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moreover, on the outside, several parts which in the case of the animal are carried in the inside. .. Its roots may be termed its entrails, its leaves its tongue; while its flowers and fruits, are its offspring." Vol. II. p. 81.
Thus then it appears that a tree has its entrails in its head, and its tongue in its legs. So much for the harmonies of the vegetable world. Let us now accompany our author' upon a little voyage round the world.
“ Had fortune permitted, I should have undertaken a voyage round Europe, and perhaps around the world, that would have been less fatiguing, more agreeable, and more useful, than that which is so frequently performed in the mountains of Switzerland. I should have preferred coasting along in a swift-sailing boat, with lateen sail and a few mattresses. After taking care to provide a bark of sufficient accommodation for my family, I should have embarked them along with two seamen and their wives. In such a progress every object would prove a fund of instruction or of pleasure. The cliffs open their sides to the mineralogical investigator, and display at their bases an endless variety of pebbles rolled thither by rivers and currents. Werè plants a favourite object, I could gather on the strand specimens of the most distant countries brought hither by the waves.
Even the seeds of Jamaica are said to be brought in winter to the shores of the Orkneys, and why should not those of the Orkneys be conveyed in summer to the coast of France ? Every step in our progress would have opened to me a new leaf in the book of nature, and have discovered a new landscape. part I should have seen on a shoal covered with sea-calves, firecoloured flamingoes, aigrettes, pelicans, and other birds, the travellers of the torrid zone; in another part, in the midst of downs, I might perceive the ruins of a monument, on the top of which the stork builds its nest. Farther off I should perceive the mouth of a river bordered svith willows; I would ascend its stream in the midst of meadows and cultivated land, and contemplate at the end of the horizon the turrets of a city. Did a forest rise in the middle of an island, I would go and rest under its majestic shade. When the halcyon skimming the waves, and the sea-lark by its cries, announced the approach of a tempest or of nightfall, we should have obeyed the signal, and run our bark on the strand, choosing for our place of stoppage the trunk of an old tree, or the back of a rock at the influx of a stream, An interval might be passed by the male part of our little company in fishing or hunting, while the females lighted the fire and cooked the victuals; all would meet again on board the bark, sheltered by its sail from rain, cold, and wind.
5. Next morning we resume pur course, if the dawn promises a fine day We start without paying either post-horses, innkeepers, tolls, or turnpikes; we have no occasion to produce either passport er certificate; we avoid civil dissensions, the wars which shed the
blood of nations, and the still more cruel calamities which disturb mankind in the bosom of peace." Vol. II. p. 157.
We heartily wish that our Admiralty would condescend to borrow from M. De St. Pierre the idea of a philosophical cockboat, as it appears to be no small discovery in the art of navigation, particularly as it promises to be so cheap a mode of conveyance. The reader will observe that the notion of payment is below the dignity of such philosophers as De St. Pierre or Rousseau ; travelling scot free is a very grand and doubtless a mighty convenient idea; we only fear that the prejudices of mankind will with difficulty admit so simple an improvement. It is also curious to remark with how much dignity the philosopher rejects the sordid distinctions of meum and tuum, and with how much philanthropy, like his great prototype and master Jonathan Wild, he would convert them both into suum.
After a dissertation, vastly grand but perfectly unintelligible upon the solilunar and the lunisolar harmonies, our author proceeds to consider those which he terms " conjugal.” After an immense expenditure of learning in his citations from the Eclogues of Virgil, which he considers as applicable to this part of the subject, he turns his thoughts, niuch more naturally as we conceive, to the month of May.
“ Let us cast a glance on the harmonies of the powers of Nature in the month of May, and we shall see them combined like those of the two orbs. The sun, who is the first mover of all harmony, is partly absent, and partly present, hence the distinctions of light and shade, heat and cold, dawn and even, day and night, summer and winter." Vol. III. p. 153.
And all this in the merry month of May. But let us quit the subject of vatural philosophy, and follow the steps of our modern Plato in the regions of moral and metaphysical speculation. Now for our author's definition of truth.
" How shall we then define that truth which we are so desirous to know, and which so frequently escapes from us? It is a harmony of our understanding with the Divinity; a due impression of the correspondence established between all his works; it is the life of aur soul. Nature urges us to its search in the same way as to the acquisition of food, on pain of disquietude, languor, lethargy, and death. Truth is a ray of the Divinity ; it is to our soul what solar rays are to our bodies; it enligbtens, rejoices, and animates. If, as Plato has sublimely defined it, the light of the sun is but the shadow of God, truth may be called his substance; it
presents itself to our understanding as the light of the sun to our eyes, by decomposing itself into a thousand colours and reflections, which delight us when contemplated in the works of Nature, but
which dazzle us if we aim at seizing them in their essence. It is to be traced in the writings of the sage, and in the actions of the virtuous; but, like the fire of the sun amid the products of the earth, it shines only with borrowed light. It is there liitle more than a feeble lamp shining in the absence of the sun, and liable to be put out by the blast of the tempest.” Vol. III. p. 100.
We give this as a happy specimen of the reasoning powers of M. De St. Pierre; from which if the reader can extract one clear and satisfactory idea, we envy him not a litile the almost alchemical powers of his discernment.
Bofore, however, we conclude our account of the work, the reader may be desirous to see some satisfactory-account yf these aforesaid “ harmonies," upon
which three octavo volumes are so lavishly expended. We cannot in lulge hin more, than by giving him the information which he desires, in the very words of the author.
“ Be you my guides, daughters of heaven and earth, Divine Harinonies! It is you who collect and divide the elements, and who give an organized form to all beings that vegetate and breathe. Nature has put into your hands the double torch of existence; one extremity displaying the fires of love, the other those of discord. With the former you touch unformed matter, and make it arise, into a rock with its fountains, into a tree with its fruits, or into a bird with its young; three different combinations united by the most pleasing bonds of connexion. With the fires of discord you inflame another portion of unformed matter, and there come forth the hawk, the tempest, and the volcano, which reduce the bird, the tree, and the rock, to their original elements. It is thus that, by turns, you stretch out and draw in the threads of life, not from a pleasure in overturning what you have set up, but in order to preserve the equilibrium of Nature agreeably to a plan beyond the knowledge of feeble mortals. Were you not to cause death, the sphere of life would be contracted; were you not to destroy, the season of growth would draw to an end. Without you,
all would be inert and inanimate; and you link these worlds to each other by the wonderful harmony of a life which produces death, and of a death which produces life.
s. Wherever you carry your double torch, you give birth to a pleasant contrast of day and night ; of heat and cold; of colour, shape, and movement:--the Cupids go before you, and genera. tions follow in your train. Your vigilance is unremitted; you do not wait to rise with the orb of day, nor do you 'suspend your labours on the appearance of the orb of night. You are perpetually in motion, whether on the bosom of the earth, in the bottom, of the sea, or in the region of air, Immortal sisters, look down from your glorious mansion on a son of earth, and grant me, when drawing towards the close of life, the power of delineating
BRIT. CRIT. VOL. IV. AUG. 1815.
its course with an unerring hand. Daughters of eternal wisdom, Harmonies of Nature, all men are your children; they stand perpetually in need of your assistance ; without you we should be naked, wretched, discordant in language, thought, and feeling : -but you call them, by their wants, to enjoyment of every kind ; by their differences, to the necessity of concord; and by their weakness, to the acquisition of empire. You admit them, by dint of knowledge and virtue, to the enjoyment of your blessings and of
power. Of all beings, they alone imitate your labours ; acquiring knowledge from your knowledge, wisdom from your wisdom, and religion from your inspiration." Vol. III.
This double torch, or candle lighted at both ends, is doubt less a very pretty machine, but somewhat difficult of carriage. We are still at a loss to discover from which extremity man himself is produced; as he is in the habit of reducing birds, trees, and rocks to their original elements, he must surely spring with the hawk, (which, by the way, is not considered as a bird) the tempest, and the volcano from the fire of discord, notwithstanding all the conjugal harmonies on which our author has so much enlarged.
The reader may be inclined to enquire in what rank of the creation the worshipper of all these harmonies would place himself. M. De St. Pierre shall return an answer in his own words: “ As for me, I am only an atomn, whom the blasts of adversity have cast successively on various spots of the earth, amidst different tribes of my countrymen.' Can there be a more pathetic idea, than an atom tossed in a little philosophical cock-boat, and cast on various spots of the earth, amidst different tribes of his fellow-atums? We shall conclude our extracts from this amusing work, by the citation of a passage which will account much to the satisfaction of the reader for the production of these various species of atoms.
« The earth in its daily and annual progress, lays open in a spiral form the circumference of its two hemispheres, which the sun surrounds with his rays as with threads of gold stretched on a machine. The moon crosses them like a celestial shuttle, and binds them together with her silver streaks. The vegetable and animal world feel this influence and come forth, grow, and perpetuate their species by these soli-lunar, and luni-solar harmonies.” Vol. II. p. 448.
Could an altar be raised to the genius of nonsense these words should form the inscription to be engraven upon it.
We would not violate the absurdity of these volumes by pro, posing one serious objection to their tendency, did we not con-, sider it our duty to place the public on their guard against the re-animation of any vicious and destructive principle. The dė. sign of these volumes is to inculcate that sort of Theophilan. thropic Deism, which is in our opinion more injurious to mankind than even the very Atheism, with which it is so closely connected. With all the wretched cant of tenderness, philanthropy, and douce humanitè in their mouths, it is to render them proud, selfish and savage. By presenting false views of the perfection of human nature in theory, it wholly unfits the mind to meet its imperfections in practice; so far therefore from expanding the tiner feelings of the heart, that it paralyses and contracts them. Soured by the disappointment of finding all his splendid images of virtue vanish into nothing, the philosopherretires in disgust, and naturally couverts his abhorrence of each particular vice into a general detestation of the persons of mankind. When rouzed from his seclusion, and called into action, we view him gloomy, hardened, and inexorable. le considers not man here below in a state of probation, he sees not the necessary existence of moral evil in a world of trial. Adrnitting neither the fall of man from a state of innocence, nor the consequent corruption of human nature, he is ill prepared to encounter even the imperfections, much less the crimes of his fellow creatures. Disa daining the free redemption of a fallen creature by the sacrifice of the incarnate Son of God, he sees no path of acceptance before his Maker; and the pardou, which he thus refuses for himself, he is ill calculated to extend towards his offending brother. Upon the Theophilanthropist no duty is bound of forgiving even as he has been forgiven.
We consider it our duty to warn our readers against the first revival of this execrable system of cant and cruelty, which with Rousseau as its high-priest did more to demoralise and degrade the human mind, than all the fiercer blasphemies of Robes pierre and his crew. The nonsense with which these vo umes are supra-saturated, is but a passport to their destructive prin. ciples. There are thousands who will swallow whole this mass of absurdity, victique dolis lacrymisque coacti, little aware of the incalculable mischief with which it is impregnated.
ART. VII. A Parochial Vicar's Remarks on Mr. Belsham's
Letters to the Bishop of London. Bvo. 84 pp. Cadell and Davies. 1815.
. , HAVING so lately gone over the ground of this controversy, we are sorry that it will be out of our power to give to these excellent letters that extended notice which they so much de