Imágenes de páginas

the same hour she saw a figure at the would stickle for the objectivity of foot of her bed, which she identified both.* with him, and minutely described to Andrew Baxter, again, would take the bystanders, during the continu. & different road from either. He ance of the vision. The husband re- would agree with us in calling the turned, and previous to the meeting, apparition subjective, and the figure was advised to appear for the first of the husband objective, so far as time at the foot of the bed, at the pre- the ubi of the latter, and its posicise instant that the pirit used to tion extra cerebrun, or in outward appear, and in the dress deseribed, in spaces, was in question. But he would the hope that the original might scare differ from us in not identifying the away the counterfeit; or, to speak agent or proper cause of the formore seriously, in the expectation that mer-i. e. the apparition-with the the impression on her senses from subject beholding. The shape beheld without would meet half-way, as it he would grant to be a making in the were, and repel, or take the place of, beholder's own brain; but the facient, the image from the brain. He fol- he would contend, was a several and lowed the advice; but the moment he other subjeet, an intrusive supernumetook his position, the lady shrieked rary or squatter in the same tenement out,“ My God! there are two! and” and work-shop, and working with the

The story is an old one, and you same tools (@gyavi,) as the subject, their may end it, happily or tragically, rightful owner and original occupant. Tate's King Lear or Shakespeare's, ac- And verily, I could say something in cording to your taste. I have brought favour of this theory, if only I might it as a good instance of the force of put my own interpretation on itthe two words. You and I would having been hugely pleased with the hold the one for a subjective phenome- notion of that father of oddities, and non, the other only for objective, and oddest of the fathers, old TERTULLIAN, perhars illustrate the fact, as I have who considers these soggetti cattivi, already done elsewhere, by the case of (that take possession of other folk's two appearances seen in juxta-posi- kitchens, pantries, sculleries, and wation, the one by transmitted, and the ter-closets, causing a sad to-do at headother by reflecteil, light. A believer, quarters,) as creatures of the same according to the old style, whose al- order with the Tæniæ, Lumbrici, and manack of faith has the one trifling Ascaridesmi.e. the Round, Tape, and fault of being for the year of our Lord Thread-worms. Dæmones hæc sua one thousand four, instead of one corpora dilatant et contrahunt ut vothousand eight hundred and twenty, lunt, sicut Lumbrici et alia quædam


Nay, and relate the circumstance for the very purpose of proving the reality or objective truth of ghosts. For the lady saw both! But if this were any proof at all, it would at best be a superfluous proof, and superseded by the bed-posts, &c. For if she saw the real posts at the same time with the ghost, that stood betwixt them, or rather if she continued to see the ghost, spite of the sight of these, how should she not see the real husband? What was to make the difference between the two solids, or intercept the rays frorn the husband's dressing-gown, while it allowed free passage to those from the bed-curtain ? And yet I first heard this story from one, who, though professedly an unbeliever in this branch of ancient Pneumatics, (which stood, however, a nitch higher, I suspect, in his good opinion, than Monboddo's ancient Metaphysics,) adduced it as a something on the other side ! A puzzling fact ! and challenged me to answer it. And this, too, was a man no less respectable for talents, education, and active sound sense, than for birth, fortune, and official rank. So strangely are the healthiest judgments suspended by any out of the way combinations, connected with obscure feelings and inferences, when they happen to have occurred within the narrator's own knowledge ! The pith of this argument in support of ghost-objects, stands thus : B=D: C=D; ergo, B=C. The D, in this instance, being the equal visibility of the figure, and of its reul duplicate, a logic that would entitle the logician to dine off a neck of mutton in a looking-glass, and to set his little ones in downright earnest to hunt the rabbits on the wall by candle-light. Things, that fall under the same definition, belong to the same class ; and visible, yet not tangible, is the generic character of reflections, shadows, and ghosts ; and apparitions, their common, and most certainly their proper, Christian name

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

insecta. 'Be this as it may, the diffe- accidental modifications--a work wor

rence between this last class of specu- thy of a Royal and Imperial confedechalators and the common 'run of ghost. racy, and which would indeed hallow

fanciers, will scarcely enable us to ex- the Alliance ! A work which, exe

hibit any essential change in the mean- cuted for any one language, would **ing of the terms. Both must be de- yet be a benefaction to the world, and

scribed as asserting the objective nature to the nation itself a source of immeof the appearance, and in both the diate honour and of ultimate weal, term contains the sense of real as op- beyond the power of victories to be posed to imaginary, and of nutness no stow, or the mines of Mexico to pure less than of otherness, the difference in chase. The realization of this scheme

the former being only, that, in the lies in the far distance; but in the - vulgar belief, the object is outward in mean time, it cannot but beseem every Meie relation to the whole circle, in Baxter's individual competent to its further

to the centre only. The one places ance, to contribute a small portion of the ghost without, the other within, the materials for the future temple the line of circumference.

from a polished column to a hewn I have only to add, that these dif- stone, or a plank for the scaffolding; iferent shades of meaning form no and as they come in, to erect with

valid objection to the revival and re- them sheds for the workmen, and temadoption of these correlative terms in porary structures for present use. The physiology* and mental analytics, as preceding analysis I would have you

expressing the two poles of all consci- regard as my first contribution; and His ousness, in their most general form the first, because I have been long con

and highest abstraction. For by the vinced that the want of it is a serious law of association, the same metapho- impediment,I will not say, to that rical changes, or shiftings and ingraft- self-knowledge which it concerns all ings of the primary sense, must ine- men to attain, but-to that self-undervitably take place in all terms of great- stunding, or insight, which it is all est comprehensiveness and simplicity. men's interest that some men should Instead of subject and object, put acquire ; ,that the heaven-descendthought and thing. You will find these ed, rvãou? I'autov,” (Juv. Sat.) should liable to the same inconveniences, with exist not

only as a wisdom, but as a the additional one of having no adjec- science. But every science will have its tives or adverbs, as substitutes for ob- rules of art, and with these its technical jective, subjective, objectively, subjec- terms; and in this best of sciences, its tively. It is sufficient that no hetero- elder nomenclature has fallen into disgeneous senses are confounded under use, and no other been put in its place. the same term, as was the case prior To bring these back into light, as so to Bishop Bramhall's controversy with many delving-tools dug up from the Hobbes, who had availed himself of rubbish of long-deserted mines, and the (at that time, and in the common at the same time to exemplify their usage,) equivalent words, cumpel and use and handling, I have drawn your oblige, to confound the thought of mo- attention to the three questions :ral obligation with that of compulsion What is the primary and proper sense and physical necessity. For the rest, of the words Subject and object, in the remedy must be provided by a dic- the technical language of philosophy? tionary, constructed on the one only In what does Objectivity actually exphilosophical principle, which, regard- ist ?-From what is all apparent or ing words 'as living growths, offsets, assumed Objectivity derived or transs and

organs of the human soul, seeks ferred ? to trace each historically, through all It is not the age, you have told me, the periods of its natural growth, and to bring hard words into fashion. Are

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Physiology,” according to present usage, treats of the laws, organs, functions, &c. of life; “ Physics” not só. Now, quere: The etymological import of the two words being the same, is the difference in their application accidental and arbitrary, or a hidden irony at the assumption on which the division is grounded ? Queos ayev Yung, ανευ λογα, Or Δογος περι Φυσεως μη ζωσης εςι λογος αλογος. Vol. X.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

we to account for this tender-mouthed number is on the increase,) I hazard ness, on the ground assigned by your this assurance,—That let what wil} favourite, Persius: (Sat. iii. 113.) come of the terms, yet without the “ Tentemus fauces : tenero latet ulcus in truths conveyed in these terms, there

can be no self-knowledge; and withPutre, quod haud deceat crustosis radere out this, no knowledge of any kind. verbis ?”

For the fragmentary recollections and

recognitions of empiricism,* usurping But is the age so averse to hard words? the name of experience, can amount Eidouranion; Phantasmagoria ; Kalei

to opinion only, and that alone is knowdoscope; Marmoro-kainomenon (for ledge which is at once real and systecleaning mantle-pieces); Protoxides; matic-or, in one word, organic. Let Deutoxides; Tritoxyds; and Dr Thom- monk and pietist pervert the precept son's Latin-greek-english Peroxides ; into sickly, brooding, and morbid innot to mention the splashing shoals, troversions of consciousness--you have that

learnt, that, even under the wisest reconfound the language of the gulations, THINKING can go but half nation

way toward this knowledge. To know With long-tail'd words in osity and ation,the whole truth, we must likewise act:

and he alone acts, who makes and (as our great living master of sweet this can no man do, estranged from and perfect English, Hookham Frere, Nature. Learn to know thyself in has it,) would seem to argue the very Nature, that thou mayest understand contrary. In the train of these, me- Nature in thyself. thinks, object and subject, with the derivatives, look tame, and claim a and purpose was to help you over the

But I forget myself. My pledge place in the last, or, at most, in the threshold into the outer court; and humbler seats of the second species, in here I stand, spelling the dim characthe far-noised classification—the long- ters inwoven in the veil of Isis, in the tailed pigs, and the short-tailed pigs, recesses of the temple. and the pigs without a tail. Aye, but

I must conclude, therefore, if only to not on such dry topics ! I submit

. You begin again without too abrupt a drop, have touched the vulnerable heel— lest I should remind you of Mr “ Iis, quibus siccum lumen abest,” in his Survey of Middlesex, who hathey must needs be dry: We have ving digressed, for some half a score of Lord Bacon's word for it. A topic

pages, into the heights of cosmogony, that requires stedfast intuitions, clear the old planet between Jupiter and conceptions, and ideas, as the source Mars, that went off, and split into the and substance of both, and that will four new ones, besides the smaller admit of no substitute for these, in rubbish for stone showers, the formaimages, fictions, or factitious facts, must tion of the galaxy, and the other worldbe dry as the broad-awake of sight and worlds, on the same principles, and by day-light, and desperately barren of similar accidents, superseding the hyall that interest which a busy yet sensual age requires and finds in the suda pothesis of a Creator, and demonstrasomnia,” and moist moonshine of an and country parsons, takes up the

ting the superfluity of church tithes epicurean philosophy, For you,


stitch again with— But to return to the ever, and for those who, like you, are not so satisfied with the present doc- subject of dung. God bless you and

your trines, but that you would fain try

Affectionate Friend, • another and an elder lore,” (and such there are, I know, and that the

S. T. Coleridge.



* Let y express the conditions under which E, (that is, a series of forms, facts, cir. cumstances, &c. presented to the senses of an individual,) will become Experience and we might, not unaptly, define the two words thus : Ety=Experience ; E-= Empiricism.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Dear Sir,-Here have I been sit- curiosity. Such may be, and in some ting, this whole long-lagging, muzzy, instances, I doubt not, has been, the mizly morning, struggling without result. But I dare not answer for it success against the insuperable disgust beforehand, even though both works I feel to the task of explaining the should be equally well suited to their abrupt chasm at the outset of our cor- several purposes, which will not be respondence, and disposed to let your thought a probable case, when it is verdict take its course, rather than suf- considered, how much less talent, and fer over again by detailing the causes of how much commoner a kind, is reof the stoppage ; though sure by so quired in the latter. doing to acquit my will of all share in On the other hand, however, I am the result. "Instead of myself, and of persuaded that a sufficient success, and you, my dear sir, in relation to myself, less liable to draw-backs from compeI have been thinking, first, of the tition, would not fail to attend a work Edinburgh Magazine; then of maga- on the former plan, if the scheme and zines generally and comparatively ;- execution of the contents were as apthen of a magazine in the abstract ;- propriate to the object, which the purand lastly, of the immense importance chasers must be supposed to have in and yet strange neglect of that prime view, as the means adopted for its outdictate of prudence and common sense ward attraction and its general circu- DISTINCT MEANS TO DISTINCT lation were to the interest of its proEnDs.--But here I must put in one prietors. proviso, not in any relation though to During a long literary life, I have the aphorism itself, which is of univer- been no inattentive observer of periodsal validity, but relatively to my in- ical publications; and I can remember tended application of it. I must as- no failure, in any work deserving sucsume-I mean, that the individuals cess, that might not have been antici, disposed to grant me free access and pated from some error or deficiency in fair audience for my remarks, have a the means, either in regard to the mode conscience-such a portion at least, as of circulating the work, (as for instance being eked out with superstition and by the vain attempt to unite the chasense of character, will suffice to pre-racters of author, editor, and publishvent them from seeking to realize the er,) or to the typographical appearultimate end, (i. e. the maxim of pro- ance; or else from its want of suitfit) by base or disreputable means. ableness to the class of readers, on This, therefore, may be left out of the whom, it should have been foreseen, present argument, an extensive sale the remunerating sale must principally being the common object of all publish-depend. It would be misanthropy to ers, of whatever kind the publications suppose that the seekers after truth, may be, morally considered. Nor do information, and innocentamusement, the means appropriate to this end dif- are not sufficiently numerous to supfer. Be the work good or evil in its port a work, in which these attractions tendency, in both cases alike there is are prominent, without the dishonest. one question to be predetermined, viz. aid of personality, literary faction, or what class or classes of the reading treacherous invasions of the sacred reworld the work is intended for? I cesses of private life, without slanders, made the proviso, however, because I which both reason and duty command would not mislead any man even for us to disbelieve as well as abhor; for an honest cause, and my experience what but falsehood, or that half truth, will not allow me to promise an equal which is falsehood in its most maligimmediate circulation from a work ad- nant form, can or ought to be expected dressed to the higher interests and from a self-convicted traitor and inblameless predilections of men, as from grate? one constructed on the plan of flatter- If these remarks are well founded, ing the envy and vanity of sciolism, we may narrow the problem to the few and gratifying the cravings of vulgar following terms,--it being understood,


that the work now in question, is a and Æsthetic Miscellany. The word monthly publication, not devoted to miscellany, however, must be taken as any one branch of knowledge or liter- involving a predicate in itself, in adature, but a magazine of whatever may dition to the three preceding epithets, be supposed to interest readers in ge- comprehending, namely, all the epheneral, not excluding the discoveries, meral births of intellectual life, which or even the speculations of science, that add to the gaiety and variety of the aregenerallyintelligibleand interesting, work, without interfering with its exso that the portion devoted to any one press and regular objects. subject or department, shall be kept Having thus a sufficiently definite proportionate to the number of readers notion of what your Magazine is, and for whom it may be supposed to have is intended to be, I proposed to myself

, a particular interest. Here, however, as a problem, to find out, in detail, we must not forget, that however few what the means would be to the most the actual dilettanti, or men of the perfect attainment of this end. In fancy may be, yet, as long as the arti- other words, what the scheme, and of cles remain generally intelligible, (in what nature, and in what order and pugilism, for instance,) Variety and proportion, the contents should be of a Novelty communicate an attraction monthly publication; in order for it that interests all. Homo sum, nihil to verify the title of a Philosophical, humani a me alienum. If to this we Philological, and Æsthetic Miscellany add the exclusion of theological con- and Magazine. The result of my lutroversy, which is endless, I shall have cubrations I hope to forward in my pretty accurately described the present next, under the title of “ The Ideal of EDINBURGH MAGAZINE, as to its cha- a Magazine ;” and to mark those deracteristic plan and purposes ; which partments, in the filling up of which, may, I think, be comprised in three I flatter myself with the prospect of terms, as a Philosophical, Philological, being a fellow labourer. But since I

* I wish I could find a more familiar word than æsthetic, for works of taste and criticism. It is, however, in all respects better, and of more reputable origin, than belletristic. To be sure, there is tasty; but that has been long ago emasculated for all unworthy yses by milliners, tailors, and the androgynous correlatives of both, formerly called its, and now yclept dandies. As our language, therefore, contains no other useable adjective, to express that coincidence of form, feeling, and intellect, that something, which, confirming the inner and the outward senses, becomes a new sense in itself, to be tried by laws of its own, and acknowledging the laws of the understanding so far only as not to contradict them; that faculty which, when possessed in a high degree, the Greeks termed φίλοκάλια, but when spoken of generally, or in kind only, to autêntixov; and for which even our substantive, Taste, is a--not inappropriate--but very inadequate metaphor ; there is reason to hope, that the term æsthetic, will be brought into common use as soon as distinct thoughts and definite expressions shall once more become the requisite accomplishment of a gentleman. So it was in the energetic days, and in the starry court of our English-hearted Eliza; when trade, the nurse of freedom, was the enlivening counterpoise of agriculture, not its alien and usurping spirit ; when commerce had all the enterprize, and more than the romance of war ; when the precise yet pregnant terminology of the schools gave bone and muscle to the diction of poetry and eloquence, and received from them in return passion and harmony ; but, above all, when from the self-evident truth, that what in kind constitutes the superiority of man to animal, the same in degree must constitute the superiority of men to each other, the practical inference was drawn, that every proof of these distinctive faculties being in a tense and active state, that even the sparks and crackling of mental electricity, in the sportive approaches and collisions of ordinary intercourse, (such as we have in the wit-combats of Benedict and Beatrice, of Mercutio, and in the dialogues assigned to courtiers and gentlemen, by all the dramatic writers of that reign,) are stronger indications of natural superiority, and, therefore, more becoming signs and accompaniments of artificial rank, than apathy, studied mediocrity, and the ostentation of wealth. When I think of the vigour and felicity of style characteristic of the age, from Edward VI. to the restoration of Charles, and observable in the letters and family memoirs of noble families--take, for instance, the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, written by his widow-I cannot suppress the wish-- that the habits of those days could return, even though they should bring pedantry, and Euphuism in their train !

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »