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Fortunately our admirable translation of the scriptures abounds with these native terms of expression, and it is admitted to be almost as pure an authority for English as for doctrine."

This is indeed a fortunate circumstance! The book that is most universally diffused-that is offered to the poorest labourer in the land-the sacred volume that teaches us how to live and how to die, and that discloses a better world beyond the grave, is, at the same time, the richest and purest repository of our national idiom. Leaving apart the solemn consideration of the doctrines it inculcates, the Bible is entitled to our reverence as the great classic of the English language.

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The sensible remarks we have hitherto quoted are from a a letter. In the essay on style, prefixed to an Essay on English Grammar, which last we believe was written by the Rev. John Fell, to whom the preceding letter is addressed, our author more fully developes his notions on the subject. Recurring to the anglicized Latin, and paying the deserved tribute of praise to the subject matter of some of our works unfortunately written in that style, he says "that a man might deserve well of the public who would take the trouble of translating them into English."

He quotes the following passage from the preface to the works of Shakspeare, written by Dr. Johnson, who shows he knew, though he did not practise what was right.

"The polite are always catching modish innovations, and the learned depart from established forms of speech, in hopes of finding or making better; those who wish for distinction, forsake the vulgar when the vulgar is right; but there is a conversation above grossness and below refinement, where propriety resides, and where Shakspeare seems to have gathered his comic dialogue. He is therefore more agreeable to the ears of the present age than any other author equally remote, and among his other excellencies deserves to be studied as one of the original masters of our language."

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We should probably differ somewhat from Johnson in our definition of the polite' and the vulgar,' or in our notions as to who form the first and who the second class; but without venturing on those questions, we will merely say, that the great body of the people is, and ever must be, the proper authority in matters of language. The true Tuscan Italian, which is certainly one of the most perfect of modern idioms, acknowledges and admits more than any other this popular influence, and not only do the best Tuscan writers refer to the words, colloquial turns, phrases and proverbs of the common people as to classical authority, but the dictionaryDella Crusca' admits them to be such an authority.

When Alfieri, the greatest dramatic poet of Italy took up his abode at Florence to learn that language, he did not content himself with grammars and dictionaries, books and the conversation of the learned or the refined; but, as he tells us himself in his interesting memoirs, he went constantly to study it in the streets and market places most frequented by the common Florentines.

To return to our essayist, who is treating of those writers who interfered with the English people's right, and altered their language, we find the following queries and remarks.

"Perhaps they may have cleared our language of some cant terms, low phrases, and awkward constructions; but what they may have gained in accuracy, have they not lost in variety? Have they not reduced all kinds of composition to an insipid uniformity? Is not the spirit of our language lowered, its freedom cramped, and its range of expression narrowed?

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"I shall not be required to prove this opinion by such of my readers as are acquainted with the works of Hooker, Taylor, Swift, Pope, Addison, and Dryden; with the prose of Cowley, and with Shakspeare's immortal wit.' However, the prevalence of fashion is so strong, that all resistance to this adulteration of our language may be ineffectual. To prevent a similar decline of the French language, the French Academy has endeavoured to render it at once more pure and more durable; but the republic of letters is a true republic, in its disregard to the arbitrary decrees of usurped authority. Perhaps such an institution would do still less with us. (Certainly it would, and we should say, all that the Dictionnaire de l'Academie, and other works of that body corporate have done, has been injurious to the French language, whose original spirit, and

old, simple graces the Academicians proscribed by the King's authority.)

Our critics are allowed to petition, but not to command; and why should this power be enlarged? The laws of our speech, like the laws of our country, should breathe a spirit of liberty: they should check licentiousness without restraining freedom. The most effectual method of preserving our language from decay, and preventing a total disregard to the Saxon part of it, is to change our present mode of education.

"Children are generally taught the grammar of a foreign tongue before they understand that of their own; or if they chance to be instructed in the principles of their native tongue, they learn them from some system that does little more than fetter it with the rules of construction drawn from another language."

We have dwelt at some length on this subject, because we feel it is one of national importance, and think that the present is a favourable moment to impress upon authors the necessity of quitting pedantry and affectation, and returning to nature. The mass of the people, on whom the unnatural, affected styles pressed like a night-mare, have become or are becoming readers, and invariably show not merely a preference but an exclusive love for the simple, plain, good old English style of composition, and for homely language in which current words of Teutonic or Saxon origin have their just share. We look to the intellectual improvement of the people at large for the improvement of our national tongue.

The time at which we write, we consider also favourable for claiming general attention to the long Latin drill and. cumbrous routine of our schools. A change for the better has begun, and will doubtlessly be completed, in our system of education; but it behoves all classes to take an interest in the subject, and contribute according to their relative means towards the end proposed. We must refer our readers to the volume before us for some admirable remarks on this head, and on education generally considered.

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The best of our author's letters are those To a Young Friend at College,' and 'To a Law-Student.' We recommend these letters to all young men, as being practically useful, and filled with suggestions and examples (rather than with dry advice), that are applicable not solely to the Oxford scholar and the bencher of the Temple or Lincoln's Inn, but to persons in all the varieties of our social condition, from the highest to the lowest. If any of our young readers have Chesterfield by them, let them throw the heartless, useless book into the fire, and betake themselves to the attentive perusal of the letters we have pointed out to their notice, the unvarying scope of which is, to combine our affections and even our passions with our virtues,—a love of industry and application with our longings after ease, wealth or distinction, a cheerful contented spirit with a steadiness and constancy in following up the vocations to which we have been called, and, as the end of all, a lively enjoyment of this beautiful world, with our religion and our aspirations for immortality. This is what the great living poet means when speaking of the rational pursuit of happiness,

Not in Utopia,-subterraneous fields,

Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where ! But in the very world, which is the world Of all of us, the place where in the end We find our happiness or not at all! * We must make room for a quotation from one of the letters to a young friend at college. We select a passage in which our author recommends exertion, and disposes of those whose name is legion' who would break the spring of youthful hope-the mover of all excellence.

"Those who advise others to withstand the temptations of hope, will always appear to be wiser than they really are; for how often can it be made certain that the rejected and untried hazard would have been successful? Besides those who dissuade us from action have corrupt but powerful allies in our indolence, irresolution, and cowardice. To despond is very easy, but it requires works as well as faith, to engage successfully in a difficult undertaking.

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There are, however, few difficulies that hold out against real attacks; they fly, like the visible horizon, before those who advance. A passionate desire and an unwearied will can perform impossibilities, or what seem to be such to the

*Wordsworth.

cold and the feeble. If we do but go on, some unseen path will open among the hills.

"We must not allow ourselves to be discouraged by the apparent disproportion between the result of single efforts, and the magnitude of the obstacles to be encountered. Nothing good nor great is to be obtained without courage and industry; but courage and industry must have sunk in despair, and the world must have remained unornamented and unimproved, if man had nicely compared the effect of a single stroke of the chisel with the pyramid to be raised, or of a single impression of the spade with the mountain to be

levelled.

"All exertion, too, is in itself delightful, and active amusements seldom tire us. Helvetius owns that he could hardly

·

listen to a concert for two hours, though he could play on an instrument all day long. The chase, we know, has always been the favourite amusement of kings and nobles. Not only fame and fortune, but pleasure is to be earned. Efforts, it must not be forgotten, are as indispensable as desires. The globe is not to be circumnavigated by one wind. We should never do nothing. It is better to wear out than to rust out,' says Bishop Cumberland. There will be time enough for repose in the grave,' said Nicole to Pascal.* In truth, the proper rest for man is change of occupation. "As a young man, you should be mindful of the unspeakable importance of early industry, since, in youth, habits are easily formed, and there is time to recover from defeats. An Italian sonnet justly, as well as elegantly, compares procrastination to the folly of a traveller who pursues a brook till it widens into a river, and is lost in the sea. The toils as well as risks of an active life are commonly overrated, so much may be done by the diligent use of ordinary opportunities; but they must not always be waited for. We must not only strike the iron while it is hot, but strike it till it is made hot.' Herschell, the great astronomer, declares that ninety or an hundred hours, clear enough for observation, cannot be called an unproductive year.

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'The lazy, the dissipated, and the fearful, should patiently see the active and bold pass them in the course. They must bring down their pretensions to the level of their talents. Those who have not energy to work must learn to be humble, and should not vainly hope to unite the incompatible enjoyments of indolence and enterprise-of ambition and selfindulgence."

Besides the delightful and instructive portions which we have more especially alluded to, this volume contains some good letters on metaphysical subjects, addressed to the late Mr. Horne Tooke and Sir James Mackintosh; an admirable treatise on "The Nature and Utility of Eloquence;" and able essays on the following interesting subjects:-"On Poverty," "On War," "On Intolerance and Bigotry," On the Passions," "On Political Agitations," and "On Visiting Acquaintance."

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In each of these papers there is much originality of thought, and a deep knowledge of the nature of man and of society. But this knowledge displays itself as much in relation to the good as the bad qualities of mankind; and the effect of the whole is to make us tolerant and kind with our fellow-creatures-to convince us that our well-being is inseparably linked with the well-being of others

That seeking others' good, we find our own,and that while we look to our understandings for amusement, we must trust to our affections for happiness. We rise from the perusal of the philosophy of this volume with a placid, cheerful spirit, like what is produced by sweet music, by the undisturbed contemplation of a beautiful work of art, or a happy landscape in real nature.

The poetry of the volume all runs in the same amiable vein, and is animated and brightened by the same generous love of man, and the same ardent hope that his destinies upon earth will be improved by the gradual spread of education and liberal institutions. In an epistle to Lord Holland, dated Windermere, 1829, the poet thus warmly speaks of the modern system of popular instruction :—

*This sublime saying is attributed to the wrong author. It was not said by Nicole, but by Antoine Arnauld (the voluminous writer on Divine Grace, &c., and the indefatigable antagonist of the Jesuits) to Nicole, who was tired of the labours of controversy, and longed for repose. "Repose!" cried the fiery, untiring Arnauld, will you not have enough of that in eternity ?"-See Life of nauld.

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CURIOSITIES OF LITERATURE.

BY J. D'ISRAELI, ESQ., D.C.L., F.S.A. Ninth edition, revised. In 6 vols. 5s. each vol. THIS work has been so long before the public, that it is scarcely necessary to say much about it. According to the author in his last preface, "It is now approaching half a century since the first volume appeared; about a year or two after, the second succeeded; twenty years elapsed before a third was produced; and six years subsequently, the last three volumes were at once given to the world." So that according to these chronological data, the work, in its complete form, has been upwards of twenty years in the world. where, we may add, it has enjoyed an extensive, and, on the whole, a well-merited popularity.

It will not, however, be out of place to offer a few remarks on the general character of Mr. D'Israeli's books, and on the popular mode he has adopted in publishing the present series.

66

All Mr. D'Israeli's books are, what the title of the work before us is, " Curiosities of Literature,"—that is, they consist solely of the most curious, out-of-the-way, oddest scraps, picked up in almost every department of letters, and from an infinite variety of old, unread, and, for the greater part, unreadable books. Taking the mass of them, they have been selected with the true spirit of a curiosity-collectornot because they were good, or useful, or beautiful, but because they were antiquated, rare, and obsolete; and they have been arranged (if we can apply the term arrangement to any of Mr. D'Israeli's books) just in the fashion of a virtuoso's cabinet, where "an alligator stuffed" overshadows "other skins of ill-shaped fishes"-where a black-letter folio shoulders a Sanscrit MS.-a Breeches Bible lies on a coat of mail-a Queen Anne's farthing by the side of a medallion of the Seleucida-and where, in short, things the most dissimilar and discordant, all crowded together, struggle with each other for room and notice.

In the midst of this confusion, however, there is a great deal of really curious, interesting, and some instructive matter. In the dusty and unfrequented by-paths of literary, political, and private history, Mr. D'Israeli has frequently found something to throw a new light on our records and affairs; and, in the course of his various compilations, he has collected a considerable quantity of valuable information, particularly with regard to the real state of society, and the comforts enjoyed, or privations suffered, by people of different classes in different ages and countries.

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We do not use the term compilation in an odious sense, or, according to its present acceptation, in certain obscure quarters. the old books in the British Museum, at picking up queer Mr. D'Israeli is a great man in small things-clever among odds and ends," said a critic of the last generation; and we him down as an "obscure literary drudge, without a single doubt not that certain critics of the present day would set idea in his head except what he has filched from the British Museum." But for ourselves, though we admit that Mr. D'Israeli has drawn largely on our great national collection of books, and has not unfrequently made use of the easier and readier coin of French Anas, in which much of his subject matter is to be found, we entertain a highly favourable opinion of his labours and researches, which have rendered popular and current so much that was before confined to the learned, or at least to those whose vocations threw them among libraries and old books. We also allow him the great merit of a plain, idiomatic style, which he never departs from even when treating of involved, abstruse subjects, and without which he could never have become

IN 1688.

the favourite he is. His own original remarks, moreover, | HISTORY OF THE REVOLUTION IN ENGLAND though neither very numerous nor profound, are sagacious, and given in concise pointed sentences. But here our praise must stop.

To the untiring research, to the patient investigation of all conflicting authorities on any given subject, to the admirable logic of Bayle, D'Israeli is certainly a stranger. Nor does he work with one great specific object, like Tiraboschi or Muratori, whose lives (as his has been) were passed among old books and chronicles, but who erected invaluable and unperishable monuments of Italian history. For the most part, Mr. D'Israeli contents himself with simply repeating an old, little known, or curious story; and if he sometimes confronts this with a story from another source on the same matter, he seldom gives himself much trouble to reconcile these conflicting authorities, or to discover where the truth lies. It is quite enough for him that he has a curious tale to tell.

In many of his anecdotes, and especially in those relating to foreign poets and foreign literary history generally, he shows a singular disregard of the value or veracity of the writer he quotes from. He hits upon a curious and striking passage, and that is all he wants. He gives it as he finds it, and tells you (at least most times) where he found it. We do not accuse him of an intention to deceive; but not a few of these stories which have been taken up and repeated on his authority as facts, by persons who trouble themselves still less with the investigation than he does, would not stand the test of even a very superficial critical scrutiny. The general want of a specific object-the confusion we have alluded to-the jumble of subjects, and the short discursive way in which they are treated, render most of his works annoying and unsatisfactory for a continuous perusal. He is like some inveterate story-tellers we meet with in society, who puzzle us with a maze of narrative, and whose "last good thing" generally drives out of our heads all they have said before.

In spite, however, of these defects, and without being a Bayle, a Tiraboschi, or a Muratori, Mr. D'Israeli, as we have already admitted, has "done the state (of letters) some service." He has taken the lore of old folios and quartos, and sometimes of old MSS., and diffused it, in modern language, in light octavos. He may not be ambitious of such a reputation, but he certainly has been a diffusionist in this

sense.

The proper way to derive pleasure and some profit from his books, is to take them up now and then and read a section or two at a time. In this manner they will be found to be agreeable repertories of anecdote, and of much curious information, not to be met with elsewhere without trouble and research.

BY THE RIGHT HON. SIR JAMES MACKINTOSHI.

Longman and Co. 4to. Price 37. 38.

THIS is a fragment-and but a fragment-of a work to which the literary world has been looking anxiously forward for the last quarter of a century, during which period it was generally understood that Sir J. Mackintosh was engaged in the production of a History of England, from the Revolution to our own times. We regret to add,-that brief and comparatively imperfect as it is-it is all that he completed of his great undertaking. The high distinction, therefore-we might indeed say glory-of being the first to shed the light of philosophy upon the men and measures of 1688-so long reserved for the author of the Vindicia Gallica, was not won by him: the history of England from the Revolution is still a desideratum in our literature. But though a fragment, it is a work of no ordinary value and interest; if not calculated to add much to the literary reputation of its distinguished author, it certainly will not lessen it. Like that portion of the History of England which Sir James Mackintosh contributed to Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia,' the present volume abounds in passages, the defects no less than the merits of which are equally above the reach of common-place acquirements, and which, as being illustrative of the writer's peculiar habits of thought and moral feeling, cannot fail-to the eye of the inquirer into the spring of human conduct—to possess an interest higher perhaps than attaches to them as portions of an historical treatise. This is the case also with several of the most controverted passages in Mr. Hume's History. In both instances the hue and colouring are very often derived from influences (the idola specûs-idols of the den of Bacon) of early growth and subtle origin, of which the writers themselves, at the moment of composition, were more than probably wholly unconscious.

As an instance of the tendency of early pursuits to permanently influence understandings, even the most robust, in investigations little akin to those pursuits, a few remarks may not be thrown away in explaining our meaning. The reader will soon find that the inquiry into the peculiar constitution of Mr. Hume's intellectual character, to which these remarks may lead us, has a direct bearing upon our inquiry into the merits of Sir James Mackintosh, as an historian and a philosopher. Our remarks will be chiefly confined to Mr. Hume's defects as an historian; for besides that much misconception prevails, among the reading public, relative to these defects, which it may be useful to clear up, we persuade ourselves we shall be promoting the great object of the Printing Machine-the instruction of the extraordinary endowments as David Hume, as a warning to all engaged in the mental training of the young.

We come now to the mode in which our author is pub-many-by holding up the imperfections of a man of such lishing the Curiosities of Literature.'

Mr. D'Israeli was long of the opinion of those who maintain that the dignity of letters is incompatible with low prices, and that the only patrons of all literature are those who can afford to buy dear books. But, in his case, we are glad to see a change has come over the spirit of that dream, the illusions of which have but too long contributed to check the civilization of these countries. He is now reproducing his work in monthly volumes, at the moderate price of 5s. each, and therefore in this sense also we hail Mr. D'Israeli as a diffusionist.

These volumes are elegantly printed, but we are some what surprised to find several not unimportant typographical errors in the publications of one who has devoted so much care to the detection of such mistakes in the works of others. They occur particularly in the Italian. We have Libraria for Libreria and, not to mention others, the well-known Lido of Venice is metamorphosed into Libo; and, a few sentences after, the Tuscan idiom " Canto alla Barcaiuola" is transformed into "Canta alla Barcariola," which is neither Tuscan nor Venetian, and which, moreover, sacrifices the gender of a noun. Yet in the very sentence next to that in which the last gross mistakes occur, our author complains that a printer's error has been perpetuated through all Mr. Murray's edition of Lord Byron's works, the name of Barry the painter having been printed Berry. We mention these slight defects, because although printers' errors ought always to be looked upon with a measure of indulgence, it is of the highest importance that books intended for very general circulation should be as correct as an anxious care can make them.

We have three admirable portraits of Mr. Hume: one from the pencil of his friend Mackenzie, in his touching story of La Roche; one drawn by himself in that morsel of auto-biography which has been justly praised as a happy medium between coldness and egotism; and the finished outline which Sir J. Mackintosh has sketched in his admirable History of Ethical Philosophy.' From these and the concurrent testimony of his numerous acquaintance, we learn that never was there a man more amiable with perhaps less warmth of heart. It would indeed seem that his scepticism in all matters interesting to man, as a moral and intelligent being, was so early formed and rooted, as to actually preclude the co-existence of all ardent affections. He has himself, in a confidential letter to a friend (Sir G. Elliott), let us into the secret of this unfavourable change in his feelings. "Any propensity you imagine I have to the other (the sceptical) side, crept in upon me against my will; and it is not long ago that I burned an old manuscript book, wrote before I was twenty, which contained, page after page, the gradual progress of my thoughts on that head. It began with an anxious search after arguments to confirm the common opinions; doubts stole in, dissipated, returned, were again dissipated; and it was a perpetual struggle of a restless imagination against inclination, perhaps against reason."

The destruction of this manuscript is an irreparable loss to metaphysical literature. It would have enabled us to trace the young sceptic's progress, from his first crude speculations and struggles and misgivings, up to the absolute,

systematized, and, we cannot but add, hardened scepticism | passion, never soured my temper, notwithstanding my freof the Treatise of Human Nature,'-that remarkable pro- quent disappointments." duction of youthful genius, which stands out as probably But the reader may ask-what has Mr. Hume's metathe most striking instance, in the records of philosophy, of physical scepticism to do with his merits as an historian,— the baleful excess to which an almost preternatural acute- and what has either to do with an estimate of the merits of ness of intellect may lead speculative ingenuity. Fortu- Sir J. Mackintosh's history? Every thing in the world. nately, that very excess works its own cure: the shock The historical writings of both labour, as we shall have to which absolute and universal scepticism gives to the com- point out, under a common defect; and we are endeavourmon feelings of mankind is its best antidote. The designing to ferret out the springs, the idols of the den, whence was, however, bold and sweeping beyond all parallel. Un- that defect takes its origin. Hume's scepticism disposed like Bayle, the author of the Treatise of Human Nature him to treat the vices and aggressions of men in high places did not waste his time in questioning in detail the certainty with indulgence, and to distrust the virtues and capacity for of the evidence of particular doctrines of belief, so as to, by improvement of the oppressed many; and we shall prea sort of inductive scepticism, make doubt the general sently have to show that influence of another description conclusion from an aggregate of cases of uncertainty; nor weakened the force of Mackintosh's moral judgments. did he, like Montaigne, indulge his humour by arguing In reference to Hume's high prerogative bias, it is cheeron both sides of the question, in order to show that truth ing to the friends of human improvement-the labourer in could not be positively affirmed of either; nor like Boling- the glorious cause of national instruction-to trace the close broke, did he under the mask of unprejudiced inquiry, un-affinity between those abstract theories which tend to dedermine the foundations of received opinions. Hume's grade human nature, and what Mr. Stewart has happily scepticism was of a loftier, and, it must be admitted, more termed, that accommodating morality which prepares the logically consistent character. Instead of cavilling about minds of men for receiving passively the yoke of slavery. the outskirts of received opinions, he abandoned, in disdain, Sound philosophy prescribes caution in founding general "the tedious lingering method (we quote his own words) conclusions upon the probable influence of speculative opiwhich we have hitherto followed, and instead of taking now nions upon conduct. We shall therefore, in adverting to and then a castle or village on the frontier," he resolved the curious contrast which the high prerogative doctrine of "to march up directly to the capital or centre of these sci- the Humes, and the Hobbes, and the Bayles, (the three most ences, to human nature itself; which, being once masters of, celebrated of modern sceptics,) present to the enlightened we may everywhere else hope for an easy victory." In views of good government, advocated by our Lockes and pursuance of this design, he boldly undertook to prove Miltons, merely observe that, in the not hastily formed opinot that nothing certain was known-but that, from the nion of the writer of this notice, the influence of the favery structure of the understanding, nothing could possibly shionable morality in politics and morals upon the conduct be known; and that we were consequently doomed to dwell of a people has been much underrated by most modern for ever in absolute and universal ignorance. The folly, writers, among others by M. Guizot and Sir James Macknot to say extravagantly false philosophy of such a design, intosh. The struggle for supremacy between the antagonist need not be pointed out to our readers; nor indeed should doctrines of the Stoics and the (so called) Epicureans is we allude to it, but that it furnishes us with a key to some one of the most instructive phenomena in the history of of the most controverted portions of Mr. Hume's History, ancient Rome. Cato, Brutus, Cicero, and Marcus Aurelius and could not in fairness be omitted when criticising his Antoninus were of the Stoic school: Cæsar, Anthony, and merits as an historian. the other Triumviri were Epicureans. With the stern moWe have every reason to believe, that Mr. Hume's scep- rality of the Stoics fell the virtues and glory of the republic; ticism was the fruit of a sincere research after truth. The while the triumph of Epicureanism was realized in the result, however, was a partial palsy of his moral feelings: soul-debasing despotism of the Cæsars. The great Roman those generous emotions which inspired the lofty benevo- orator and statesman more than once laments the fashionable lence of a Howard were blighted, and his moral being be- sway of the Epicurean philosophy among his patrician concame blind and deaf on one side to that highest of all temporaries, the dark period which immediately preceded wisdom-the wisdom of the heart. It may be going too the fall of the republic. To come down to our immediate far to say, in the words of Sir J. Mackintosh, in reference subject, we shall presently have to point out a serious omisto this very topic," that those who are early accustomed to sion (which, by the way, Sir James Mackintosh has not dispute first principles, are never likely to acquire, in a suf- remedied) in the narratives of the events and their causes ficient degree, that earnestness, that sincerity, that strong that led to the Revolution of 1688, namely, the influence love of truth, and that conscientious solicitude for the form of Hobbes's writings in engendering and fostering the proation of just opinions, which are not the least virtues of fligate political morality of the court of Charles II. And men, but of which the cultivation is the more especial duty we hold that he who undertakes to write the history of the of all who call themselves philosophers;" but it is not too | French Revolution, and leaves the influence of Rochefoumuch to affirm, that early habits of scepticism have a ten-cauld's ‘Maxims' out of account, is unfitted for his office. dency to damp that moral enthusiasm, without which literature is a blight instead of a blessing to the nations.

Our readers, we trust, have anticipated our conclusion. We hold, then, that the bad politics of Hume's History of England' were, in a great degree, an indirect consequence of his bad metaphysics: and we hold that his bad metaphysics were the direct consequence of a bad system of early education. If our views are correct, considerations of vast importance in the moral instruction of the young-that most important and yet most neglected branch of education mit our entering upon, but which significantly point to two conclusions of great practical interest: 1. That our moral convictions to be permanent and energetic must be early rooted in the moral depths and universal truths of our nature: 2. That before we ascribe the political aberrations of such men as David Hume to wilful error, we should inquire whether they may not admit of a more charitable, because more philosophical explanation.

Our inquiry into Mr. Hume's intellectual habits would be incomplete without a notice of his social qualities. He was eminently endowed with all those minor moralities which constitute the charm of social intercourse, and point out their possessor as very amiable and very respectable. He was naturally cheerful, humane, and "so simple that he did not even affect modesty;" and the very same influ-suggest themselves, which our present limits do not perences which tended to damp his moral enthusiasm, tended also to guard him against those vicious excesses to which more ardent natures are prone. Hence his society was universally courted. Everybody liked him: nobody perhaps loved him if he had no personal enemy, he was as little calculated to make devoted friends. Unsullied by the sordid occurrences of life, he was universally esteemed, not less for the even kindness of his social feelings, than for his total freedom from meanness and malice. His good nature, his plain manners, and his active kindness, procured him at Paris the enviable name of the Good David, "from a society," observes Mackintosh, "not so alive to goodness, as without reason to place it at the head of the qualities of a celebrated man." "I was, I say, (to quote his own words) a man of mild disposition, of command of temper, of an open, social, and cheerful humour, capable of attachment, but little susceptible of enmity, and of great moderation in all my passions. Even my love of literary fame, my ruling

It is customary, for example, for certain writers to designate the misrepresentations which abound in Hume's narrative of the events that brought Charles I. to the scaffold as wilful falsifications. Now there can be no doubt that Hume's views and versions of the entire struggle between the Stuarts and his opponents-the pioneers, (and nothing more,) in the great contest of civil liberty and despotism, were radically and mischievously wrong; but everything we know of the man contradicts the imputation of deliberate falsehood. Indeed, the great practical mischief of his

wholly unfitted. In the first place, they were both too long accustomed to view social institutions and governments, and the workings of great political principles from one of those philosophical watch towers, which Bacon has described in the language of genius, with centuries and nations and dynasties spread out before them, not to feel indifference, if not contempt, for the Lilliputian antics and sordid overreachings of ephemeral politicians; and, in the next place, an epicurean indolence of temperament that bordered upon physical timidity, induced in both a sort of sensitive-plant recoil from the rude collisions and justlings, and party drudgeries of self-seeking patriots. To this peculiarity of organization, as much as to the want, conspicuous in both, of a lofty and vivifying imagination, we attribute the great moral defect of their writings, the absence of a genial sympathy with the passions, not to say prejudices of the million, and of that fusing earnestness of purpose which even when unassociated with higher qualities, serve to interest the affections of the reader, but which, united with higher qualities, contribute to the improvement and moral power and happiness of a people.

history is, that it is free from gross misstatements, partial | warfare-the usual step-ladder of ambition-they were truth being so much more difficult of refutation than flagrant falsehood; and the heaviest charge that can be brought against Hume (leaving out of account, for the present, the tendency to precipitate generalizations to which speculative genius is so predisposed) is, not that he tells falsehoods, but that he does not tell the whole truth. Nor was this partial suppression of the truth the artifice of a partisan-the one-sided tactics of a Tory advocate, as is generally asserted and believed. It took its origin in that peculiar structure of his intellect-his want of vivifying imagination-of faith and hope in the progressive goodness of human nature, and consequent absence of flesh-andblood sympathy with the feelings, and lofty aspirings and infirmities of the mass of his fellow beings. An intellect so subtle, so acute, and so speculative, and in which the abstract reason predominated so absolutely over the other faculties, was necessarily theoretical; and a theory being once formed, facts cease to be facts when they refuse to support its plausibility. For reasons to which we cannot now more than allude, Mr. Hume contracted, early in life, a deep-rooted theoretical aversion to the numerous sects known in the seventeenth century by the common appellation of Puritans. In addition to the repugnance to hypocrisy, characteristic of vigorous and independent minds, Mr. Hume's metaphysical scepticism induced in him a strong tendency to distrust all virtues liable to be exaggerated and counterfeited; and hence was led to regard the austerity of the Presbyterian Sabbath, the extravagance of the independent preacher in the camp, the precise garb, the cropped hair, the severe countenance, the petty scruples, and the affected accent of the Commonwealth men, as the mere excrescence of fanaticism and turbulence, without deigning to recognise the valour, the disinterestedness, and the public spirit which lurked beneath this ungainly exterior. This it was, and not a Jacobite reverence for the House of Stuart, that has ranked him among the advocates of Charles I. and his ministers in their struggles with the leaders-the immortal and, all things considered, high-minded leaders of the Long Parliament; and this it is that has enrolled his name among the deadliest foes of civil liberty. And not indeed without justice; for, without positively asserting more than he can support by contemporary evidence, (and with him Clement Walker, and Perinchief, were, at the least, as trustworthy as Whitelock or Ludlow, and Clarendon, incomparably a higher authority than May or Rushworth,) by putting forward the evidence which squares with his own preconceived opinions, while the adverse testimony is rejected or severely scrutinized, and by a searching examination of motives, and accompanied by well-timed concessions of candour, he has done more towards bending men's minds to the true character of the actors and the events, from the death of Elizabeth to the Revolution, than, it is to be feared, any living historian will be able to remedy. Much was expected from the eminent man to whom we shall now return -Sir James Mackintosh; but he unfortunately died before his time, and left no sign of his labours, save the fragment

now before us.

The character of Sir James Mackintosh's intellect resembled, in many of its features, that of Mr. Hume; but they were resemblances of kind rather than degree. The resemblance was closer in those feelings which take their hue from the peculiar temperament of the individual, and which exercise a permanent under-current influence upon conduct. Indeed, paradoxical as it may sound, we are more inclined to seek for the origin of those differences, and sometimes contrasts, which strike us, on comparing their political opinions and conduct, in this very similarity of temperament, than in a difference of early mental discipline. Both were acute and subtle thinkers, of cool judgment and equable temper, of humane, kindly, but moderated affections; much more fitted for the abstract speculations of the closet* than the active business of life. For partisan

"My studious disposition, my sobriety, and my industry, gave my family a notion that the law was a proper profession for me; but I found an insurmountable aversion to every thing but the pursuits of philosophy and general learning; and while they fancied I was poring upon Voet and Vennius, Cicero and Virgil were the authors which I was secretly devouring."-Hume's Own Life. At fifty years of age he tells us, he had resolved upon devoting the remainder of his life to philosophical pursuits.

"My nature would have been better consulted if I had been placed in a quieter station, where speculation might have been my

The great feature of Mr. Hume's intellect was acuteness (in which he was almost without a rival), and a penetration into motives so quick, and in general so unerring, as to appear intuitive. The prudent sagacity which distinguishes Sir J. Mackintosh's investigations in morals, politics, and jurisprudence, are what might be expected from one whose first masters in philosophy were Locke and Bacon. The acuteness of the one fitted him to excel in the one-sided dexterity of an advocate; the sagacity of the other was better adapted to the balancing and many-sided functions of the judge. But if, on the one hand, one-sidedness and scepticisms were the unwholesome produce of Hume's subtlety of understanding, it must, on the other hand, be admitted that Mackintosh's prudence too often assumed the form of over-refining cautiousness—

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the craven scruple

Of thinking too precisely on the event," and his sagacity was too often exerted in hunting out preso apt to degenerate into casuistry and moral cowardice; texts for eluding the responsibility of a positive judgment. These peculiarities of mental organization were strikingly manifested in the manner in which each approached the and almost preternatural acuteness of Hume's intellect discussion of a political problem. The lightning quickness struck out a solution as it were at a flash; while the overrefining cautiousness and inductive hesitations and endless hearings and re-hearings of the evidence and arguments pro and con, either prevented Mackintosh from pronouncing any judgment whatever, or one so qualified as to leave the sions of the former eminent person were apt to be rash and question still open to controversy. So that if the concluinaccurate, because founded on a limited number of factsor rather perhaps impatience of the labour of à posteriori occasionally bewildered in the vastness and complexity of or inductive generalizations-the other seems to have been

his details. Hume often rushed, like one in the dark, less haste would have discovered, while the other-to borheadlong, and with a shock, against some resistance which row a ludicrous, but we believe apposite, illustration-sometimes reminded one of the metaphysical ass of the schoolto make a choice between the equally balanced motives to men, who starved between two bundles of hay, from inability of the haste and impatience of those who " see a little, preselection. The defects of Hume are a striking illustration sume a great deal, and so jump to the conclusion," on which Mr. Locke has animadverted, with his usual sagacity, in business, and visions of the fair and good my chief recreation."— Mackintosh's letter to Rev. Robert Hall.

"Prospectationes fiunt a turribus, aut locis præaltis, et impossibile est ut quis exploret remotiores interioresque scientia alicujus partes, si stet super plano ejusdem scientiæ, neque altioris scientiæ veluti speculum conscendat." A noble and beautiful illustration of the dignity and practical importance of the science to which Bacon elsewhere gives the name of the First Philosophy.

In conversation with the writer of this notice, Sir J. Mackintosh stated, that the author to whom he felt most indebted, in his philosophical studies, was Father Buffièr, a philosophical Jesuit, whose Treatise on the First Truth' is the only work of his known in this country. Sir James spoke in the highest terms of Buffièr's 'Cours de Sciences'-a scarce work, not to be met with in our bookshops.

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