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do we cease to love him when we note his faults. In regard of his position in society, and the place he holds in men's esteem, Dr. Chalmers is very independent ; but he has himself too much humility and good sense, to imagine that this place ought either to blind us to his weaknesses, or give an unquestioned currency to his speculations. Many of these are indeed exceedingly exceptionable, and the defects of his mind are almost as evident as its powers. His ability to enforce and illustrate truth is much greater than his ability to discover or define it. His strength is greater than his discrimination. More comprehensive than minute—more eloquent and forcible than accurate, he is ever apt to be misled by his own illustrations, and whirled into ecstasy by his analogies ; and the very profundity of his convictions, and intenseness of his gaze upon what he deems an important principle, appear too often to have effaced from his understanding all knowledge or recollection of its limits, and allowed him to manufacture it into a paradox.
He often dwells upon some single announcement with a most unproportionate and unnecessary perseverance—in the belief seemingly that he was the first to reveal it to mankind, whereas the truth may have been as old as science, and long ago taken its due place, and obtained its full importance in the system of knowledge. * It is, however, by an unguarded extension of his analogies and illustrations that he is led most frequently into error. The volume lately published for instance, is principally occupied with an endeavour to extend the doctrine of PoruLATION to Capital, and to prove its corresponding ten. dency to impinge against the limits of profitable employment. The dogma bears upon the very front of it the undisguised mark of a paradox; but the Doctor neither pauses nor doubts. Impelled by some unaccountable dislike of the inquirers, at whom, with an ill-disguised but most unworthy contempt, he constantly sneers as “the economists,” he flies back to one of Adam Smith’s vague statements regarding profits, and erects it into an absolute foundation for his theory. No two per.. sons could be more apart in their whole character, as well as in the nature of their systematic writings than Adam Smith and Dr, Chalmers. The latter is essentially a speculator—a logician ; whilst the Father of Political Economy was a philosophic observer. Several of Smith's statements on the effects of accumulation certainly required the correction of Mr. Şay and Mr. Ricardo ; but, as “ The Wealth of Nations ” is a book of observation, not of logic, these fundamental imperfections selslom led its author into important errors. By Dr. Chalmers, on the other
* One very remarkable instance of this vice, cannot have escaped the notice of any one at all acquainted with the Doctor's economical writings,we allude to the supposed discoveries which he hangs upon his division of society into the three classes of primaries, secondaries, and disposables ; by which, he means the labourers employed in the production of food, of the second necessaries of life, and of luxuries. What new truth, or new light, in regard of any important point of economical or political science, might be expected from this new nomenclature-for it is nothing more-it would certainly puzzle an ordinary thinker to predicate ; but the Doctor cherishes it vastly, writes of it in no measured terms of laudation, infers from it that commerce is of the least possible use ; that the landed aristocracy ral superiors, in virtue of principles similar to those which make Euclid true; and that “ the Economists," for want of possessing the invaluable Abracadabra, have fallen into the terrible error of supposing that the buckle-trade, could directly, and of itself, administer to the keeping up of the flesh and blood of the disposables! It is really astonishing that a man like Dr. Chalmers, could, by any process of self delusion, be brought to give in to this egregious trifiing. See an admirable expose of the whole absurdity in the Westminster Review, No. XXXIII, for July, 1832,
hand, that incipient mistake is not only never corrected, but relentlessly worked up by his fearless logic into all manner of extravagant untruth. There are sundry gaps at which we think he might have been stopped by the way—but stop he does not; and at length lands himself in the astounding asseveration, that ALL TAXES FALL ULTIMATELY UPON RENT ! We do not remember a counterpart to this piece of extraordinary ratiocination, if it be not Laplace's inquiry into the ascent of Auids in capillary tubes. No analysis was ever more perfect or more beautiful ; the symbolic process is exquisite, and the management of the calculus most dexterous; yet so ludicrously inconsistent is the result--so utterly in contradiction to all fact and experiment, that, although Frenchmen delight not in acknowledgments of error, the illustrious mathematician was compelled to resign the attempt in piteous hopelessness, and to close his volume in silence. Our countryman, however, is even bolder than Laplace ; for he dwells with pertinacious steadfastness upon his discovery, and insists in a tone of authority for its instant application! We are no great believers in political arithmetic, and are aware that it is never difficult to get up a plausible statistical refutation ; but we truly think that, in this case, statistics might have sufficed to intimate the error, for the veriest tyro in finance could demonstrate the result impossible. On Dr. Chalmers' theory, the total rent of Great Britain and Ireland should amount at present to about one hundred and ten millions, a sum less by but a few millions than the value of the entire annual produce of the soil of the United Kingdom, including the whole corn, of all descriptions consumed by men and animals within the year, and the whole ani.. mals killed annually for the purposes of food ! Rent, it is well known, is only the surplus, after deducting all the expenses of the agriculturist -expenses which consume much more than half of the entire produce. There is, indeed, no danger of application being made of this strange fallacy, or of the State suffering by its incorporation with our theoretical finance; but we nevertheless exceedingly lament our countryman’s having fallen into it, and regard his mistake with the very gravest emotions, as it has blinded his upright spirit to one efficient mode of benefiting his country, reconciled him to the exactions of the oppressor, and withdrawn him, for the present, from the patriot ranks.
The same unfortunate incompleteness or imperfection of mind, which has hurried Dr. Chalmers into these theoretical errors, renders him an unsafe guide in matters of Practical Politics. What is exhibited by a want of attention to the minutiæ and limitations of a logical process, manifests itself in the world of action by an imperfect sympathy with the tendencies and character of the time. Without a profound acquaintance with all these deep and ever-moving tendencies, a man may fashion Utopias, but he can never be a Statesman. Do we recommend slavish obedience to the commands and ephemeral passions of “the mob?" No such thing; only attention to popular movements, and a right appreciation of their importance. Superficial thinkers spurn even at this, and talk magniloquently of the lack of foresight and headlong ignorance of the many! Fools ! the multitude are what they are, not by their own making ; they are the produce of all past time, the receptacle into which every discovery of genius made heretofore, every new light thrown upon the condition of the human heart, and every revelation in regard of man's destiny, have been laid up and are all preserved. The multitude are the result of the world's bygone growth, and their movements its pulse. To despise the multitude is easy—easy to separate one's self from them ; but to rise above them is permitted to few; and the great mass of our originals acquire little other distinction than is conferred by a Harlequin's cap and bells. The man who truly merits the appellation of Great, attains, indeed, to a superior elevation ; but it is only because he steadily eschews separation. His mind is formed by past time, as well as the tendencies of the multitude-his opinions are the very principles which guide and modify their hidden life, and he merely superadds an energy of Will. Dr. Chalmers possesses too much prudence to ad. mit of his entirely cutting himself loose ; but he has never taken sufficient note of the progress of events; and his sentiments on all practical matters are marked, accordingly, by a tendency towards absolutism and mere fancifulness. There is an amusing naiveté in that announcement somewhere in the volume referred to, of the form of government which he considers the only tolerable one. He wishes a King upon the throne, and nobles around him, clad, we fancy, in mail jackets, and swelling with the virtues and charities of feudalism ; but this wish, ought, logically, to have been preceded by another,—the vain wish that societies remain permanently in that condition which could alone render the machinery possible. The day of feudalism is indeed past : its tournaments are now food for the romancers; and the body politic of Europe is throwing off its oppressive forms as an old shell. There were good feelings and virtuous men in these past ages; but the ages are themselves gone, and no theorist need expect to restore them—at least until the Reform Bill shall be accounted of less value than the ballad of Chevy Chace. Has Dr. Chal. mers fallen into the egregious blunder of imagining those social respects —those duties of the lower orders, and what else might be denominated the conservative sentimentalism of feudal times—to be the natural offspring of the heart and conscience of man? Does he not know that they were the produce and not the cause of that peculiar arrangement of political society, that they were the results of man's endeavours to be happy, however cloudy the vault above him—of his heart's struggles to alleviate the oppressions of the worst and best compacted tyranny the world ever saw, and to humanize rugged and barbarous force by initiat. ing it in kindness, and teaching it to feel ? To lament over the passing away of these sentiments is no task for a philosopher, and our country.. man should not have composed their elegy. It is vain to endeavour to revive them, as their materiel is worn out; and to regret their disappearance is unworthy, since it merely happened because society has advanced.
The Doctor, however, not only regrets those antiquated forms of social life, but alludes, with little ceremoniousness, and no forbearance or kindliness of feeling, to the attempts of modern nations to organize a new one; and certainly, if we were to quarrel with him seriously, this would be the point of our difference. Jonathan may abide a jibe, for he is stout and healthy, and now tolerably used to it ; but we must pronounce it ungracious in the extreme, to refer, with a sneering lip, to the brave but unfortunate population of France, who have been twice afflicted by the terrible scourge of revolution. The safety of Britain, a safety which hung but upon the events of a few hours, may be a ground for our thankfulness, but it is none for despite of our neighbour; and, least of all, ought one sneering remark to have escaped from a theorist, whose panacea for the evils which afflict that country, appears to be a form of Government; the materials of which do not exist within its boundaries ! In regard of their final settlement, let the Doctor be quite at ease. We will not trust the formation of a constitution to him ; but we will trust it to that “moon-struck rabble." If they have hitherto
been “ dancing round a May-pole” with apparent thoughtlessness, they will tire soon; and there are already symptoms that they are in quest of rest. In what political bed they will choose to repose, we will allow them to discover ;-in one thing we agree with the Doctor, and it is, that this bed is not their present one. How long, too, will the BURDEN of American civilization be misunderstood ? It is painful to find a man like Dr. Chalmers giving even an indirect countenance to the Halls and Trollopes, and other retailers of the flotsam and jetsam of the age. Is it of no moment with him, that in America no man is born to independence of good conduct ? Does the grand truth, which elsewhere appears so powerful over his mind, that Industry is the parent of Virtue, reconcile him nothing to a society where all must be industrious—to a society which permits of no aristocratic order of mendicants, which, as it can never have a Lucullus, will neither have an Augustus nor a Nero ? Critics compare America with their ideal states, their cloud-land republics, and straight turn away, in sentimental squeamishness, from the contemplation of its rude virtues. Is it then only on this side of the Atlantic that the world is in a state of probation? Is it only here that we can tolerate imperfection or look forward for improvement? Legitimates ! your ingenuity will not all do! The third Rome is rising in the west. Her long shadow already reaches across the Ocean, “and obscures the splendour of your thrones !"
PHANTASMAGORJAN show of things, Where, in orations from the Woolsack, Of privy councils, princes, kings,
That maketheears of knaves and fools ache, Lords, Commons, macers, Speaker! Brougham's comminations thunder ; King's Bench, Old Bailey, and riff raff, Showing each foul abuse in Chancery, “ Dear damned enchanting town!* I quaff Till (while scar'd Lyndhurst brews an To you my midnight beaker.
answer) he “ THE Town, with three times three !" Strikes dumb the Lords with wonder! The Town
Where dandylings, baptized in ink, Where neither prose nor verse go down Find saving grace to write or think;
Undrugg'd with Useful Knowledge ; Where many a peer pedantic, Where all mankind grow penny-wise, Lord of the Bedchamber, and Lord And, Stranded, prim Minerva plies Knows what's beside, sheathing his sword, Her distaff at King's College.
With pen in band grows frantic.t
Show fight in the Court Magazine
Of powder (and pomatum;)
While theirdread sires, oppress'd with gout, Remitted, bail'd, or held in fee,
For tittle-tattle grope about,
And scandalum magnatum.
One vast Augean stable ; Where Nash's gate for cameleopards Crowds roaring forth with lungs of leather, Astonishes the bagshot shepherds,
As though Old Nick had call’d together To Smithfield market bound.
A Lower House in Babel!
My whisky-toddy pleased I drain
To drink your melioration ! While creeping things a mightier host And may the Bill soon lop away Their cunning nests, well feather’d, boast, Each rotten branch that forms to-day In Downing Street, Whitehali.
A by-word to the nation!
+ Lord 1-g.
FUNERAL OF SIR WALTER SCOTT.
BY AN EYEWITNESS.
“ Och, hone a rie! Och, hone a rie!"_GLENFINLAS.
Alas for Scotland ! Her highly gifted, her beloved, her idolized Sir Walter has yielded his mighty, his magic spirit into the hands of him who created it; and she, his hitherto proud mother, now weeps over the bereavement of her darling son, like Rachel refusing to be comforted ! Vain is it to remind her of the sad truth that his soul had been for some time so clouded by the premature advancement of the dark shadows of the Valley of Death, as to make it matter of Heaven's mercy that it has been at last removed from its earthly imprisonment. She can never view him as thus bereft of intellectual light. She can never think of him but as the living magician who so long held all her feelings under his control ; at the wave of whose wand she laughed or wept as he listed; and who continued day after day to raise her name, coupled with his own, higher and higher among the civilized nations of this earth. Yet bitter as is this her present affliction, she is not altogether without a source of consolation. He has, it is true, terminated his earthly career, but he has left behind him a legacy to his grateful country of literary treasures, and of fame, which, defying the ravages of the worm, the moth, the rust of age, or the destructive tooth of time, must endure as long as any part of the world itself may endure in a state of intellectual civilization.
When we arrived at the ford, which gave its fancied name to the poet's dwelling, we found the silver Tweed sparkling merrily along as if all things were as they were wont to be. The young woods before us, and the towers, and gables, and pinnacles of the mansion were smiling beneath the mellowing rays of the September sun, as if unconscious that the master spirit which called them into being had for ever fled from them. The sound of wheels came on the ear at intervals, rushing from different directions, and indicating the frequent arrival of carriages; yet when we, availing ourselves of the open doors, had taken our well-known way through the garden, and passed beneath the Gothic screen that might have vied with the Beautiful Gate of the Temple itself, and on into the court-yard in front of the house, we were surprised to find it deserted and lonely. Before any one came to interrupt us, we had leisure to gaze around, and to wonder at the great growth of the trees and shrubs since we had last beheld them; and as we did so, the venerable shade of him who had last walked there with us, filled our imagination and our eyes, shifted with them as they shifted; and as it glided around us, it recalled to our full hearts a thousand pleasing and touching recollections. But our dreams were at length abruptly broken, by the appearance of some of our acquaintances who issued from the house ; and the sight of their weeds of wo immediately recalled our thoughts to the garb of grief which we also wore, and to the sad object of our present visit.
Passing through the Gothic hall, we met with no one till we entered the library, where we found a considerable circle of gentlemen already assembled. These were chiefly from the neighbouring districts; but there were a few whom we recognised as having come from Edinburgh and other places equally distant. Here our visions were too much broken in