 1 mitf'd, 1 <au and* my eye 
And Hw a medlar tree wa« platitM nigh : 
The ipreaidittg btanche* maiJe a gM>dly ihow, 
And full of openinc bloom* vn* every bovgb i 
A golilfini:h there I »aw with ^atidy ptide 
Of painted piuinct, that hopp'd from side (o tide, 
Slill peeking at the paWd ( anJ Mill ^1la: drew 
The »wcct( from every flow'r, and tuck'd the dew ; 
SulKc'd at len^h, the warbled in licr throat, 
Asd tun'd hcT roicc to many a meny note, 
But indiMiact, uid neither iwcei nor cleUr 
Yet uich as aooili'd my aoulj and pIea*M my car. 

Her ibon pcrfomiaacc w-at no tooncr tried, 
WIicD she I sought, the ntgbtineilc, replied i 
So tweet, M> thrill, w wiouily tut luog, 
Tliai the grove echo'd, and the ralliei rung: 
And I w> rsriith'il with her heavenly note, 
I stood cniranc'd, and had no roam for thauglHi 
But all o'erpowcr'd with rctuy of blia, 
Wai in a pleasing dream of naradUe i 
At Imgth I waJ:'d ; and looting round the txiwer. 
Search 'd every tree, and pry'il on every flower, 
If any where by chantY 1 might e»py 
The tMral poet of the melody ; 
For nill meihaught *he »ung not far away* 
At laU I found her on a laurel ipray. 
GiHc by my tide the tst, and fair in u^t, 
Full in a line, ■gaintt her oppoi-ite < 
Where ttood with eglantine the laurel Inin'd j 
Asd both their native iwects were well <'onjoin'd. 

On the green bank I tat, and liiten'd long; 
(Sitting wai more tonvenient for the tong) 
Nor till her lay wn ended eouM I move, 
But wifh'd to dwell for ever in the grO"*. 
Oely methoughl the lime l«u swiftly jisw'd, 
And Fk-ciy note 1 fcar'd would be the last. 
My Mght, and uncll, and hr-Aiing were emptoy'd. 
And all three (cuks in full gutt enjoy 'd. 
And what al«nc did all the rcrt (urooH 
The sweet poucuion of the fairy plxc« j 



ESSAY ON MANNERS 

Sinfrlc, md cotticidaa t« myMlf alone 
Of plnuum (o th' cxcluiltJ world unknown : 
Pleuurcs which no when rlt« were to tx fouiui, 
And all F.iyftum in « ipot of groiind. 

Tliut while 1 Mt inicnt to ice and hear, 
A?kI drew Dcrfiiincs of more th»n vita! air, 
AU luddesly I beard (he «pproKhinK lound 
Of vocaJ miuic, on th' cochwitcii etDund -. 
Ad hoM pf aiots it stem'd, m full the quire, 
A» if the blest above did all contain 
To Jain their roicrs, and neglect ibc lyre.' 

Compartd with Chaucer, I>rydcn aai tLc rest of that school were 
tn««ly verbal pof II. They hvl a peat deal of wit, sense and fancy ; 
they only wanted truth and d«|)Ch of feeling. But we shall hare to tvj 
more on this tub)ccl| when wc come to consider the old <)untion 
which we have got marked down in om list, whether Pope was a 
poet? 

To rctnro to the subject oT our last Number. Lord ChcsterGeld's 
cbaiacter of the Dnke of Marlborough is a good iDiistratioD of his 
genera] theory. He says :^' Of all the men I ever ktww in ray life 
(and I knew him extremely well) the late Duke of Marlborough 
poBMsRcd the graces m the highest degree, not to say engrossed them ; 
for 1 will Tenturc (contrary to the custom of profound historiini, who 
■Iwaya amgn deep causes for great events] to aicnbc the better half 
of the Duke of Marlborough's greatness and riches to thote graces. 
He was eminently illiterate : wrote had English, and epelt it worse. 
He had no share of what is commonly called parts ; that is, no bright- 
ness, nothing shining id his genius. He had most ucdoulKedly an 
excellent good plain understanding with sound judgment. Bue tbe«e 
alone would probably have raised him but somcthiag higher than 
they found him, which was page to King James ri.*s Queen. 
There the graces protected ana promoted him t for while he was 
Ensign of of the GuatdS) the Ducbcss of CIcvclaodi then farouritc 
miBuess of Charles ii., struck by these Tery graces, gave him five 
ihouiand pounds} with which he immediately bought an annuity of 
live hundred poundsaycari which was the foundation of his subsequent 
fortune. His figure was beautifiil, but his manner was trrcsistlblc by 
either man or woman. It was by this engaging, graceful manner) 
that he was enabled during all hts vrart to connect the rarwui and 
jarring powers of the grand alliance, and to carry them on to the 
main object of the war, notwithstanding their priratc and separate 
riewS) jealouricv, and wrong headednens. Whatcrer ccnit he went 
to (and he was ofteo obliged to go himself to some rcsiy atid 

J73 



ESSAY ON MANNERS 



rcfnctOfy oota) be n> conMantl^ prcvail«], and brought them into 
hit taamm.' ' 

Grace in woman hat often iDore effea than beauty. WesometimM 
(Tea email) line Rrlf-poMCMioB, so habitual Tolajxuauiness of chanciCTt 
which rcpoKs on iu own wntatioDs, aod iJctives plcuure from all 
around it, that ii more irrctinibk than »ny other atlraaion. There 
11 an air of languid enjoyment in tuch persons, * in their e*fe*, in their 
amut and their haada, and their face,' which rob* tia of onraelvea, and 
draw* oa by a Mcret lympthy towardi them. Their mindi are a 
■hrine where plearare repoaet. Their tmile diffuse* a tensation lilce 
the breath of apring. Pcuarch't deecription of Laura aniwcn exactly 
to tliii character, which it indeed the Italian character. Titian i 
pknurci are full of it ; they leem Runained by icntinient, or as if the 
pertoaa whom he pnioted uttoreuuc. Thc:citoncin tlic Louvie (or 
there wai} which liad the most of till* ex prei>!on, we eter rrrnember. 
It did not look downward ; * it looked forward, beyond this world.' 
It waa a look tliat never passed away, but remained unalterable as 
the deep lentimcni which gave birth to it. It in the same cooiti- 
tutiMul character (together with infinite activity of mind) which has 
taablcd the greatest man In modern history to bear hi* reverses of 
fbrtnoe with gay inagnanimtty, and to submti to the loss of the empire 
of the world with as little discomposure as if he had been playing a 
gaoic at chess. 

After all, wc would not be understood to lay that manner Is every 
thing.' Nor would wc put Euchd or Sir Itaac Newton on a level with 
the first pfM-maiirf we might iappen to meet. We consider Mio^i 
Fa^u lo have been a greater work of genius than Fontaine** tr anila- 
tionofthem; though wr are not sure that we ahould not prefer Fontaine 
for his ityle only, lo Gay, who has shewn a great deal of original 
invemion. The elegant maimers oi people of fashion have been 

' Wc hsvi an iniUncr iaour ownlimnof a min, ta^uatiy i[tva[il o( unilctstSDit* 
inc soil principle, boi who miniin tht Houie uf Comnions bjr hii mamtr iloae. 
^ Sheer impuilencc tatrctrt *lma>t thf umc purpcac 'Thusc iinMntlnUe 
wlliiksn hivt canfronterl flanits.' Many pcriant, b^laskinEbig ind UlJiiiit loud, 

' nalbe thcit wsy ihtonth tlw woilil Hith^iut >ny an« gooJ <|iislitr. We have here 
•tld MMtuDt of mere fcttonai ^unlihcmiunt, which are muihrr tel-oFF agiioat 
sMriiai Bsrll. Fietiiing wk a[ opinion rhal 'the mart aoli^ prcleniioni of virtue 
■wl >ad>nniidis| vsniih befor« pnrfrct btiut^.* *A Mrtitn lady a( s maHDr' 
{tan Dm fi^ialt la iltfiscc of hi* tllachmeRt to DiJrntta, whicb howevtr was 
qMtteoflbc Plstooic kind), ■ had cait thccytsot alTcction on a cctlain tqu*U 
brawny lay Irollier of a ncigtibauiinji mDnuttry, lo uihoiii %hc wai laviah of her 

' bv««n. Tltc htsd of the Older rtQioaittactJwitli her on ihiipitftrtncc ihowa to 

one wbom he reprcHoled at ■ reiy low, ignoiaiit ftUow, an'l ttX fcilh ih* luperiat 

ardauioat ot hiinKlf, id J hit morr IcBrsc^l birthrcn. TheUdy having tirard him 

to an tmi, ina4e siuwer i AU (hai you have slid may be very Inw • but know, 

TOt. SI. i ■ 273 



KEAN'S BAJAZET 

objected co us to shew ifac frivolity of cxtmul accotnplithnieDU, aad 
iht (acility with which they ate ace|uifed. As to the Uu poiDt, we 
deinur. There are no ctus of people who lead so Uborioue a. life, or 
who tate more piini to cultivate their mtndt at well ii penoni, than 
people of faihion. A yoimj Udy of quality who hat to devote M 
many hours a day to music, no nuny to dancing, ao many todrawiogi 
to many t!> French, Iuli;io, Sec. certainly doe* not pau her lime in 
idlcncM ; and thcte accomplithntenta are afterwarda called into actioo 
by every kiod of external or mental ttiiiiulus, by the excitcmeota i£^ 
pleaiure, vanity and intrreit. A Minitierial or Oppotiiion Lord 
through more diudj^ery than half a do:ten literary haclu ; nor doe> sl 
reviewer by profcBsion read half the lamc aumbcc of publicstions &• a ! 
modern fine Udy \t obliged to labour through. We uonfen, bowevcr, 
we are noi competent judges of the degree of elegance or refinement 
implied ia the general tone of &shicnablc manncrt. The succesafiil'] 
experiment made by Pertgriiu PieiU, in introducing hii fltrollinj 
miatresa into genteel company, doe« not redound greatly to their credit. 
Id point of elegance of external appcaiancc, we tee no diffcrenet 
between women of fishion and women of a diifcrent characteTt who* 
drcM ID the tame nyle. 



KEAN'S BAJAZET AND 'THE COUNTRY GIRL' 

Thr ExMKi»rr.] [A'Mwiur la, llt^ 

Thr lover* of the drama have had a very tich theatrical treat ihii 
week, Mr. Kean'a first appeannee in B^oKfl, two new J^Vui P^gyt 
in the CeuiUry Ciri, and laat, though not least, N{iu Stephen**! 
re^ppcaiance tn Polly. Of Mr. Kean's Bajavi we have not much 
to uy, without repeating what we have aaid before. The character 
iucU i* merely calculated for the ditpUy of phyaical paaakto aad 
external energy. It is violent, Hcrcc, tarbnlcDt, n^ay, and bha- 

tbil in tboie point* wluch I admirv, Broihvr Chrytottom ii ii p*at ■ phitaM|lier, 
(laygrctivr thin Aiiiiuilr h1n<Klf I' Su tlic Wifttf Btiit 

*Ta churib wai nutw huibinil tornc on U>« norrvw 
Witb DFiitibouia ikat tot bim tnaijen lorrow, 
And Jeakin our eletk wia cue of lliot 
At help me Cod, vhta that I mw him (O 
After (he bi«r. niTthoujht h« hi<l d pair 
Of kg) in<l feet, lo clcia and (air, 
Thai al[ tarf hratt I gtre uolo bi) bglct.' 

'All wliieh, ihoush we mo«l poltnlly belKve, vet we hoM il D»t hviuvlr lo 
b*ve it ihut ut dawn,' 

a 74 



KEAN'S BAJAZET 

phematUt *fuU of Bound ami fory, ligntfying nothing.' Mr. Kcaa 
<li(I juitice to bit authofi or vent the whole Icaj^Ui of the text. A 
riper dort not dan with more ficrcnicH and rapidity on the perrca 
who has just trod upon it than he lurns upon Tanterlant in the height 
of Ilia fviy- An unnlaked thirst of vengeance and blvod hii taken 
pOMncion of crcry faculty, liltc the uvaf;c rage of a hyaena, aualled 
by the hunters. Hia eyeballa gbre, hii teeth gnash together, hii 
handt are clenched. la dcacribing hit defeat, hia voice i* choked 
with {asaioo ; be curses, and the blood curdlci in hia vciaa. Never 
wss the fiery aoul of barbarout revenge, Etung to madneu by repeated 
■haioc and ditappoiiitincnt, to coniplcCdy diaplaycd. Thi* truth of 
Mturc and {>aMioa in Mr. Keao's actinji ourrica every thioK before it. 
He vas the only person on the atage who aeemed alive. '1 he mighty 
ToKuHatu appear^ no better than i nufftd figure drcMed id ermine, 
jtrpaiia moaned in vain, and flfonejet roared out his wrongs unre- 
garded, like the hoarse Eounda of dtttant thunder. Nothing can 
witbnand tlie real tide of paMioa once let loo«e ; and yet it is pre- 
tended, that the great art of (he tragic actor is in damming it up, or 
cutting out tmooih canals and circular banons for it (o 6ow into, go 
that it may do no harm in Rt course. It it the giving way to natur&l 
and strong impuUcs of the imagination that i!oats Mr. Kcan down the 
strrain of public favour with all his faulia — "a load to sink a navy,' 
The Mily wonder was to see this fuxious character sutTered to go 
ftbom and take the whole range of the palace of Ihnfrlaitt, without 
the least let or impedimeat. It shewed a degree of magnanimity io 
Mr. Pope, which is without any parallel, even in modern timet. It 
ia underuood that the play was orif;inaJly written by the whig p€)ct 
Rowe, and reguLvly acted on the anniYcrsjry of our whig revolution. 
as a compliment to King William, and a satire on Loui« xir. For 
any thing we know, the rcKmblance of Tamtrlune lo King William 
Ruy be BufHcicntly strong, there the historian and the poet may agree 
tolerably well; b^t what traiu the Tartar Chieftain asd the Frraeh 
Mooarch h«d in common, it would be difficult to liod out. If any 
more recent allusion was intended in its reviwal, it fell still wider of 
the mark. The play of Tamirlam may be divided into two heads^ 
cut and rant. TaHttrlane takes the first pan, and Bajazei iJic second. 
Tbii last hurls defiance at both gods and men. He la utterly regard- 
leia of coDse(|uencea, and rushei upon hit destruction like a wild beast 
into the toils. He utters but one striking KQiiment, when he defcods 
■mbitioo as the hanger of noble minds. Ba/azfi*t character it energy 
without great»e«s. He is blind 10 every thing but the prewnt 
raomeota and inseniiblc to every thing but the present impulse. True 
frtataeM ia ibc rcvciic of this. It diews all the energy of courage, 

»7S 



KEAN*S BAJAZET 



but n««« of the impatience of despitir. It Mrugglei with difTicultiTi 
but yields to ncccwity. Ii doei mry thiog, and iuffcr* nothiag. It 
«cca fvebts with thr tyc of hiitorj-, and makn Time the Judge 
FonvM. Courage with calmaeH coonitutes the perfection of tlK* 
heroic character, at the rlTemtnate and (cntimcntid unite the extrcmei 
of activity and iiritabitity. We never taw Mr. Kean loolt betur. 
Hit couumc and hii colour had a very picturetquc effect. The 
yellow brovm tinge of the Tartar become* him much better %haa the 
tawry hnclt-dun coimilexton of the Moor in Othtth. 

Now for our two Country Girli. We have seen both without any 
great cfTori of our patience: to confeu a truth, we had nuher mc tlK 
Counlry Girt two nrglit* running than Tamerlunt ; as we wottid nthet 
have been Wycherlcy than Rowe. The comedy of the Cttmiwy Girt 
it taken from Moiicrc's School for fVivej. It ta however a perfectli 
free imitation, oi rather an original work, founded on the Mmc 
plot, with additional characterR, and in a nyle wholly diSerent. 
Scarcely a line it the tame. The long, ipecchifying diaiogncs in 
the French comedy are cut down into a liucceaaion of tnuin coover 
tiont and lively acenet : there ii indeed a certain paitoral «we«tiieM~ 
or •entinicntd naivete in the character of jigwf, which is loat in 
Mitt Pi^^, who ia however the more natural and mtichievous little 
fustic of the two. The incident of her running up sgainn her 
guardian us she is running off with her gaUaut in the park, sod the 
contrivance of the second Tetter which she tmposci on her jealou* fool 
as jlfflbra'j, aie Wychetley't. The chnractere of ^Ulhea, Hartnartf 
and of the fop Spariiib, who appears to us to exquisite, and to 
■0 insipid, ace additionHl portraits from the reign and court of CharlM i 
Those who object to the tcent-t between this gentleman and his mil 
as uanaturiU, can never have read the Memoirt of ibe Covnl Jc Gram- 
mtmt, — .in authentic piece of Koglish liiMury, in which we trace the 
origin of so many noble familiei. What an age of wit and folly, of 
coxcombs and coqueu, when the world of fashion led purely oma- 
mental lives, xnd their only object was to make iheRisclres or others 
ridiculous. Happy age, when the utmost stretch of a momiog's ttudy 
went DO further than the choice of a sword knot, ot the adjuttmeat 
of a side curl ; when the sout iMike out in all the persuarive eloquence 
of dress \ when beaux and bdlet, enamoured of themselves in one 
another's follice, flattered like gilded butter6ies in giddy mate* 
through the walks of St. James's Park ! The gierfection of this gala 
out-of-door comedy it in F.theiege, the gay Sir George! Then 
comes Wycherley, and th«n Congreve, who hftodt them into the 
drawing-room. Congrcve is supposed to have been the inventor of 
the eMgrammatic, clenched style of comic dialogue; but there ia a 
350 



DOCTRINE OF PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY 

jtat deal of this both in Wycherley and Cthetegc, with more of 
a J^'ty tone of flippant g>)ctjr in the Inttcr, and more incictent, char- 
acter, and situation in the former. The Country Girt bolda unim- 
paired |iQueuion of the ftage to thia day, by iu wit, vivicily, oature, 
and ingenuity. Nothing can be wnrte acted, and yet it goe< dowo, 
for it luppUcs the ima^iDaiioa with all that ihc actor* want. Mr. 
Banlcy had tome merit a* Moody, Mr. Fawcct none. Barrymore, 
at Covent Garden played Harcourt well. We have leen him in 
better companv. and he reminded lu of it. He wat much of tbe 
gentleman, ana ai much at home on the itagc (ftom loDg practice) >■ 
if he had been in hi* own apartmcnci. At to the two Mhi P'ggyi, 
wv hardly know bow to tcttlc their prcicQUOOB. If Mt«. Mardyn 
overacta her port to thai degree that ahc acema only to want i 
akipping-rope to make it complete, Mrt. AUop is bo mW and queer 
that ibc •ecmt to have only juit escaped fcom a back-board and ttcel 
monitor. If Mrs, Altop hai the clearest roice, Mrs. Mardyn has 
the brighten eye*. Mrs. Alaop hai most ait, Mn. Mardyn has 
moft nature. If Mrs. Mardyn ii tog profutc of natural graccf, too 
yonng and buoyant and exuberant in all her movcmcntB. the lamc 
£atiJt caooot be found with Mrs. Aliop, whose uniies gire no pleasurei 
and wbote frowoi give unmingicd pain. Mri. AUop's Ptg£j ■■ i 
clever recitation of the character, without being the thing; and 
Mrs. Mardyn'a is a very full development of her own person, which 
ia the thiog ittelf. Mri. Altop ii the best acucss, though not worth 
a pioi and Mrs. Mardyn ia the most desirable woman, which !• 
always worth something. We may apply to the^e two ladies what 
Sackliog aaid of one of his mistresses — 

•I take her body, you hei minil,— 
Which has the better bargain.' 



DOCTRINE OF PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY 

TV £i»iaHr.] [Dtamttr lA, l8s] 

-— ■ * For I htttf Iramt a smie sublime 
Of something far more deeply interfiised, 
Whoie dwelling tc the light of setting suns, 
And the rouitd ocean ana the living ati 
And the blue iky, and in the mind of man, 
A motion and a spirit that impels 
All thinking thingt, all objecU of all thought, 
And rolk thiuugh ill things.' 

'■KRarif the doctrine of what baa been called philosophical necesnty 
w» iKTcr more &ac]y cxpccsied thaa in these liacs of a poet, who, if 

177 



DOCTRINE OF PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY 

be had wmicn only half of what he has doiw, would hare deienrfldj 
to be iiniaortil. There e*n be no doubt th«t all that cxtiU, cxirtb^ 
by Beoe w i ty : Uui tbc nn fibcic of tlie unirene ii held toj{cther In 
one mighty chaio, reaching to the * threchokl of Jove'c tbtoae ' ; chit 
whiteret hat a hegtntiiDg, mutt hare a catuc i tfiM there if no objcci, 
DO feeling, BO action, which, other thiogs beiaj* the nnif , could hare 
been othcnrtte; that thought fallow* thought, like wave- followisg 
ware ; that chance or accidcoc la« oo *hare in aoy thing that ctxnca 
to ftM in the moral or the phyncal world ; that whatever is, nuut 
be ; thu whatever has been, imict bate been ; that whalerer it to be 
will be necewarily. 

I ftever could doubt (or a moricai of the truth of thw gcnenl 
principle, and I oever could comprehend the inferences which have 
commonly been draws from it, both by frieodi and foe«. All the 
moral coowquences which have been amibutcd to it appear to rec 
mere idle piejudicei igiin<t it oo one stde, and eqtially grauutoua can* 
cession! on the other. The doctrine of iMceMity leaves morality jiMt 
where it foond ti. It docs not dcitroy (goodness of dirposttion or 
energy of character, any more than it dntroys Imuty or strength of 
person. It does not uke sway the powers of the mind any more 
than the use of the limbs. 1'hat every thing ii b}- neceuity, no more 
proves that there is no such thing as good and evil, virttie and vice, 
right and wrong, in the moral world, than it proves that there is no 
such thing as day or riighi, beat or cold, sweet or sour, food or poison, 
in the physical. Merit and d«n1eri^ that is to say, praise and Ma 
reward and pnnishment, have no place in the physical world, but 
is because they hare no dfcct there i and (or the same reason the 
have a place in the moral, because they hate an effect there. All UtI 
tfacticAJ coRcluiiiDD* which have been ascribed to the diiference 
oetwcen liberty and necessity, may be equally wvounted for (as they 
really had their rite) from (he dinerevce between moral and physical 
necessity. 

Mao acts inm a cause t and so far he resembles a stooe i but he 
does not act from the ume cause, and herein he dtifcrs from it. 
There is a print which I have seen ftt>m a picture by Ludovico 
Caracci, in which a female figure, with a lion by her side, is repre- 
sented striking a fiame of lire at ber feet with a drawn sword. I do 
not very well understand the allegory, but It appears to me to fiimisb 
a very tolerable illustratton of the diiTcrcnce between moral and 
pliysical necessity : for whether this 6guic iirikes the flame with the 
Bat or the sharp side of the sword, tt divides and rises again equally ; 
it it incapable of punishment for it hat no sense of pain, tor does it 
apprehend a repetition of the blow. Is it the same with tbc human 

ays 



DOCTKINE OF PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY 



mind f Ne ; for it hat both the ttit* of f^in and the wtttt of coo- 
iMtucDcrs, which KodcT it limbic to puni^mcDt, by making that 
punishment odc clfcctual and ncccuaiy mcana of influcnciDg its 
conduct. A nun ditTcm from a none in tl\at h« tiai feeling and 
>wferMmdi>{; uid it is thii dlfTcrcDcc that makes him a moral and 
retpofldble agent in ihc true meaaing of the terms, by connecting his 
fmeot iinpulEes with (heir future consequences. It may be said that 
antmals hare feeling, and a certain degree of underitaiiding : tad ao 
ftr they lie liable to correnton and puDtihmeDi. A dog or a horse 
is terrified ai the whip or the spar aa well aa encouraged by kiodness. 
We Tcry properly, therefore, threaten them with the one md aUuK 
them with the othrri though we neither preach to them of hcarcn nor 
hell, because ihey have no notion about either. As far as they have 
uadei^urtdJng, they have free-will, for these two words mean one and 
t])e wime thing. Man is the only religious animal, because he alone 
(from a greater power of imagination) extends his views of cooae- 
quencet into another state of being.— The apjilicition of praise or 
blame, an well an of reward and puniihment, i* proper, whercrer it is 
tikety to have an etTect. We do not talk to the deaf: we do not 
shew pictures to the blind ; we do not reason with a wild beast ; we 
do not quarrel vith a stone. Becaune it would be useless. But we 
do talk to thoae who cati hear ; we shew pictures to thow who can 
■ee ; we reason with prejudice ; we qaarrcl with ill-nature. The 
hamnD mind dlRm from an inanimate substance or an automaton, 
inanmuch as it is actuated by sympathy at well ai by necessity. We 
indeed praise a flower, a statue, or a beauttf\U face, because they gire 
us pleasure : we {ifaite a virtuous action, as an additional incentive to 
Tirroe. * Praise and blame, reward and punishmeni ' ( tays Mr. 
Hobbes) 'are just and proper, became they fashioo the will to 
junice.' 

Merit, in the scholastic sense, means Komething aelf^aDScd, and 
indepeDdeni of motives. This sense of the tcnn it flat oonaenH, for 
there is nothing without a cause — nothing which is not owing to some 
other thiig. The whole theory of merit may Iw said to turn upon 
the capacity of any person or thing to mould itself according to the 
opiflioQ cntcrtatnea of it. A stone has not this capacity , and there- 
fore there is no meril in a none. If you tell a country-girl chat she 
is handsome or well made, her answer generally will be, that ' She is 
a> God made her.' This however docs not prove that she it not 
well made. It is only meant to shew, that aa she has had no band 
in ber own shape, and can do nothing to mend it, the merit is so far 
oooc of ber«. But if yon praite the neatness of her dre«, she has 
not the Hante e?asi«o left* but thinks the Sattery well bestowed, for she 

"79 



DOCTRINE OF PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY 



is ce aiciaw iku tliti drpeodt upon herielT; that ibe can ttxjr i. 

bagtr or a cbottcr time at hrr gLui u ihr plcun ; aod that thr psiiu 

»hr haa uira 1i4tv bcvo with a tkw to the good opnioo you «aprcw 

0^ hrr. The dilTcfcnce b e ti> t eD natural and acquired graces •• an 

obvioM dieute of comaton •roie ; nolcw we adopt the opinion of tbe 

Claw«, tbu *a good favour is the effect of Ktudy, but reading aai 

writiDg cone bjr DMurr.' It ia a piece of bnitality and ill-Daiure to 

potM at a hump-backed tnin, and call him My Lord : but there I* no 

gr«M harm in uugbt&f; at a person vtth xti lukward liorenly gait, for 

the ridicule may remedy the defect. A pctaoa haj it in hii power to 

lUTD his toe« oui inste&d of in, whenefer he chuaet : he cannot get rid 

of a utural deformity by aay effort of will. Beamy and power of 

cTcry luDd excite our love and admiration, whether in naturci in 

morali, or ia an ; but still with a diffcreDCc. St. Paul's is a moch 

nobler as well u larger building than St. Dnnstan's. We accordingly 

admire ibe one moch more thao the ochct ; but wc allow no inor 

merit to the oae than the other. All the differccce of merit 

ascribe ca the architect, and not to the building. Why so i Becaus 

all the nnity bcloDgs to the architect, and doc to the building. — St.^ 

Paul's iiandt where it does; it lifts its majestic dome to the tkica, 

whether it ia seen or not, whether It is admired or twt. Ii has 

(hiuSatlj qctkng) dooc oothing to dcKrrc our good opiDion, for 

it bM doDC oothtog with a new to 'a. Now for the some reason that 

the building has not, the Uitldn A«/ merited our good opinioii, Fi>r h* 

did what he baa dooc with that Tcry ricw ; waa acnsibtc to that good 

opnion, and stimulated to exertion by it. It is evident thai the 

admiration we be«tow on any work of art, as an actual object, is 

ioroldotary ; it mokes no difference in the object whether wc beatow 

it or cot ; we therefore do not malcc a point of bestowing it : the 

praise we give to the artist it vohintary, and merited in Uiis farther 

teuK, that we arc bound to bestow it as a means to ao cod : wc 

indulge it not merely as a sentimeDt naturally excited by the comem- 

platiod of exceilence, but the expression of which is a reward due to 

the pains taken by the artitt, and (o the cocourageoKflt of gcoiuai 

Disapprobatioa and puniihmcnt on the other hand Dcceatarih' give 

pain to the person who is the object of them, but it is to produce a 

remote good. Howerer, it eoually follows in either case, tbat our 

loTC and haired of what is amiable or odious in conscious agents must 

be difierent from our feeling towards oncooscioua onea, from the sense 

of the difference of the conte<}uences. The lever, the screw, and 

the wedge, are the great iosirumcDts of the mechanical world : 

opinion, sympathy, praise and btame, reward and piuiishment, are tfie 

le*er, the screw, and the wcdgc, of the moral world. A liouse ia 

2R0 



DOCTRINE OF PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY 



baJl of uooca; human character depend* on motive*. Is there 
therefore no difference between oae character and another ! Ai well 
might it be tatd thai there i« no ditlcrcncc between one bniUiog uni 
aootbcr. If nwrii meaot something in character, independent of 
notmi aod of all other things, then there can be no luch thing its 
Bxrit i but if by mcni wc mean wmnhing which excites our appio- 
bitioD of oQc character more than another, and which comcihiDg ia 
■all farther entitled to our approbation, because it depend* upon it for 
it* motive and cncouiagcmeat, then undoubtedly this word ha* ■ 
ntimul meaning in tt. To deny praitc or blame, reward or punish- 
nent, lo actiou, because they are produced by motive*, is to take 
away the prop from a house, because it supports it. — Necessity only 
miperscdcs merit by supctscdinR the operation of motivca. It i* pre- 
tended, that if any action la not perfectly gratuitous, if it can be traced 
to any other cause, the merit muit be traoaferrcii to that other cause* 
and so on without end. This infinite aeries mar be cut short by 
oteerving, that any action is entitled to our good opinion which is 
affected by it. If our opinion bad ao inSucace on the actions of 
others, there would so far be no merit. If any one going up Holbon>- 
bitl is pushed by a stronger man against a window and breaks it, who 
t> tlic reiponublc person? The one who pushed the other, and not 
the one who broke the jilass. Became punishment or correcting the 
moral sense wilt not prevent a weak man from being pushed against 
a window by a strong one, but it will prerent the strong man from 
pwbng him against it. It nukes no difference that this person did 
DOC act at first without a motive ; the point is, that here is anotbet 
motive whkh will counteract the former one. The true ciuie of any 
thing in the practical and moral sense, is that, by removing which the 
etfiect ctasefi. A man i« a mora) agent only in so far as he can do 
what fa« will : for motiret can only operate on the will. A man in 
cbabs or held by force is not accououblc for what he does, for blame 
or praise him ever so much, and he will do, not what you wish him, 
hot what others force him to do. You may reasonably exhort a man 
not to throw himself over Westminster Bridge, but it is in vain, after 
he has thrown himself over, to call out to him to atop. Morality 
mean* that we have the power to do certain things, if*M mi//, or 
help them, ij vm piiate. 

Merit is moral energy. It it ilie sense of merit which is the great 
stimiUus of exertion. One thing i« more difficult, retjuires a greater 
tShn than another. The sense of merit is in proportion to the sense 
of difSculty. The highest praise ii given to the highest exettions, 
the greatest rewards are due where the greatest sacrifices have been 
made. The degree of merh depends then on the degree of voluntary 

381 




PARALLEL PASSAGES IN VARIOUS POETS 

power exerted : for exenion dcscrres cverjr Idod of encoungemetu 
Md uritUDOe u it becomet difficuh. We give a boy itxpeacc fer 
goiofl a mik ; a (hilltn;; fot goin|; two. We need not offer rewirdt 
aad TstgcKca to ticc and indolence ; for all the unctioits of rel^on 
and morality are not luflicient to correct ihem. The admiratioa wiifc 
which the Mory of Mnrveli and hid leg of mutton is read haa not 
prcTCTiicd the facility of some modci^ patiiou to commcnciiig 
courtieri : but if it thould onl/ are us from a single binhday ode, it 
witi be lomething. The phlegmatic Dutchmas, in playics at skiitW, 
fbllowt hit bowl with his eye. wrilbca his body to maXc it turn right, 
and cheers it with his voice. If the bowl bad sympathy so as to bei»d 
with hia body, and to be encouraged to go a little fiirlher by hit 
praiting it, there would be some sense in his dtnng bo. AmphioD is 
said to bare raiRcd the walls of Thebes with the sound of hit lyre : 
in one sen»e the fable might be true, for he might havedrawotogcifaer 
and civilized his followers by the power of song. The words which 
Modarae dc StacI sonic time ago addressed to the GermBOSg Aitt- 
ytagne, m ts tint nation, et lu plfuri, were not without their effect. 
Ncitlicr pc[liup4 would the same words be so now, addresaed to her 
own country — France, tu ts une tuuiim, ti tu fJotrt ! 

We have been led to these remarks by receiving an epistle from xr 
elderly maiden lady, who compUini that she has spent her whole life 
ia ccasuring and back-biting her neighbours, nnd thai by what we let 
fall tome time ago, about there being no such thing as merit and 
demerit, we h&A debarred her of tbc only use of her tongue atid 
pleasure of bcr life. We arc sorry to have interrupted her, and 
hope she wiU now proceed. We tsavc a good deal left to say on the 
subject i — 

< But there ii matter for a second rhfine. 
And wc la (his must add another lalv.' 



PARALLEL PASSAGES IN VARIOUS POETS 

BtiMO very busy or rcry iodolcat thit week (it is do matter which), 
we have had recourse to our common-|)l;ice book (the first or laat 
tCMwrce of authors), and there find the following instances of parallel 
MSMges, which are at tlic service of the critics. The GoacluMn t>f 
Voltaire's tragedy of Zalrt is the speech of 0^anaan, who has killed 
his mittins, to her brother, NrmlM : — 

[' El toi, guerricr infominf,' Sec. 10 
' DiK qtic jc I'adonis, et que I'ai vengf.^ 
•81 



PARALLEL PASSAGES IN VARIOUS POETS 

Thti will prolMbl^ remind our reader), u tt did «!* <y( OlMU't 
l&rewell s]iccch : — 

['SoA jrou i a manl ur iku before you go,' &e.] 

Afier traDKribin;; the aborc paaea^c, wc were lookiog about for 
the traces of ilie former one, which bad ' vaDithcd into thin ait(' and 
were beginning to iiupeci that out pniallel had toiaily failed, tilt in 
looking into the lacubiationt of Mi. Williim Wade, who hat tri<d 
to pick a hole in Shakcspcar, wc learnt that the French uansUior of 
oar poet bad boaa Jide trnnshied the pantage into legitbnate French 
Tcrac, aod that Voltaire had in coDKqucocCi with •iogolar modevty, 
complained that DucU had improved upon (he original and stolen 
I the whole torn of the pasinge from hrm. To be sure, tliere is a wide 
r>diS«renc< in the tw« pUMget. There is nothing in the Freoch poet 
' (»f the • No more of that*' thai fine natural intcrrupiion to the 
gpKomde which his diitretc had juit e.'ctorted from him: there 
tl QStbiag of *One that loved not widely, but (o« well/ there is 
notbiog of Indian pearls or Anibi:in ^utns, nor is there any allusion 
to Aleppo, cor description of 'a malignant and a lurbaned Turk'; 
iwr ao^ thing like that tine letum upon himtclf, and iraniition from 
the depth of a dejected spirit to the recollcctioa of former acts of 
daring defiance, while in bis despair he inflicts on himself the blow 
with which he formerly chaitined an iniolent foe. The«e circum- 
■buice* «c givco 'as over-measure' in Shakcspear, and would be 
coDtidered ai rapeiAuoui and extravagant by the French critics ; 
yet they are exactly the circumstancca which the Moor Othelh must 
ha»c been best acquainted with, and which, as some of the most 
nriking circumstances of his past life, would be forcibly recalled to 
hti memory in parting with it. Voltaire has not invented any thing 
of the same tore for bis dying hero; his speech (though a very good 
one of its kind) is. as Suiaonab says to Trim, *as flat as the palm 
"of one's hand;' it has nothing objectionable in it; it it just such 
a speech as any crowned head might make in any of die four 
quarters of the globe. — May we be allowed to add (ta passing), 
that Mr. Kean does not act this scene well \ He gnashes his teeth, 
•□d strikes the dagger into his bosom, a* if he hod taken some 
particular enmity against his own ^esh. But this is not to in 
ShaVeipear. The feeling of Oihilh is a lofty absence of mind, in 
which he throws himself back from the present into the past; the 
image he recalli furnishes not only the precedent but the consolation 
of hia present act ; and the pang which he inflicts on himself is 
relieved, and unconsciously confounded with the recoUcctios of 
_former acts of grandeur, and cIcvBtion of soul. But to proceed. — 

383 



MR. LOCK£ A 6BEAT PLAGIARIST 

In ihe yfgamtmitoii of jEtcliylas, it a very beautiful detctiptioa of 
tht! tignil ^rc« t hit were lo unounec the deitnictioo of Troy, thus 
crtntlaud by Poller : — 

[' Wlmt »peeil cauld be the herald of thti ne*«,* Sec W 
■Giv'n by my Lord t' announce the fall of Troy.'] 

In Draytoo't PefyoJiien (Song 30] tbia idea i* finely varied : — 
[■ Which Copland tcarce had (poke, bur auickly everj hill,* Sec Co 
•Did inightly commend old Copland for her song.*] 

Again, in a poem of Mr. Wordnvonh we find the followiag lines : — 
[' When I had giKi! pcthapii two mmuici' >pace,' 5fC. to 
' That there >va» a Inod uproar in the hiili.'} 

Wc have been urged sercral lime* to take up the subject of Mt. 

WoTdflworth'i Poems, in order to do them iunice. In doing this, 
we should aatiafy neither hia admirer* nor hit cenmirera. Wp have 
once already iiciempied the ihanklcH oflice, and it did not succeed. 
Indeed we think all coinmrnt on them superacded by tlioae linca of 
Wiihcrs, which arc a complete anticipation of Mr. Wordcwonh's 
•lyle, where, speiiking of ixjeiry, he jays, — 
* In my toimcr dayx ol' bliu 

Her divine *kill taught me this, 

Thai from every (hin^ I ixn 

I could some invention draw [ 

And rai»e pleatur* to her height 

Throogh tKe meanest object"* »ight j — 

By the mannur of a spring, 

Or die Icaat bough't rutdiiig, 

By a daisjr whuK leave* *prGa«l 

Shut when Titan ^oe% to bed 1 

Or a tibady bu*h or tree. 

She could more infiLne in mc 

Than all Nature'* beauties can 

In some other niter man.* 



MR. LOCKE A GREAT PLAGIARIST 

n* Bittmhtr.] {Ftiraarj a$, lll6. 

Ml. LoCKii hu at tliii day alt over Europe the character of one of 
the mou profound and original thinkers that ever lived, aod he it 
perhaps, without any exception, the most barefaced, deliberate, and 
bungling plagiarist, that ever appeared in philosophy. The rnuutioa 
which he hai acouired, aa the founder of the new systefn in phifi>tophy, 
or of any part m that system, is a pure impaiitioo. Hobbc* wu the 
undoubted founder of the lystcm ; and he not only laid the fouoda- 
184 



MR. LOCKE A GREAT PLAGIARIST 



tioo, but he completed tfae buildicg. Emy oat of the prineiplM of 
the modern, mucrial pttilatopby of the mind, is to be found id his 
vorki, perfect and entire, ai it in to the latot commcniatorB of 
the French Khool. He i>ot ooly took for his besit the piiaciple 
that there is no otiier original faculty in the mind hut lenution: 
be a!«o puihed thin principle into all iu conieoucnce*, wiih a tcTcre, 
maitcfly, awi honeit logic, of which there is scarcely sny other 
example. By thus ahcwing ihe full extent of his systen), *Uie trery 
head aod front of hit otfending/ without any ditguiKt, hi^ only got 
hiauclf >o ill same, and hu ty«cm vrn conaigncd to infamy or 
obliTion. Mr. Locke adopted the firu principle, with a clumiy 
addition to it, but 1,0 a* to lecure himself the reputation of ao 
original thinker i and at the tame time, by not following it in * 
bold aod decided mutoer into aoy one of its necessary conseqaence*, 
he avoided giving the alarm to popular apprehendon, and made ft 
tenpomry compromise wilh the common lenic and prejudices of his 
reaacrs. The door bcin^ howcrcr opened to the introduction of 
this philosophy, by the admiMioD of the general principle, all the 
re«t by degrees followed at a matter of course; and it hat been 
the btisiDCM of the aUett mrla physician a ever aincc lo clear what haa 
been considered as the philosophy of Locke, from the iticonsisteDces 
ai>d imperfectiaat which he had suffered to creep into it : all which 
imnroTcmeau on Locke's Lstay arc only a recurrence lo the prin- 
ciples laid down by Hobbca, in the moti explicit and unequivocal 
naDBer. To shew how little ihia last wriier has been read, eren hy 
profened mctaphysjciant, Hume attributes the doctrine, tliat there 
are no abstract ideas, to Berkeley as an original discovery, though 
the argamenta used by Berkeley are almost word for word taken 
from tnoac used by iiobbca on the same subject. Yet Locke, in 
order we suppose to prevent inquiry into the originality of his own 
clAiras, calls Hohhes 'a juiily exploded author.' Thu question U 
carious (philosophy apan) as a branch of literary history. It is, 
we know, dangerous to tamper with csubliahed rcpuiaiion; nor should 
wc perhaps have ventured to hazard the accusation we have here 
made, if we bad not been supported by the authority of so well 
infermed, candid, aod respectable a writer as Dugatd Stewart, whose 
teatinxniy is of the more value, as he does not seem to be aware of 
the geoeraJ propensity of Mr. Locke to appropriate the ideas of 
otberi to his own use, without dii^iusc or acknowledgement. To 
asy one who takes the trouble to peruse Professor Stewart's very 
elegant I^ssertatioo just published, on the ripe and progress of 
modern Metaphysics, it will be crident that every one of thoee 
ori^Ail discoveries, to which the author of the Essay on Haman 

IBs 



MH. LOCKE A GREAT PLAGIARIST 

UnckrmandiDg own hii cekbciiy, and oo which he particuUily 
plumed hiRueir, is ukea in nibuancf and almMt in words (t«m 
writer* of whom he docs not once make mcDUOD ; for exiunple, Ik 
propoacd division of the BCicDoec, brought forward with gre^ ptradc 
and formalttf, into Phytic*, Ethics, and Loj^c, which it the aid 
diviuoa of the Greek phUoraphy; his dciiattion of word* which 
aredefinablc or not definable, which is »kenexpreuly from Deacartes; 
his account of ihc origin of our ideas, that of sssociatioa, of the 
•ocial compact, etc. which are borrowed from Hobbe&i his dininc- 
uoD of the properties of matter into primiry and tecoadary, and hii 
theory of conidouinctt or reflection aa a diilinct vourcc of idoi, 
which bcJong to Dcscartn; hiK hypothesis about animal spirhi^ at 
the medium of atsociaiion of ideas, adopted from Malbraach«; hit 
account of judgment and wit, which is to be found in Hobbea, &c- *c. 
If it be asked, whether Mr. Locke has sot had the merit of 
comlnning the materials thoi derived from other sources into a 
complete and masterly (yttcni( tho aniwer would be, that hit work 
is one of the motl conRitcd, undigested, and ccntradiciory, that bat 
been imUithed on the subject. There iiv no one to whom lho«e lioes 
of cite poet were ever more applicable. 

' I-'amc it no plant that zrows on musral w'll. 
Nor in thr glUtering fotl 
Set off to the world, nor in broad nimoiir lie*. 
But livn and tpreadi tloft by thax pure eyct. 
And pert'eet witnewof all-judginf; Jove.* 

We should hope that Mr. Stewan will examine into and 
hit CDDTiction oo this question fully and clearly io the account 
Mr. Locke's Etsay, which he has promised in the coatimutioa^ 
of hit work. If he would lend the sanction of hia name to shew the 
real foundation on which Mr. Locke's rcpuutioD retta, it would not 
be the least service he has rendered to phtlotophv. *To trace an 
error to its source is often the only way to refute it. The task t£ no 
doubt an invidious, but it is a necessary one. The name of Locke 
is in a maoDcr dear to every lover of truth ; but truth itself should be 
still dearer. 

It will perhaps be amuting to the rcadct (though not iotttatcd tn 
such studies) to see the manner in which un idea is baodied about, in 
thete specuiaiions, from author to author, to no sort of purpow. 
< Id one of Mr. Locke'* must noted lemarkt,* (aay* the learned 
Professor) *hc has been anticijutcd by MalWaache, oo whose clear 
yet concise atatement he does not teem to have thrown much new 
light by hit very difTuic and wordy commenury.' — ' If in having our 

386 



MK. LOCKE A GREAT PLAGIARIST 



ideaa io ih« mrmory resdy at haad, coansts (juicknrM of psm ; in 
this of baviag thmi unconfutcd, uid being able nicely to dittiaguieb 
ooe cUog from another, wlirre there is but the lean dilference, 
coonRi, in a great mnnire, the exactacM of judgment and cicameu 
of rcuoD ; which is to be obKivcd ia one man above anothci. And 
hence perh^tp* may be given some reason of that cvniinon obterration, 
thai mrn who have a great deal of wit and prompt memories, have 
not ^way6 the clearest judgment or deepest leafton. Foi Wit, lying 
most in the assemblage of idcit, and putting thote together with 
(quickness and variety, wherein can be found any rewmbbnce or 
coagraity, thereby to nuke up plcasaal pictures and agreeable Tuaons 
ID the faocy : Judgment on the contrary, lies quite on the oihcf 
side, in separating careTully one from another, ideas wherein can 
be found the Witt diffcreacc, thereby to avoid being misled by 
rimilhudc and by atflniiy to take one thing for another.'— fi/djr, eu, 
B. ii. c. xi. § i. 

*I1 y a done des cspriu de deux aortctt Les ini ranarqoeat 
aiaftncnt lea difiercnces des choses, et cc sonl les bona csprita. Les 
antres tmaginent et supposent de la resfeml^ance entr'elles, et oe tont 
lc« esprit* fijperltcicllc*.' — Rt^hereht Je la l^erite, 

' At an earlier period, Bacoo had potnicd out the same cardioal 
dtninction in the intellectual characters of individuals. 

" I'be greatest and at it were radical distinction of geniuset, in 
KHWCt of philosophy and science, ia this ; that some arc more able 
and apt at noting the difTerences of things ; others at noting tlieir 
similitode*. For strsdy and acute mind* can 5x their coDtcmpldtions, 
and remain and dwell on every subtlety of distinction ; whereas more 
lofty and discuriive imaginations recognize and compound even the 
•Hghtesi and commoResi retembiancec of thiagt." 

'TTttU rtrai* I Ittardwas of a higher miied! — It is cridcnt that 
BacoR has here seized, in its most general form, the very important 
tntth perceived by hit two ingenious successors in partictilar cases. 
IVilt which Locke contrast* with Judxmeitt, is only one of the various 
taJenia cooncacd with what Bacon calli the ditcuruve gathu ; and 
indeed a talent very subordinate in dignity to most of the others.' — 
Uou to ibc DuitrtatuMit p. 1 1 6. 

Mr. Locke, by Wii, in the paisagc here referred to, ciidcntly 
neaiu ingenuity or fancy generally speaking ; for in the last hundred 
years, the uw of this term has undcrgOoe a great alteration. He 
bovcvcr borrowed hit definition immediately from 'that exploded 
MCfaor/ Hobbes, who says in the l^ewathoH, p. 32, — 'Wheteaa, 10 
the foccession of thoughts, there is nothing to observe ia the things 
lire think on, but either in what they be like one another, or in what 

sti7 




MR. LOCKE A GREAT rLAGIARIST 



they be imlike i — tliiwe diat olwerre their rimilttadcs, to caae they be - 
nicts u are but rarely obKived by o(h«rt, are laid to have a goodi 
wit, by which it meant on thi* occauon a gooi faacy. But they that^ 
obKtTC their difTcrcoccj and dUsimilitude*, whid) U calica di^-4 
linguiihtng and diBcerntog and judging between itiing and thing, in 
ca«e inch dUceming be not eaty, are taid to have a good jodgmcfit ; 
and particularly ia mattne of coDTcrsaiion 2nd busiacta, whereia 
timet, placet, and perwns, are to be ditcerred, ibis rinue it called 
DitcretioD.' 

What ia mon (cmarkable in thU iraditiooal dcHiutioa of wit Ukd 
Judgment, ii, that it it altogether aofounded; for at Harrii, the' 
author of Ifermfi, hat rety well obierved, the finding out the 
e(]ualiiy of the tfam ao^lca of a iriangle 10 two right onea, would, 
upon the principtct here stated, be a lally of wit, instead of an act of 
the undencanding, and Euclid't i^lenientt a collection of Ion moij. 

It may bcosid in cxplaaaiion, thai vit dtscoTcra faltc tcBcmbUiKef 
only. Bui ncicbct it liiit true. Wit cooiijta in an illuttration of an 
idea by tome lucky coincidence or contratt, which idea may be either 
faltc or true, at it happen*. But the bcu wit ii always the traeat. 
When the French punitcrt the other day changed the title of comr 
loyal order from Coftpagneni chi Lyt into Cotnpagti&ni d'Uljtit, the 
wit toit Done of itt elhcacy, becautc there wa» a lurkjcg luipidoa in 
the mind that the iDsinuation was true. When Mr. Graitan, looie 
yean ago, Eaid, that the only retourcea of Nfiniiteri were 'the gsinei 
or tbc jillowt,* the alliteration proved nothing, but neither did it 
diiproTc any thing. When the late ingenioiu Profetior Portoo, in 
reply to aome enthuaau of the modern ichool of poetry, who wai 
cxcwiming * that tome contcnip«tQry barda would be admired when 
HoRict and Virgil were forgotten,' made aniwer, — 'And not till 
then,' — he shewed more wit, and perhaps not lett judgment, than hit 
■BUfiOBiit. Bcfidet, the wit here conaiftcd in the diitioclioo. 

We shall shortly go more into this subject in three ppert, which 
we propose to write, on Imagination, Wit, and .ludgnieni, when we 
(hall endeavour to ihew that tbe^e faculties, though not the same, nor 
always found together, are not >o incompatible as dullncaa on the one 
liand, and folly on the other, would lead the world to loppoae. The 
most (cniible man of our acquainunee is alio the wittiest ; and the 
nioat extravagant blockhead the duUeai nuiier-of-fact man. The 
greatect poet that ever lived, bad the oioit undertundiag of human 
nature and aifairi. Maninua Scriblerua containi the beet com mcotary 
on the Categoric* 1 and we shrewdly suspect that Voluire and Moliere 
were two as wise men, that is, knew as many things that were true 
and uaeful, as Malbranche and Descartes. It would have been hard 

z88 



MR, LOCKE A GREAT PLAGIARIST 



to perioKle either of tbow lanching philcwopberi that they saw all 
things ID God, or ihnt animxU w»c machiaci. These arc 'the 
Uborioui fboleriet' of the understanding. 

Mr. Stewart hni tntenpcried his hiitory of the progreM of opiaions 
with lome intercuing biogniuhicul ftkctchcii. Of Anthony Arnaudt 
the author of the Port Royal Lo^, we leam, that * he liecd to the 
age of eightr- three, cortiinuing to write against Malbranche'e opiDJODi 
concerning Naiurt and Gran, to hia \;m hour.' He diedi says his 
biographer, in an obtcure retreat at Bruueli, in i^>9i, without 
fortane, and eren without the comfort of a temnt ; he, whose 
nephew had hcco a luinitttcr of state, and who might himicif hare 
been a cardinal. The pleHiurc of being able to publinh hi* Mrntiments 
vu to him asufficicnt recompense. Nicole, hit friend and companion 
io arms, worn out at length with these incessant disputes, cxprcascd a 
Irish to retire from the fictil, and to enjoy rcpc»e. 'R<poie\* 
replied Arnaud ; * won't you have the whole of eternity to repose ia!* 
— An anecdote which is told of hi» infancy, when considered is 
coooection wKh his subsequent life, affords a good tllustration of the 
force of impretstoot received in the liriit dsvn of reason. He was 
amusing himself one day with tome childish sport, in the library of 
the Cardina] du Perron, when he requested of the Cardinal to gire 
him a pen: — And for what [lurpose? said the Cardinal. — To write 
books, like you, against the Huguenots. The Cardinal, it i» added, 
vbo WM old and indrm, could not cooci-al his joy at the pcoispcci of 
■o bopefol a cucceisor : and, as he was putting the pec into his hand, 
nid, * I giTC it to you as the dying shepherd Damactat bcqucaihcil 
his pipe to the little Corydon.* Of the celebrated metaphyuciao 
X3eBCirte«, it appeiirt that he wa« *a hold campaigner ' in hu youth [ 
that he served in Holland under Prince Maurice of Nassau ; in 
Germany, under Mnximilian of Itavaria, in the thirty years' war; in 
Hungary, and at the siege of Rochellc, as a volunteer against the 
Eoglwh. He passed his life in camps till the age of fire-and -twenty, 
when he retired iu spend the remaindcf of it— in proring his own 
existence ! What then, it may be asked after all, is the use of such 
studies and pursuits? Of the same use as pursuing zHded butterflies, 
or any other toy that araiucs tlic mind. Mr. Hume fixed his 
residence, while composing his Treatise of Human Naturt, at the 
TxUage of La FUiche, where Descartes wai brought up. This is an 
tDiercsting trait io the life of a philosopher, who was by no meaas of 
the romantic cast. We do not very well understand the lenity or 
rather the respect with which the memory of Mr. Home is always 
treated by our author, who is so hard upon Hobbea and others. 
There is also too much notice Likeo of Adam Smith, who, whaterer 

TOt. %i. : T j8g 



SHAKESPEAR'S FEMALE CHARACTERS 

niglu be bia meriM u a political ccoaomistt wu of i rery tubofdioate 
dais as a philowpber — 

■ The tenth tnauniltcr of a fooUih creed.* 

May wc add, that the <liatinctLOD» of Mcuplijiics Aod Grograpliy 
have nothing in common, nor h truth of any panicubr country. 

The kamcd Professor makes too little account of the German 
philofopher Kant, whoK maxim that 'the mind alone u foimaUTc,* 
la the only lercr by which the modctD philosophy can he oTertunwU. 
He has iodecd overlaid this simple principle by his logical tecfant- 
calities, his ca(ecori«s and stuff, as Locke has confounded all comntaa 
■CBic with his ideas of scnMtion and idran oFrcflcciian. Nothing can 
be done towards a tnie theory of the mind, till philosopbrrs are con- 
viQCed thai all ideas are tdeat of the onderstandiog i and that it re<iuirca 
all the Ksme faculties to hnvc the t<ba of the stud of a brus nail in xa 
old arm-chair, that is, the perception of connection, limits, form, 
ditfereoce, aye, and of abstraction, in this simple object, u in the 
highest ipecutationn of theological or metaphysical ecieacr. The 
modefD philosophers contend that the mind has oo idea of any thing : 
but seniible images : the way to turn the table* upon them ii tbcn to ' 
prove, ih^il in the idea of every one of these sensrnle objects, there is 
necessarily invohed the exercise of all those faculties, of which they * 
deny the existence, and which are exerted, only tn a different degree, 
io the tnou nmple or the most refined operations of the undcritandiiig. 



SHAKESPEAR'S FEMALE CHARACTERS 



SMAKEiruR'a womco (wc mean those who were his favouritet, and 
whom he intended lo be the fasoiuiws of the reader) exist almoat 
entirely in the relations and chnrttiee of domestic U(e. They ate 
ooihbg in themtetrei, but every thing in their .-iltachmeDi to others. 
We think at little of their pertons as they do tbemfelvea, because we 
are let into the secrets of their hearts, which are more important. 
We are too much inlcfcsccd io their alfairs to stop to look at their 
faces, except by stealth and at iotcrvaU. Wc catch their beauties 
only sideways as in a glass, but wc everywhere meet their heuta 
coming at ut,— :/ii// ititi, as Mut Ptgp mccu her husband in tbe 
Park. No one ever hit the true perrKtioo of the female character, 
the senic of weakness leaning on the strength of its affections for 
190 



SHAKESPEAR'S FEMALE CHARACTERS 

samort, to welJ as ShakMwar — no one cYcr so w«Il painted nalutal 
tcooaanB free from nl) afrecuiion utd ditguitc, thai 

' Call* trus love aclc<i »impic (noiic>t7 ' — 

no one die evrr so well shewed how delicacy and timidity, urged lo 
an extremity, grow roiuantic acd exiravagaot, for the romance of hi* 
heroioe* (in which ihey abound} is only an cxccm of tlic connnan 
prejudicec of their kx, icrapulotit of bein^ falie to iheJr vows, truant 
to their afTectioos, and uaght by the force of ihcir feeling* when to 
forc|;o the rorniii of propriety for the essence of It, Hia women aic 
in thii reipea ex(iut»tc logidant, for they aigue from what tliey feel, 
and that is a «urc game, when the aukc U deep. They know their 
own minds exactly. High imagination aprtngt from deep habit ; and 
Shalccipcar't women only followed up the idea of what they liiced, 
of vlut they had iwoin to with their tongae«, and what wai engraven 
OQ their hearty into its untoward coosctiuenccs. They were the 
ptciticai little let oftnartyrii and confeMori on record. 

We hare almost a) great an affection for Imegtn ai (he had for 
PMtbumiu \ and ihc dcK-rves it rather better. Of all Shaketpcar'i 
wobkh she i^ perhapi the moat touching, the niosi tender, and the 
mod true. An to Dr j lienanit^ who wa* alone a match for her in good 
faith and heroic iclf-dcvotian, she had her faulti, and rhc Buffered for 
them. Iingtn'r incredulity a» to her hutband's iDJidclily is much 
the ume ai Dutinnnn^t buckwardnett to believe Oihello'i jealouiy. 
Her Bsswcr to the luott diitresnng van of the picture ii onlyi ' my 
Lord, I fear, hat forgot Britain.' Her resdtneit to pardon fatiimo i 
Kilaebooda, and hti dcaignt upon her virtue, is a good leuon to prudet | 
and (hew* (ai perhaps Shaikc^car imeodcd it, or nature for him] 
thai where there ii a strong attadimcnt to virtue, it hu do need lo 
bolster itself up with an outrageous or affected antipathy to vice. 
The nocaltty of Shakc£pcar in ihit way it great ; bvt it ii not to be 
found in the four lut lines of bin plays, in the form of extreme 
unction. The scene in which I'lmnh gives Imogen her husband's 
letter accusing her of incootineocy, is as nae a» anything could be : — 

•Pijumie. What chnr, Madam f 

Imegrw. Falie to hit bed I What is it to be false I 
To lie in watch ihrrc. and lo think on him t 
To neep 'twui cloek and eloi'k 1 If sleep charge nature, 
To break it nith a fearful dream of him, 
And ciy myieif awake ? That "a ftlie to '• bed, is it I 

Piuuiin. Alas, good lidjr ! 

T—agfm. I false r thy conscience witoes*, lachimo, 
Thou did*t accuse bim of incotitineney, 

191 



SHAKESFEAR'S FEMALE CHARACTERS 

Wk«N mither *» bcr pMtia^ boa bctnjid Uh : 

Fbor I Mi Msle, a gioKBt Mt flf faiUoa, 

AaJ be I am ndur dm to bog bj A* wiOh 

I rniot be npt ( w pie«ea widi nc Ofc, 

Mea'a tow« an woukb'* tniiDn. AO cood Mcaiac 

i^ d^ ftvdk, oh HimImmI. dnil be itKMfht 

Pu Ml for TibiOT ; not bora iActc'i gDam%, 

Buc woniabtittar Ladtca. 

AfAOf. Good Midaai, hcai om — 

ImagfM. Talk litj loogue wewy , $ftak -. 
I kiTc braid I am a iminipet, and miiM car, 
ThmiB hltt ttnfck, cao take no gRam wamd. 
Not test to botlocn tbaL ^^^ 

When P'uaam, who bad been chained lo kill bis misuca*, pma bee 
in a way to IWe, iKe aayi — 

• Why. good MVm. 
Whai iballldotbewhik? When bide f Howlmt 
Or ia my Fife what comfort, wbm I am 
Dead to mjr Hvnband ^ ' 

Yet when be adrice* hrr to diigoiac hertclf in boy*! clothrs, ajid 
niggetti 'a eo«ne pretty and full in view/bywhieb the may *h.q^y 
be near the reiidcncc of Poithumutt ihe eswim — 

' Oh, for tuch mt*R%, 
7*hoite;h peril to mv modesty, itoi death on 'x, 
I would adTenturc. 

And wh«n P'uauo, ta\ai%\a% aa the cooac^ucacet, tdls her abe 

tnutt diangc— 

' Fear and DinncM, 
Ttic handmaidi of all HatncDi or more tnilj^i 
Woman it» pretty Klf, tato a wagigiih couragCf 
Rciily in £ibe>, quidt uuwn'd, Hucy, and 
As <|uarcllou> at tbc maaci ' — 

She iDtcTru|>ta him haatily : — 

•Nay, be brief: 

I M« unto thy end, ud am almott 
A nun already. ' 

In her journey thu> dttguitcd to Mil ford-Haven, the lows her 
Suidc ftnd her way ; and uoboMmiiig her complaints, sayi bcaudfully,— 



SHAKESPEAR'S FEMALE CHARACTEHS 

*Mj- Hfat Lord, 

Thoa art on« of the FaIk aan -. now I ihink on thcc. 
Mjr hunger 's gone ; but evtn bcforr, I vns 
At point to nnk for food.' 

She ifterwards finds, as *hc think s, th« dead body o( Petlkumwi, 
and engage* hcracif ai a foot-bo)' to terve a Romao OHiccr, when 
she baa done alt due ohtequteti lo htni whom she calls hrr former 
master: 

' And wben 

Wid» wild wood-leavo aiid v^ccd* I ba' ttrewcd bU grave, 

And on it toid » miCiiry of pray 're, 

Sucli IS I fan, twice o'er, I il vrrcp and ugh. 

And Itraviiig HO h'la tcrvicc, follow you, 

Su please yoii entertain me." 

Now thU is the very religion of love. Is it not ? All this, which 
is the escence of the character, is free from every thing like personal 
Battery or laboured description. She reliei little on her pcnonaJ 
chimia, which she fears may have been eclipsed by some pioted jay 
of Italy: she relies only on her merit, and her merit is in the depth 
of her lore, her truth and coBsiaocy. Our admintion of her beauty 
ia excited as it were with as little consciouincis as possible oo her 
paru There are two delicious descriptions gircn of her, one when 
she is asleep, and one when she is supposed dead, ^rwagut that 
addresscB her : 

'Willi fiircit flowen. 

While sunimei Isstt, anJ I live here, Fidcle, 
I'll sweeten thy iid grave ; (hoti shall nui lack 
TTie flow'r thal'i like thy face, pale primrose, ruw 
The aaure'd hare-bell, like thy veirL&, no, nor 
The leaf of eKiiniine, which not to slander, 
Ou I- sweeten 'd not thy breath.' 

Tbc yellow iacbmo gtTCs another thus, when he steals iato bcr 
bed-chamber : 

•Cythcrta, 

How btavety thou becom'tt thy bed ! Freih lily, 
And whiter than the sheets 1 That I might louche 
But kio, one kin — 'TIS her breathing that 
Perfiimn the chamber thiu : the Aame o' tK' taper 
Bowl tananl her, anil wuuld under-peep her lidi 
To see th' endoied ligliti now canopicil 
Dndtr the window*, white and aiure, laced 
With blue of Heavn'i own tinct — on her left brenit 
A mole cinque -ipot ted, like the crimMti drapi 
r lb' bottom of a cowslip.' 

39J 



SHAKESPKAR*S PEMALE CHARACTERS 

There is a moral wnsv in the proud l>cnuty uF ihi« lait image, a 
rich lurfcit of the fatcy, — as that well-known pasragc bejiiming, ' Mc 
of my hwfut ]>lcatiirc ahe rrstraincd, and prayed mc of: forbcarinct,* 
kU a keener edge upon it by the inimitable picture of modttty and 
Klf-dcnial. Deidtmana ii another inttancc (almoK to a proTerb) of 
the dcvotrdocM of the sex to a farourite object. She n ' sobdocd 
eren to the very quality of her lord,' and to OtheBo'i * boooun aad 
his Ysliant parts her soul and fortuoec consecratw.' The lady 
protests ai much herself, and she is m good as her word. There 
IB not 3 set description of her in any psri of the piny ; and the only 
thing that tcndi that way ii the c^uivocsl and somewhat luscioua 
diaiojfue that takes place lietwn-n logo und Caitia aa an accompani- 
ment to the ceremonies of the wedding-night. We see her visage in 
her mind i her character ercry where predominates OTcr her person : 

' A maiden, never bold i 
OFipirit so Mill and quiet, that her mciiion 
Bluui'd at itwlf ' 

She is not a painted idoI< carved oui of the poet's bfain, but is her- 
self a worshipper at the shrine of duty. At Milton dashes th« 
luxuriouii effect of his descriptions by a moral, Shakespcar aualifiea 
it by the intciert of the story, as ia the scene where 0<iitila ultetj 
Dtiiiemonii by <he band, "rhe truth of conception, with which j 
timidity and boldness are united in the same character, is tDanreUousi 
The extravagance of her actions, the pertinacity of her affectiotu, in 
a manner arises out of the gentienecs of lier nature. It ic an uo~ 
reserved reliance on the purity of her intentions, a surrender of her 
fcart to her lore, a knitting of herself (hcait and soul) to the fate of 
another. Bating the cotnnieiicetnent of her ratsioo, which is a little 
fantastical and wifwilled (though that may be accounted for in the 
same way from an inatntity to resist a rising inclination] her whole 
character consist* in having no will of her own, no prompter bvt her 
obedience. Her romantic turn is only a consequence of the domestic 
and practical pan of her disposition; and instead of followiog 
Olhmo to Cyprus, she would rather have remained at home, ' a motb i 
of peace,' if her husband could have staid with her. Her resignitfon 
and angelic sweetness of nature do oot desert her at the last. The 
scenes in which she laments and tiiet to account for OiMfo'j harsh 
usage of her are exquisitely maiuged. After he has struck her af>d 
called her names, she says : 

*AIb»,Iuo, 

What shall I do to nin my lonT again t 
Good friend, go to him ; for by this light of Heaven, 
194 



SHAKESPEAR'S FEMALE CHARACTERS 

I know noi hovt 1 InM him. Hert 1 kneel ; 

If e'er my wili did imput 'niml hii love, 

Eithei in diicourar, or thougiit, iir ictiul deed, 

Or [hit mine eye*, mine ean, or any tenx 

Dtlizbttii them on any oilier form ; 

Ot Uui I do not, »nd tm did. 

And ev<f will, (hough he do ihake me ofF 

To1)«Sgarly diroKeniFnt, tovr him dearly, 

Comfort fonvrar me, Unkindneu may do much. 

And hi* unkindnru may drJnt my life. 

But nerer (mint my love. . . 

Iag». I pray yoti he eontent -. 'lit bill hie humour. 
The bunaeu ot (he itate doei him olFence, 

Dtj^iemoHa. If 'iwere no other. '-^— 

The unte which follows with her maid and th? ionj> of the 
Willow arc equally beautiful, and shew Shakespcar's extreme power 
of Tarjrtng the ex|ite«iofi of paistoD, in all iu nioodi and In all 
eircntntunce*. 

One of the fmcat passagca in Mr. Wordsworlh'a pocmi is that 
where lie haa given us hit opinion of Dttdrmaia : 

' Book*, dream*, are euh a world j and book*, we know. 
Are a tubrtantial wotlJ, both put* and good, 
Round which, with tenitrili urong ai flsih and biood, 
Our patdnie and our happineu may grow j 

MaMer wherein right voluble I am. 
Two let me mention dearer th»n the rctt, 
The gentle ladv wedded to the Moor, 
And heavenly Una with her milk-white lamb.' 

We have said enougli to explain our idea of the general turn of 
Sh^tetpcar'a female character!. Wc need not mention OpbtRa or 
CvrJt&a^ both of which admit ofliulc external decoration, and which 
it would leeai impotsible to treat in any other way than ai Shake- 
■pear ha» repretented them, ah«tractcd from every thing hut their 
hean-bieaking tics to other«, if Taie h&d not adorned the person of 
Cvrdttui with a number of beautiet, and fintahed ber itory with a 
loTer. Citofatra, who h>( certainly a pertonal identity of her own, 
and who it dcactibcd in all the flowing pomp of caitcm luxur)-, » 
not an exception to what we have said, for ihc ti not intended aa a 
model of her tex. What wc bent recollect of Creitida, ia Pandams'i 
desctiption of her after brin^inK her to the tent, where he ■ayt,'^ 
■And her heart bcata like a new-la'en aparrow' — which mutt be 

395 



SHAKESPEAR'S FEMALE CHARACTERS 

allowed to be quite Shakcapcrian. Miranda nppnrt to be the moM 
conKloul of her chariru or any of hU favourites (|>crhap» from the 
Tcry solitude tn which she had lived], > son of miracle of h«: 
father's ifrland, aod the >;oddcM of her scw-fouDd loTcr'i idoUtry. 
PeriSia ii a very pf etty low-born law, the Queco of cards aod cream 
— but ihe make* lu think of other thiogi more than of her face. 
There ii ooc paiuf^e in which the poet hai, we (uipcct, rety artfoJly 
rallied the indiffereacc of the kx to abstract msooug : 

' PtrAta. Sif, (h« fairtU flowen o' th' iruon 
Art our carnitlont, and urrnk'il cJlly-Aowcn, 
Which Homr til) Narurr'^ bastardt: of that kind 
Our rui.tir ^rdrn '( barren, and I can not 
Togct stipn of them. 

folixran. Wh«f«forc, gentle mai^JCD, 
Do you neglect them * 

PerJita. For 1 have heard !t uid, 
Thtre i* an art which, in their picdneu thaits 
With great creating nature. 

PoSjcrmtt, Say, there be, 
Vet nature ik node better by no mean, 
But nature mallet that [uean ) tu o'er tltal art 
Which you tay adds to nature, ti an an 
That nature makci -. you ace, tweci raatd, we many 
A gcnclci tcyon to the vWAea itock, 
And niakt conceive a bark of baser kind 
By bud of nobler race. This is an an 
Which dort mend nature, change il nthct ; but 
The ait iticlf it nature. 

PrrJiU. So it ». 

PalixtMS. Then make your garden rich in gilly-flowcn. 
And do not call ihem bastarda. 

Ptrdita. fUnofftir 
The dibble im tarth, to it> tiu iSp ^ iktm^ etc 

Here the lady girea up the BTgumeoi, but keeps her opinion. We 
had forgot one charming invtancc to our purpoie, which it tfac 
character of Htifn in /lli'i IVtli ibai End* IVtU; and this alao puu 
us in mind that Shakeepear probably borrowed his female character* 
from the Italian novelist*, and not Jrom Hngliih women. 



396 



MISS O'NEILL'S WIDOW CHEERLY 



MISS O'NEILL'S WIDOW CHEERLY 



Ti* RiramimtT.'^ [Jmmary is, (liy, 

Wt barr few idoli, and tbose few wc <iQ not like to low. Out the 
wvmth of our idolatry of Mtsa O'Neill will be brought to a mucli 
lower tnnpFraturr if iht goct on playin}; comvdy M this rate. We 
casaot fern uy comprorniae in our tmagiottion bctwcco BrlviJira 
aai the IVtdovt Chatty. To vpnk our mindn pl-iioly, Mim O'Neill it 
bj far the best tragic actrets we ever «aw, with one f>rcat exceptiDn^ 
aod »h« i* the wont comic actrci« wc remember, without lay 
cxceptioa at all. Her comedy is cut in lead, and tad JoU/td tiumpj 
§he makeit of it. It it tragedy in low-hceled shoes. Her ipirit is 
boiiteroucQcss ; her playfiilneu languid sfFectatioa ; her familiarity 
opprcMive ; tier gaiety lomeniablc. There never waa wch labour in 
vain. A smile trickles down ber cheek like a tear, aad her voice 
whiiMS through a repartee in as many winding boot* of mawlcish 
insinuation as through ihc most pktlietic address. We cannot bear 
all this evident condescension ; it overpowers ui. In one scene the 
was *try much applauded: it is that in which the fVUe'w Chtrrlj 
girea a cliaracicristic description of her former huNband's introduction 
of her to hit bottle-companions : ' This i* my wife,' etc. Now it 
muMrt be dented that she mimicked the aira and maoner of the fox- 
buntiog squire very well, and Her voice fairly gave the house a box 
oo the ear. But we do not wish to sec Miss O'Neill in the part of 
Sgmre Wttttrv. Wc conceive that this delightful octrfst cannot 
descend lower than the toldicr's daughter, except by pUying the 
aailoc's daughter, and giving the word of command in a striped blue 
jacket and trowsers instead of a striped green gown. In these 
tom-boy hectoring heroines Mrs. Cbattct Kemble, whom, to the best 
of our belief, she imitates, ttc^ts her out and out ; and Mrs. Mardyn, 
besides being taller and handsomer, has really more of the wii eomna. 
But wc will have done with this ungrateful subject. The comedy 
itself, of Tht Soldirrt Daughtff, is the irau itUtit o( modern comedy. 
It contains the whole theory and practice of scnttmcotality, of which 
a bank-Dote offered and declined is the circulating medium, and a 
white cambric pocket-handkerchief, that catches the crystal tear in 
the eye of sensibility ere it falls, the risible emblem. Mr. and ATrs. 
Melford are an amiable young couple in lodgings and in great distreis, 
but you do not learn how tbey got into one any more than the other. 
They utter their complaints, but are too delicate to touch upon the 
taue, aod you sympathin: with tbcit sorrows, not wJtb their mis- 

197 



MISS 0*NEILLS WIDOW CHEERLY 

fonBnee. Tbey hare i tittle gul, who bai a little doll, which the 
chrinen* ■ Miis Good Gentleman,' after a person whose name iSe 
does not know. Thii u a very palpable hit, and tells amaziojly. 
The unknown bcncfaaot of these unfortunates inciigBito it a yoon^ 
Mr. ffeartafff i wild, giddy character, that it, in the modern aenK, 
a perMD who ncTcr itznda still od the suge — who is always rmaing 
into scrapei, which he walks out of withoai leRviog any apology or 
account behind him. Then there is the Widem Cfierfy, is the tame 
hovK with the AltJfirJj, whose Iteart and whose riJkule are ever 
open to the disticsKd, and who makes a match with Tamg HtanaBt 
because he makes her sn offer, h not being consiBteot with the 
gallantry of a soldier's daughter to decline a challenge of that sort. 
Then there !■ Old Heartall, uncle to Tounj Hiarfai/, and an East 
Indian Governor, who says one thing and doe< another ; calls bit 
nephew a scoundrel, and throws hts arms roond bit neck. He it not 
1 characicf, but a contradictioo. Then there is a Mr. Ferret, who 
commiu all sons of unaccountahle villainies through the piece, with- 
out any ostensible motives, and at the end of it you (lAd that he bat 
acted upon an abtitr.icl principle of ararice. 

> If,' he says, < there had been no such thing as avarice, I had not 
been a villain.' This it a >'ery edilying coafestjoo of faith \ and to 
not finding this principle answer* he repents upon an abstract principle 
of repentance, and also at the instigation of his old benefactor, (juit 
arrived from the Eait and accordingly a great moralist), who reids 
him a great moral lecture, and advises him to give up his ill-gotten 
gains. As Mr. Ferret submiiB to bis advice back«] by the law, 
014 Htariatl is prevailed on to forgive bis deiigni upon the liret, 
characters, and fortunes of his actjuaintaocc, from an amiabke weukncia 
of bean, and becauae the WitUw Chtfrfy, who inieicede« ftx him, 
'hat roguish eyet.' Mr. Litton plays a foohsh servant in the 
HeariaU family, whote name is Timotby, The name of Tmor^ Is 
one of the jokes of this part : Mr. Liston't face is the other, and the 
beM of the two. 

The whole tone of this play reminded us strongly of a rery 
excellent criticism which we had read a short time before on the cant 
of Modem Comedy, in one of the note* to Mr. Lamb's Specitneas of 
Eariy Dramatic Poetry: — 

■The insipid levelling morality to which the modem stage it tied 
down would not admit of iuch admirable pauions as these scenes are 
filled with. A puiiunical oblusenest of sentiment, a stspid tn&Btile 
goodness, is creeping among us, insteftd of the vigoroos pasaiont, sBd 
virtue* clad in flesh and blood, with which the old dramatists present 
us. Those nebic and liberal caiuists could discern in the diffcrcoccsi 

*9« 



'PENELOPE* AND *THE DANSOMANIE* 

tfae quarrels, the Bnimositics of men, a beauty and truth of monl 
feefin^, no i»* clutn in tlir iter^itt'Iy inculcatml dutiet of focgiveMM 
and atoDcment. With us, all i« hypocritJCil tnecltnee*. A rccoo- 
ciltation tccoc (let ihc occasioD be ncrer lo absurd tad unnatural) ia 
always sure of ajiplause. Our audieocea come to the theatre to be 
complinKotcd on their goodncM. Thcjr compare DOte« with the 
lantttDlc characters in the ploT* &nd fma a wonderful itmiUrity of 
|du|]ont>Dn between them. We have a common itock of dramatic 
[locality, out of which a writer may he tupplied, without the trouble 
i. of copying k from originals wiihin his own breast. To know the 
boundariea of honour — to be judiciouRiy valiant — to have a temper ai>cc 
which *hatl he^n a imoothnena in the .mgry swcUisj* of yonth — to 
eaiecm life at nothing: when the MCJoi rcpuiaiion of a parent ia to be 
defended, yet to ihake and tremble under a piou* cowardice when 
ihst ark of an hoae«t confidertce i* found to be frail and tottering — to 
fccl the tme blowa of a real diaprace bluiMing that sword which tlie 
ifiuginary ttrokei of a auppoted filae iniuutation had put to keen an 
edge upon but lately — to do, or to imagine thii done in a feigned 
Rory. atlcB aonicchiDj; more of a moral sense, aomewhu a greater 
delicacy of perception in que«tiot)i of right and wrong, than goes to 
the writing of tu'O or three hackneyed i«nience« about the law* of 
honour as opposed to the laws of the land or a common-place againit 
duelling. Yet auch thin^i would stand i writer now a day* in far 
better stead than Capain Ager and his con<cicntious honour ; and he 
would be coiuidercd as a far belter teacher of morality than old 
Rowley or Middleloo, if they were linog.* 



PENELOPE AND THE DANSOMANIE. 

NMMnJ il*»»arj 19, i8t7. 

Knni'i TsiATia. 

1*His theatre waa opened for the preseoi season under tery (arour- 
able autpicea; and we congratulate the pisbltc on the proapect of the 
continuance of thia addition to the ttock of elegant aniaacnient. 
Though the opera ii not among the ordinary resources of the lorera 
of tlie drama, it is a splendid object in the wla of a winter's 
cYeoing, and we should be sorry to see it mouldcrioj; into decay, iu 
g^racefol columns and Corinthian capitals] fallen, and in glory l^uried 
in Chancery. We rejoice when the Muses escape out of the 
(ugi of (he law, nor do we like to ace the Graces nrrcsicd — in 
a pa/ tie trou. We do not 'like to jee the unmerited fall of 
what has long flooriahcd in splcadour 1 any vwd produced in 



'PENELOPE' AND 'THE DANSOMANIE' 

the inu^DMioD ; aay niia on ihe face of An.' At prewnt wc hope 
better thiagi iroiii the Iloowd urci and ulcDts of the geatlecnao 
who H andcrnood to have uDdert^kcti the management of the 
principal departni'eiit, and from what we haw wen of ike perform- 
snccf with which the company have coniTncnccd chcii career. The 
piecci DO Saturday aod Tuciday were the Opera of J^eiujopf by 
Cimurots, and th^ iDimitabte comic Ballet, TJlie IXiiusnaiw. The 
lim ill what it profcsKt to be, a Grand Scriou* Opera : but it i* 
•omcwhai hcary and monoionout. It introduced to the GogUth 
Stage Ecveral actors of contidctabte eminence abroad. The principil 
were Mad> Caraporetc at Penei^, Madame Pajla aa TtlemocwUf 
and Signor Crirclli at Utystri. The Iia of ihetc appears to be at 
good an actor aa a fioger. His geKurea bare coniidefable appro. 
priatfneM and expreiiioAi betide* having tbat uutained dignity and 
studied grace, which are essential to the hannony of the Opera ; 
and hit tones in singing are full, clear, and so anicubte, that any 
one at all imbued with the Italian language can follow the wordt 
with eax, Madame Camporcsc performed Poteiopf, and drew down 
the fretjuent plaudits of the house by the sweetness of her voice, and 
the fiexilniity of execution which she manifested in some of the most 
difficult and impassioned pasugei. If we were lo cspfcss our 
opinion honestly, we should aay tbat we rec«ired most pleasure from 
Madame Pacta's Tetemtuimu There ia a natural eloquence about hci 
•inging which we feel, and therefore underAand. Her dreta and 
figure alto answered to the claBiical idea we have of the youthful 
'lelfmaehw. Her voice is good, her action it good : the bas a 
haodsomc face, and very handsome h%9. The ladies, «v know, 
think otherwite: this ia the only subject on which we think ouT> 
selvei better judj^es than they.— Of the DamtmanU wc will uy 
nothing, lest wc should be suppoecd to have caught the madneM 
which it ridicules so sportively and graceftdly- The wbotr is 
excelleoi, but the Minuet de la Cour it sublime : and the Gavot 
which luccceds it, is at good. Madame Leon was exquisite, &ikI 
she had a partner worthy of her. 

' Such were the Joys of out dancing dayi' 

Really when we see ili^se dances, and hear the mutic, which our old 
fanUttical dancing nia»tcr used to scrape upon his kit, pUyed in fall 
orchesiia, we do nut know what lo make of it ; wc wi^ we were 
old dancing-matters, or learning to dance; or ihst we had lived to 
the time of Henry tv. The teare do not cone tn our cyet j tbat 
source is dry ; but wc exclaim with the Son of Fingal, 

' Roll on, ys dark-brown yean I yc bring no joy on your wiag to Ottiaa.* 
Soo 



OROONOKO' 



OROONOKO. 



Tic £«<-n(T.] 



l/mimyi^ 1817. 



Southekn'b trigedy of Onmoio, which hu not been acted, wc 
believe, for Komc years, has been brought forward here to introduce 
Mr, Kean as the Royal Slave. It was well ihouglit of. Wc coa- 
aider h u one of hin be«t part*. Il U alto a proof to lu of what 
wr have always been diaponed to think, that Mr. Kean, when 

fht fully |ivc» up h» nriiod to it, it sa great in pnre psthoa u in 

"energy of action or di»critnination of character. Fa general, he 
inclines to the rtolent and muscul.-ir expression of passion, rather than 
to that of it* deep, involuntary, heart-felt worlungt. If he doei thia 
apOD any theory dF the former style of cxpreiiion being more striking 
and ealeulaied to produce an immediate etFect, we ihtnk the tuccesR 
of hii Rifimrd II. and of thit play alone (not to mention innumerable 
fine paasagca in hia other performances ), might convince htm of the 

rpeffta aamy with which he may trust himself in the hands of the 
audieocc, wHenevcr he chuKs to iodul^^c in 'the melting mood.' 
We conceive that the range of his jiowert i* greater in thia retpeci 
than lie hat yet ventured to disjiby, and that if the uste of the town 
ia not ycl ripe for the change, he htts genius enough to lead it, 
whcrcvrr truth and nature paint the wny. His performance of 
OnoHoiit was for the most pan decidedly of a mild and sustained 
ctci; yet it was highly inipreMire thiougltoui, and most >o, 
rhere it partook least of violence 01 eiTurt. The stiokeH of pawion 

t'Vhich cime unlooked for and seemed to lake the actor by surprise, 
wctc tboae that took the audience by surprise, and only found relief 
in tean< Of this kind waa the passage in which, after having been 
harrowed up to the liisc degree of agony and a])prehen»ion at the 
■upposed dishonouraUe treatment of his wife, and being re-sssured 
oo that point, he falls upon her neck with sobs of joy and broken 
laughter, saying, 'I knew they could not,* or words to thai effect. 
The iirst meeting between him and /moimia was also very atFecIing; 
atid the transition to tendcincss and love in it was efcn finer than 
the expression of breathlru eagernett and surprise. There were 
many other passages in which the feelings, conveyed hy the actor, 
aeoricd to gush uont his heart, as if its inmost veins had been laid 
open. Id a word. Mr. Kean gave to the part that glowing and 
impMiMMSi and at the same time deep and full expreMton, which 
bckiDgt to the character of that burning zone, which ripens the souls 
of men, as well as tlie fruiu of the earth ! The most striking [lart 

301 



*0R00N0KO' 

ID the wbole peffomuoce wu in the nneriiig of a sii^le word? 
Orvmioio, ID coiuc()De&ce of lui gentle treatnietil, and the flattering 
promura tbai arc held out to him of ufc coodoa to hia own coimtry, 
of the teKoratioa of hit libeny um) hii belond ImomiU, thinks well 
of the pcncnt into wbotc banda be hu fftllen i and it !■ in Tain 
that Ahum (Mr. Rae\ triet to wock him up to nupicion and 
rercwe by ^etat dncnpcioDi of the sufferiiiga of bit couDtrfmea, 
or oTtbc cruelty and treachery of their white matfcri : but at the 
miggndon of the tboughi, thai if ihcy imuin vbcrt they arc* tmoimJa 
will bccaow the Bxnber, and himfclf, a priDce and a hero, the father 
of a nc« of riarei, he surta aad the nuniicr in which he utten 
the ejaculataon * Hah t ' at the world of thoc^ht which is tb» ahewn 
to hjm, like a precipice at his feet, retcmbtes the 6m aouod that 
breaks from a thusder-clood, or the hollow roat of a wild beait, 
roiMcd froin its lair by hanger and the sceot of blood. It is a pity 
that the cauatrophe does not ancwer to the graodew of the menace t 
and thai ihia gallant vindicator of himtdf and hia coontrynea 
fails in his enterprisct through the treachery and cowardice of 
those whom he attempts to aet free, but ' who were by nature sbves I ' 
The Mory of this ler^yt «tw ia not witboot a parallel eleewbere i^ 
it reads * a great moral Icmoo ' to Lnrope, only changing Uaefi 
into wuUr/; aitd the manner io which Oreomt* is pccrailcd on 
to ffn op hia aword, and hia treumeat aAenruda, by a roan 
in firititb uniforsii Kcnu to have been the model of the Coa*t 
of Paria. It only required one thing to have made it complete, tfaatl 
the Governor, who it expected in the island, should have urivejl 
in time to break the agrccmeat, and aara the credit of his nibaltcr«> 
The political alluaiont throughout, that ia, the appeala to comnoon 
justice aod humanity, agaiiut the raoai intolerable Cfuetiy and 
wrong, arc w strong and palpable, that we wonder the piece is i>ot 
prohibited. There is that black rcoefade Ottman. who betrays hia 
country in the hopes of protnotioo, and the favour of hia betters : how 
tike be is to many a wbite-iaced tooo, hut that ' the devil has not \ 
danrocd them black ! * Politics apart— Oreoaoifo ic a very toteiestiog ' 
Rioral fiaj. It is a little tediotiB sometimes, and a litiie common- 
place at uJl timca, hut it has feeling and nature lo itipply what 
it wants in other rcspccia. The negroes in it (we could wiih them' 
out of it, hoi then there would be no play) are very i^ narlsmril 
upon the Mage. One blackamoor tn a picture i* an ornament, but ft j 
whole cargo of them is more than enough. Thii play pots na on of' 
conceit with both colourt, theirs and our owe ; the sooty aUve\ 
and his cold, deck, smooth-faced master's. — Htsa SctncrvUlc was • 
great relief to the oatural and moral deformity of the kcoc. She 
)02 



'THE PANNEL' AND 'THE HAVENS' 

fooked hke the idta of the poet'a miod. Htr rwgncd, pentm* 
uiKoaKtoui look uoi atiitudc, at tbc morocBt ilic U about to be 
renoied to the npturout embrace of her lover, wu a bnutiftd 
dramatic picrare. She it an zcquUitioo to the milder parts of 
tragedy. She lotercttt on the iiaee, for »lic i* iatcrcating in herself. 
SbecaiiDOt help beioga heroine, ifihe but thewt hcrieir. She waitM 
eteguuly dnwrd inJmMnda, lor an Indian maid, in lif>hi, flowered 
dnpery* » ihe wa* in /mtgiiu, for a lady of old tomance, in 
truiu of lead-coloured latin. Her voice » aueet, but lost in 
fta own tvcetneu; ind we who hear her at some distance, can 
only cat<h 'the muaic of her honey-row*,' like ihc indintinct 
munnur oC » hive of bee*. Mr. Beogough doe* not improve upon 
na by acquaintance. All that we have of late discovered in 
bin IS that he bu grey eyes. Little Stnitli made an excellent 
repreKntaiirc of the coasting Guinea captain. John Bull could not 
dotre to have better justice done to hi* mind or his bodv. — 
Southern, the author of Onomi>i«, was alto the author of /tMlat 
ar the Fitial Afarringe, lo botli of which ' he ofico has beguiled ut 
of our tears,' He died at the age of eight]r-«ix, in I74(). Gravi 
tb« poet, speaks thus of him in a Idcirr, dated from Burnhanii m 
BoCitDghaiiuhire, 17 J7- 'We have here old Mr. Southern, at 
a gentlenian't house a litiJe way olf: he it now Hventy-wveu 
yeait old, and hat almost wholly loit his memory : but >• as agree- 
able sti an old man can be : at lean I pcicuade myielf m, wbcn 1 
look at him, and think of ft^fHa and Oroonoio. 



•THE PANNEL' AND •THE RAVENS' 

rW £<0warr.] [Ftinatj 1, 1817. 

Theke lias been tittle new this week. A new aiter-piccc or mclo- 
drame has been brougiu forward at Covent'garden, and the old farce 
of the PoBBti revived at Drury-Lane. We can say hut little in praitc 
of the foimcr. except the ciLccllcncc of the aaiD^ and the manner 
in which it ia got up. The strength of tbe house is muttered in a 
second-rate production, and from the list of names in tbe play-bills, 
the public go to sec the performers, if not the perfocmaoce. and come 
awjj at least half taiisfied. They manage these things dilferently at 
Drury-lane, and not 10 well. We deny that the comic strength of 
the two hoosct is so UDcfiual as it lomctimca supposed. For inttancc, 
at DrutyJane, they have Muodeo, Dowtoo. Oxberry, and Knigbi t 
Harley it droll too [ and in women, they beat them out and oat, for 
they have Misa Kelly. To be sure, they have not Listou ; to ihcy 

J03 



'THE PANNEL" AND 'THE RAVENS' 



niuH kkk the beain. Mr. Ltttoa w the gmt«M comic g«niut of the 
a^. If wc wtre vrry dull and od iodeed) we ihoold aroid going to 
any farce or comedv in which he did not appear, as only tanuliiiag 
to our feelingt, »ncf promiiinc relief without affctrding it : but ve 
mutt be dull indeed, if we dia not bite u the bait of Mr. Uiataa'i 
Laiiu Lo^. His comic humour i« a tori of oil or ' balsam of ^unhtu ' 
for all inugiDary wounds that are not a foot d«cp. Hit laugh might 
tickle royalty itacif after iKe howling of the nbbic, or make one of 
the wax figures u Mrs. Salmon's relax from the inflexibility of its 
state. Then there is Miai Stephens at Coreot-gardn, and there 
arc the three Miss Denncis — like * Circe aod the Sirens three.' Wc 
always sec the Miss Drnnets at the theatre, and they sometimes glide 
before oui imagination at other time*; but we seldom hear Mil* 
Stephcoi now. We want to see her again in Manjiuit, in wbich wc 
have seen her eight limes already, and to hear her srng If o'rr ihe 
enul Ijrant Lovf, which we could hear her sing for erer. We want 
to see her in Polly for the tetcnth time, and in RottHa for the fifth, 
we believe it will be, when we tee her in it again, which wilt be wbea 
■he next plays in it. Pray how long will it be first, Mr. Fawcettf 
Wc suppose not till Miss O'Neill is tired of tiring the audience ia 
Mrt. Uaiiey, or ' the ravens are hoarie tlut croak over Mr. Emerr'a 
head ' in ihe P»ngi of ConRcimce. SwnrliMiig iwtv, atvuijri tomriiti^ 
ntw. That is the tsste of Covent Cardca, and the town. It is not 
our*a. Wc arc for something old. Teujourj prrJnx. Wc tike to read 
the same books, and to see the same plays, and the same facet over 
hgam—ai-ways frovidtJ wc liked them at first. Now there b one 
fiice which wc never liked, and never shall like, which is the face of 
Tyranny, and the older tt gets, the uglier it gets in our eyes, and in 
this, as a matter of taste, wc differ entirely with Mr. Canning, though 
he hat been declared by a classical authority to be 'the most elegaoi 
mind since Virgil.' We differ with him notwithstasding. — T'&r 
Jiavfnj, or l/re Pangi of CemcieiKe, is a melo-drame taken from the 
French, of the name breed, but an inferior specimen, as the MaU <aJ 
Magfif, and the Famify of /tngladr. It is a kind of renewal of the 
age of augury adapted to the modem theories of pohability, by beioj; 
reduced within the limits of natural liistory. Theac inccea take im 
their text the lines, 

' And chou);lis and maspici shall bring forth 
The tccrct'it man of mood.' 

In the Pai^J ef Conjcimet, as in the Maid of PaBjifou, there it 1 
robbery, a triaj of persona innocently suspected of it, and a discovery 
of the real pcrpctratort, just at the critical moment, by the intenea* 

JO* 



'JOHN GILPIN* 

ttOB of two of the feathered ereatioti. Juit u teaience hu been 
prononnced on the Rippaied criininali (Terrv and Blanchard) hy the 
J«dge, (Btrrymore, who leally pefforin«d tail charactet admiiabljr) 
tvro RavroH i\y in upon the tmge, ihe s&nie who had hoTcred over 
the iccoe of the murder Mid rohbrry in thp adjacent foteiit, and by 
tbeir eikot but dreadful app«kl to the coaicience of Jatqvt* A$ Notr 
(Eniery)t who is rot like bis cousin Brvm da Ndr (jwor Farley) 
s hardened, but a conicieniiout villain, lereal the myiterjr of the 
whole mDMctton, by which the guilty arc punithed, and the innocent 
tnirBCuloualy escape. — There was some fine and jiowcrruJ acting by 
Emery in the part of tlie repentant aiaatiin. Bnaio in vain endea? oura 
to appeate ana <|uiet htm, but he mill roar* out loatily (o gin vent 
both to the panj^a of hia conscience and the 'grief ofa wouna ' which 
be has got in the encounter from an old rusty fowling-piece of 
Fawcett't, whom they plunder and kill. The greatett part oF this 
raamilic fictioii ia tcdioue, and the whole of it improbable, but from 
the goodaem of ibe acting, and Bomc stiokei of interest in the uiua- 
liont, it went off with applause. Of the Panntt, we have only room 
to add that we think Beatrice, who is the lubordioatc heroine of the 
piece, the bc« apccimcn oFMra. Alaop's acting. We uw it from a 
remote part of the house, and her ««t« and maniur at this dtstaiiee 
Bonctimet reminded ut of faec mother's. 



JOHN GILPIN 

JVrfjBM^wr.] [M94. III;. 

Dxrar-LAKa. 
Wkim Mr. DowtoD sdrertited for his braelit that he was to appear 
in the aftcr-[>ivcc as John Ciipin, ood to ride for that aight only, we 
immediately Icit tempted to go as the aelfappotnied executors and 
residuary legatees of the original author of the story, vfho condudea 
hu account with time two lines^ 

,* And when he next does ride abroad, 
May we be there to tec.' 

So we took upon ui to fulfil Cowper's wish, and went to tee, not 
John Gil^n, nor, aa we are credibly ioforroeil, even Mr. Dowion* 
bat soCDtthing very laughable, and still more absurd, which had how- 
ever D cerunn chann about it, from the very name of the hero of the 
piece. We hare an interest in John G'ttpn \ aye, almost as great an 
ioterett as we have in ouiwlvei; for we remember him almost aa 
loflg' We rrmember the prints of him and hit traveli hung round a 
rou Zl. : u 305 



'JOHN GILPIN' 

little porloui wtiere wc lufi to viait when wc were children — juM 
about [he time of the bcgtsning of the Frctich Rerolatiao. While 
the old ladies were playins at whin, and the young ones nt forfeit** 
we crept about the lides of the room and tnicked Jotn Gilpin from 
hit counter to his hone, from hit own door to the turnpike, xnd f>r 
beyond the turnpike ;;atc and the bell at Rdmooton, with Iom of wig 
aod hai, but with an iocteaaiag impeiui and repulatioa, the farther he 
weat from home. 

'The turnpilce men their gales wide open thivw. 
He carriek weight, he rldec a nee, 
*Tis for a ttwiiund poutidB.' 

WH« an impreuioa was here made, oeret to be effaced ! What a 
thing it i« to be an author, and how much better a thing H is to be a 
reader) with all the pleasure and without any of the trouble — but 
without any of ihe fame, you will say. That is not worth two-penoe. 
And yet true fame is something, the fane, for ioauoce, of Cowper or 
of Thornton — not to live in the moutht of pedants, and coxcombs, 
and professional men. but in the heart and soul of erery lirinj; being, 
to mingle with every thought, to beat in every pulse, to be hailed 
with transport by those who nrc young, iind lo be reniembercd witb 
regret by those who arc old, to be * first, last, and midst ' in the 
minds of others. True fame is like a Lapland iub, that never goe« 
down ; it rises with uit iti the morningi and rolls rouod and round till 
out nighc of life. Why, look here, what a thing it is to be an authorl 
John Gilpin delighted ua when we were childreit, and were we to die 
lo-muirow, the name of Jaiin Gi/fi'ut would excite a montcntary tense 
of pleasure. The same fceEing of delight, with which at tea yean 
old we read the story, makes us thirty years after go, laughing, to see 
ttie play. In all that time, the remembrance has been cherished at 
the neait, like the pulse that sustains our life. 'That ligament, doc 
as it was, was never broken ! ' and yet it was nearly broken the other 
n^bt, in the afteiptece of this name, and would bare been quite so 
for the eveningi if it had not been for Mr. Muodcn, who, as a lulv 
ordinate agent, prevented Mr. Dowton from breaking his i»cck in the 
principal character. Wc differed from the audience oa tlus occaiioa, 
who did not much relish Mr. Munden in his part of a cockney: we 
relished him ulcogether and mightily. His speech, his countenance, 
tad. his dress, were in high costume aad keeping. There was a great- 
una of gusto about '2'imotbj Bria/e, Mrt. Gitfim't {avoaritc but 
unfortunate son-in-law. It might be tatd of Mr. Mtinden in this 
character, that not only did his dress appear to have come fresh from 
the shop-board, his coaif his [aotaloons, Ills wat>t<oat — but his speech 



'DON Giovanni; etc. 

wai clipped and snipped m with & pair of shwrt, and bli face 
looked jim ai if the tailor'* goose h«d gone over it. It vu a line 
and inimiutilc piece of acting, bur it wa« datuned. — Dowi«ii, in 'I'he 
Jiivafj, played Alrj. Malnprvpf and Mrs. Spiikt played Sir Anth^ay 
Jtiiolutt, We cannot say much of these (laDaformatiooa, for the 
perfiarnKrs ihemncUes rcnuined just the aame, brcechei and petti- 
oosts oat of the ^uenioD : nothing unit tran«fornied or ridiculouK but 
their drew. Dowton was as blunt and blulf, and Mrs. Sparks was 
u keen, querntoua, and scolding, aa in any of their uaual character*. 
Tb« effect was flat alter the first norii, and the whole play was, in 
other respects, tery poorly got up; — quite in the comic ntgh^i of 
Drury-Late. — We ought to say •onicthing of Mrs. Hill, who came 
cat OD Tuesday evcaing » Lady Macteth. She is neither a good 
nor a bad actreu. She has, howmr, a lemtnientai drawl in her 
Ttnce and manner which ia toy Htilc to our taste, and iwt at all in 
L.chancter as Laify Maebfih. The King never diea. Why should 
' Mr*. Siddons ever die i Why, hccauiie Ktngi are fictions in law : 
Mrs. Siddons was one of nature's greatest worlcs. 



DON GIOVANNI AND KEAN'S EUSTACE 
DE ST. PIERRE 



Vk B^*mmtr.\ 



[Aiajl iS, lilj. 



Ttot bst bme we saw the Opera of Don Giovanni wai from a dinant 

l,BKrt of the houM! we aaw it the other evening near; and as the 

l-mprcasion was somewhat difTcrcDC, wc wish to correct one or two 

^itfaiogs In our former statcmcnL Madame Fodor sings and acts the 

irt of Z^fUna at charmingly as ei-er, but she does not Uoi it so well 

as U a greater distance. She faoa too much rot ion poinlf is too 

broad-set for the idea of a young and beautiful country girl : her 

moeih if laughing and good-natured, but docs not anitwer to Spenser's 

Ldeacription of Btlpl^tlc, — aad it cannot be concealed that Ztrftna, die 

elightful Zcilina, has a cast in her cvct. Her singing, however, 

dc us forget all tliese defects, and aner the second line d La ri 

«, wc had quite recovered from out disappointment. On the 

hole, we ai prcicDi prefer the air of Vtdrai Carina, which she sings 

to Ma/flto to comfon hint, even to the duet with Don Giovaimi, 

There was some unccrtunty about fiteerii^ her ia this soog, — aot, 

' apprehend* because the ludicocc were afriid of tiring the actress, 

beciuae ibey were tired themselres. Madame Fodor wai mcond 

507 



'DON GIOVANNI; ETC, 

ra all bef longi tJirotighoat ihe jAtce. — Thii might be thtmgbt 
upon htT i we dnrc »y the would har« tkovght it harder if ibe had 
not. S't|rnor Ambrogctti's ictiog as Dam Giovamm improm upon > 
nnrcr accjuaintancc. There ii a softnen approaching to rffeaaitKj 
in th* exprcsMftn of hia face, which accords well with the charactcft 
and an inBtnuaUD^ archness in his eye, which t^kn off from the violcn! 
e^ect of hia action. The aemade of D«n Gmvaum WM omitted. 
As to Naldi, he i* in too confirmed poateuioo of the Wage to be 
corrigible (o advice. He is oac of ihiose otd hirdi that are not to 
be caught with chaflT. The sly rogne, /i^Mrr/Vo, teenit to haw grown 
grey in the lei^ee of iniquity, and hangs his now over tbe Mage with 
a formidable travura sipcct, as if he could suspend the orchestra 
from it. Angriiani is an admirable, and we might say, firM-rate 
OORiic BCtor. He liai fine features; a miinly, ruRie voice; aod wc 
nerer saw ditdain, impatiencct the rcKiiimcnt and relenting of tbe 
jealous loTer, better expmsed than in the acene between him and 
Midame Fodor, where she malcei that affecting appeal to hii forgifc^ 
nus in the «oag of Batit, Batu, Matelto. It was iaimrtably acted 
on both aides. 

Mr. Kean has appeared in Euttatt dr Si. Pitm in the Sta-rmdtr 
ofCalcai. He has little to do !a it ; sad be might as well rrat hire 
appeared in tlic character, for he docs not look wcU in it. He was 
bidly dressed in a doublet of grevo baize, and in riUatnous yellow 
hoM. It was like the player's dcacriptton of Hccsba — 

' A clout upon that hrad 
Where late thr diadem irood : and for a robe 
A blunkel, in the alum of fearrau^t up.* 

But we ihal) not, ' iKough we bavc aeen this, with tongue In venom 
Bteep'd, pronounce treason againit fortune's state,' or againtt the 
Managers of Drury-lane. Mr. Kean shewed his usual talcou ia 
Oiis pari; but it afforded less scope and fewer opjportuniiics for tbem 
than any part in which we have ever seen him. We arc not sorry, 
however, that he han got into the part, n« a kind of truce with Uagedy. 
Why should he not, like other actort, sometimes have a part to walk 
through ? Must we foi ever be expecting from him, ss if he were a 
little Jtipiur /Mun j, ' thunder, nothicg bet thunder *.' It is too aiucb 
for any mortal to ptay Othello and Sir Gilej in the same week — wc 
mean, u Mr. Kean pliys tbem. He is, we undersund, to appear in 
a ncwcharaaer, and sing a new song, for his benefit to-morrow week. 

3o» 



CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRV PEOPLE 



CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY PEOPLE 

Ti* SjcwMtr.] [I^ 1%, 1S19. 

' Here be tiathi,' — Dsgkirry. 

F»ST, there is ao old woman in the neighbouring ntlajjc, £fty-Mx 
yean old, witli a wooden leg, who never saw a leg of mutton roasted, 
or a p*ccc of beef put into the pot ; and who regard* any penon who 
has not lived all his life on maty bacon as a non-descript or ' mouoiata 
fbteigner.' Vet thia venerable matron, who now otRciaics as cook to 
a lady ' rctirc<t fiom public haunts ' into a remote part of the couotry, 
kept hct Ruber's house, who was a liitlc rarmcr, for twenty years ; 
so that she tanks, in the scaJe of tural exiiience, above her neighbours. 
What then muii the notioas of moit of them be of the lavoir vivrti 
It this the sum and iBbitance of all our boaits of the roa(t>beef of old 
England f — The truth is, that the people in this pan of the country 
(1 do not know how it i* in othera) have neither food nor doathing 
rberewith to be content ; not are they content without them, nor 

*vuh those that hare iheni. Any one dressed in a plain broad-cloth 
coat it in their eyes a sophisticated character, as outlandish a iigure 
as my i^rJ Fo^i^ton. A smock-frock, and shoes with hoh-natis 
in them, are an indiipeaiable part of country eiifjuettc: and they 
hAOt at or pell any one, who is presomptuaus enough to depart from 
ihtt appropriate costume. This* if we may bclicTc a philosophical 
poet of the preteni day, is the meaoiiig of the phrase in Shakespear, 

I* pelting rillsjes,' he having beea once (et upon in this manner by 
*a crew of pucfaet* rude mechanicals,' who disliked him for the 
fantastic strat^oeM of his appearance. Even their tailors (of whom 
•jon might expect better things) hate decency, and will spoil you a 
suit of clothes, rather than follow your directions* One of them, 
the Utile hunch-backed tailor of P — tt— n, with the handsome 
daughter, whose huiband ran away from her and went to sea, was 
ordered to make a pair of brown or snutT-colourcd brccchet for my 
frieDd C L ; — instead of which the pragmatical old gentle- 
man (baring in opinion of hit own) brought him home a pair of 
* lively Lincoln-green*' in which I remember he rode in triumph in 
Johnny Treraaic*a cross-country caravan through Newberry, and 
entered Oxford, ' fearing no colours,' the abitraci idea of the jest 
of the thing prevailing in his mind (at it always docs) over the sense 
oTpetioaal dignity. 

If a stranger comet to live among country people, they have a bad 
opinion of htm at lirat; and all he can do to overcome their dielike, 
oalj coofirms them in it. It is in vain to attempt to conciliate them : 

S09 



CHARACTER OP THE COUNTRY PEOPLE 



the more you uriTC to peniudc them that you mcia tbcra no lumi) 
the more they are dctenninnl not to be coovinccc). Tbej attribute 
any cirility or kiadiKM yon ihew them to a dcngo to cajole ibctn. 
They ^rc not to be ukco ia by appeuaocet. They arc /<?« ho/ktm, 
and not to be tamed by act. In proportion at yoa ^*e them oo cauie 
of offence* they common their whofe ttock of prejiidtec, bnpadrace, 
and cunning, to aid their tottering opinion; and hate you the more 
for the injutticc they teem to do yon. Tbey had rather yoa did 
them an injury thn they might keep their original optnioa of you. 
If (here i» the smaUciit circumstance or ioainnation to your prejudice, 
tlieir rancour againit yoti, and iclf>complacency in thrir own aagacny. 
eagerly tetzca hold of il ; fans their suspicions into a Aamc, and breaks 
out into open insult and all the triumph of brutal derision. On the 
contrary, if they find you, after all, a qntet, inoffenuve person, they 
think you a fool, and so hare you that way. Uaed to contempt, 
they liavc not much retpect to spare for other people. PiDdiit£ 
themteWes none the better for them, they have not much faith in 
yonr demonstrations of good-will towards them. Prepared for 
repulics and hxrd trcBtment, the expression of their gratitude i* not 
very spontaneous or sincere. — An aged Sybil of this place, having 
gone to 3 bdy, who had just settled here, witli a doleful tale of 
dtsirets, and an empty bottle, received a shilliog instead of having 
her bottle replenished wtth liquor ; when bcinf^ met on her return 
by one of her gossips coming on the tame errand, and licing luked 
her success, she held up her empty bottle in sigit of tcora* *ayi&gi 
*Look here! ' Such iit the ieau ideal of unaophisticated human 
nature in her obscure retreat)), about which there have been to many 
■songs of delight and rustical roundelays,' 

Is it strange that thcM people who know nothing, hate alt that 
they do not understand i Their rudenet*. intolerance* and conceit* 
arc in exact proportion to their ignorance : for ai they never nw or 
scarcely heard of any thing out of their own village, every thing else 
appears to them odd and unaccuunuble* and they cannot su^ct that 
their own notions are wrong, when they arc totally nnac^uainted 
with any others. We naturally despise whatever baffles our compre- 
hension, and dislike what contradicts our prejudices, till we are 
taught better hy a liberal course of ttady ; but these people are no 
better taught than fed. It is a rule which tbey act upoo aa self- 
evident, and from which you will not gel tlicm to Hinch tn a hurry — 
to scout every proceeding which differ* from ibetr own, and to 
consider every pcrKm, of whose birth, parentage, and education, they 
do not know the several particutais, as a itispicious character. Tbey 
have no knowledge of literature or the tine arts ; which, if once 



CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY PEOPLE 



bamthcd from the city and the court, would bood * be Inntplcd in 
the mire tiodcr (be hoofs of a swiniih multitude' A nuKliicvouK 
vkg of the prueoc day und«riouk to tend tome paiioral and lyrical 
tffutoDa, (rcnurkablc for their simplicity) to a collcctioo of Cunibcr- 
luid peassnt«, to icc if they would reco^inisc the scntimentt put into 
their itwuthR; uid they only (which was what he expected) laughed 
It him for his paios. 'The *^iHtcTs and the kuittefi in the lun, aod 
the free nuidi that weave their thread with bones,* may indeed 
reliere the welcome pedlar of his wares, liia Uces, his tnie love-knots, 
Of penny- Ballad*, hut they will have nothing to tay to the Lyrical 
ballads, nor will the united counties of Wcsimorlaod, Cumberland, 
tod Durham, subscribe to lighten the London warehouses of a single 
copy of the Ex^nrjion. The hewett of wood and drawers of water 
know Qochin^t of poetry, and they haic the *ery look of a poet. 
They like a painter as liicJe. An artist who was making a sketch 
of a fine old yew tree in a romantic situation, was aslced by a knotoing 
iand, if he could lell how many foot of limber ii contained ? Faljtt^ 
itks as a <]De«ion not to be antwered — * May I not lake niioe eue 
at mine inn i ' But this was in Eait-Cheap. I cannot do so in the 
covntTy ; for while 1 am wtiiing this, I hear a fellow disputing in 
the kitchen, whether a person ought to live (as he expresses il) by 
pen and ink | and the landlord the other day [in order, I auppOM, 
the better to prepare hiniKlf for such controrcrsics) asked me if I 
had any object in reading through all those books which 1 liad 
bfOQght with me, meaning a few odd volumes of old plays and 
00*c)s< The people born here cannot icll how an author get* hit 
living or passes his time ; and would fain hunt him out of the place 
as they do a itrange dog, or ait they formerly did s conjuror or a 
witch. Ask the first country clown you meet, if he ever heard 
of Shakes[«ar or Newion, and he will stare in your face: and I 

remember our laughing a good deal at W 'b old Molly, who 

bsd !>ever heard oi' the French KcvolutJoo, ten ycus after it happened. 
Ob worse than Gothic ignorance ! 

They have no books, nor ever (eel the want of them. How 
indeed should they i ^ 1'hcy have no works of poetry or fiction, Ut 
• fleet the golden time carelessly ; * but they do not therefore want 
Sor &bulaus reiources. Necessity is the mother of invention ; and 
tbetr talent for lying and scandal is nourished t>y the very lack of 
nutcriala.* They live not by bread alone, but l^ every word that 

' At SAliilnirjr, which ii a c»lhcrlr>l and counlj loam, )iou onool get s Mpjr at 
C*BfrtT« or WjrclMrkT it iny c( ih; thopt. 

* Tile Icnstk of oll-buid, imftiacifltA, idle fibriotion ■■ net iniitdi. bvl the 
conliaiy, b; (coenl kamrUiIie ot itf uUr cducKitm. Womca, tot this rtami, 

311 



CKABACTSR OP THE COUKTKV PEOPLE 



proCMdeifa out of (heir mouilu. Thtf mm mafiofmi, like ibr 
Atluniww of old, in hearing or teUiag mbm •■• tliii^ Tbe dnv- 
wtll ii tbc wurce fiom which they pff if *Ac »■■»% aad ^ 
hUckuuitli'i (hop i( the pUcc at sId^ tbrf ibw ibc pooA^aad 
tunt thtm to thiM, 'giviDg to tiry nochwy a UaJ ImMimmq Md t 
owDc' Thry lie like detile through thick mJ ikia. Tbey kU 
sod Iwlicve all incredible thiogsi and th« pvard 
lh« nofc tckdily Bad greedily >• it •wtDowid, far i 
on the inugiiutioo. To tln^lt amd nrfriac t> the {rest nJe Gm 
iNoducin^ a thotriol or partorsi rfTrct. People b a atnt of matmn 
believe any (hioj; for want of wsiethifig to diren cW wiaA, m they 
plot miichief fw want of bciur emptoyiDCBU CttAalmj and inqaa- 
ture arc two of the nrongect ptopenaitiea of the bsaiB vmoA. Mn 
art M prone to deceive theniKlvei at othcra, ■«bo« ny other 
tetnpution thao the cxcrciic it aiforda to the ira^maoB. It ia a 
TalM tcu of hiitorical cfidence, Uiit it ii necetmy to anigB * mukm 
why men thould canient to be dupes or uadcnake to be chcao, 
Cuiiutilf IS ihe aourcc of lupcrttiiioD j for wc nwac fast* objecta to 
occujiy ihe aiicmion, and Gil up the craviog void of kBovledge ; and 
in tlir obu-nce of truth, faleehcod ii called is to rapffy its place, and 
will) ttic niOM and ignoraot, sapplici it rauch better. To aak why 
the untutored urtgc bclievei every marvelloua story that ia toM him, 
in the dearth of all teal knowledge, t« to uk why be slakes hit 
thiru at the fidt fountaio that he mccU, or devours the prey he hat 
JuK uktn. With all their tendency to bigouy sod raprmitioa, 
ccuntry Mople have scarcely any idea of religian. They have ai 
little divine as human Icaining. The Kbic ia the oiUy book they 
have, but that they do not read, except with ajxcucles, when they 
grow old and hall-blind. They are to a man and wonun of Mn. 
Qmti{y'j opinioo — ' But I told him a* should not thiok of God yet.' 
Thay go to church, to be aure, ai a matter of course, and from not 
knowins what else to do with chemteWei on Sundays; but they 
never think of what tliey hear, from one week's end to aoothci. 
Meavcn and Hell are out-of-the-way placet, not acceanhle to the 
Bppreheiisioni of those whose ideas caoaot get bnood the p«rith 
where they were horn; and their joys or sorrows ipdifierent to a 
inagination, taken up with the wants of the belly. An old womao, 
who lived in a cottage by herself, on hearing the accoui of the 
Crucifixion, taid tl was a sad thing, but she hoped it was not inie, 
OS h happened so far otTaad such a long time ago. A scrvaat giil, 

havf thf b(tl*r of iheir hutbaniti in trucnpini un tuddtn fienm snd centrivaoet* 
ihil htvf Ma (ODBilitien in Titt v> rruoo ; soil inrir H(v«BI-ra*Mi, who are taut 
un>4ucsltd ilili, bast them hallow it the bcik palli) (iidc of ctas**purf<Nea. 



CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY PEOPLE 

hearing a Sprnioa read in which there wiu a luiking account of the 

Reiuftcction and the Day of Judgmeot, wa* rery cnuch aitrmcdi and 

aid the hoped it would not be iq her time. The Decalogue hu no 

trrrofs, and the Book of Revclaiioni no ckaims Ibr ihcm. They 

will be damoed, but they will steal aod IiC| and bear false witneaa 

againat each other ; or if they do not, it it the fcai of beio£ hangcdi 

or whipped, or summooed before the Justice of the Peace, and not 

of beiitg called to sccouot in aaothcr vorld, that prtvent* them. 

They arc of tbc earth, earthy. They take thought only for the 

morrow ; or ratface, conform to the text — < Sufficieot to the day n 

the evil thereof.' There is oot a greater laiatakei or a more vuivl 

fallacy, than the common ob*rnrai)on, that the lower order* arc kept 

in order (and can only be so) by their faith in religion. They have 

no more belief in it pr jctically than mo«t of their better*, who propose 

to keep them in order by it, hare cpcculatlvcly. The ignorant and 

dniituie are reEttained from certain things by the fear of the liw, or 

of what will be said of them by their neighbour*; and ai to other 

tlitnga which arc denounced by Scripture, but to which no penalty 

attaches here, they think if they ha>e a mind to do them, and chose 

tD go to hell for it, ihey haTC a right to do so. That ii their phrate. 

It is nobody's busincti but their own. It is (geucrally spenking) 

the absence of temptation or opportunity, and not an excess of 

religions apprehension, that keeps them within the pale of salration. 

Their self-will balances their fear of the Devil, and when it cornea to 

the push, the pieacot motive turns the scale, and the flesh proves too 

ham for the spirit. Barm's old man in the Cw/ar"/ SalurJay N^hi 

iruist |>aw for a rery poetical character, ui least in thin part of the 

country. We ire constant accounts in the papers, in (he case of 

mslefactofs that have come to an untimely end, th.it it was owing in 

the first inMance to the want of celigion, to the habit of swearing and 

Sabbolh -breach. The same accouni would hold equally true of chose 

wbo ire not hanged : for if all but the godly and sober among the 

lower classes came to the gallows, the population would soon be 

ddmioi to a sorpiiuog degree. 

*'T would thin the land 
Sueh numbrn to Mring on Tyburn tree.* 

Aa to the regular church-going peasantry* there can be no great 
diflwrmcc as to religious light and feelings between them and their 
fbrefuhers in the time of Popery, when the service wa* performed 
in Latioi as it Is at present in most foreign countries. i\tt only 
religious people (except as x matter of outward shew and ceremony) 
■re sectaries I for the instant teligion becomes a subject for serious 



CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRY PEOPLE 

Uiovgbt and private refiectioo, it produces dUTermcei of opiniotii 
which braoch out into a* maay «|>c<:ulativc fsnci«« and formti of' 
wonhip. 29 there atr dilTcrcDcca of temper or acddcDts of cducatioa.^ 
This, however, is the exception, not the nde, in the present state of 
thing* — now that ml i» no longei kindled at the fires of pcitecutioQi 
and that Aao of Dnifonnity do longct throw the whole country 
into a feimeDi of oppotitjoiu The misBionaiiet aod fanatics sotne- 
timea lodeed (ct up a nietbodist chapel, where the staid inhabitut^ go 
in an crcoiDg to ipitc the parnoD of the paiiih, or to while away an 
hour or fo; or pcihapc a melancholy mechanic has a aertoos call 
and hold* forth, or a pining tpinacer, moved by the spirit to liatca 
to him— 

' Anon a* patitnt a> the female dove, 
Tlic whiUt her golden couplets an disclos'd, 
vVwhile liu drooping : ' 

but the younger and healthier son make a sport of tt as of any other 
fantastical innovation; throw owls and ikeletooa of kites and carrion 
crows into the place of worship; and make a violent noise all the 
lime the parion it prcachios, to drown the nasal twang of erangclkal 
glad-tidings, and the coinl'orlable groaiu of the bithiul. — All this 
while there is no end of the bastard-getting and sweating : and a girl, 
after having had three or four children by the same man, or by diffcrem 
men (as it happens), and who in as big ai she can tomble again, ii at 
length asked in church, without much scandal or offence to the 
commniiity. It it a new to]HC for the village, and is excused on lha:i 
account. It is, besides, an evidence qua^ied; and whatever others 
may uke it into their heads to do, the need not ulk. Utberality 
Sourishcs ; a ^otxl example is set : and the species is propagated with 
as little trouble and formality as possible. The parson gett coine- 
thiog by the christening, and the apothecary has a finger in the pie. 
This is a eutc of things which ought to be reformed — but how or 
when? 

> It i* obictvtd (ltd perhipi juttlj that the mcmberi of the EsttbliShei Chvrth 
iri ihc pUaMnten lort at people tn iltil with. DiH«ntcn sre n«K *oam4 by the 
[eivtn nf religion. Tbr othtn <[o not trouble ihraMelve* enou^ about it to cone 
to a cooduiion of theii owa, er to qvirrel witli other pcuple who do. Ilurj are 
ieli[ioui merely out at cODformiiy lo the pcacticx of Ihc s(e mi coontry in 
which they live, and fallow that which has authoth) ioA number* oo it* side. 



3'* 



MACREADY'S MACBETH 



MR. MACREADY'S MACBETH. 

n* £*mimm.} {fmt a j, ttio. 

Mk. MiCKBADv'i Maeifii, which ht had fof his b«D«^t, and which he 
has played oocc or twice since, ii a judiciuua titui a|>imcd (wrfotmancc. 
But wr ar« not in thi^ aumlici of ihCM« who think it hii finnt char- 
acter. Sraiibility, not imagiaation, is bis/oru. Natural expreanoo, 
human ferliog, Kcms to woo him hkr a bride; but the ic/ra/ and 
pretemataral beckon him only at a diiunce and mock his embiace*. 
He tttt no dim, pcrientous n*ioni in his inind'» eyt; his acting has 
no shadowy landscape back-ground to surround it ; he is not waited on 
by spirits of the deep or of the air ; neither fate nor met-iphytical aid 
are in league with him ; he it prompter to himself, ind treads witliiii 
ihc circle of the huniui heart. The machinery in Macbttb is an far 
lost upon hini : titere is no secret correKpondence tietwcen him and 
ibe Weird Sitter*. The poet hat put a fruitless sceptre in his hand, 
— a omaio is between him and tbc * air-drawn dagger with its gouts 
of blood'; he does not cower under tlie tradition* of tlie age, or 
itanic at *thick-cflmifij; fancies.' He is more like a man debating 
tbc reality, or t^ucstioQuij; the power of the grotesque and unimagioablc 
forma tbat hover round him, than one hurried away by hit credulous 
bopcs, or shrinking from intolerable fears. There is not a weight oF 
•upentiticus terror loading the atmoiplierc and hanging over the utage 
when Mr. Macrcady plays the part. He has cast the cumbrous 
alongh of Gothic tragedy, and comes out a mere modem, agitated br 
conunOD means and intcfligiblc motives. The )>retcrnatuial agency u 
■o more than an accompaniment, the pretcntlcd ocotiion, not the 
indisBentsble and all-powerful cause. It appears to us then, that ihia 
cxcelJeot and aUc actor, liriKi it/orl of Uie higher and imaginative 
part of the character, and comet]uentiy was dHicirnt in the human 

Knion, which is the mighty appendage lu it. We thought Mr. 
Bcready in a manner coniciout of this want of entire possession of 
tbc character. He was looking out for new readings, transposing 
anicude* and stage effects, trying substitutes and experimrnTs, studying 
paatagc* instead of reciting them, rcheartixig Maeltli, not Uing it. 
lib performance of it was critical and fastidious : you would tay that 
he was considering how he should act the part, so as to avoid certaia 
errors or produce certain effects — not that he ever Huag tumself into 
the subject, and swam to shore, safe from carping objenion, and above 
the reach of all praise. Mr. Macrcady does not often imiutc other 
&ctort> but he endeavours not to imitate them, and tbat 's almost aa 
bad. He should think of nothing but his yui, and rely on nothing 

3»S 



MACREADY'S MACBETH 



but bit own powers, SingubritT » not cxcellcnw. If to follow ta 

the track of oihen ih«wR a KTrilc genius and pitiful ambition, neither 
u it light to go out of the (tnit road mcicly WcauM others travel ia 
it^' but ttill to Follow nature is the rale '—John Knnblir wu the ^ 
best Aliubeii (upon the whole) that we have leeii. There was a I 
uiff, borror->tiicken »Utclinc*i in hii pcrioo and numner, tike a maa 
bearing up against lupcmal iullueticet; and a bewildered diitractiooi 
a perplexity and at the wme time a rigiditj of purpose, like one who 
had been (tunned by a blow from fate. Mr. Kcan is Bteat only tn one 
scene, that after the murder of Duncan ; hitt acting aUo consists only 
in the direct embodying of hunua pastioo, and it entirely 'docked 
and curtailed ' of tlie sweeping train of poetical imagiaatio&t Ob tb* 
evening wc saw Mr. Macicady's Macdrti Mrs. Paudt played L-aify 
Mofbeib, and acted Op to that arduous part with great spirit and telf- 
posse«*ioii 1 and Mr. Terry was the repreKntativc of Maxd^. The 
only fauk of thit gentleman's acting is its tlowncsi. The wotds bU 
frain his lips, like pendent drops from icicles. A speech, as he givei 
it, is equal to *twa lang Scoieh railcs.' This not only cauKS a lug- 
DMion atKl hcaTiness in the scntiincnts, but often cuts the sense in two< 
Thus in the exclamatton which Mtud^^ utters on hearing of tba 
■UtJghter of his children, 'Oh Hell- Kite, all?' Mr. Terry paused 
at the hyphen, as if to take time to think, and by this means tnadc it 
like an apostrophe to ' Hell,' adding the other syllable of the word, 
which determined the meaning and direction of his tbougbu, after- 
WAids. Mr. ligertoo as usual played Batujus, and makes aa MiJid a 
Gbon at we would wish to encounter of a winter's eve. 

David Rizzio we have not been able to get a peep at : but a friend 
whispered us that it wns ]>our, iind wc sec it is piaiscd in the Ntv 

Ob Friday MIbb Stephens had a bumper for her bcnrfic The 
entertainments were the Lard of the mafWTy a Coaccn> and Uie 
Lihirt'mt. In the fiisi, Nfr. Dunisct from indispodtiom, and aitcc 
making one feeble etTort, omitted the songs, by the iodulgrnce of tba 
audience ; uficr that, wc do not sec why he sliould be required to go 
through the rest of the pan, for he h»a not ' a speaking face.* Jones's 
Mr. Controji is a striking, fulsome fi>p. But he makes foppery oat 
only an object of laughter, but of disgiut ; and perhaps this ts gMDg.J 
beyond the mark intended. We would recommend to oar readers toj 
go and see Mr. Liston's Mall Flagon by all means. It is irreuRiUe. 
We may say of it with the poet — 



' Let those laush now who never laugh 'd before. 
And thoie nho nill have laugh'J nvw kugh the taon,* 



J.6 



GUY FAUX 

Mri. Silmon'i ntigmg la the Concm w» ' d'onr pathetiqur a (aire 
fettdn Icf rochen,' — and Mist Siephenc'i Echo long (r«m«i sung by 
a Spirit or ao cachantrtM, Wc were gUd to hear it, for we have u 
xuachnKDt to Mio Strphent on account af'auld laog lync' (wc like 
oU Enetidtbipa better than onr), ind do not wish thii littic murmor- 
ing lym Mim Tree t« vran iw from uur old aod iitleu faruurite. 
— ThoK were happy dayn when firn Mii> Strphcnn began lo ling ! 
Wfaco rite one otu in Maudaiu, ia /'o//|>t >nd in Rouiia in Lmv m 
« flSagel She oune upoa us by luiprUe, but it wa> to delight and 
cbwn US. Tbcte waa a new soand in ttic air, like the voice of 
Spring ; ii was at if Muaic had become young again, and wu reiotved 
to try the power of her tofteet, tirapleit, tweeleu note*. Lore and 
Hope listeacdt as her ckari liquid throat |)0utcd iti delicious wartv 
lings on thr ear, and at the close of every strain, still called on Echo 
to prolong the sound. They were the sweetest note* we ever beard, 
■od almost the last we ercr heard with pleasure I For since theo, 
other events not to be named tight! y here, but * ihotighis of which can 
Dcver from the heart ' — • with other notes than to the Orphean lyre,' 
bare stopped our eai) to the voice of ihc chitrmer. But since the 
voice of Lihrrty has rtten once more in Spain, its grave and its birtb 
place, tnd like a babbling hound has walcrned the echo* in Galicia, in 
the Asturias, in Ciutile and Leon, and Estremadnra, why, wc feel as 
if we * bad three cars again ' and the heart to use them, and ax if wt 
ocmld oDce more write with the same feelings (the tightness removed 
from the breast, and the pains smuotbrd from the brow) as wc did 
when we gave the account of Miss Stephens's first appearance in the 
Btggar't Optra. Life might then indeed ' know the rettm of 
spring,' — aad end, as it began, with faith in human kind ! — 



GUY FAUX 

TUl SMtmiim.\ [Mvwkr It, itsi. 

Cuv Favx is mtAt ii»o the figure of s tcare-crow, a fifth of 
November bu^-bcar, in our history. Now that Mr. Hogg's JaeoUtt 
Rtiici have diiaipaied tlic remains of an undue horror at Popery, 
H may seem the time u> undertake the defence of to illunhoua 
a character, who has hitherto been the victim of party- prejudice and 
Dstioaal spite. Guy Faux was a Popish Priest in the reign of 
James i., and for lus untuccetsrul attempt to set Are to the House 
of Lords, and blow up the English Mooarchy, tlic Protcsunt 
Religion, and hinwcif, at one stroke, has had the honour to be 
aaonlly paraded through t]i« streets, and burnt >n effigy in every 

$«7 



GUY FAUX 



town tiul TiHage in HogUnd rrom that time to this — (hat i^ for the 
space of twu bundrvd yeart and upwardt. It ii aometiines doubtjul, 
iod^d, from tbc coincidence of dates and other circumiUncei, 
whether this annual ceremony, sccompuied ss it is with the ringing 
of bells, the llring of gunt, und the ]»i«iching of termoni, is intended 
more to revive the formidable memory of * poof Guy,' or in cele- 
bration of the gloriaua Unding of Wittiam iii.( who atat to delirrr 
ut from Popery ind Slavery a hundred years afienrardt — two 
thin;;s which Mr. Hogz treats a* mric tagalflift in hii JaeoHu 
Rt&ft, though they da not appear »o in the History of England ; 
and to wliich the same writer atnures us, as aa agreeable piecr of 
court-newt! that the present Family are hy no meaos aver*e id tbetr 
hearts ! 

Guy Faux usi a fanatic, but he was no hypocrite. He ranks 
amon^ gmail baitn. He wm cruel, bloody-minded, reckless of all 
conitdcrauoni but those of an iafuiiaied and tn^^otled fatth ; bgt be 
was a true ton of the Catholic Church, a martyr and a confessor^ 
for all that. He who can prevail upon himself to derote bis life 
for a causci however we may coodcmo bis opioions or abhor hia 
actions, vouches at lean for the honesty of hit principles and the 
disinteKstedneis of hi* motiret. He may be guilty of the worn 
practices, but he is capable of the ki*"'*"'- He is do longer i 
slave, but free. The contempt of dcaih is the beginning of vinoe. 
The hero of the Gun-Powder Plot was, if you will, a fool, a msd- 
msn, an assassin i call him what namcf you pkasc : itill he was 
neither knave nor coward. He did not propose to blow up the Psrlia* 
ment and come off, Kcot-free, himself: he shewed that be valaed hit 
owo life no more than chctrt in siuch a cause — where tbc integrity 
of tlie Cjtholtc faith and the salvation of perhaps miltioDs ef 
souk was nt Ktake. He did not call it a murder, bat a lacrtfice 
which he was about to achieve : he wat armed with the Holy Spirit 
and with fire: he was the Church's chosen servant and her blesaed 
martyr. He comforted himielf at *che best of cut-throats.* How 
many wretches are there ihat would have underukcD to do what he 
intended for a sum of money, if ihcy could have got off with im- 
punity ! How few are there who would have put theoiselvet in Guy 
Faox's situation to save the universe ! Yci in the latter case we 
aiTect to be thrown into greater consternation than M the most 
unredeemed acts of villany, as if the absolute diiintcrestedoeis of the 
motive doubled the horror of the deed ! The cowardice and telRsh- 
neas of mankind arc in fact shocked at tbc conacqueoces to them* 
selves (if such examples are held up for imitation,) and they make a 
fearfLiI outcry against the violation of every principle of morality, 

518 



GUV FAUX 

left the}' too should be called on for aay mch tremendoiu ucritice* 
— len tKe^ in their turn ihould hnve to go on the forlorn hope 
of cxira-otficial duty. Charily ttgiiu tU heme, is a maxim tfaiu 
prevails u wc!l in the courts of conacicnce at tn thoee of prudeiKC. 
We would be thought to ihudder at the coiuequence* of crime to 
otbcri, while wc tremble for them lo our*cUcs. We talk, of the 
dark and cowardly asMoin; and chii ii well, wheo an iodtviduil 
•hrinkt from the face of an enemy, and pvrchue* hu own ufety 
by nrikbg a blow id die dark : but how the charge of cowardly 
can be applied (o the public auassio, who, in the very act of dettroy- 
tng aBOther, lays down hi> life as a pledge and forfeit of hia lincertty 
aua boldncM, I am at a ]o» to dcvitc. There may be barbaroua 
preJiKiicc, rooted hatred, unprincipled treachery, in such an act; but 
he who reaolvn to take 2II the danger and odium upon him*elf, cnn 
DO more be branded with cowardice, than Rcgulus det'otin;; himself 
for hia conntry, or Codrus leapinj; into the fiery golf. A wily Father 
loquiattor, coolly and with pimary authority condemning hundreds of 
fadplcH and unolfcDding Tictimi to the Haroc* or to the horrors of a 
tiring tomb, while he himRclf would not saffcr a hair cf his head 
to be hart, is to me 3 character without any (qualifying trait in it. 
Agaio ; the Spanish conqueror and hero, tlie favourite of his 
mooarcht who enticed thirty ihouiand poor Mexicani into a 
large open building, under promise of strict faith and cordial 
good-will, and then sec fire to it, miking sport of the crie* and 
agonies of these deluded creatures, is an instaacc of uniting the 
mem hardened cruelty with the most heartless aetfisfanettt. His 
plea was keeping no laith with heretics : this was Guy Faux** too ; 
but I am sure at least that the bttcr kept fatlb with himself: he wu 
in eameti in his professioDs. Hit was not gay, wanton, unfeeling 
depravity ; he did not murder in sport 1 it was serious work that he 
lud taken in hand. To sec this arch-bigot, this heart-whole irutor, 
this pie miner in the iofema! regions, skulking io his retreat with his 
ckMk and dark Unthora, moving cautiously about among his barrels 
tif gunpowder, loaded with death, but not yet ripe for destnictioni 
ngardleM of the lives of others, and more than inditferent to hia 
owOt presents a picture of the strange infatuation of the human 
mtdersufldias. but not of the depravity of the human will, without 
aD eijiul. There were thousands of pious Papitu privy to and 
mdy to applaud the deed when done: — there was no one but 
oar old 6ftii -of- November friend, who still flutters in ragi and straw 
oa the occasion, that had the courage to attempt it. In him stero 
doty and unshaken faith prevailed over natural fi^ilty. A man to 
unocrcikc and contemplate with gloomy delight this desperate task, 

319 



GtJY FAUX 



could oot ceriaidy ia the lint intttaee, be a ntaa of tcodn seniibUitj* 
or orer-IUUr to 'the compuoctiout rinuDgi ofaatare'i but be 
would 10 far only be on n lerel with mtny othen, and he would 
be dittt&guished ftom them bj a high principle of cnthuaiann^ 
tod a ditintereited leal for irutb. Greater lore ihaa thia hac no 
one, that he «hall gire up hit life for the traeh. We have no Guy 
Fauxet aow: — oot thai we hare not nutnbcn ia whom 'Uie ■pint 
ii witling, but ihe flcih ia weak.* We calk indeed of fliogiDg ibe 
krjn of tlie Houiie uf Commoni into the Thamea, b^ way of a little 
unmeaning apluitert aad a little courting of popularity and pcnKCUtioo ; 
but to fling ourielvei into the gap, and blow up the lystrm and our 
own bodiea lo atoms at once, npon an abttract principle of right, doei 
not tail the ratS^a/ »cepticum of the tgt ) 

1 like the apirit of raartyrdoni, I coofesa: I envy an age that bad 
virtue enough in it to produce the miwhievouii fanaticiim of a Guy 
Faux. A man'* marchutg up to a nuiked-batteiy for ibe take of 
company, is nothing : but o man'a going reBolutely to the Hake rather 
than tutrender hi* opinion, ia a aerioun matter. It ahewa that in the 
public mind acid feeling there i* •omething better than life ; that there ' 
IS a belief of something; in the uniTcrae and the order of rtaturei to 
which it iit worili while to lacrilice thi* poor brief *p0n of exiat- 
eoce. To have an object alway* in view dearer to one than ooe'i- 
>elf, to cling to a principle in contempt of danger, of btere«t, of 
the opinion of the world,~-thii ii the true iJta!, the high and heroic 
•tate of man. It i* in fact to have a ttaodard of abiolute and 
implicit faith in the mind, that admita neither of compromiiCt degree, 
nor exception. The pih of duty ia one, the grounda of encoonge- 
oient arc lixed and invariable. Perhapa it ii hardly pottible to have ' 
iuch a standard, but where the certain proapcct of another world ' 
abaolvea ut from a miaerly compact with thia, and i)>e cootempbtiooJ 
of infinity form* an habitual count erpoi«e to the illumon* of time and 
•enie. An object of the highest conceivable grcaUtets leada to 
unmingled devotion : the belief in eternal imth embodirt itielf on 
practical piinciplca of strict rectitude, or of obminale, but noble- 
minded crtot. 

There wai an inatance that happened a little before the time of 
Guy Faux, which, tn a dilTerent way, haa something of the aame 
character, with a more pleasing conclusion. I mesa the story of 
Margaret Lambnui; and aa it is but little known, I iball hen relate 
it aa I And it ;~~- 

' Margaret Lambnm wai a Scotchwoman, and one of the retinue 
of Mary Queen of Scot* ; oa wai also bei hutbantl, who dying of 
grief for the tragical end of that priDce**, hia wife took op a 

3S0 



GUY FAUX 

rctolutioD of revcngiog the death of both upon Queen Eliubcth. 
For thil purpose she put oa a man'« habit ; and nssumios the name 
of Aothooy Sparkc, repaired to the Court of the Queen of BogbiKlt 
alwajrt carrying with her a brace of pistols, one to kill HIinbcthi and 
(he order to thoot herielf, in order to avoid the hands of justice ; bat 
her dnign happened to miacatry by an accidcal, which uved the 
Queen'n lifr. One diy, aa ahe wat puahing through the crowd to 
come up to her Majetcy, who was then walking ta her garden, ahe 
chanced to drop oac of the piatolt. Thi* being wen by the guards 
•he VM ac'uKii in order to btr scn[ immediMcly to priton ; but the 
Queeo, not sufpeciiiig her to be one of her own tex, had a mind 
lifit to examine her. Accordingly, dcmaoding her oime, conntry, 
•ad quxlity, Margaret replied with an unmoved stcadiDcte, — 
'*Maaam, ibough I appear in this habit. I sm a woman; my name 
is Margaret LambrtiD; I vit »cvera! years in the tervicc of Queen 
Mary, ray misiresa, whom you hmc no unjustly put to death ; iik) 
by her death you hare also caused thai of my hucband, who dtrd 
of erief to see to innocent a <iue«n perish so ioiquitously. Now, 
as I had the greatest lore and alTection for both these persona, 
I Ttaolved at the peril of my life to revenge their death by killing 
you, who are the cause of both." — The Queen pardoned her, and 
eranted her a safe conduct till ahc should be set upon the coast of 
France.' 

Fanaticism expire* with philosophy, and heroism with refrnemeni. 
There can be no mixture of scepticism in the one, nor any disiraciion 
of interest in the other. That blind attachment to individuals or to 
priBcipIre, which is necetury to make ns stake our all upon a single 
die, wean out with the progrew of society. Sandt— [the last of i^ 
school)^was a religious fanatic— a reader of the book of Maccabeea, 
a repeater of the story of Jael and Siseri, a chauncer of the aong of 
Deborah. What lighted up the dungeon-gloom in which Guy Faux 
buried himaelf alive! The face of Heaven open to receive him. 
What cheered hi« undivided solitude i The full assembly of Just 
Men made perfect, the Cloriouo Company of Apostles, the Noble 
Army of Niirtyn, the expecting Conclave of SainCcd Popes, of 
Canontied Priests and Cardinals. What nerved his steady hand, 
and prepared H, with temperate, even pulse, to apply the fatal 
^ik.' The Hand of the Most High stretched out to meet htm 
and to weloome him into the abodes of the blest — *WeII done, 
thott good aikd ^thful servant, enter thou into tlic joy of thy 
Lord ! ' In bis face we tee an aniicijxiteil triumph that * no dim 
doubts alloy'; he hears with no mortal ears the recording angelt 
* qairiag to the yotiog-cycd chcrubtm ' ; a tight llaahct round him, a 

TOL. XI. : X 3x1 



GUY FAUX 

beatific TJaioDt iioni tlie wingaof tbc Shininj; Ones: he siU, wreathed 
and igciiant, in cbc real jiretence 1 What need he hu what men can 
do unto him^ To a hope like hit, swnllowed up in fruition, the 
•hock that if soua to vhaticr hi< inorial frame pUyt hann1c«« a« the 
iunimcr- lightning : iHc tiame* that threaten to eD\'dopc him arc the 
we\ldin{<'f>irnieiit of the Spoute. 'Thi« night diou (halt nup with 
roc id Paradise' — nDj;« in hi* »lccple«s can. On thi« lock he 
builds his fiiitb, and the gate* of Hell Bhall not prevail agaiim it! — 
Gujr Faux (poor wretch!) wai -m »ure within hiniielf of the 
reward of hie ctirac in the dcroal tnlvntion ot his xoul, a* of hia 
intention to commit it : be no more doubted of another world thao 
he doubted of hin own exigence. A <^uenion whether hii whole 
creed mij;ht not be a dclution had never once crossed his nund. 
How should it? He hnJ ne>-er once heard it called in tjuceiion. 
He believed in it it lie lielievcd i» all he h.td ever seen or heard, or 
chou|;ht or felt, w been told hy ochcrx— he believed in a future state 
as he believed in this, with hii acnaca and his understand icg, and with 
all his heart. Poor Guy — tliat mitt^rable llftli-of-No»eniber scare- 
crow, that stutTed straw ligure, flaunting iu own periodical disgrace- 
never once dreamt (oh! Klorioas itthcritance ! ) that he should die 
like a dog. Otherwise, James and his parliament would ha*c been 
in oo jeopardy from hiro. He was not a person of that reficerient. 
He Utought for certain that he would go to HcavcTi or Hell ; and he 
played a bold, but (at he fancied] a sure p.in\c, for the former. 
With such objects at state, and with his own blinded reason, and ■ 
tttflcd conscience, and impticiL faith, and vowed obedience, and holy 
Mother Church on his side, and a lixed hatred of hcicky and of all 
that belonged to it, as of a strange birth in nature, that made his flesh 
creep and hit brain reel, and a disregard of bis own pcrton, as 'dtctt 
compared to the Rlory hereafter lo be revealed,' lie acted up to his 
belief: the man wa» what he preached toothers to be — no better, no 
worse. Without this belief supporting bim, what woiild he have 
been i I^ike tlie wretched ■irawfigure, the aulomaion we ace 
representing faim, 'disembowelled of his natural entrails, without a 
real heart of fiesh and blooJ beating in his bosom,' a tuodem 
tiTnC' server, an unimpasiiioncvl eiavc, a canting Jesuit, a petty, 
cautious, meddling priest, a safe, underlixnd ]>ert«ciitor, an niionymoua 
•Underer, a cringing sycophant, promoting hin own inter«t by taking 
the bread out of honest mouths, a mercenary nulignani coward, a 
Clerical Magistrate, a Quailcrly Reviewer, a Member of the 
Con&tituttoDal Association, the concealed Editor of JUaeitvoaxTj 



jti 



GUY FAUX 



htadttroag. Tbe closest deductiona of ibc undcrttandiaf; do not act 
like an iosiinct, or warrant a moruil antipathy; and Irt tbe philoso 
phical Wliever'* convictions be what tliey will, he cannot affect &n 
Ignorance that it i* postible for olhci* to differ with him. A violent 
and ociitrained atfccc^tion of Orthodoxy h, shct a certain time, ■ 
sure lign of iniincerity : the only zeal that can claim to be * according 
10 knowledj^e,' it refined, calm, and connider.-itc. I do not speak of 
this ton. of mitigated, sceptical^ liberalised, enlightened belief, m 
*a tonuimmuion devoutly to be wished:' (in my own panicular, 
I would rather have held opinion with Guy Faux, and have gone or 
■eat others to the Deri] for that opinion) — I speak of the conimoo 
coufM of human alTairi. 1 remember once observing to Wilkie, tite 
celebrated artist, that Or. Chalmers [his old friend and schoolfellow) 
had started an ob}caion to the Chrisiiao religion, Id order to have 
the credit of answering it. The Scottish Teniers said, that if the] 
answer wat a good one, he thought him right in bringing forward the 
objcciion. I did not think this remark savoured of the acuicncss one 
would ex|>eci from such 3 man as Wilkie, and only said, I appre- 
hended those o{Mnions wen* the strongest which had been never called 
in question. Riojoiiins u net bcUcving — whatever itemg may be^J 
according to the proretb. 

A detoted and incorrigible attachment to indiriduats, a* well as to^ 
doctrines is wmkcacd by the progress of knowledge and cinlizatioiL 
A spirit of scepticism, of inc^uiry, of compirison, !s introduced there ' 
too, by the course of reading, observation, and reflection, which I 
strikes at the root of our disproponiooatc idolatry. Margareij 
LambrTin did not think tltcrc was such jtnotlier woman in the worldl 
as her mistress. Queen Mary ; nor could she, after her death, se«] 
any diing in it worth living for. Had she had access to a moidcm ' 
circulating libr.iry, she would have read of a hundred such heroineit < 
.ill peerless alike; and would have consoled herself for the de.ith oFi 
them all, one after another, pretty much la the same manner. ' 
Margaret was not one of those who argue, according to Mr. Burke'l I 
improved political catechism, that 'a king is but a kingt a t^uecn il^ 
but B woman ; a woman is but an animal ; and that not an antmal of ^ 
(he highest order.' She had more respect of persons than ibis. 
The truth is, she had never seen audi another woman as her mtslrest, 
and she had no means, by books or otherwise, of forming an idea of 
any thing but what she saw. In that isolated state of society, people 
grew together like trees, and clung round the strongett for support, 
'as the vine coils iu tendril).' They became devoted to others with 
the wnic tioltncc of attachment as they were to ihcmselrce. Novels, 
plays, magazinei, treatises of philosophy. Monthly Mubcums, and 

3»4 



*AVX 

BJla ^jitmHiu, did Dot Hy ta numbcis about tbe cooDtry and 
' tliroBgh the airy fc^on Mrc;iin lo bright,' u to blot out the imprcs- 
rioa ofall real formi. The efTrcu of habit, of weate, of tervicr, of 
tStOioa, did not find aa idcil Ictd in cc&cnl literature aad arti- 
ficial ini>deli. The bean made irs clcctioa oocc, and wm fixed litl 
death : the eyn doated on fimcied pCTiection, and were divorced 
from cTcty other object afterwudt. There waa ooc the iime con- 
mcnicatiQn oF idcaa ; tliere wu not the moe chaoge of place or 
ac^tiatnuoee. The prejudice* of rank, of cuatoffi, urengihened the 
bia« of iodindual admiralioD ; a»d it i* no wottdcr, vhcre all ibeae 
ciicunuiaocct were combt&ed, that the pitseoce of a pcraoot whom 
we had loved and terved, became » feeling, an apuetitr, and a paMioD 
in the miad, almoM Drceuary to exiitencc. The uking our idol 
away (and by cruel and treacherous means) would be talcin; away 
the prop that luitaiaed life, and on which all Uie pride of the 
albcaoo* leant. Itj low would be the los* of another telf; and a 
double loM of thit kind (as in the initancr alluded 10} could »eek (or 
00 lobce but in the death of her who had caused it. Where the 
raind had become ri*ctted to a certain object, where k had embarked 
iu all in the ucicd cause of rriendahip ana inviolable fidelity, it would 
be in vain to offer the contolaeton* of philosophy when the heart 
owned none. Other icenet, new friendi, fresh ctigagcmentt, might 
be proper for others ; but Margaret Lambrun'* wounded spirit could 
Rod 00 relief but in looking forward lo a full rerenge for a murdered 
mittrcM and hoaband. You mif;ht ag well think of wedding Che Mill 
to another body, at of insuirinz her wtth othei hopes and thougbta 
than choae which she had lost for ever : — the could not live without 
thoae whom she had loved so well and long, and she was ready to die 
for them. Life becomes iDdiifcrcnt to a mind haunted by a pataioa 
of this son. Death is not then a choice, but lailier a necessity. 
We cannot live, and have the desire nearest lo our »uli. To pby 
tiie hero, 11 ■■ only occcssaiy to be wound up to such an unavoidable 
interest in any Ihiajt, ai reflection, prudence, natural instinct, have no 
power orer. To be a hero, is, in other words, to lose the sense of 
our personal identity in some object dearer to us than oursclvea. He 
may purchair any thing he pleases, who is ready to part with hit life 
for it. Wherever there it a passion or belief strong enough to blind 
u* to contcQuencei, there the mind ii capable of auy sacrihce and of 
any undettaltinz. 

The herokal is the fanaticism of common life : it is the contempt 
of danger, of pain, of death, in the pursuii of a favourite idea. Tbe 
nle of booour, ai of conscience, » to coiitemplaie things in the 
Bbttnct, and aever as affecting or re-acting upon yourself; the hero 

3»S 



GUY FAUX 



ii 3D initrumcnt in thr hxinds of fate, as is himxcir impasiivc lo tti 
blows. A man in a passion, or who is worked up to a certain pitch 
of cnthuaiadin, nibdn nothing cIk. 7'hc fear of death) the love of 
self, ii but an idc^ or motive wiih a certain habitual strength. Raite 
any other idea or feeling to a greater habitual or iromcotary height, 
and it will lupplanl or crcrrule the first. Courage ia (omctime* the 
cfTcct of despair. Women, in a lit of romance, or on tome sudden 
emergency, have been known to perform feats of heroic daring, from 
which men of the atoutest ciervca might ohriak with ^ainay. 
Maternal tenderness is heroic. Affection of any kindi that doais 
upon a piTtictilar object, and abtorbi every other coDsideration in that, 
i) in its nature heroic' Passion is the great ingredient in heroisn]. 
He who slops to reflect, to balance one thing .igainAt anoiheri it a 
coward. The better part of valour is indiscretion. All passion is a 
ehort-tivcd madness, or state of intoxication, in which some present 
impulse or prevailing idea get« uncontrouled poa«esaion of the mind, 
and lords it there at will. A man may be (almost literally) drunk 
with choler, with love, with jealousy, with revenge, as he may with 
vine or strong drink. Any of these will overpower hts rcsson and 
•rntrs, and put htm tieyotid himself. The mitter- feeling will prevail, 
whatever it i«, and when it once gets the upper hand, will rage the 
more violently in proportion to the obstack-B ii hns to encounter. 
Women who asaociate with robbers are cruel, as soon as they get 
over their firii repugnance : some of the braveat officers have been 
the greatest Martinets. A man who is afraid of a blow, or tender of 
hit person, will yet, on being struck, feci nothing but the murtification 
of the affront, and the fear of discomfiture. The pain that is inflicted, 
after hh blood is once up, will only aggravate his reaenimcDti and be 
diverted from the channels of fear into those of rage and ihanw. He 

' There is > common invcrtion of thii opinion, whith ii ditferuntit ; or the 
bc«omb|; icckUn of all oon*ctiuent«i, povtrty, cllieatc, o: <]cjth, fiom illiappoinl- 
mtnl !n lomt one thing ihsi th« mliaii is Kt upan, no ointter wlitt. A mm who 
h«« been jilleil of hi* iirit diuice oitniti out of (pile ibc lii*t ooman be meeU. 
A girl, wboie swecchurt K«e> to tea, bcciUM ihc »ill not hive him, u soon at 
he is Boat, sod the ii biul):ed of her fancy, rum i-muck il ruin sad iafimy — 
' As mm (haulrl Kfvc ■ cucumber, 
She thrnwt hrrtriruwiy ! ' 
Losing Eimctleit i<l ncddy on the iirur infalutlccl principle. Hstrtl, ta Crri/M, 
mtkxi ■ hat hsii-bmincii niuck-hciuic ciil. I licdstc I prtfcc il tn the (<vmin>. 
(iun of Cny'i Bard. Qamfiltii ami hishwaynifo arc %o far btroe* ihal it ia nedc 
or nothing with (h*m i thtjr act conacquenct* at >lcl>ance. Th»!r iclinni sr* 
diiintertMcit j but thtir motives are not lo. A fortune-hunling Gvatril ttaoil* 
much in iht time preiiicanieBi. The sbtlracted, the uln!, it neccanrjr la the true 
heroic. But befnre i man can fighi Tot an idea, he muit have an idea in his heiil 
U fight far. Now there ate itiiiie Oencrati thai arc nnl unilcislooil \<> poucsi< 
this qustfflntiua of the heroic character. 
316 



GITY FAUX 



wbow will ii roused and hald« out to ihii way, whose tenacioutneaa 
of puqiOK- and inHamniabiltty of spirit are prool agaititt the extremity 
oTpain, of fatigue, uiJ (tiuRter, i( taid to hue ffati. So a man may 
DM be able to re&fon himself into coolness at the commcticenteM of 
a batdet but a ball whizzing ne«r him don it, by abstracting hia 
imagination from a thouKtad idir (ear*, and fixing it on hia 
immediale sitaalion and dut^. The novice in aa eogaffement, that 
before was motionlcB* with ajiprehension or trembBng like a leaf* 
aftn bebg hit, loac* the sense of possible contingrncie* in the grief 
of hia womid, and 6ghu tike a dcTil incarnate. He is tbcncofbrwird 
too boay to think ofhiniKir. He roabea fearlessly on danger and ob 
death. A nun in a h»t)e is indeed emphatically iettite Uwurff. H« 
* bears a charmed lite,' th.it in hacy diiarms cannoaJialU and ballets 
of their power lo hart. They arc mere namca and apparitions from 
winch attonishnient and necessity have taken out the sting : the sense 
of feeling is seared md dead for the time to *all mortal consequences.' 
The mind is sabliinaled to a diircfiatd of whatever can hawcn, and 
tempted to ruth without provocition on its fate, jiurcly out m bravado, 
and at tho irtuntph of its pramnuet feeling, an exasperation of its 
tcfiiporary tatanity. Courage is id many such cases only a violent 
cfTort to ahakc off fear, a determination of the imagination to srice 
OB any object thai may divert its present dread. A soldier is a 
peilect hero but that he is a mere nuchtne. He is drilled into 
disinterestedneaa, and licaten into courage. He ts a very patriotic 
and romantic automaton. He has lost all regard for himself and 
c«ocem for ethers. His life, hi> limbs, his soul and body; are 
obedient only to the word of command. 'Set duty in one eye and 
death in the other, and lie can look on death indifferendy.' 

'.Set but a Scotsman on a hill. 
Say »i!cU ii royal George's will. 

And tliete 's the foe : 
His onlv itiouffhi is how to kill 
Twi at a blow.'— Burwi. 

They then go at it with bayonets fixed, eyes tnRaraed, and tenguea 
lolling out with heat and rage, like wild bcasca or mod doj;s panting 
for blood, ind from the madman to Mr, Wordsworth's 'hajjiiy 
warrior' ih^Te is but one step. — The true hero devoicn himwif in the 
same way, but he docs it of hh own accord, and from an inward 
aentiment. The tcrvice on which he is bound is perfect freedom. 
He is not a mnchine, hut a free agent. He knowi his cue wrthont a 
prompter. Nol servile duly — 

* Within his bouim reif^i another lord. 
Honour, ttale judge and umpire of ittelT.* 



GUY PAUX 



THE SAME SUBJECT CONCLUDED 

Thus i k.oight-«rrant goiog on odvcttures, and following out the fine 
idea of love aod galU&tty id bit own miad, without once ihinkiDg of 
htmAclfbutasa TfMcl dedicated uxrtrUteand honour, ii one of (he mow 
enviable fictioni in the whole world. Don Quixote, ia the midst of 
it« comic iion^'i is the fiocM venous devclopenicne to he fotuul of thu 
character. The nccuunt of the Cidi ihe fainoui Spanish beroi of 
which Mi. Southey hai given an admirable prose-traoBliuioo where 
KUccly a word could be changed or tranno«ed without injuring the 
force and clear limplicity ofthe amique ityie be has adopted, abottnds 
with tnitADces to tlic eame purpose. His taking hjck the lioa to it* 
dcti, hii bringing his father * the herb that would cure him,* hi* 
enemy'i head, and his manner of reclainiin^ a recreant knigbt from 
his cowardice by heaping the rewafds and dittinctiontof courage ttpon 
him, are »omc of those thst I remember as the most striking. Perhaps 
tlic reader may not luve the book by htm ; yet they are worth turning 
to, both for tlie sentiment and the expresnon. The liist then m order 
is the following: — 

' At ihtH lime it came to pass that there was strife beiwcco Count 
Don Gomez the Lord of Oormaz, and Die^o Laynez the father of 
Rodrigo (the Cid) ; and the Count insulted Diego and gave him a 
blow. Now Diego was a man tn years, and his urrngih had passied 
from him, so that he conkl not take reageance, and he retired to his 
home to dwell there in solitude ind lament over his dishoooor. And 
he took no pleasure in bia food, neither could he sleep by night, nor 
would he lift up his eyes from tlie ground, not stir out uf his house, 
nor commune with hiN JHends, but turned from them in silence aa if 
the breath of his sliamc would taint them. Rodrigo wu yet but a 
youth, aod the Count waa a mighty man in arms, one who gare his 
voice first in the Cortez, aod was held to be the best in the war, and 
BO powerful, that he had a thousand friends amosg the mountaioa. 
Howbeit. all these things appeared as nothing to Rodrigo, when be 
thought of the wrong done tn hit father, the first which had ever been 
ofletcd to the blood of Lay^a Cairo. He asked noihiiig but Justice of 
Heaven, and of man he aiked only a fair field ; and bu &ther seeing 
of how good bean he was, gire him hie sxrord and his blessing. The 
swoid had been the Sword of Mudarra in former limes, and when 
Rodrigo held its crots in it) hand, he ihougbt within himself that his 
arm was doc weaker than Mudarra' s. And he went out and de6ed the 
Count aod slew him, and smote cR his head, and carried it home to his 

3>S 



fUY FAUX 




father. Tho old man wis silting at table, ihe food lying Sefote him 
untatted, when Rodrigo return«<l, and pointing to th« Kead which hung 
from the hoTK't coUvi droppiog blood* he bade him look up, for 
iherc was the hcib which wodd reatore lo him hie appetite ; the 
tongue, (]uoth be, which insntted ' you, it no longer a tongue, and the 
hand which wronged yon ia no longer a haad. And the old man 
arose and embraced his ton and placed him aboTe him at the table ; 
■nying th^i he who brought home that head thould be the head of the 
huuic of Layn CaJvo.' — Cironu/c 0/ lie CiJ, p. 4. 

The ocxi ia of Mania Pclaez, whom the Cid made of a notable 
coward a redoubtable hero : — 

'Here the hiflory rclalct, that at this lime Martin Pelaez the 
A«lurian came with a convoy of laden bcaati, carryiog provision to the 
hoals of the Cid ; and at he paued near the town, the Moors sallied 
out in great oumben againit him ; buL he* though he had few with him, 
defended the convoy right well, and did great hurt 10 the Moora, 
■laying many of them, and drove them into the town. Thit Manin 
PeUcz, who i* here spoliea of, did the Cid make a right good linighl 
of a coward, as ye shall hear. When the Cid first bepn to lay siege to 
the City of Valencia, this Martin Pelaez came unto him : he was a 
ka^rt, a native of Saatillance in Astviiai, a hidalgo, great of body and 
atrong of limb, a well-made man and of {[aodly semblance, but wilhal a 
right coward at heart, which he had shown in many places where he 
was among feat* of arms. And the Cid was sorry when he came 
onto him, ihouRh be would not lei him pcrccite this ; for he knew he 
was not lit to be of his company. Howbeii, be thought ihm since he 
was come, he wwuM make him brave whether he would or not. And 
when (he Cid began to war upon the town, and sent pajtici against it 
twice and thrice a d^y, as ye have heard, for the Cid was always upon 
tbe alert, there was fighting and tourneying every day. One day it 
fell out that the Ctd and his kinsmen and friends and vassals were 
engaged in a great encounter, and this Martin Pelaez was well armed t 
and when he law that the Moors and Chriidans were at it, he fled 
and betook himself to bJs lodging, and there hid himself till the Cid 
fctoioed tc dinner. And the Cid saw what Martin Pelaez did, and 
when he had conquered the Moors, he returned to his lodging to dinner. 
Now it was the custom of the Cid to eat at a higli table, seated on 
his bench at the head. And Don Akar Fannez and Pcro Brrmudez 
and other precious knights ate in another part, at high tables fiill 
bonounbly, and none other knight* whatKuever dared to take their 
•eats with them, unless they were such as deserved to be there ; and 
the others who were not 10 approved in arms ate upon rilradarj at 
> It his been itigcnted whether ibli plirtis 'inmlted* iinot too moitm. 

3*9 



GUY FAUX 



tibln with cuthiont. Tht« wu ihc order id ihr liousc of ike Cid,'j 
aod every «fic koev the pt»ce where be wai to (it at meat, and cver^ 
one more all he coald to gzm the honour of dtting lo km at the tabic 
of Don Alvar Fannrz and btK componioos, by strenuously beKariii| 
himiclf in all km of armti tad thtia the honoor of the Cid wa 
■dnaced. This Martin Pelan, thinking that none had wen his bad* 
De«i, waahed hit hand* in lura with the other tutightc, and would 
have taken hia place among them. And the Cid went unto him and', 
took him by the hand and aaid, You are not such a ooe as draerres i 
nit with theae, ibr they are worth more ihio you or than me, but I,) 
will have vou with me; and he ecalcd him with himaelf at tabl«J 
And he, ^or Uck of understanding, thought that the Cid did this toj 
honour htm above all the otbert. On the morrow the Cid and hitj 
corapanj- r«Je toward* Valencia, and the Moors came out to thej 
tourney ; and Martin Pclaes went out well armed, and was among thi 
foremoac who charged the Moor*, and when be was in among them ha 
turned the ret ni, and went bjct to his lodging; and the Cid tookj 
heed to all chat he did, and «w that though he bad done badlv, he 
had done better than tlie firit d»y. And when the Cid had arieeii' 
the Moors into the town, he returned to hit lodging, and as he aate ' 
down lo meat, he took thitMaitin Pclacz by the hand, and Katcd hin'^ 
with himielf, and bade him cat with htm in the same di«h, for he had' 
deterred more that day thnn he had the iirti. And rbe knight gavfr ' 
heed to that aayinj;, and w;ia abashed: howbeii, he did as the Cid'. 
commanded htm : and after he had ilinet!, he went to hb lodging acd^ 
began to think upon what the Cid had t^tid unto him, and perceived tbi 
he bad Kcn all the tascDcsa which he had done ; and then he undcr-n 
stood that for this cause he would not let liim sit at board with the 
other knights who were predoui in arms, but had seated him with 
himself, more to affront him thao to do him honour, for there wert 
other knights there better than he, and he did not show them that! 
honour. Then resolved he in hia heart to do better than he had doiw^ 
hitherto. Another day the Cad and hi* company aod Msrtin PelaeC^ 
rode towards Valencia, and the Moors came out to the tourney full 
resolutely, a^nd Martin Pelaez was among tlie first, and charged them 
right boldly j and he «motc down tnd tlew presently .1 good knight, 
and he lost there al! the bad fear which he had hid, and was that day 
one of the best knights there : and at long as the tourney lasted, there 
he remained %hting and slaying and overthrowing the Moors, til) 
they were driven within tlic gates, in such manner tlut ihc Moora 
marvelled at him, and askrd where that Devil came from, for they bad 
i»eeer seen him before. And the Cid wa* in a place where he could 
sec ail that woe going on, aiui he g^vc good heed to him, and had 
330 



GTTY FAUX 

jreat piesiiirc in beholding hinii to tct how w«)l !i« liad forgotten the 
ftrit Fear which he was wont to have. And when the Moon were 
ihui up within the town, the Cid and ali his people returned to their 
^gioSi **"^ Martin Pclocz full leiivfely and quietly went to his 
lodging aim, like a good knight. And when it was the hour of caitng, 
the Ckl waited for Manin Pcbez. and when he came and they 
had wathed, the Cid took htm by the hand, and euid, My friend, you 
are not «nch n one u dcserrcii to nit with mc henceforth, but sit yo« 
here with Don Alrar Fanoez, and with theM other good knighii, for 
the good feat! which you hire done this day have made you a com- 
panion for then) ; nnd from the day forward be was placed in the 
company of the good.' — p^ inn. 

'Thvtt wai a lion io the houBe of the Cid, who had grown a large 
one, and itrong, and was full nimble ; three men had the keeping of 
thii lion, and they kept him in a den which wai in ■ court-yarn, high 
up in the {Kilacc ; and when tlicy cleanacd the court, they were wont 
to ihut tiini up in hii den, and afterwards to open the door that be 
might come out and eat : the Cid kept him for his putimc, that he 
might lAke pleasure with him when he was minded so to do. Now il 
wa» the custom of the Cid to dine crery day with hi* company, and 
after he hid dined, he was wont to sleep awhile upon his seat. And 
CM dfty when he had dittcd, there came a man and told him ibat a 
great fleet was arrived in the jmrt of Valencia, wherein there was a 
great power of the Moord, whom King Bucar had brought over, the 
•OM of the Miraraimolin of Morocco. And when the Cid heard 
litis, his heart rejoiced and he wae glad, (or it wa* nigh three years 
since he hud had a buttle with the Moors. Incontinently he ordered 
a signal to be made, that all the honourable men who were in the city 
should ansemble together. And when they were all astembled in the 
Alcuar, and his sonc-in-bw with ihem, the Cid toM them the news, 
aod took counsel with them in what manacr they should go out against 
this great power of the Moors. And when they had taken counaci, 
the Cid went to sleep upon bii^ seat, and the InfatrteH and the others 
sate playing at tables and chese. Now at this time the men who were 
keepers of the linn were cleaning out the court, and witrn they heaid 
the cry tliat the Moors were coming, t))ey- uj>ened the den, nnci cjme 
down into the pabce where the Cid was, and left the door of the- 
conn open. And when the lion had ate his meat, and saw that the 
door was open, he went out of the court and came down into the 
palace even into the hal! where they all were; and when they who 
wercihcccBswhim, there wai a great stir among them : but the Infantes 
of Cariion showed greater cowardice than all the rest. Ferrando 

33 » 



GUY FAUX 



Gonzalez having no shame, neither for the Cid nor for dieoihcrtwho 
WCTc prcKDt, crept under the «eaC whereon the Cid wsi •IccpinK. ind 
in his haste he burst hit mantle sod his doublet also ai ihc anouldcrs. 
And Diego Gonzalez, ihe othei, ran to a postern door, crying, I 
shall never see Carrion again ! 'Hiw door opened upon a courtyard* 
where iKccc was a «intf-pre«9, and he jumped out. and by tcasoa ofttkC 
great height could Dot k.cej) hU feet, but fell among the lees and 
deliled hinucif therewith. And all the others who were in the hall 
wrapt their cloaks around their arms and stood round about the scat 
whereon the Cid was sleeping, that they might defend him. The 
noivc which they made awakened the Cid, and he kw the lion coming 
towards him, and he lifted up his hand nnd said. What is this I . . , 
and Ihe lion hearing his voice stood still : and he rose up and took him 
by the mane, » if he had been a gentle mastitf, and led him back tftj 
the court where he was before, and ordered his keepers to look bet 
to him for the time to come. And when he had done thii, he 
returned to the hall and took his seat ajiaio ; and all they who beheld 
it were greatly astoniKhed.* — p. iji. 

The presence ufmind, the manly confidence, the faith in virtue, the 
lofty bcariag and picturesque circumstances in all these stories, are ai 
line u any thing can well be imagined. — The last of them putt me in 
mind, thai that heroic little gentleman, Mr. Ke^n, who is a Cid too in 
his way, keeps a lion *for his pastime, that he may take pleasure with 
him when he is minded so to do.' It ii, to be tuie, an American 
liom, a pumab, a son of a great dog. But still it shews the nature of 
the man, and the spirited turn of hit genius. Courage is the great 
secret of his success. His acting is, if not cla«sical, hecoical. To 
dare and to do are with him the same thing. * Masterless passion 
rways him to the mood of what it likes or loaths.' He may be some- 
times wrong, but he is decidedly wrung, und duci not betray himself 
by paltry doubts and fears. He lakes the lion by the maoe. He 
gains all by hazarding all. He throws himself into the breach, and 
lights his way through as well as he can. He leaves all to his feelings, 
and goes where they lead him ; and he finds Iiis account in this 
method, and brings rich ventures home. 

In reading the foregoing accounts of the Spanish author, it acems 
that in those tinges killing wax no murder. Slaughter was the order 
of the day. The blood of Moors and Christians flows through the 
page SB so much water. The proverb uppermost in tbeir iriinidi was, 
that a man could die but unce, ,ind the inference seemed to be, the 
sooner the better. In these mure secure and civilized times (individu- 
ally and as far as it depends upon ourselves) we are more chary of 
our lives. We are (ordliurily) placed out ui the reach of 'the shot 

33= 



GUY FAUX 



oTscCHlent and dait of chsncc'; atid grow iadoleflt, ttrtdtr, ud 
eftmifute in oor nolioni nod habits. Hooks do oot mike men 
nliaot, — □« even the reading ihr chronicle of the Cid. The police 
took after all bmchc« of the peace and morUof tuspiciouicharsctert, 
•othat we Deed not buckle oa our armour to go to the tuccour of dit- 
tnMed damaeli, or to give ti^trle to giant* and eachaatcrt. lottcad of 
kilUog wine founcen before breakfast, like Halspur, we are coDtented 
10 read of tfacK things in the ncwijutpers, or to kc them jicrfenned 
00 the (tage. We enjoy all the drimatic ioiercK of such scenes, 
vithout the tragic rosulu. Rcniault de St. Jean Angelf rode like a 
BadmiD through ttic streets of Paris* when from the barricades he 
Kiw the Pruasians idriindn^. We lore, fight, am) are slain by prox/ 
— live over the adventures ofa hundred heroes and die their deaths — 
and the next d.iy we as well an ever, and ready to begin again. This 
u a gaining concern, and an imjirovemenc on the old-fasliioced way of 
riskisg life and limb in good earoect, is a cure forrn/iui. It is a bad 
•peculation to come to an uotimcly end by way of killing time. Now* 
like the hcnnc penonages in Tom Thumb, we iiprcad a white ptKkcl- 
Iiandkerchtef to prepare our final cttattronhc, and act the ttnlmenl of 
death with all the im|>unity to bedenrtd. Men, the more they cultivate 
their intellect, become more careful of their persons. They would 
like to lEiink, to read, to dream on for ever, without being liable to 
any worldly annoy&Dce. ' Be mine to read eternal new romances, of 
Marivaui and Ctehilloni' cries the iniurtiable adept in thit tchool. 
Art is long, and they think it hard that life should be so short. 
Their existence hua been chiefly theatrical, ideal, s tragedy rehearsed 
in print^why should it receive its ifmouemeni in iheir proper persons, 
id eoffwt viJif~~ln another |iyint of view, sedentary, studious 
people hvc in a world of iliought — ^in a world out of themselves — and 
are not very well prepared to tcufllc in this. They loae the sense of 
personal honour on ijuestiotM of more general inten-^, and are not 
inclined to iodividual sscrifices that can be of no service to the cause 
of Icttcra. They do not see how any speculative truth can l>e proved 
by their bring run through the body ; nor docs your giving them the 
lie alter the state of atiy one of the great leading ^ueKtions in policy, 
moralS) or criticism. Philosophers might claim the privileges of 
divines for many good reasons; among t^iese, according to Spenser, 
exemption from worldly care and peril was not the least in monkish 
lore : 

'From woflJty cate himtclf he did ttloin^ 
And gttaily shuiinciJ manly cxcrdic: 
For every work he challenged tsaoine, 
For cauciDplation-ukc. 

333 



CHARACTEH OF MB. CANNING 

Mcnti) courage is the only courage I pretend to. I <laie veDitue an 
opioion where fcv else would, particul.irly if I think it right. I hare 
retracted Tew of my pofiiiont. Whether this arises from obstinacy or 
strength, or indifTerence to the tipioiunt of othcri, I koow not. In 
little clkc I have the spirit of martyrdom : but 1 would give up aay 
thing looDCT than an abairact propoiition. 



CHARACTER OF MR. CANNING 

Tit ErtmniT.} [Jalj 1 1, l3l4. 

Ma. Cahmimg was the clevcren boy at Eton: he is, pcrbaps, the 
cleTerest man in the Home of Commons, It is, however, to the 
leasc in which, according to Mr. Wordsworth, ■ the child it father 
to the man.* He hat grown up entirely out of what he then was. 
He hu merely ingrafted a set of Piirliamentary phrates and the 
CMhoicalitie* of debate on the thetnei and Echool-exeieisei he was set 
to compote when a boy. Nor hua he ever cuapcd from the trammels 
imposed on youttiful genius : he hati never assumed a maaly independ- 
ence of mind. He hac heen all his life in the habit of getting up a 
speech at the nod of a Ministcri as he used to get up a thesis under 
the direction of liis school-iiiaiier. The mailer \% nothing ; the only 
question it, how he shall expreiu himself. The conscqueoce has been 
as might be cxpccKd. Not being at libenj to chuK bl» own side of 
the question, nor to look abroad into the world for original (but 
perhaps unwelcome) observations nor to follow up a strict chain of 
reasoning into its unavoidable consequences, the whole force of bi» 
mind lias been exhausted in an attention to the ornaments of style and 
to an agreeable und impomig election of topics. It is his business 
and his iaclination to embclliih what is trite, to elosa over what ib 
true, to *ain]> up tome feeble sophium, to spican the colours of a 
meretricious fancy over the unex^vcieil exposure of some dark 
intrigue, some glaring iniquity — 

' Like ai ihc lun-buint Indianit <lo array 
Their lawny boiliet in tlieir jjroiictwt pliglu 
With painted plumn in goodly ocder dight : 



At those same plumes, m seemed h^ vain and Eghi, 

That by his rait might eaiily appear, 

For ftlil he ^red u dancine in ddighl, 

And in bin haiidt ■* windy tan did bear, 

That in the idle air hr moved itill here- and there.' 

SriHstn. 



554 



CHAHACTER OF MR. CANNING 



I 



HU reuofling i* a tisme of glittering lophiicry t his laagiuge it s 
€tmto at Aorid coromoii -placcf . The smooth nionutony of hi» «jlc i* 
iodced w much borrowrd, is u little hit own, ai tbc courtJy tniofun 
Aibome ttrain of his (ratiineBts. He hat do taadj principles, iu> 
•tmg MMiooA, nothing oiigin.il, louculinci or uriking in thought or 
cxpnauoD. There is i tcebic, JiFuic, ihowy, Atixuc leduaiaacy id 
all hit ipFcches — something vapid, somethiDg second -hand in the 
whole cast of his mind. Tbc light that proceeds from it glc&nti from 
the mouldering mztciiiU of corruption : the llowcrti thai arc seen 
thcfr, gar and flauo ting, bloom over the grave of humanity ! — Mr. 
Canaiag never, bj- any chance, rcraiDds ooe of t!ic poet or the philo- 
aopbcf, of the admirer ofDature, or even the man of tlic world — he 
■I a mere Hou«e-of.Cdmmont man, or, since he was transferred there 
from College, appears nc'cr to hare seen or thought of any other 
place. He may be said to hare pasted hii lifcin making and learning 
to make speeches. All other ol>}ecu and pursuits seem to have been 
(jnitc lost upon him. He ha* orcrlooked the ordinary objects of 
Htitre, the familiar interest* of human life, as bcocaih his notice*' 
There is no allusion in any uf his speeches to anything paning ouc of 
the Houte, or not u> be found in the classics- Their tone is (juke 
Parliamentary ^his is the Dclphin edition of Nature. Not an image 
bat ttruck hit eye, not an incident has touched hit heart, any iarthet 
than it could be got up for rhetorical and stage elTect. This hat an 
til effcrt upon his npccchi-s: — it girct them that nhining and bloated 
appearance which is the result of tbc continitl ^nd heated atmoiphrrc 
of the House. They have iJte look of exotics, of artificial, hot-houK 
planit4 Their glotsincu, their luxuriance, and goigcoutncss of colour 
are greater than their strength or J/onriiui : ihey are forced, not latting, 
QOf will they hear traniplanting from the rank arid noxious soil in 
which they gxov. Or rather, perhaps, they bear the same relation 
to eloc^uence that artificial floweii do to real ones — alike, yet not the 
ftaine, wiihoiti vital heat or the power of reproductioii, printed, 
(flssionlcss, specious mockeries. They arc, in fact, not the growth of 
truth, of nature, and feeling, but of state policy, of art, and practice. 
To deny that Mr. Canning has arrived to a great perfection (perhaps 
the greatest ) in the manufacture of these ion of eommen-fflartj, elegant, 
but somewhat tafniNhcd, impKistng, but not solid, would, we think, 
■bow a want of candour : to aArm that he hat ever done anything 



' Mr. Caaninf , when on t (our ioih« Likei, Hlrf Mr- Woritiwarih ibr honoin 
ofpajinf him ■ visit. The favaur om ilulj spprcciitd, bul quite untiptctcil. 
R«ally, wc ito not know tnjr one so little capable of apprtciaiint ilx t'jritat 

3)5 




CHARACTER OF MR. CANNING 

more (ia hit tcriou* lucinpu) would, we think, show w equal vint 
of ta*tc sod undentandtng.* 

The way io which Mr. Cuming eeta up the Map)e<ominodity of j 
hU tiwechct appcais to be thit. He heart ao otMerntion on the 
exeellCDCe of the Engli«h Coiutkutton, ot on the dangen of Reform 
and (he ficklenest and headatrong hunwura of the people, dropped bf 
•ORie Member of the House, or he meetn with it in an old'Deoatc in 
the time of Sir Robert Walpole, or in Palcy'a Moral and Political 
Philoaophyr which our acconipliabcd scholar rcad^ of couivci at the 
enablithfd text-book at the UniTeiKity. He tuma it in hit nuod : by 
dint of memory and ingenuity he illnttralea tt hy the a[f licatioa of 
Bomc well-known and wcll-authenucated liniile ai hand) Mcb at ' the 
vetict of the tute.* 'the torrent of popular fury,* 'the precipice of 
reform," 'the th»mdcfboli of war," 'the iniile of peace,' &c. He 
improrea the hint by the help of a little pUy upon wordi and upoo i 
an idle fancy into an allegory, he hoolct thu on to a verbal inlcrence* 
which takes you by lurprite, equally from the noTelty of the premitea 
sod the fiatocM of the coaclution, refers to a psmgc in Cicero in 
iupport of hit argument, quotes hit authority, rel^Tcs exhatuted 
attcMiaii by a toonding ponage from Virgil, * like the mom risen on 
mid-oooa,' ud Uiuchet the whole frei^t of wudom, wii, leiming, 
tod &ncy, on the Boor of St. Stephen's Chapd, where it floats and 
^itten itmidtc the mingled caiioaity and admiration of both sidet of 
the HooM — 

*Scyllaheanl, 
I And fell Charyhdi* murrDiu'd soft appbuse.' 

Beneath the broad and gilded chandelier that throw* tu light 
*thc nation's Great Divan,' Mr. Canning pile* the lofty hara 
high over-arched with mcuphatt dazzling with epithets, sparl _ 
with jestt — take it out of doors, or examine it by the light of commoQ 
Hiue, aivd it it no more than a paltry string of tophicmi, of trite 
traisms, and sorry buirooncries. There is also a Houte-of-Commoni 
jargon as well at a acholtstic pedantry in this gentleman's style dC 
oratory, which ii very ditpleating to all bui nrofawiotial «ari. * The 
Honourable and Learned Gcnilcman,' ana 'bia HooowaUe and 
Gallant Friend,* arc trc^ed over the tongue of the Honourable 
Speaker, 'loud as a trumpet with a silver sonnd,' and fill up the 
pansn of the sente or the gaps in the logic with a degree of borlesque 
•elf-complacency and pompous inanity. Mr. Canning speaks by rote; 

' Wc race hcsril ii uM, that * Hr. Canniai hsil the (oMt ckgiiit iniB>l tiace 
Vnit' Bat we c«ul<l D«t sHcat to this rvmatk, «) wt jolt ihta bappcMd to _ 
thiBkof Cl*«4« LorraiiK. 

356 



CHARACTER OF MR. CANNING 

ind if the words be uttcra become the mouth and found « period well, 
Jic caicK Utile how cheii|>ly he come* by tkeiiit or liuw dear they con 
tbr ooantry I Such mechanic helpt to >tyle and technical flouiufae* 
and tnppifigt of apaiort telf-iniportaoee are, however, uowor thy of tJte 
mexDcst underliog of olFice. 

There ii, notwithttaDding, a facility, a brilliancy, and an elegaDce 
in Mr. Canning'* gcoersl style, always gracefvi, never abnipt, Dcver 
rflKagrc, never dry, copious without coafutios, digniGed wilbout 
tiSnew. pertpicuoiu yet remote from cominoo life, that must excite 
kiMirpriae in an ntrtmjvr* tpcnkrr. Mr.Canninji, we apprehend, i« nW 
I extm^ore speaker. He only makes set speeches oa set oocaaioos. 
I He indeed liook* then) io a« answer* to some one that haik gone be^e 
' liiin ID the debate, by taking up and commentinD on a single sentence 
or so, but he ininicdtately recurs to some old and favourite topic* 
latwchcs into the middle of the mtam, or mounts upon tkt l^gh Inrte, 
and rides it to the end of the chapter. He never (that we are aware 
>ef) grappled with a powerful amagonitt, ovenbTcw him oo the spot, 
contested the [loint with him foot to foot. Mr. Canning's replies 
tire tvatkfu. He indeed made a capital and very dcaefvedly-admired 
Lretily to Sii John Coxc Hippcaley ; but Sir John had given notice of 
til hii motions a montli bcitirehiicd, and Mr. Canning had only to lie 
in ambush for him with a whole magazine of fuctt, arguments, allitcra- 
tiooR, <)aouuoai, jc«l», and squibs, prepared ready to explode and 
blow him up into the ait in an insunt. to this manner he coDtrivm 
to slip into the debate and spealc to the ({tiettioD, as if he bad lately 
entered the Houic and heard the arguments on the other side stated 
for the first time in his life. He has conned his speeches over for a 
week or a month previously, but he gives these premeditated elTusioaa 
the dFcct of witty impromptut — the spontaneous ebullitions of the 
tkughter or indignation or lofiy enthusiasm of the moment. His 
tells thi). It is that of a person trying to recollect a speech, 
and reciting it from bcgioaiDg to end with studied gesture, and in an 
cmpliatic but nionotonoua ana somewhat affected tone of voice, rather 
dun of 3 person uttering word* and thoughta that have occurred lo 
liim for the lirit time, and hurried away by ao inrolantary impulse, 
akifig with more or less heaitation, faster or slower, and with more 
' leas passion, according an the occasion re<}uires. 
Mr. Canniti[j i* a ^ojM>M/i»n.t/ «pc.iker ; he is an <i^'ooa/ politician. 
He lias a ready and splendid aaaortmcotof arguments upon all ordinary 
quectioas; he laket that side trr view of a quealion thai is dictated by 
his vanity, hii interest, or his habits, and endesvours to make the best 
he can of it. Trmb, liberty, justice, humanity, war or peace, civiliza- 
tion or barbarism, are things of little consequence, except for him lo 
vou II. : V 337 



1 



CHARACTER OF MH. CANNING 



make spctchn «poo them. He thtaka ' ihc wortc the better rcaaoo,'! 
if be CIO oolv makr ii sppor to to oih«rji ; and in (he ittcmpt tof 
QoafaoBd mi Bidcad, he is grextly UMcted by really pcrcetTtag iiOr< 
diAnaee hinuclf. It ■ oofwhat a. thing is, but what be can uyj 
abom it, thai ii mr uppcrmoR in his mind ; and why should he be] 
•qonnitah or hare aa^ particular choice, udcc hta vord* are alii 
e^oallf fine, aed delivered vitb equal volubility of toague I Hig| 
baltBCcd fefiods are the scale *th«RUkei th«e oddi all eren.' Our 
OoHor Mc* not coaGne bintelf to any one view of a subject. He 
dot* Mt I&hI hmwdf br any dull prejudice : he docs not tic himself-, 
de«B n MBj pedantic rales or abstraa prindpie. He does not listen ■ 
ii^ficjdj to coninflB aenae, dot don he follow the indcpcBdcot 
<ttcMn af his own ^wIcineM. No, he pick» and chuKcs among all 
dwatk M baat ausn b» purpose. He plucki ou: the grey hairs of j 
~ 1% Md tbcB apis the hiack. He thifts hit positioo i it is ■ 
sir syvtai with bim. He mounts somctitncs behind prejudice, 
MOPcabeUad ie»oo. He is now with the wise, aad then 
^iii wjA U« vilgv. He drivels, or be raves. He is dow wedded 
to aliiwilj, aooa dKir is oo ioaontioa too staitling for bim. At one 
Mw he it ivctal, at aootbcr viiiocary and roiiuttuic. At one time 
\\ft fcaao T of tb» co mttf y sways bim, at another its interest. Oae 
«HMM<Bt he is aO for tibccty, ami the next for sUnry, First we are 
M Md Ike balaDOr of Ewopr, aad to dicuie aod domineer over the 
wkak wM I i*d Am w» ar* to creep into onr ihelU and draw in 
«v hotwi oat mooMM rcsanhliag Don Quixote, and the next 
■Im^ tke |Mt of S«cko Paaza * And why not ? All thrw are 
mk*. atr <w* «*«^ i* **<* B*"** ^ p<^tlics, are colours in the change- 
»Hf ctwi (^futy* an dilr«BMi» casuistry, are pretexts in diplomacy ; 
Mtl Mr. CkMsif has then all at hi* lingers' cods. What is there 
||n« to icntM hM laiag say >f ■^<" » '>^ pleases ? Nothing in the 
mM k« KMfaif w ■nkchlrt asJ as Mr. Canning is not withheld 
^ UtNS froM liBMif bss hmdiets career, the application of lui 
W<aw>^ a»J «l*^wca i> •■ saeh cases ii perfectly arbitary, • t^utte 
Trm rif',* n Mr> LiHoo cS|nasrs it. A wise nun would have some 
mt^jl iirrri?*. I coad Mia wovld wiRh well to loine cause, a modnt 
■M wMtttkAaMl M Kt «WWai feeling sure of his ground, or to 
tfettV M Wnw ilii ixsiil «f fitht or wrong. Mr. Canning has tlic 
^MitlW wMliaa M |diy «# w* tricka of a political rope.dancef, and 
Wv^MH****^^ «a iW MUM of bonanity! He hss called out 
«» w 4m^ ibiny rc«n witboat cming, * like importuaatc Guioca 
I^K. -^ B-'** dat aad Bi(bt ( * he has nade the House and the 
- lb Wa s«i« rhwniir. and now for the first time he is 
IP^ . «*w OHflln* Lik* &«*« io »he play, • he aggravates 



•Wte" 



CHAHACTER OF MR. CANNING 

hit Toicc tike n ttucking-dorc; ' 'he roar* you an 'iwcre any Dtghttn* 
tale ! ' After the I'liilure of Duoiupatu'a RuatuD cxpcditioDa Mr. 
Caaniog cxclaimtd cxuUtngly, and with a datiog cothuaiasn that 
Mtcncd to come ftoni ilie hcirt, that ' he rejoicnl that barbariun bad 
beto the fiin to mm inTuion, lincc it showed that the lore of 
uttDoal indcpeodcocc was ao imtinctive pricciplc la every country, 
•nperior eveo to the love of liberty.' This plea acrved iu uim at the 
tiine, and wr heard no more of it I211 year when the French invaded 
Spain. In the wai to rcstoic Ferdinand, Mr. Canning echoed with 
'IsBgs of braut the roar of ' the universal Spaniah nation** uid the words 
LAvrty and Hunianiiy hung like mucic ou hii toogur ; bat when (he 
fteUc Sfonarch waa restored, and uod upon the neck* of tho«e who 
I had restored hio), and threw down the [Dock-KafTuld of tlie Contti- 
rnuioo thai Itud (Mited him oner more to die throne, wc heard no 
of 'the uniTcrul Spanish nation,' of Liberty and Humanity. 
f When the speeches of Mi. Canniog and the Manifcuoa of his friends 
had raised the powei of France to a gigantic lieight that hung like a 
precipice over our hrads, we were to go on, and fight out the battle 
of liberty and independence, though ' wc buried oureclics under the 
ruina of t!ic ciriltzed world.' When a nioosi/ous claicn that threatens 
the liberty and exitteace of the dvilizcd world i* ojxnly set up and 
acted upon, and a word from Mt. Canning would arrc«t its progress 
1 in the direction in which it is movinji; with obscene, ghastly, blood- 
>iuincd strides, he courteously and with great condesceniion renund* 
hW_ hcsrcra of ' the inimitable satire of Cervantes,' that there is a 
protrerbial expression borrowed from ii, and that the epithet Qiiixotie 
would be eminently applicable to the conduct of Grc-ic Britain if she 
interfered in the aflairs of the continent at the ptcscot Juncture. And 
yet there arc persons who persist in brlicTinii that Mr. Canning is 
any thing more than a pivot on whose oily hinges state policy turns 
eanly at this moment, unheard, UDteen, and that he has views and 
feclb|* of hie owd that arc a pledge for his integrity. If all this were 
Cdtleneu, caprice, forgetfulness, accident, folly, it would be well or 
would not much signify ; we should stand a chance of sometimes 
being right, somciimcs wrong ; or if the ostensible rootivcs were the 
real ones, they would balance one another. At one time we should 
be giring a Jiji to liberty, at another we should be adraocing our own 
interests: now we should be generous to others, then wc should be 
junto ourselves, but always we should be doing something or other 
fit to be done and to be named, and acting up to one or other of Mr- 
Canning's fine pleas of religion, mot^liiy, or social order. Is that the 
COM i Nothing was said for twenty years about the reitoratioa of 
, ^e Boorboas as the object of the war. Who doubu it now i This 

339 



CHARACTER OF MR, CANNING 



cawe •kullt(d bthind tbc throoc, and was not let out in aay of Mr. 
Canning's speeches. The cIotto foot was concealed by so much 
fiauniiog oiiioty, by lo many different lacings and piebatd paich-worii 
liveric* of ruinout policy or prrGdioiuprinctflCtmnot to be nupcctcd. 
This is what makes such persons as Mr. Canninj; dati^eroue, Clerrr 
men are the loots with which tod meo work. The march of sophistry 
u devious: the much of power U one. Iti meaDs, iu toolt, its 
pretexts arc various, and borrowed like the hues of the camclton fiom 
any object that happens to be ai hiod : ils objea is ever the same, 
and deadly ai the serpent's fang. It moves on to iti end with crested 
majeay* erect, silci^t, with eyes nink and fixed) undiverted by fear* 
unabashed by shame, and puny orators and patriot tnoumebanki pUy 
irieki before it to amuse the crowd, till it crushes the world in its 
monstrous folds. There is one word about which nothing has been 
said all tim while in accounting for Mr. Canning's versatititj of 
mind and vast re£Ourcei in reasoning — it is the word, Ltgilimoey. Ii 
is the key with which you * pluck out the heart of hit mystery,' It 
is the touchstone by which all his other elocjuencc it to at tried, and 
nude good or found wanting. It is the catting- weight lo the scale of 
•ound policy, or that makes humanity and liberty kick the beam. It 
is the secret of the Ayes and Xoes : it accounts for the Majoritiei 
and Minorities. It weighs down all other considerations, hides all 
flaws, makes up for all deficiencies, removes all ubnaclcs, is the crown 
of success, and makes defeat glorious. Ii has all the power of the 
Crown on its side, and aJI the madness of the people. All Mr. 
Canning's speeches arc but «0 many dilFcrcnt f^rifhrastt for this one 
vofA—Ltgttimaey. It is the foundation of his mitgnanimity and the 
source of his pusillanimity. It is the watch-word equally of his 
oratory or his silence. It i* the principle of his ioteifercoce and of 
his forbearance. It makes him move forward, or retreat, or stand 
still. With this word roonded closely in his ear, and with fifty 
evasions for it tn his mouth, he advances boldly to ' the deliverance 
of mankind ' — into the hands of legitimate kings, hut can do nothmg 
to deliver them out of their power. When the liberty and independ- 
CDce of mankind can be construed to mean the cauac of kinga and the 
doctrine of divine right, Mr. Canning is a virago on the side of 
humanity — when they mean the cause of the jieople and the reducing 
of arbitrary power within the limits of constitutional law, hit patriotiam 
and humanity flag, and he is 

< Of Iris pan asmeek a«Ua maidT 

This word makes his tropes and figures expand and blaze out like 
phosphorus, or 'freezes his spiiita up like fish in a pood.' It snutci 



CHARACTER OF MR. CANNTNti 



wich iu prtrilic aacx, it deadens with it* ior[)edo touch, the Miniuer, 
the Parliament, the peoplct *fld maket thb nu. Tree, enlij;hiene<l, 
and cnterprbing couatry a body wiihoct a 6oal, an incn masf, like 
ihr faalkt of our men i^ vrir, which Mr. Canning uw and desciibed 
w wtU ai Plymouth. It ii the ume word, that announcing the pro- 
&iistioa of * the gulden round thtt binda the hollow leniplea of a kuig ' 
by unhallowed handfi, would fill their wiilt, and hurl clieir thunders on 
rebel ihoret. h denotince* war, it whispers peace. It i* echoed by 
the groans of the oationt, is unctilicd l>y their t^ood, bought with 
their treaaure. It it thii that filli the time-rent towers ofthe In<}uiu> 
tioD with tean and piercing cries ; and owing to thii, Manzotti thrielcs 
in Italian dungeons, whiK Mr. Canning soothes the Houae of 
CoffltnoM with the aoft accenu of liberty and peace! In fine, 
Mr. Canning'! suecefla ai an orator, and the apace he eccupieB in the 
public mind, arc atroog iikdicationi of the Gcniua of the Age, is 
which words hare obtained a niasicry orcr thingt, 'and to call evil 
good and good eril,' is thought the mark of a superior and happy 
miiu An accomplished atatccnuo in our day is one who extols the 
Cooniiution and riolates it — who talks about religion and social 
order, and means slarerr and superstition. The Whigs are always 
renuading the reigning family of lit prindplei ihtil rawJ thrm tt lie 
/^mm.— the Tories labour a hard co substitute those tiai <wiU trtp 
iitrm ihtrt. There it a dilemma here, which is not easily got over ( 
and to soUc the difHculty and rccoacilc the cootxadiction, was the 
great problem of the late King's rdgn. The doubtful lubricity of 
Mr. Canning's style was one of the lotlers by which the tiassiiion 
was effected, and Lcgitiniucy shown to be a middle term bclwcen 
dSrviw right and iht rioire 0/ tfx fia^r, compiiliblc willi both, and 
convertible into either, at the discretion of the Crown, or pleasure of 
(he S[)ealcer. Mr. Canning does not disgrace hii pretentions on other 
qticstions. He ii a sophist by profession, a piilliatur of every powerftd 
and proSuble abuse. His shumiag. trilling speeches on Reform are 
well-known. He sometimes iddt the petulance of the schoolboy to 
hit stock of worn-out invention; though hit unfeeling taunt on the 
'revered and ruptured Ogden.' met with a reception which will make 
him cautious bow he tampersagain with human infirmity and indiridual 
sutfering, at the subject of ribald je«» and proiligatc allitcrntion. 

The thing in which Mr. Cinning excel* most is wit; and his wit 
IB coa6ncd to parody. The Rejf.ifJ Addrtitei hare been much and 
deservedly iidmirL-d ; but we do not think [he parodict in them* bow- 
erer ingenious or ludicrous, arc tu be compared with tlioie in the 
' Ptrtrj </ ihe Anti-Jatthin^ and some of the rery besr of these are 
by Mr. Canning. Among others arc, we believe, the Ctrman PIay% 

34 » 



CHARACTER OF MR. CANNING 

and thr imttatioo of Mr. Sontbey's Sa/ifihttt. Much u we admirp, 
we do no* wonder ai Mr. CanmBg'* excciknce io this dejurtment. 
Red, original wit, he hu ncnc; for th» implici lenw and feeling, 
and an inMght Into the real difTcrracei of chinj* ; bat from a want of 

Jrmpathy with anything but formi aod eotnmon-plactj, he can easily let 
own the tcciDC ui utlicci Ko as to mAc ittitucmt of it. He ha> no 
enthuuaini or Hennbiiity to make him otcrlook ti>e meanoen of a 
■ubjeet, or a little irreguUritj in the treatment of it, lironi the intereH 
it excites : to a mind like his, the Kriaiu and aiTectioj; ii a kind of 
natural buileu]uc. It ii a macter of course for him to be tiiuck with 
the ab*urdtty of the roniaatic or Bingalar in any way, to whom eTery 
thing out of the bcateo track ii ab»rd ; aod ' to turn what is ktioui 
into faice* by traaifetring the saute exprcsiioas to perfectly indilFercnt 
and therefore contemptible subject*. To make any de«eripdon or 
■cntiment ludicrous, it la only Rccctury to take away all feeling from 
it : the ludicrous it ready-niiidc to Mr. Canning's handn. The poetry, 
the heart-fell intereiit of erery thing encapet ilirough hij apprehcnsioB, 
like a imake out of it& skin, and Icarci the ilough of parody behind it* 
Any thing more ligiu or worthless cannot well be imHgined.' 

I Wc h*w isiH nothing hen of the impiaty of Mr.Ctnning'i parailin, iboufli 
I l^it deal hit Wen uiil of ibr impicljr at Mr. Honr'i, which ua(«tiuDiItty 
liappen to Itc oo the other lide of the qucilioii. It i* true lh*t aw mtm mwf irttl a 
Mru laanrr tken anctktr tan itei ntr a itJ^t. Mr. Hurc i) not ■ Cibinct Midhtcr, 
■ n<! ihcrrforc it itul ulluwcl to likr libcriici wiih the Litui^. it i* to do foipoac 
lu uigc that Mr. Hune ii ■ very KuDil-n*turc-l mill, thai he u mUd Wtd inofTcniivc 
in liii iDinncr*, >l»t he ii utietl)' vuiil of kuiIc, »ilh ■ gteal deal cS uaertc pieij, 
snd thit hii gr»tr«t vice It that he li land (if * iake.ind pmi t» hlick-lritet 
THiling. The aniwer i* — ' But he hti wriilen pwnilin'^nrt it it lis no purpoM 
to reply— S« hit Mr. Canning ! He it i Citiind Mini«lcr, ind therefore jncipsbU 
of any thiaj vulgar nr profane. One wouJrj think ihm the iriunriFhanl tjiiati'Da 
put hy Mr. Hnne to hit Jury, ' Whethtt Mt. Jclivir* Ptioity on BUtk-ejren Sutia 
WM mcdiii to riiliculc Sir Williarn Cuttii or uit BnllaJ of BUck-tycd SumoF' 
wouiildavcput an tni( forever Io ihe onl on ihii lubjeci, if reaian cou]i< put lo eD<t 
to can! oo any ■utjcel. The fate of diffeifnt mcci ii evrioui. Mr. Canniiii, who 
hat sU hit life been ijefmitlng the motl odiDui and niitchievuut men and meuurci, 
paitet, on thai very iccouni, for t moil amiable cbaridcr and la Bccomptiahed 
■laieaman. Mr. Hone, who defendeil himielf agiinii ■ ctiarje af blasphemy tot a 
ptiody on the CJiurti Srrvnt of which Mi. Canning had furniihed him with 
a precedent, tSK frcim the attach by the fuiie uf Kon>i-nature, aod by chat noble 
apuit of frceiluiii and honcilr in whith t'O be unjuitly aeeuecil i* (o be lupcrior t« 
all (tie, and to apeak liulh >• In be eloquent — but thil he did not nA'ci hiaitelf t« 
b« (TDihed to atama, asd made a wiUing Mcriliee to the prejadiee, lilrni, and 
tulhofily iMayed igainM him, i« a retittance (a the o^uiiunt «f th* world snii the 
inaolenct of power, that can ntitt be <i*cr1ookcd or (ar|ivcn. 

' A wit '» ■ feallier, inii ■ chief 't ■ rod ! 
An honett ntaa 'a the Dobleal work of Cad I' 



34* 



THE DANDY SCHOOL 



THE DANDY SCHOOL. 
Tk M.t^imir.\ INttumkr iS, its?. 

ViTiAM Gkev is dedicated to thr Bnt and Gmte«t of mco, u if the 
lOtutriotu PeiMQ who will take thi» cumpJiment to hiioMlf approT<d 
of the leatinKnta contaiocd in it. Aic uihcn odious to the Beat and 
Gmtot of raen i Dott he hau the great nuu of hi> nd>jrctf, and 
•com all tboK bcyood TcfQ(>Ie-bu ? Is be Kiag oikly of the Daadin, 
aod Monarch of the Wc>t i We icarccly heltcre ti. Thi& tolomc 
irith its impcninent dedication U no more expreniw of the tcntimcnu 
of bt* heart than th« jfu/iriaii Calttbitm, dedicated in like maimer, 
vould be characteriitic of the principles of hi> rctgn> Oh I Mr* 
Grey, you tboold have been more humble — yon ihould haw tDScxibed 

Jour work to the bcitt-dres»cd Man in his Maje«ey'e domtaioni — or XA 
Kk Ketch. 

It vas formerly understood to be the bviinesa ot literature to 
enlarge the bound* of knowledge and feeding { to direct the mind's 
eye beyond the pretcnt moment and the present object : to plunge ui 
in the world of romance, to connect different lugiuget, nuuMn* 
tines logettier; to wean us from the grossoest of sense, the illuuouof 
•elf-lore ; — by the aid of imagtnationt to place ns in the situation* of 
otbcTS and enable ui to feel an interest in all that strikes them ; and 
to make book* the f:iithful witneftes and interpreters of nature and the 
human heart. Of late> ioctrad of thi* liberal and useful tendency) it 
bai taken a narrower and more superficial tone. All that we learn 
from it i> the servility, e^otiim, aatLupNan prMeBnou of the writer*. 
Instead of transporting you to faa^atA Or ime ibe miJiffr agtt, you 
take a turn down Bond Street or f>o through the mazes of the dance 
at Almack's. You hare no new inlet to thought or feeling opened to 
youi but thr p(L»ing ubjecit the topic of the day (however insipid or 
repultive) is H-rred up to you with a self-suflicient air, as if you bad 
not already had enough of'^ it. You dip into an Esuy or « Nord, 
and may fancy yourself reading a collection of quack or lashionahle 
adtertiscments : — Macassar Oil, Eau dc Cologne. Hock and Seltzer 
Water, Otto of Roaes, Pemade Dtvint glance through the page ia 
incxtricsfalc confusion, and make your head giddy. Far from 
exrcnding your symuathiet, tbcy are narroved to a single point, the 
admiration of the folly, caprice, intolence, aod aiTectatioo oi a certain 
ctu*i — so that with the exception of people who ride in their 
carriages, you are taught to look down upon the rest of the species 
«rith indifference, abhorrence, or contempt. A school-master in a 
black coat u a (uomter — a tradesman and his wife who eat cold 

343 



THE DANDY SCHOOL 

mutton and pickled cabbage are wretcfaec to be hunted out of Rociety. 
That ti tbc end and moial of it: it i> part a»d parcel of a •yitcia* ^ 
Th« Dandy Sthoal give the fioiihiiig touch to the principles of 
paternal governmeQi. First comes the political lycopbaat, and make* 
th« people oret to thdr tulert a« a property in perpetuity ; but tbeo 
they are to be handled tradcrlyi and need not complain, eioce the] 
coTcieign ii the father of hit people, and w« are to be all oair famil^ij 
of \ow. So Bayi the ^oitnan Caltchum, Then cornea the lilcrar^l 
sycophant to finish whnt the other had begun i and the poor fool* of<f 
people having been caught in the trap or plauiible profeHions, he4 
takei off the mask of falernity, treaia them 3» of a ditftrent ipeciet 
inatcad of members o( the same famtlyi loadt them with obloquy and-' 
inftult, and hughs at the very idea of any fellow feeling with or con- \ 
■ideratioD towardi them, as the height of bad taste, weakness, snd^ 
Tulgarity. So lay Mr. Theodore Hook and the uuthor of Fh 
Gny. So lays not Sii Walter. Hver while you lire, go to a maa i 
of genius in preference to a dunce ; for let his prejudices or hii party] 
be what they may, there is still a lanog grace about him, for htt>] 
himHif has sonieihing else to trust to bendes his xubtcrrieRcy to] 
greatness to raise him from tn«ignificaoce. He take« yon and placet 
you in a cottage or a cavern, and makes you feci the deepen interest 
in ti, for you feel all that ita inniaies feel. The liantly &-^c«/tell yoa 
all that a dandy would feel in nuch circumstances, viz. that he was not 
in a drawing-room or at Long's. Or if lie docs forfeit bis chvactor ' 
(or a moment, he at most brings himself to patronise humaDtty, con- 
descends to the accidents of common life, touches the pathetic with 
his pen as if it were willi a pair of tongs, acd while be just deigns to 
notice the existence or endure the infirmities of his (elww^icatarcs* 
indernnifies his vanity by snatching a consciaus glance at his owa 
person and perfections. Whatever is going on, he himself is the hero 
of the scene; the dinres* (however excruciating) derives its chief 
claim to attention from the singular circumstance of his being present; 
and he manages the whole like a piece of piivate theatricals with an aiE 
of the mnut ■.\\'M>\viXc nonchaltinte and decunim. The Who(.e DtriY O^j 
Mam is tumvtl into a butt and bye-word, or like Mr. Martin's bill for- 
hununity to animals, is a pure voluntary, a caprice of cffcmiDato 
sensibility: the great husinew oF life is a kind of masqnensdc or 
mel(>drame goi up for effect snd by particular desire of the Great. 
We sovn grow tired of nature so treated, aod arc glad to turn to the 
follies and fopperies of high life, into which the writer enters with 
more relish, and where he ticds himself more at home. So Mr. 
Croker [in his place in the House of Commons) does not knov 
where Dloomsbury Square is: thus alfecting to levelill the Houses ia 
344 



THE DANDY SCHOOL 

dbe flwimolli that are not at the court-cod, and leavbg them 
OBantlew by a paltry bomt, » if a pUgQC had vUttcd them. It i* no 
vooda that hit pnrijtj and undcrtcrapperi out of doora ahoukl echo 
thii oActa) impeitispnce — draw the line ttill closet betweec the EaK 
3Bd Wc«t-enH — arrcot n siray tentiment at the corner of a street, 
relej^ic clegaocc ut a fashionable square — annihilate all other cnjoy- 
mentj, all other pretcntioni hui thoac of iheir cnij^loycra^reducc the 
bulk of fnankind to n cypher, and malce all but a few pmpered 
lavouritet of fonunc dinsitti&lied with ihemaelTes anii conlempiible to 
one anotlicr. The reader's miod it bo r.irniahcd over with altccufion 
that sot an avenue to truth or feeling U left open, and it ia itiHed tor 
wrat of breath. Seed these people acrois the Channel who nuLe 
lucb a iuaa about the East and W«i-ead, and no one can iiod out the 
differeace.' The Engiifib are not a nation of daa^ei ; nor can John 
Boll alTord (whaterct the pacdcrt i« fathioo and admircrf of courtly 
grace* may say to the contrary) to teat all hU prcteuioDa upon that. 
He most descend to a broader and more maoly level to Veep hia 
Krouixl at all. Thoie who woold persuade hJm to build up hia 
fame on froggcd coats or oo the cmbcllishnicnts of a tnulT-box. he 
abould scatter with one loud roar of indignation and trample into 
the earth like graHhoppctH ai tDakiag act only a bcaat but an aa» 
of him. 

A writer of this accomplished stamps cotnes forward to tell yoa, 
not how his hero feeU on any occaticn. for he ii above (hat, but how 
he waa diested, and makes him a mere lay-figure o( fashion with a 
fcw pert, current phraset in his mouth. The Sir Sedley Clatendcls 
nd Meadowici of a formef age are become the real fine gentlemen of 
this. Then he si^es you the address of bin heroine's milliner, leal 
zcy shocking lurniise should arise in your mind of the possibility of 
her dealing wifh a person of lew approved taste, and also informs you 
that che quality cat lish with silver forks. This is all he know* abou 
the inaner : is this all they feel i The fact is new to him : it ii old 
to them. It ii so new to him and he is so delighted with it, that 
provided a few select pertona cat lish with silver forkit, he considers it 
a circumtunce of oo cocie^uence if a whole country starve* ; but 

' It i> amuiinjt to i« t.n E(if)l>h mr^maii ia the street* of Ptru looking lilte t 
■lowiljr, and (cxcrly thle <o put one fool bffar* Boothn for vcfjr mwb<nHne» lAit 
•himr, who- hnt a vrtlc bcfure the Itft hnnc had ptt)u|a trampl<>l on ■ dfcsa 
brovphi honM to hrr. io i lii nf uncantrollibli! rsjC) liniWD a np into ths Ac*, sad 
kicked hci milllar't down tu\n far bttnginf her luch unfaihiooiblc trumiKry. 
One would Kirccly belitir thit ■ mccF <hins« □( pli<e would mikc such in 
sitctstion in behaviour. When ne tec our conntry-woiatn m unplnnntlj 
(itniKd, we ire iiitursUy both titi*mc<i and torrjr for thetn i bvt, as in thi* ci«e| 
wc picjr niiny of ilieni mole (hjn tixy iIcseivc. 

34S 



THE DANDY SCHOOL 



tli«fe privileged pcnoita are tiot turdy tbukis; sU the dme ud ever^r 
day of ihetr lire* of that whkh Mr. Theodore Hook has ocrct 
IWgoilea tinct he firtt witseswd it, viz. thai l/iij rai ibtir^b wilk a 
tUvtr fori. Wh«l Own arc they thinicing of Ja their intemU of 
letnue — what are ihcir fceltnjts that we cao be supposed lo know 
iKMhiog of ? Will Mr. Theodore Hook, who U ■comfoned with 
their uight radbncc, though not in their sphere,' coDde«cead to give 
u» a gItmpBc of these, that we nuy admire their teal elegance and 
refinement u much a* he doe« a frogged coat or itlTet fork? It ia 
cruel in him not to do so. *The »w/| a« well m we, may chide 
hilt) lor it.' He once crilicjacd a city fcHsi with /leat minutmcu 
and bittcmesB, in which (ai it appeare) the tjde^ioaid it ill-arranged, 
(he foocnun make* a blunder, the cook has wDt up a diih coo Ittile or 
too highly teaaoocd. SomnhinK is waotiog, aa Mr. Hook ianauates 
la ncceuarily the cate whenever people in the neighboarfaood of 
RuMcll square give dinner*. But that aometbiog ii not the manaer* 
or coDTcTtation of gntlemeD — this never cDirta hit head — bat aome- 
thing that the butler, the cook or the valet of people of faahioa could 
have remedied qvtte a* well (to toy the lean) at their roaners. It ia 
here the clovcD-fooii the underbred tone, the uoduc admiration of 
extenial citcumaunccs breska ow and betrays the writer. Mr. Hook 
haa a fellow- feeling with low life or nilwr with vulgarity aping 
geoti lily, but he haa never ^oi bcyood the oui4idc of what he call* 
nod jocieij. He can lay the cloth or play the buifooa after dinner — 
but that ia the atmo*t he can pretend to. We have in Safitigt an4 
D^figt and in yixian Grrj abundance of Lady Mary* and Lady 
Dorothy*, but they are titka without charactera, or the blank ii filled 
up with the moat trite impertinence. So a young liaeo-drapef or 
attorDey'*-<lcrk from the country, who had gained a thirty-thouiand 
pound prize in tlie lottery and withed to let up for a fine gcDCleman, 
might learn firom thexe Novel* what hotel to put up at, what watering 
place to Ro to, what hatter, houer, tailor, *bocmaker, fnirw to 
employ, what pan of the town he abould be teen in, what theatre he 
might frequent ; but how to behave, apealt, look, feel and thiak in hit 
new and more aspiring character he would not find the moat ditcaat 
hint in the groM carkaiurei or flimsy iketche* of the mott mechanical 
and shallow of all school*. It it really at if, in lieu of our royal and 
fathionable * Society of Author*,' a deputation of lailort) cooka, 
lacqueyi, had taken possession of Parna»Ds, and had amoiatcd aome 
Abigail out of place perpetual Secretary. The Congrevet, Wycherleya, 
and Vaobrugb* of former day* gave «t some tattc of gentility and 
courtly refinement id their playt : eDchaoted us with their MiSamoMiit 
or mule tu bow with retpect to their I.MrdTwjrdiyi, It would aeero 

54* 



THE DANDY SCHOOL 




that ikt n» of th«»c i* over, or thut our modem tcribcf hare not bid 
aoccn 10 tfacm on a proper footing — that is, not for their tnJenu or 
conreTBacion, but as mountebanlcs or political drudges. 

At fir« it ap[>eafft strange that pectont of » low a itaiion in life 
«hould be tcitcd with such a raf.e lo inrdp.h apjainit tben»clrcS| and 
make us dc^piie all but a few arrogant people, who pay them ill for 
what they do. But thii ii the natural procew of lervility, and we mw 
all vftlets and hnngrrs-oD of the Great do the same thing. The 
powtlcrrd footman looks down on the rabble that dog his master's 
«oach M beneath hts notice. He feel* the one little abOTe bin, and 
the other (by coosniuc-ncc) infinitely below him. Authors u pretcnt 
woutd be thought gentlemen, as gentlemen hare a fancy to turn 
authors. The lirst thing a ^an/fy uriMer does is to let na know he 
ii drcascd in the height of the iashion (otherwiMr we might imagine 
him tome miserable garretteer, diiiinguishcd only by his porvrty ood 
learning) — and the next thing he docs is to make a supercilious 
allution to some one who is not w well drrMcd a» himself. He then 
proceeds to give us a sparkling accuuni of his Champagne »iid of bin 
box at the Opera. A nnrspaper hacic of this description also take* 
care to inform us that the people at the Opcrx in general, the 
Mr. Smiths ;tnd the Mr. Browns, are not good enough for hinit ind 
that he shall wait to begin his critical lucubrations, till the star* of 
bahion meet there in ctowdi and coostclUlioDi I At present, it should 
seem that a scat on Parnassus conveys a title to a box at the Opera, 
and that Helicon no longer ruiit water but champagne. Literature, no 
far from supplying us witli iutelleciual roources to counter balance 
immediate privations, is made an instrumetit to add to our imjmieoce 
and irritability under ihem, and to nourish our feverish, childish 
admiration of external show and grandeur. This cage for fathioa 
and for fashionable writing seems becoming univeinat, and some stop 
mun be put to it, unless it curec itself by in own exceuive folly and 
ioiipidity. 

It ia well that the Editor of the Jahn Ball wrote the Saymgi and 
Doingt. It solves the problem with how small a quantity of wit a 
person without character or principle may set up for a political 
mouthpiece. Nothing but the duHnes* of the one could account for 
the impudence and the effect of the other. No one who could write 
a line of wit or sense could bring himself from any inducement to 
repeat the same nickname, tlic same stale jest, for weeks and months 
together. If tlie Hditor of the John But! had any re«ources in him- 
self beyond (he most vulgar rlang and hackneyed abu»e, if he hod any 
tenw of dhamc »t resorting to the wime wretched pun or more wretched 
calumny, week after week, as he is paid for it, he would be unlit for 

547 



ACTORS AND THE PUBLIC 

h{( task : br would so loogcr be the complete and unrquiTOcal organ 
of tlie dulncts, prejudices, malice, and calloos tnseDsibility of his paitv. 
No argument telli witb a intaister of Sute tike culling a mao a Jacobui 
and a Krfermcr for ilic foructh time : the %lcck Divine chucklet az a 
dirty allusioo for the fortinb time with unabated glee. Mr. Hook, 
among wiu, might be tailed ike pttrten' t note : vt perhaps the title of 
Mr. Viracity Dull would suit him aa well. What a dearth of 
invpRCioD, what a want of inlereit, what a fuES about nothing, n^;it a 
dreary monotony, whut a pert M^j/e^ Jargon run;* through the whole 
•crin of the autlior's tales ! But what a pcDeTcring, unaboiiicd 
confidence, what a broad-shouldered seLf-coraplacency, what robuet 
health, what unretentiag nervea he must poMe» to inflict them oa hi* 
readers ! Not one ray. not one line — but all the refuse of the 
Grun'Teom, the locomotiani of a booth at a fair, the humourt of a 
Margate hoy, the grimace of a jack-pudding, the wntimcntalitiei and 
haahed-up tcandal of a lady's maid, the noise find hurry of a chaiK 
;ind four, the rnaui and vacancy of a retuin post-irhaise ! The smart 
imprcrviialori tufoa out tlie mosi weariiome of inierniinable writers. At 
a mornent'* warning he can supply Komethrng th:it !« wortli nothing, 
:ind in ten time* the space he can spin out ten times the ^antiiy 
of the same poor traiih. Would the public read Suyiitgi anei Daingt ! 
Would Mr. Colbum print them ? No, but they arc known to be the 
work of the HdilOT of the John Bull, of that great and anonymous 
abstract of wit, taste, and patriotiem, who, like a Ministerial trail, 
calls after you in the street, dubs Mr. WaiihmAn Lord Waithm&o, 
cries Humbug whenervr humanity is mentiooed ; invades the peace of 
private life, out of regard to religion and social order; cuts a throat 
out of good nature, and laughx nt it; and claps his Majesty familiarly 
on the nhouldrr, aa the best of Kings ! Do you wonder at the face, 
the grii>'ity, the impenetrable assurance required to do all this, and to 
do it not once, but once n-weck ^ Read Sayiitgt ant! Doingj, and the 
wonder ceases; you ice rl is because he can do codling else! He 
will feel obliged to us for this character : his patrons were beginniag 
to forget ]]i9 qualiiicatioDS. 



ACTORS AND THE PUBLIC 

TAi Enmlmtr.) [AC>'<i (6, iSit. 

Wa once happened to be present, and indeed to assist in the follow- 
inj; conversation between a young tady and an elderly gentleman 
pretty much of our own standing in such niattcf*. *I believe, papa, 

34« 



ACTORS ASD the PUBLIC 



jraiul-psps did not Uaok an fcigU; of Mi. GanicL « mou peofite 
did? * *Wby, njrdear, yow ptii^mpi •mat mn one of ihoaewbo 
filwd u difer very opc^ with tht world ; bat be had xn opinioo 
of hn own, wliicfa be bsfactcd oaly to a few pattioilar friend*. He 
really ifaoa^t Mr. Gurick wu « ijvack«a bcncc lort t/Banhdranr- 
finr aeior. He sacd to ay (for be wt« a nun tbat knew the world) 
*UNt tbe real aecm of Mi. Carrick'k wcceM waa, that bia fiicnd 
Bxe Dadlnr bad fmStd htm into ooeicr. as he aTtcrwaiti* did the 
Pmee d Wale*.* We oo ihi« obierred, to oki iDdividtial capacity, 
that at IcMt tbe diapcs*er oi popoUf itv bad been more tccccnliil id 
ifce one cHc tfau in tbe other. * 1 believe, papa, you yonrarif were 
nerer a grrax adnMr of Mi*. Siddana? ' * Why do, my dear, ooe 
dor* not like to ny tboac thiaga,bnt tbc alway4 appeared to ine 
one of the grc« Jmy O Mti oiia oo the world. There was nothing io 
her, a mere tragedy (^tmn ' — * Pray, faa'am, hare you rod Sir 
WaJter'i lart oo^f' — 'Why oo, I really cannot *ay I have. 1 
have tried to get throi^ ooc or two, but I &nd tbem ao dry I have 
Dveo sp the attempt. I like ** Sayin^i and Doings " mnch belter. 
Pny, str, can you tell me the name of the author i ' * Mr. Theodore 
Hook.' — * Ble«» me, what a prcuy nane ; I wish papa would invite 
bias to dinace.' — Here we have tbe genealogy of modcfn taaie. 
'Fore gadt they were all in a «ory — three gescratioot io sBCCeaskm 
tbinlcmg sotbiag of Garrick, Mn. Siddona, aod the author of 
• Wavertcv,* and praferring Mr. Tbeodore Hook brtbre the quiu- 
cucncc of tnith u>d nature. And aoch is tbe opioioD of aiDe-tcalh* 
of tbe world, if we could get at their real tbonghta. Tbe vulgir is 
ihetr inmoai sonla admire nothiag but tbe vulgar ; the commoo-pUce 
adnitte oothtM bat the commoo-plnce ; tbe lupcrficial nothing but the 
■npeificial. now abould it he othcrwite? The rcu is cant md 
amctadoD : and as to those who know beuei and have prateodooa 
Ibemselves, they are actuated by envy and malice, or tome prc- 
cooceived theory of their own. loMcad of a great actor, for ioatancc, 
tbey are looking for a hat and feather, are ditappoioted at not fioding 
ivbal they foodly expect, and more diuppoiBted still at coming in 
coHinon with a power that shocks all ibcir prevtont sympathies, 
raloi^ and definitions. Let a great man * fall into mitfortuoe ' (like 

ICtpimm M4ukeath) and Um* yon discover the real diapositioo* of the 
reMiog, seeing, bdieving, lovmg public towards their pretended idol. 
See how tbey set upon him the moment he ii down, how they watch 
for the smallest slip, the fir« pretext to pick a t^turiel with him, how 
slow they are to acknowledge worth, bow tbey octci ibigive an 
ern>r, how they tramjJe upon and tear ■ to tauers, to very rags,' xhc 
eooBMRi frailties, how they overlook and malign the tnnsceodaot 
S49 



ACTORS AND THE PUBLIC 

rxcpllracc which they cm neithn reach nor fiixl a tubnitutc for! 
Who hui prniicd Sir Walter, who hns not hnd a Jiiitg it him, iiaex 
he lo«t all that h« vm worth I Oh ! if he would but write the 

* Life of George tv. ! ' Who that h^d feh Kean's immeasuiablc 
Bupcriorit^r in Othfllo, was not gbd to mv him brought to the ordinary 
level in a rulgar rnni, eon ? No : a niait uf Uue genius and conimDn 
oliKTTattun, instead of being dinppointrd at not L';irrytiig the prize by 
BccliamattoD, and exciting gratitude equal to the pleasure he gives, 
ought to be thankful th^t he ii not booted from the stage, aod tora in 
pieces by the rsbblct as soon as he quits his lair of solitary obicurity. 
Every man of that sort is assuredly looked upon by the migar as 
bartDg dealings with the devil, because they do ooi we Hhe tpell*, 
the mighty mugic lie hath tiicd,' and ihey would make an auto-Ja^f 
of him if they durti, as they formerly burnt a witch ! They cootiire 
to torture him enough, as it is. What was it made men born 
attralogera and alchemista in former times, but the aenae of power 
and knowledge which the illiterate hind did not pottrts i Ate the 
rtaJii^ dil^rent from the tmrttuihg public? Believe it no*. But 
this power was aupposed to be rxcrciacd for evil ]>ur|Mae>, whemia 
genius has a beneficial influence. That doublet tlie obligation, and 
fixes the ingratitude. The critical piblic view the appearance of an 
original mind with the sidelong glances and ihc Jeux ynx with wliicb 
the antmnU at Rxeter- 'Change Tcg;trd the strange vidtants; but if any 
one trusting to the umtuhle loolis and playful gambols of the one or 
the other opens tlie door of his own lolly to let tliem out* he will 
•OOD sec how it will fare with him. There are a million oi people 
in this single metropolis, rach of whom would willingly Rtand on the 
pedestal which you tKcupy. Will they forgive you for thrusting 
them from their place, or not triumph if ihey see you totter ? Beware 
how you climb the t.lippery ascent ; do not neglect your footing when 
you arc there. Such is the natural feeling; and thco comca the 
philosophical critic, und ictis you with a face of lead and brais that 

• no more indulgence in to Iw nhi'wn to the indincretiona of a man of 
genius than to any other ! ' What 1 you make him drunk and mad 
with applause and then blame him for not being tobcti yoa lift him to 
A pionacle, and then sny he i) not to be giddy, you own he is to be a 
creature of impdsc, iaa yet you would regulate him like a machioe, 
you expect him to he all fire and air, to wing the cmpyrctDi and to 
take yon with him, and yet you would have him a muck-worm 
crawling the c^rth ! But it is a Scotch critic who says this — let us 
pass on. If an actor is indeed six feet high, will) a &ce like a paste- 
board mask, he may pats in the crowd and will hatre the B>ob on hii 
side [ hot if he can only boast 



ACTORS AND THE PtBUC 

'The dtry «i)iil, thai working; oiit it* vny. 
Fretted ^e pigmy Ixwly lu Jecay, 
And o'tT iniarmeil tlie tenement oSciwy'^ 

he itaod^ftUMgftl p^fil of the uiithtnVbg inany, and the fiutidiotiii 
few. Oiyn BB let reis it a forei^rr, the may escape 'the envy of 
leu b.ip])ier Unds,' and be encouraged as a luxvry for the great — be 
wafted lo us on ii name, aiul lake back with her our tighi aod tears. 
Vet how frail is the tenure of lashion ! Where is Madame Catalani 
now i Where docs the siren's voice ftuttcr io the uinshioe of bcr 
smtlet ? — 

It was some time since we had tern Mr. Kean's Shyloti. Fourteen 
years ago we were dcsiicd to go and sec a youog actor from the 
country attempt the part at Diury-lane; and, as waa expected, add 
anotht-r to the litl of failures. When we got there, there were about 
fifty people in the pit, and there was thai 6cn»e of previous damnation 
which a thin house inspires. When the new candid^tie came on, 
there was a lightness in his step, an airv huoyancy and Kelf-possessioa 
diETcreot from the lullen, dogg'cd, gaoi-at£vny look of the traditional 
^i>jr&rl/ of the stage. A raguc expectation was excited, and all went 
on well ; but it was not till he cnnie to the part, when leaning on his 
staff, he tells the tale of Jacob and his flock with the garrulous cisc 
old age and an animation of tipitii, that seems borne back to the 
Jen time, and to the privileged example in which he exults, that it 
"was plun that a nun of genius had lighted on the stage. To those 
who had the spirit and candour to hail the lucky omen, the recollec- 
tion of that moment of startling, yet welcome suqiriflc, will slwavs be 
a proud and satisfactory one. We withed to »ee after a lap«c of lime 
and other changes, whether this first imiression would still keep 
* true touch,' and we find no dilTtrcnce. Besides the excellence of 
the impassioned parts of Mr. Kean's acting, there is a flexibility 
and indefinitcness of outline about it, like a figure witli a landscape 
back-ground — he is in Venice with his money-bags, hit dmighter and 
his injuries, but his thoughts take wing to the Ean, his voice swells 
and dcepcDB at the mention of his sacred tribe and ancient law, and 
he dwells delighted on any digreHion lo distant times and phices, as 
a relief to htt vindictive and rooted purposes. Of all Mr. Kean's 
pcrforniancci, we think this the most faultless and least manacrtJ, 
always excepting his OlfxUo, which is equally perfect and twenty 
timeK more powerful. Mr. Kean succeeded to well in ihii part in 
which he came out, that with the difKdencc of the abilities of others 
so natural to us, it was concluded by the managers be could do 
nothing else, and he was kept in it so long that he had nearly failed 

55' 



FRENCH PLAYS 

TrT Rkhm-Jt till the dying kkok bore down all oppoiiiioa by a 
wtthrnng ipcll, and a» if n pf<etenvitura] being had viiibly ukea 
potWMion of hi) (bnn, and made the enthuiiiaiin the greater from the 
lUKcrUioty that had before prevailed. The Sir CUei Qvtrrtath 
ttamped him with the playen and the town, aod Qihttta with the 
critict. He who ha* dooe a tingle thing ibai others ocTcr forget, 
and feci cnoobled whcocvcr they tfainli of, need not regret hit having 
been, and may throw nside this flcihly coi!, like any other wom-out 
pan, grateful ud contented ! 



FRENCH PLAYS 

TAr fxAMwr.] (Morr* I;, iBiS. 

MoKSiEUH PtKLET IS cenainly a pearl of an aaor. He doc* every 
pan well, und every pan varied from another. He t>, however, a 
jewel *et in lead : the rest of the company to which be belong! are 
but indiftt-rent. He is exactly wbai a Lnindon itar^ engaged for a 
few night* lo gratify the * upturned eyes of wondering audieDcet.* is 
in 1 tattered troop of country-actor*. Thote who fancy that they see 
here a thorough sample of French acting, the eUte ot the capital of 
civili*ed tociety, are mistaken ; and we perhaps should not nMcccive 
them, but that we can atture them that they have a pleunre to come, 
something to look forward to, and aomethins to look back upon, and 
which (we believe) can he found only at Paris. Oh! Paris, thou 
hast the Louvre, the garden of the Thuillefies, and the Theatre 
Frattfmt; Madame Pasta we share by turni wiih you, as the sun 
•heds its light on cither world — the rest ti barbarout ind common. 
A friend of ours once received a tetter from a friend of his, dated 
Rome, with three marks of admiration after it, which be antwered 
by writing Loniiom, with four niarV* of admiration after it: 'and 
why shouldn't he, stscc we had St. Panl's, the Canoons, the Elgin 
Marbles, and the Bridgesf* As to the ihret: first, they were not 
out! : and ai to the fourth, the reasoning putt roe a litilc in mind of 
Sir William Curtis' t, who remarked that ' it was very good of God, 
that wherever there was a greai city, he had made a river by the side 
of it! ' There was another proud disdnciion, which our patriotic 
friend did not enumerate, though it was a thumping make-weight in 
the scitle, aad might hire claimed a ffth mark of admiialioB, which 
wa», that he himiclf was there. Thi» is the triumphant argument in 
every Engliihman's imagination, — wherever he is, is the centre of 

{rivity ; whatever he ealU hit own, is the lUodard of excellence, 
t is ogt desire to ihakc off this feeling as much as possible that 
S5* 



FRENCH PLAYS 

makei ui frequent th« tbntrc at the Enfliah Opera-hooK, and try (all 
wr can ) to * leave our country nnd outscItcs * at the door. Why in 
troth, •htiuld aa liDgtith Nobleman be coaviDccd in birundf and »peaX 
upoo thai conviciion in his place in Piirlumcnti thni bc^uusv he kerjx 
a French cuok, the Frmch have no genius for anything but cookeiy i 
Or why, my deai Madam, should you luiv taken it io your bead, 
ihu bevauBc you wear a Kreadi bonnet, there ■* nulhing in Paria but 
milliners' fjirls who are no better than ihey thuuld be ! Nay, that is 
what you really imagine, however you nuiy deny it — but be jwured, 
good, gentle, honest, reilccting reader of either *ex, wiiu feel yout 
owR existence «o solid that every thing eltc it a fable to it, or your 
own virtue to clear that everythmg else is a R]>ot to it, that there arc 
things out of England besides what are imported into it^ihat French 
women not only make caps and bonnets, but wear them with a 
peculiar grace ; that they have eyes glancing from under them full of 
lire and discretion { that thry do not make a faltc step at every turn, 
thougli they do nut walk like Englishwomen, that is, a* if their limbs 
were an incumbrance to ihcm i that the Chamber of Deputies think 
your Lord«lii]>'s speeches dry and laatcleee, for want of a little French 
Masoning : tlist there are cillet not built of bricks, faces not tnade of 
dongb, a language that has a meaning though it is not ours, and virtue 
ihit is neither a statue nor a inaskl For instance, wc think good- 
manners ia one part of ethics, and we do wish ra pmtain that our fine 
gentlemeD at the play would not loll 00 their seats, whistle, and 
thrust their sticks nearly in your face to show tlidr superiority to the 
Tulgar ; and that those of the other sex, who are admitted on their 
good behaviour could be prevailed on not to tilk and laugh so loud, 
not to nod or wink, not to slap their acquaintance on the back, or 
shut ilic doors with luch violence after them, to attract admirers and 
shew an independent spitit. Strange that the English notion of inde- 
pendence consists in giving otTcocc to and displaying your contempt 
for others! They order these things better tn France, wlieic they 
consult decency of appearance at least, and Venus is a prude in public 
— Dot a hoydcs or a oully I 

■Our Cupid ii a hiackguani boy. 
That thrusts hit link m every face." 

This brings us back to the French Thcauc. As we do not 
apfirove every thing forvign or French, we are more bound to 
acknowledge and da justice to what we do like, /mprimu, we abhor 
French piciuccs. In the second place, wc lolcratc French tragedy. 
Thirdly, we adore French comedy. The characteristic of this in iu 
best Kate, and as compared with out utmost efforts in the same line, 

VOL. zi. t X 35} 



FRENCH PLAYS 



it, that it ti »qgilly perfect throughout t lod u that gttit pbilo«opher 
of idlcDcis (Mr. Colcndgc) once wincly and wittily observed, 'ihcrc 
is lomecbing id ihe idea of perfection exceedingly uiiffactory to the 
mind of tnia.' It it not aB with lU at preienc (it was not almyi M 
' — or 11 it the haze of timci the tinu of youth that made the 
difference?) where the most we can expect it one oi two actors of 
disproponioaed excetlence, and all the others merely to liJI tlie stage | 
but there all aic in their place, and all arc lirit-ratc. Oh ! it ia a 
line ihino to sec ooe cf Molicre'i comedies icted (as they thould be) 
at the 7Zc'a/« J-'ranfuii, with the sens* of every pregnant line folly 
understood and dneJoped) with the patsioo and character delineated 
to the life, every aiiuation painted, and erery ihade and difTercncc of 
abturdity hit oif and rcalited ] sad not oniy thia, but the whole ao 
managed, with tuch itudioiu attention to the public and rctpcct to 
the art, ihit not the teait bit of cottunie Ja out of place, and {what is 
more important} that erery part ii filled by an actor or actreM not 
only who comptchcndt and enters into the spirit of it, but who seems 
made for it in person, gesture and features, as !f they had been cast 
in a dramatic mould, or kepi in a ^laM-case for (hat purpose from the 
first rcMescatatioQ to the present day. Thus the loogi nasal speeches 
are delivered by an actor with the prominent, paste-board nose and 
arched eye-brows of the Oratory, and whose unusual height and 
shambliDg ligure ncive him as it were for a rostrami the poetical 
dedicator in the Mliantbn^ has niatkFing eyes and teeth, sniiling 
delighted on his ptron and himself; the cootidaote of C/fimfne, in 
the same piece, ii (lender, fragtlc) timid in appear.ince, a contrast to 
the firm precision and maturer enbon-boial of Mademoiselle Mara: 
Organ has a little, round, dimpled, credulous face, and easy contented 
corpulence ; the Tortile hat the sneaking sanctity of a monk and the 
grin of a monkey. Thus you hare not only the poet's verse exactly 
expressed and recited ; but you have, in addition, the natural history 
of the part, the drapery, the grouping. The age of Lout* xiv, 
revives again in all its mastjutd splendour i the folding^oors are 
thrown open, and you lee men and women playing the fool deliciouely, 
' new manner* and the pomp of elder days,' court-airs, court -dresses, 
the stmt, the shrug, the l¥>w, (he curtsey, the paint, the powder, the 
patches, the peifiime, the taced tuffiet, the diamond buckle, the 
hoop-petticoat. Happy time ! Enviable time to think of I When 
vanity and folly expanded in full btoom, and were spread out 
Oitentatiously like the (igurei in a gaudy tapestry, instead of being 
folded up and thrust into a corner by the hand of a cynic and austere 
philosophy; when personal appearance and .imorous intrigue were all 
in all; when a mari^uis stalked (he GckI of his own idolatry, and 

35+ 



FRENCH PLAVS 



MaJame fa Marjuhf was b«lcl for wtnethiog divi&e by Mentitvr 
JourJain; when ih? whole creation wai tuppoied to be conceottcd 
in the funiMXic circle of lords and ladies, and the unirerul, ihe 
abetra,et, and the critical were held in the utter contempt which they 
detenre — and which they reccire at the hands both of the ignorant 
and the adept I Nothing ihac we koow of if a specific for conjuring 
np thii «haa«w of the pait, and nuking f ou ( if you irc in the mood] 
feel like a {;tcat booby Khool-boyi with a large bouquet at your btcaH, 
or an antiquated fop with a bag-wtg and sword — but litttng at the 
Thratrt Franfah with Mademoiiet^ Man and the whole nrft 
Jramatirpie drawn up on the stage. Then you hare the very thing 
brforc you : it glitter; in your eyes ; it tingles In youi eais, ii tinka 
into The heart, and miltes warm tears roll down the che«k of tho4c, 
who have crcr felt either what the present or the putt is I It is said 
to he an ill wind that blows nobody £ood; and probably we owe it 
to the very exclusion of French players from general society, and 
their being compclitd in trelf-dcfcnce to derate themselves wholly to 
their profcMiun, that they keep up this sort of traditional copy of the 
maoners, pcculiariiiei, and ton« of another sge, 'unmixed with bsier 
noatter/ We could wivh that a ceruin bappy-tpiritcd writer (who 
Itrst gave the ^mv pinf-t^^e flarour to theatrical criticism, making it a 
pleaaaat mixture of sharp and sweet) would resume the subject i^the 
age of Char lc8 it. (our neatest approach to ttwt of Louis xiv. } and as 
he has shocked the upstart petulance of Somr of hit Cotit/m^arin, 
restore in his inimitable careless manner the wit and graces of a 
former period. 

We expected to have seen Monsieur Perlei on Thursday evening 
in the Bourgnh Gtnhlhommt ; and to make sure of the ground, had 
read three acts in the moroing with great care and an anticipsled 
relish of the acting, We were therefore disappointed; and the 
reader must accept of a rhapsody in lieu of a criticism. We think it 
bad policy to have m«ny new pieces; for the English part of the 
audience in general require to pcru»c the irxt beforehand in order to 
follow the performance. We like to know exactly what we are 
aboot ; and it is both a pride and a pleasure to hare aa excuse for 
rubbing up our acquaintance with an old and esteemed author. The 
UDttersality of the French language is not an unalloyed advantage to 
them : it saves the trouble of learning any other, but the necessity of 
acquiring a new language in. like the necessity of acquiring s new 
senje. It is an increase of knowledge and liberality. We arc proud 
of uoderstflnding their authors. Why do they despise ourt } Because 
they are ignorant of them. If they had known what 'snilf ' we are 
made of, very likely we should not have brateo them. M. Perlec 

S55 



FRENCH PLAYS 

played the esn of z Rrollicg comedian in the new piece of the 
ItonJau, ana catt and driaki in an admirable iravura style at a 
gcndcRiaa'i house on the road, where be fuiKs hiraself oft as a great 
mao, and with that tivel/ abtorption JD the present eajoyment and 
diircgaid of the coDDequencca of hJi tnipoilurci which are, we 
SUBpccti national traits. In the hamlet which followed, he wae 
equally happy in a ]X)or, frightened reivflnt, and expressed the 
suipriici of (car and the tficki nnd dinjointed pantomime antici, to 
which it lefaricd to screen itself, with admirable qu^ntnew and 
drollery. The swagger and self-possestion of the one character was 
totally opposed to the imbecility aad