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pleasure, mingled with pain, to enhance the blessing, and horror “ tyrant of the throbbing breast." In other words they mean, the tragedies and comedies of that immortal poet. Answer 9th.—“A voice as of the cherub choir,
Gales from blooming Eden bear” Means
A voice (whose harmonious and melodious strains, seem to proceede from the “ cherub choir,)” describes the blooming garden of Eden, with its living fountains and gales breathing over banks of heavenly flowers.
The above lines allude to Milton, and the expressions, “ cherub choir” and “ Gales from blooming Eden, are happily applied, Because it was Milton who
“ Passing the living bounds of place and time" described the blooming and ever-green garden of Eden, the magnificance of the Eternal's throne, and the choir of cherubs that sing night and day the praise of the Almighty.
OMESH CHUNDER Dutt, Hindu College,
Senior College Department.
1.-In earliest Greece to thee with partial choice
The grief-full muse addresst her infant tongue.' Partial choice' means fond preference the muse preferred fear to the other passions, grief, pity &c.
Addrest her infant tongue'--that is the tragic muse, while yet but incipient in Greece, paid homage to fear. The early tragic writers devoted themselves chiefly to the excitation of awful feelings.
• Earliest Greece'-Earliest, because it is there that the arts and sciences first flourished that illuminate the world-it is said to be the first country in the world which gave birth to civilization and all the polished arts of life.
2.—'For not alone he mused the poet's flame
But reached from virtue's hand the patriot's steel.' Not only did he (Eschylus) possess the noble inspiration of a poet but his heart glowed also with the fire of patriotism and it was that virtuous emotion which led him to handle the sword of the warrior and fight for his country in the glorious battles of Marathon and Salamais.
3.— Though gentle pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine.' Pity claims her mingled part in the tragedy in question viz. Sophocles' Edipus. Though, he says, the tragedy excites some pitiful sensations in our hearts yet all thunders of the scence- all the dreadful portions of it which strike the reader, are thine oh fear! It is not so much to infuse in our minds tender sensations of pity as to strike us with terror and awe.
4.-But thou O hope with eyes so fair
What was thy delighted measure ?
Often would pleasing hope softly promise future pleasure and bid us expect her lovely scenes with cheerful delay,--still would her happy notes leave a lingering echo behind, such that every heart would gladly repeat and confirm.
5.-0 Music, sphere-descended maid
Friend of pleasure, wisdom's aid Music is the friend of pleasure—there is, indeed, nothing so charming to every mind as music-nothing can have such a universal effect upon mankind as music. It communicates into our soul feelings which vibrate in unison with every string of the heart and its influence is consequently felt (though in different degrees) by the rude and the learned the philosopher and the peasant by the sad and the cheerful. Even those who are sunk in the horrors of despair or dejected by grief own the soothing influence of music!
Music is wisdom's aid-because music purifies the heart through the medium of the various feelings of pity, sadness, horror &c. Indeed there is a kind of music which is dangerous to the interests of morality and religion but it must be owned on the other hand that there are species of it which disturb us by pity, enlarge our minds by sublimity and refine our hearts with purity.
RASSELAS. 6.— The reasons laid down by Johnson to account for the fact that the most ancient poets are considered as the best are as follow.
In the first place he considers it as probable that as every other kind of knowledge is acquired gradually and requires the efforts of successive generations to carry it to any degree of perfection but as poetry is a gift conferred at once-as it is born, not made that therefore the first poets of a country are generally the best.- In the next place he supposes that the first poetry of a nation surprized them as a novelty and they concurred to give it that high credit chiefly on account of its novelty, disregarding the intrinsic value of the poetry itself.
Lastly he gives it as a reason that as the province of poetry is to describe nature and passion which are invariable the first writers secured for themselves all striking images and the most probable occurrences for fiction, their followers could only tread the beaten path and were therefore not entitled to that veneration which their predecessors had gained by their originality and strength.
It may perhaps be stated as a reason to the fact in question that so long as a people does not wholly emerge from barbarism-so long as it does not direct its interests to the affairs of a highly civilized societyto commerce navigation &c. the people remains highly imaginative and the poets who flourish during that age are remarkable for their strength and invention. People of a highly refined society turn their thoughts to the various duties of active life-reason is always to be exerted while imagination is not called forth at all.
7.-What man would pay to beings of a higher order—to beings of the Angelic World.
Poetry is born not made.
The province of poetry is to describe the beauties of nature and paint the mysteries of the human heart. Such occurrences as are not wholly above nature and reality-such as may be seen in real life.
8. It is commonly found that the earliest writers are the followers of nature they can bring forward highly picturesque images—and such striking and prominent features as recal the object of their description to the mind of every reader at the very first sight.
Their followers of art'-poetry is now sophiscated, artificial, it wants natural vigour, it is languid, elegant and refined Dryden for instance is a manly vigorous and noble writer.
Grays poems on the other hand are artificial it possesses a methodical, borrowed dignity, He wants nature—He is as Dr. Johnson says, “tall by walking on tiptoe.'
MOORALY Dhur Sen, Hindu College,
Senior College Department.
BACON'S NOVUM ORGANUM.
Answer 1st.—Words are formed by abstractions, whether logical or illogical. But as they are made according to the understanding of the vulgar, many of them convey very wrong notions of things of which they are made the signs. Wise and learned men invent new words and devise new and correct definitions in order to remedy this evil, but they cannot throw off the yoke, since the mind is become very familiar with them.
The understanding is here compared to a looking glass, which is so distorted and placed in such a wrong position, as not to reflect the true image of things that are set before it.
Answer 2nd.-Words are generally formed according to the capacity of the vulgar, that is they are formed not by philosophical abstractions but in such a way as to be understood by all men. Now common people cannot enter so far into the nature of things as philosophers do, they only look on the surfaces of things, and consequently words, which are formed by common consent, are made according to vulgar conceptions. In the same way definitions are formed not by logical examination, but a consideration of the surfaces of things, for common people cannot enter deeper. That this opinion is true will appear clearly, when take into consideration the meaning annexed to the common phrases “ the sun sets," " the sun rises." It is to philosophers and scientific persons, that the case appears to be otherwise. But common people who see that a relative change of position between us and the sun takes place, conceive and firmly believe that the sun moves, and the earth is stationary. Hence the phrases “ sun rises," " sun sets," which we daily use in our conversation, were introduced in language. Again, as to definitions, let us take the term oxygen, and see what is signified by it. From its derivation, it means, “ the originator of acid.” When this term was formed it was supposed to be the only originator of acid but it is now found that, it is not the originator of acid, but a originator of acid,
" Words cry out”-that is, when men endeavour to remove these wrong distinctions, the words, by which definitions are expressed, but which are themselves wrongly abstracted, throw obstacles.
Answer 3rd.—That the objection that “ definitions consist of words, and words generate words” does not apply to mathematics, appears clearly when we consider that essential difference there is between that science and all other sciences. In “ natural and material things” words are formed from an observation of facts, how wrongly that observation may be carried on, while in mathematics the terms used of are wholly founded on hypothesis. But in material things, the case is quite different. Here the terms are not hypothetical, but are derived from facts, but in many cases these facts are not properly observed, and sometimes it is impossible to express in words what is observed in fact. For instance, when I am asked what is the meaning of " sensation,” I cannot explain it to another who had never any sensation. I may say it is “ feeling,” but again I may be asked what is “ feeling," and it will be impossible for me to explain it. I understand what is a benevolence” but I cannot explain what it means to a man who was never benevolent. This difficulty, which is derived from the imperfection of language, is not perceived in mathematical science, where the terms are definite and precise in their significations.
Answer 4th.-Bacon's philosophy itself serves as an example of fruits being the vouchers for the truth of philosophies. Many modern discoveries and inventions owe their origin to the philosophy of Bacon. Newton himself was led by the light of his philosophy, and made many discoveries by its assistance. The earlier Greeks paid some attention to experiment and observation, and made discoveries upon sound principles. The fruits which accrued from their systems are many and serve to show that the authors proceeded on true principles.
Answer 5th.-By “ grapes and olives” the author means, “ fruits" and utility.
By “thistles and thorns” he means, disputation among authors.
The philosophy of Aristotle was fitted for disputes, making answers by devising means of defences. The philosophies of the later Greeks were framed for the same purpose, the authors being only solicitors of raising sects, defending their favorite opinions, and consequently making contentions with each other. The philosophers of the middle ages did the same thing. They even went so far as to travel through the different parts of Europe and making disputes and altercations with philosophers and scientific men.
Answer 6th.—The kingdom of man over nature is limited by one condition, that it must be exercised in conformity with the laws of nature. “He must obey that he may command." There are many things in nature which kings cannot get possession of by means of money or force, neither can they have any account of them by their spies and intelligencers, as in civil affairs, or by the discoverers and naval officers. They may conquer an enemy by force but cannot conquer nature without a knowledge of her laws. They may command a subject to serve them, but cannot make nature serve without previously obeying her. They may get intelligences and secret accouts of foreign countries by means of ambassadors, but it is not within their power to get out the secrets of nature without closely adhering to her in person and thereby finding axioms. Their seamen and discoverers may discover lands hitherto hid from the knowledge of mankind, but they cannot make discoveries in nature without proceeding in the method pointed out in the Novum Organum. When a man begins to
make discoveries in nature, he should constantly bear in mind that “ knowledge is power," that is, without having a sufficient knowledge of the laws and axioms of nature, it is impossible for him to enter into nature.
Answer 7th.- According to Bacon the true end of the sciences is to enlarge the kingdom of man over nature and to increase the sources of his enjoyment. Other writers say that the true end of the sciences should be “ truth." Of this Lord Bacon cannot be said to have been ignorant. The mark of a science founded on true principles, is utility and fruits, “ for fruits are as the vouchers and securities for the truth of philosophies.” In one place he says, that “ truth" is undoubtedly the true end of philosophy. Truth and utility are ever consistent with each other and both are alike serviceable, nay even utility is of greater service, since by its means we are enabled to know that truth has been found. So that, that the object of all sciences is truth, did not escape Bacon's observation, but that he purposely kept it in the back ground.
Answer 8th.-The grand object of Bacon's philosophy was to make a reformation in the sciences that were prevalent up to his time. Now, every reformation consists of two parts, the destructive and the constructive. The former part he undertakes in the 1st part of the Novum Organum and succeeds completely in it. The grand principle of all the sciences, which he mentions in the 1st aphorism (that man, who is the servant and interpreter of nature, can understand and act as far as he has observed in the order of nature; beyond neither his knowledge nor his power extends), has not hitherto been mentioned by any philosopher. The principle which is the ground work of Bacon's philosophy, is the principle of induction. It is true the ancients made use of induction, which is natural to every mind, but their induction was not such as the thing required. They did not make sufficient number of experiments and observations, but from a small number of familiar instances, made general axioms. But Bacon's method proceed from experiments to lesser axioms, thence to middle ones, and then to axioms of greater generality and last to the most general. Again, the ancients did not collect negative instances, which, he says, are of great use, as by them axioms are tried as metals and other things by fire. The axioms of the ancients were formed for the explication of few facts, but they used to apply generally, and when any contradictory instance occurred, they used to slight and reject it under the pretext of exceptions. They ancients sought for no assistance for the mind, but left it to itself. But this Bacon says is very foolish; it is the same thing as to suppose that the hand is able to accomplish much without the aid of instruments. Aids must be supplied to the understanding, no less than to the hand, unless men wish to move continually in a circle without considerably advancing.
Bacon clearly points out the true object and end of the sciences, and points out the way in which men should proceed in discoveries. But the ancients had no determinate end in view and it is impossible to come to any certain knowledge when the end is not rightly fixed, and if the end had been fixed they chose an impassable way to proceed in.
In another place, he says, that the natural history of the ancients was formed its own sake, but if we wish to make improvement in philosophy, we ought to have such a history as shall contain it the description of animals, vegetables, &c., as also the various experiments in the mechanic arts.