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stances with which that science is conversant; I have been but a remote and casual auxiliary but over other substances which stand in some to him whose genius afterwards found the relation to them; and to which, accordingly, means of employing those phenomena to that science is capable of being applied. It guide him through the trackless waters of is over the earth and the ocean that we have the ocean.-Epxeriment, therefore, necessariextended our dominion by means of our know- ly implies power; and, by suggesting analoledge of the stars. Now, applying this case gous experiments, leads naturally to the into that of the philosophy of Mind, and as- terminable expansion of inquiry and of knowsuming, as we seem here entitled to assume, ledge :—but observation, for the most part, that it has invested us with no new power centres in itself, and tends rather to gratify over mind itself,—what, we would ask, are and allay our curiosity, than to rouse or inthe other objects over which our power is in- flame it. creased by means of our knowledge of mind ? After having thus attemped to prove that Is there any other substance to which that experiment has no prerogative above mere obknowledge can possibly be applied ? Is there servation, Mr. Stewart ihinks it worth while any thing else that we either know better, or to recur again to the assertion, that the phican dispose of more effectually in consequence losophy of mind does admit of experiments; of our observations on our own intellectual and, after remarking, rather rashly, thai constitution? It is evident, we humbly con- “the whole of a philosopher's life, if he ceive, that these questions must be answered spends it to any purpose, is one continued sein the negative. The most precise knowledge ries of experiments on his own faculties and which the metaphysician can acquire by re- powers, ,” he goes on to state, that flecting on the subjects of his consciousness, can give him no new power over the mind in which has not already been tried by the hand of
· hardly any experiment can be imagined, which he discovers those subjects; and it is Nature; displaying, in the infinite varieties of hu. almost a self-evident proposition, that the man genius and pursuils, the astonishingly diversi. most accurate knowledge of the subjects of fied effects, resulting from the possible combinaconsciousness can give him no power over tions, of those elementary faculties and principles, any thing but mind.
of which every man is conscious in himself. Savage There is one other little point connected the different callings and professions of individu.
society, and all the different modes of civilization; with this argument, which we wish to settle als, whether liberal or mechanical; the prejudiced with Mr. Stewart. In speaking of the useful clown ;--the factitious man of fashion ;-he vary. applications that may be ultimately made of ing phases of character from infancy to old age : -the knowledge derived from observation, we
the prodigies effected by human art in all the had said, that for the power or the benefit so merce, religion :--but above all, the records of
objects around us; - laws, government, -com. obtained, mankind were indebted—not to the thought, preserved in those volumes which fill our observer, but to him who suggested the ap- libraries ; what are they but experiments, by which plication. Mr. Stewart admits the truth of Nature illustrates, for our instruction, on her own this—but adds, that the case is exactly the grand scale, the varied range of man's intellectual same with the knowledge derived from ex- fashioning his mind ?"- Prel. Diss. pp. xlv, xlvi.
faculties, and the omnipotence of education in periment;-and that the mere empiric is on a footing with the mere observer. Now, we do If experiment be rightly defined the intennot think the cases exactly the same ;-and tional arrangement of substances in our power, it is in their difference that we conceive the for the purpose of observing the result, then great disadvantage of observation to consist. these are not experiments; and neither im. Whoever makes an experiment, must have ply, nor tend to bestow, that power which the power at least to repeat that experiment enters into the conception of all experiment. —and, in almost every case, to repeat it with But the argument, in our apprehension, is some variation of circumstances. Here, there-chargeable with a still more radical fallacy. fore, is one power necessarily ascertained and the philosophy of mind is distinctly defined, established, and an invitation held out to in- by Mr. Stewart himself, to be that which is crease that power, by tracing it through all employed "on phenomena of which we are the stages and degrees of its existence: while conscious;" its peculiar object and aim is he who merely observes a phenomenon over stated to be," to ascertain the laws of our which he has no control, neither exercises any constitution, in so far as they can be ascerpower, nor holds out the prospect of acquir- tained, by attention to the subjects of our ing any power, either over the subject of his consciousness;"' and, in a great variety of pasobservation, or over any other substance. He sages, it is explained, that the powers by who first ascertained, by experiment, the ex- which all this is to be effected, are, reflection pansive force of steam, and its destruction by upon our mental operations, and ihe faculty cold—or the identity of lightning and elec- of calm and patient attention to the sensations tricity, and the consequent use of the con- of which we are conscious. But, if this be ducting rod, plainly bestowed, in that instant, the proper province and object of the philoso a great power upon mankind, of which it was phy of mind, what benefit is the student to next to impossible that some important appli- receive from observing the various effects of cation should not be speedily made. But he manners and situation, in imparting a pecuwho first observed the periodical immersions liar colour or bias to the character of the sav. and emersions of the satellites of Jupiter, cer- age and the citizen," the prejudiced clown, tainly neither acquired nor bestowed any and factitious man of fashion ?" The obserpower in the first instance; and seems to vation of such varieties is, no doubt, a very curious and a very interesting occupation ;- sation, in respect both to the certainty and the but we humbly conceive it to form no part, or, extent of its application ; at the same time at least, a very small and inconsiderable part, that we felt ourselves constrained 10 all, that, of the occupation of a student of philosophy, even as to this habit of the mind, Philosophy It is an occupation which can only be effec- could lay no claim 10 the honours of a dis. tually pursued, in the world, by travelling, and covery; since the principle was undoubtedly intercourse with society; and, at all events, familiar to the feelings of all men, and was by vigilant observation of what is shown to acted upon, with unvarying sagacity, in almost us, by our senses, of the proceedings of our every case where it could be employed with fellow-men. The philosophy of mind, how- advantage; though by persons who had never ever, is to be cultivated in solitude and silence thought of embolying it in a maxim, or at
- by calm reflection on our own mental ex- tending to it as a law of general application. periences, and patient attention to the sub- The whole scheme of education, it was objects of our own consciousness. But can we served, has been founded on this principle, ever be conscious of those varieties of temper in every age of the world. “The groom," ji and character that distinguish the different was added, “who never heard of ideas or asconditions of human life?-or, even independ-sociations, feeds the young war-horse to the ent of Mr. Stewart's definition—is it reconcila- sound of ihe trumpet; and the unphilosophi, ble to common usage or general understand- cal artists who lame elephants, or train dan. ing, to call our attention to such particulars cing dogs, proceed on the same obvious and the study of the philosophy of mind ?-Is it familiar principle." not, on the contrary, universally understood As this part of our speculations has in. 10 be the peculiar and limited province of curred more of Mr. Stewart's disapprobation that philosophy, to explain the nature and than any thing which we have hitherto al. distinctions of those primary functions of the tempted to defend, we think ourselves called mind, which are possessed in common by upon 10 state the substance of his objections, men of all vocations and all conditions ?–10 in his own eloquent and impressive words. treat, in short, of perception, and attention, Aster quoting the sentence we have already and memory, and imagination, and volition, transcribed, he proceeds :and judgment, and all the other powers or “ This argument, I suspect, leads a little too far faculties into which our intellectual nature for the purpose of its author; inasmuch as it conmay be distinguished ?—Is it not with these, cludes still more forcibly (in consequence of the that Hobbes, and Locke, and Berkeley, and great familiarity of the subject) against Physics, Reid, and all the other philosophers who have strictly so called, than against the Science of Mind.
The gavage, who never heard of the accelerating reasoned or philosophised about mind, have force of gravity, yet knows how to add to the mobeen occupied ?-or, what share of Mr. Stew. mentum of his missile weapons, by gaining an emiart's own invaluable publications is devoted nence; though a stranger io Newion's third law of to those slighter shades of individual charac- motion, be applies it to its practical use, when he ter, to which alone his supposed experiments the shore: in the use of his sling, he illustrates, have any reference? The philosophy of the human mind, we conceive, is conversant only forces, as he exemplifies (without any knowledge
with equal success, the doctrine of centrifugal with what is common to all human beings of the experiments of Robins) the principle of the and with those faculties of which every indi- rifle barrel, in feathering his arrow. The same vidual of the species is equally conscious : groom who, in feeding, his young war-horse to and though it may occasionally borrow illus- he sound of the drum," has nothing to learn from trations, or even derive some reflected light ciation, might boast, with far greater reason, that,
Locke or from Hume concerning the laws of asso. from the contemplation of those slighter va- without having looked into Borelli, he can train that rieties that distinguish one individual from animal to his various paces ; and that, when he another, this evidently forms no part of the exercises him with the longe, he exhibits an ex. study of the subjects of our consciousness, 1 of the centre of gravity, which was known in the
perimental illustration of the centrifugal force, and and can never be permitted to rank as a le-riding-school long before their theories were ungitimate part of that philosophy.
folded in the Principia of Newton. Even the opeThis exhausts almost all that we have to rations of the animal which is the subject of his say in defence of our supposed heresies as to discipline, seem to involve an acquaintance with the the importance and practical value of the same physical laws, when we artend to the mathephilosophy of mind, considered with refer- matical accuracy with which he adapıs the obliquity ence to the primary and more elementary both cases in that of the man as well as of the
of his body to the rate of his circular speed. In faculties of man. With regard to the Asso- brute) this practical knowledge is obtruded on the ciating principle, we have still a word or two organs of external sense by The hand of Nature to add. In our original observations we ad-herself: But it is not on that account the less useful mitted, that this principle seemed to stand in to evolve the general theorems which are thus em. a situation somewhat different from the sim- bodied with their particular applications ; and 10
combine them in a systematical and scientific forni, pler phenomena of the mind—and that the for our own instruction and that of others. Does elucidations which Philosophy had furnished it detract from the value of the theory of pneuma with regard to its operations, were not so rics to remark, that the same effects of a vacuum, easily recognised as previously impressed on and of the elasticity and pressure of the air, which our consciousness, as most of her revelations. afford an explanation of its most curious pheno. We allowed, therefore, that some utility might coëval with the first breath which we draw; and
cognized in an instinctive process be derived from the clear exposition of this exemplified in the month of every babe and suck more complicated part of our mental organi- ling?"-Prel. Diss. p. Ix. Ixi.
Now, without recurring to what we have is it to be believed, that there can be many already said as to the total absence of power occasions for its employment in the governin all cases of mere observation, we shall ment of the human mind, of which men merely request our readers to consider
, what have never yet had the sense to bethink is the circumstance that bestows a value, an themselves ? Or, can it bé seriously mainimportance, or an utility, upon the discovery tained, that it is capable of applications as and statement of those general laws, which much more extensive and important than are admitted, in the passage now quoted, to those which have been vulgarly made in past have been previously exemplified in practice. ages, as are the uses of Newton's third law Is it any thing else, than their capacity of a of motion, compared with the operation of more extensive application ?—the possibility the savage in pushing his canoe from the or facility of employing them to accomplish shore? If Mr. Stewart really entertained any many things to which they had not been pre- such opinion as this, it was incumbent upon viously thought applicable? If Newton's third him to have indicated, in a general way, the law of motion could never have been em- departments in which he conceived that these ployed for any other purpose than to set afloat great discoveries were to be made; and 10 the canoe of the savage-or if the discovery have pointed out some, at least, of the new of the pressure of the atmosphere had led to applications, on the assumption of which nothing more than an explanation of the alone he could justify so ambitious a paraloperation of sucking-would there have been lel.* Instead of this, however, we do not any thing gained by stating that law, or that find that he has contemplated any other discovery, in general and abstract terms? spheres for the application of this principle, Would there have been any utility, any dignity than those which have been so long conceded or real advancement of knowledge, in the mere to it-the formation of taste, and the conduct technical arrangement of these limited and fa- of education : and, with regard to the last and miliar phenomena under a new classification? most important of these, he has himself re
There can be but one answer to these in- corded an admission, which to us, we will terrogatories. But we humbly conceive, that confess, appears a full justification of all that all the laws of mental operation which phi- we have now been advancing, and a suffilosophy may collect and digest, are exactly cient answer to the positions we have been in this last predicament. They have no ap- endeavouring to combat. “In so far,” Mr. plication to any other phenomena than the Stewart observes, “as education is effectual particular ones by which they are suggested— and salutary, it is founded on those princiand which they were familiarly employed to ples of our nature which have forced themproduce. They are not capable of being ex- selves upon general observation, in consetended to any other cases; and all that is quence of the experience of ages.” That gained by their digestion into a system, is a the principle of association is to be reckoned more precise and methodical enumeration of in the number of these, Mr. Stewart certainly truths that were always notorious.
will not deny; and our proposition is, that all From the experience and consciousness of the principles of our nature which are caall men, in all ages, we learn that, when two pable of any useful application, have lhus or more objects are frequently presented to- forced themselves on general observation" gether, the mind passes spontaneously from many centuries ago, and can now receive one to the other, and invests both with some little more than a technical nomenclature and thing of the colouring which belongs to the description from the best efforts of philosophy. most important. This is the law of associa- The sentiments to which we have ventured tion; which is known to every savage, and to give expression in these and our former to every clown, in a thousand familiar in- hasty observations, were suggested to us, we stances : and, with regard to its capacity of will confess, in a great degree, by the striking useful application, it seems to be admiited, contrast between the wonders which have that it has been known and acted upon by been wrought by the cultivation of modern parents, pedagogues, priests, and legislators, in Physics, and the absolute nothingness of the all ages of the world; and has even been em- effects that have hitherto been produced by ployed, as an obvious and easy instrument, by the labours of the philosophers of mind. We such humble judges of intellectual resources, have only to mention the names of Astronoas common horse-jockies and bear-dancers. my, Chemistry, Mechanics, Optics, and Navj.
If this principle, then, was always known, gation ;---nay, we have only to look around us, and regularly employed wherever any advan- in public or in private,—to cast a glance on tage could be expecied from its employment, the machines and manufactures, the ships, what reason have we to imagine, that any observatories, steam engines, and elaboratosubstantial benefit is to be derived from its ries, by which we are perpetually surrounded, scientific investigation, or any important uses --or to turn our eyes on the most common hereafter discovered for it, in consequence merely of investing it with a precise name, * Upwards of thirty years have now elaperd and stating, under one general theorem, the since this was written ; during which a taste for common law of its operation? If such per- metaphysical inquiry has revived in France, and bons as grooms and masters of menageries been greatly encouraged in Germany. Yet I am have been ided, by their low intellects and its votaries can yet point ; or what practical improves
not aware to what useful applications of the science sordid motives, to its skilful application as a
ment or increase of human power they can trace to means of directing even the lower animals, its cultivation.
articles of our dress and furniture,-on the accomplished, by an instrument which has mirrors, engravings, books, fire-arms, watches, hitherto effected so little? It is in vain for barometers, thunder-rods and opera-glasses, Mr. Stewart to say, that the science is yet but that present themselves in our ordinary dwell- in its infancy, and that it will bear its fruit in ings, to feel how vast a progress has been due season. The truth is, that it has, of nemade in exploring and subduing the physical cessity, been more constantly and diligently elements of nature, and how stupendous an cultivated than any other. It has always increase the power of man has received, by been the first object with men of talent and the experimental investigation of her laws. good affections, to influence and to form the Now is any thing in this astonishing survey minds of others, and to train their own to the more remarkable, than the feeling with which highest pitch of vigour and perfection: and it is always accompanied, that what we have accordingly, it is admitted by Mr. Stewart, hitherto done in any of these departments is that the most important principles of this phibut a small part of what we are yet destined losophy have been long ago " forced upon to accomplish; and that the inquiries which general observation” by the feelings and exhave led us so far, will infallibly carry us still perience of past ages. Independently, howfarther. When we ask, however, for the tro- ever, of this, the years that have passed since phies of the philosophy of mind, or inquire for Hobbes, and Locke, and Malebranche, and the vestiges of her progress in the more plastic Leibnitz drew the attention of Europe to this and susceptible elements of human genius study, and the very extraordinary genius and and character, we are answered only by in- talents of those who have since addicted themgenuous silence, or vague anticipations--and selves to it, are far more than enough to have find nothing but a blank in the record of her brought it, if not to perfection, at least to such actual achievements. The knowledge and a degree 8f excellence, as no longer 10 leave the power of man over inanimate nature has it a matter of dispute, whether it was really been increased tenfold in the course of the destined to add to our knowledge and our last two centuries. The knowledge and the power, or to produce any sensible effects upon power of man over the mind of man remains the happiness and condition of mankind. almost exactly where it was at the first de- That society has made great advances in comvelopment of his faculties. The natural phi- fort and intelligence, during that period, is losophy of antiquity is mere childishness and indisputable; but we do not find that Mr. dotage, and their physical inquirers are mere Stewart himself imputes any great part of this pigmies and drivellers, compared with their improvement to our increased knowledge of successors in the present age; but their logi- our mental constitution; and indeed it is quite cians, and metaphysicians, and moralists, and, obvious, that it is an effect resulting from the what is of infinitely more consequence, the increase of political freedom—the influences practical maxims and the actual effects result- of reformed Christianity — the invention of ing from their philosophy of mind, are very printing-and that improvement and multiplinearly on a level with the philosophy of the cation of the mechanical arts, that have renpresent day. The end and aim of all that dered the body of the people far more busy, philosophy is to make education rational and wealthy, inventive and independent, than they effective, and to train men to such sagacity ever were in any former period of society. and force of judgment, as to induce them to To us, therefore, it certainly does appear, cast off the bondage of prejudices, and to fol. that the lofty estimate which Mr. Stewart has low happiness and virtue with assured and again made of the practical importance of his steady steps. We do not know, however, favourite studies, is one of those splendid viwhat modern work contains juster, or more sions by which men of genius have been so profound views on the subject of education, often misled, in the enthusiastic pursuit of than may be collected from the writings of science and of virtue. That these studies are Xenophon and Quintilian, Polybius, Plutarch, of a very dignified and interesting nature, we and Cicero: and, as to that sagacity and just admit most cheerfully ;-that they exercise ness of thinking, which, after all, is the fruit and delight the understanding, by reasonings by which this tree of knowledge must be ulti- and inquiries, at once subtle, cautious, and mately known, we are not aware of many profound, and either gratify or exalt a keen modern performances that exemplify it in a and aspiring curiosity, must be acknowledged stronger degree, than many parts of the his- by all who have been initiated into their ele. tories of Tacitus and Thucydides, or the Satires ments. Those who have had the good fortune and Epistles of Horace. In the conduct of to be so initiated by the writings of Mr. Stewbusiness and affairs, we shall find Pericles, art, will be delighted to add, that they are and Cæsar, and Cicero, but little inferior to the blended with so many lessons of gentle and of philosophical politicians of the present day; ennobling virtue—so many striking precepts and, for lofty and solid principles of practi- and bright examples of liberality, high-minded. cal ethics, we might safely match Epictetus ness, and pure taste—as to be calculated, in an and Antoninus (without mentioning Aristotle, eminent degree, to make men love goodness Plato, Plutarch, Xenophon, or Polybius,) with and aspire to elegance, and to improve at once most of our modern speculators.
the understanding, the imagination, and the Where, then, it may be asked, are the per- heart. But this must be the limit of our praise. formances of this philosophy, which makes such large promises? or, what are the grounds The sequel of this article is not now re. upon which we should expect to see so much printed, for the reasons already stated.
PROSE WORKS OF FICTION.
As I perceive I have, in some of the following papers, made a sort of apology for seeking to direct the attention of my readers to things so insignificant as Novels, it may be worth while to inform the present generation that, in my youth, writings of this sort were rated very low with us—scarcely allowed indeed to pass as part of a nation's permanent literature -and generally deemed altogether unworthy of any grave critical notice. Nor, in truth in spite of Cervantes and Le Sage—and Marivaux, Rousseau, and Voltaire abroad and even our own Richardson and Fielding at home-would it have been easy to controvert that opinion, in our England, at the time: For certainly a greater mass of trash and rubbish never disgraced the press of any country, than the ordinary Novels that filled and supported our circulating libraries, down nearly to the time of Miss Edgeworth’s first appearance. There had been, the Vicar of Wakefield, to be sure, before; and Miss Burney's Evelina and Cecilia -and Mackenzie's Man of Feeling, and some bolder and more varied fictions of the Misses Lee. But the staple of our Novel market was, beyond imagination, despicable : and had consequently sunk and degraded the whole department of literature, of which it had usurped the name.
All this, however, has since been signally, and happily, changed; and that rabble rout of abominations driven from our confines for ever. The Novels of Sir Walter Scott are, beyond all question, the most remarkable productions of the present age; and have made a sensa. tion, and produced an effect, all over Europe, to which nothing parallel can be mentioned since the days of Rousseau and Voltaire ; while, in our own country, they have attained a place, inferior only to that which must be filled for ever by the unapproachable glory of Shakespeare. With the help, no doubt, of their political revolutions, they have produced, in France, Victor Hugo, Balsac, Paul de Cocq, &c., the promessi sposi in Italy—and Cooper, at least, in America.-In England, also, they have had imitators enough; in the persons of Mr. James, Mr. Lover, and others. But the works most akin to them in excellence have rather, I think, been related as collaterals than as descendants. Miss Edgeworth, indeed, stands more in the line of their ancestry; and I take Miss Austen and Sir E. L. Bulwer to be as intrinsically original ;—as well as the great German writers, Goethe, Tiek, Jean Paul, Richter, &c. Among them, however, the honour of this branch of literature has at any rate been splendidly redeemed ;--and now bids fair to maintain its place, at the head of all that is graceful and instructive in the productions of modern genius.
(Iuly, 1809.) Tales of Fashionable Life. By Miss EDGEWORTH, Author of "Practical Education," “Belinda,”
" "Castle Rackrent," &c. 12mo. 3 vols. London: 1809. If it were possible for reviewers to Envy' any other writer, male or female, of her genethe authors who are brought before them for ration. Other arts and sciences have their judgment, we rather think we should be use, no doubt; and, Heaven knows, they have tempted to envy Miss Edgeworth ; — not, their reward and their fame. But the great however, so much for her matchless powers art is the art of living; and the chief science of probable invention-her never failing good the science of being happy. Where there is sense and cheerfulness-nor her fine discrimi. an absolute deficiency of good sense, these nation of characters--as for the delightful cannot indeed be taught; and, with an extraconsciousness of having done more good than I ordinary share of it, they may be acquired