Imatges de pÓgina

and I am not inclined to forsake them for others."

He sought

no interest with the great by the flattery of dedications, but nobly preferred the claims of friendship to the hope of patronage. The Traveller was inscribed to his brother, fondly mentioned in the poem :

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Where'er I roam, whatever realm to see,
My heart untravell'd fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.

The Deserted Village was addressed to Sir Joshua Reynolds: Setting interest therefore aside, to which I never paid much attention, I must be indulged at present in following my affec tions. The only dedication I ever made was to my brother, because I loved him better than most other men. He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe this poem to you." The dedication of his comedy to Johnson includes Johnson includes one of the finest and truest compliments he ever received," It may do me some honour to inform the public that I have lived many years in intimacy with you. It may serve the interests of mankind also to inform them, that the greatest wit may be found in a character without impairing the most unaffected piety." If he preserved himself free from the political controversy of the day, it was not without solicitation to the contrary. Lord North's ministry sent to him a carte blanche to procure his pen for the administration. His answer was memorable; I can earn as much as will supply my wants without writing for any party; the assistance, therefore, you offer is unnecessary to me." With all his ease, his readiness to be deceived by a tale of pity, his pliability of disposition, he had moral strength and dignity enough to stand independent of party.

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Among Goldsmith's reputed failings, his vanity and love of play have been prominently set forth. It were strange if one so open and artless in his nature should not discover some foibles. If he sometimes exhibited a slight complacency on his success with the public, it was at least pardonable in one who deserved it so well. Johnson set this mattter in its true view. When the Poet said of Lord Camden, "I met him at Lord Clare's house in the country, and he took no more notice of me than if I had been an ordinary man," the company laughed at his simplicity, but the moralist interfered; "Nay, gentlemen, Dr. Goldsmith is in the right. A nobleman ought to have made up to such a man as Goldsmith; and I think it is much against Lord Camden that he neglected him." As

for his vanity in conversation, constantly thrusting himself forward with his inability to talk, as it is said :--this has been overstated. He was not an indifferent talker. He never possessed, indeed, the sustained wisdom of Johnson, yet he hit a truth occasionally with great felicity. His observation of the world had been very extensive, his memory was exact, and a ready humour turned every incident to account. But in no fair sense of the word can Goldsmith be considered a gamester. Neither Johnson nor Reynolds ever let fall any statements to support the general belief, and surely such would not have escaped the zeal of Bosweli, (Life, p. 425.) He probably was fond of cards, but must have shunned the heartless life of the gambler.

With such qualities as a man, his merits as a writer will survive through all time. The strength and grace combined in his poems will always please, the richness of his humour ever continue to 'play around the heart.' When more learned and bolder writers are forgotten, Goldsmith will continue to be read; for he depends not on theories which are ever fluctuating, or facts which are superseded; but on that interest of life and manners which never grows old. He is a window seat, fireside author, to be taken up at any moment. His excellence always delights. Beau Tibbs, the Man in Black, or the Monogamist, cannot fail to be cheery companions against a troubled or weary hour. The true lover of literature seeks refuge in such classic models from the distorted pictures, either in design or execution, which every age revives. Though contemporary writers have their peculiar interest, yet for pleasure and delight there are few that will not suffer in comparison with the miscellaneous ability of Goldsmith. His pen," dropping the honey of Hybla," threw a charm over the most varied subjects. Where is now this pleasing variety? Alas! with the past. We have no well-drawn moral essays now-a-days; it is too often an extravagant homily or a piece of flippant gossip genuine comedies of the good old school have given way to two-act farces or melo-dramas in three we read no new biographies, such as those of Parnell and Bolingbroke; and the homefelt, heartfelt humour of the domestic novel like the Vicar of Wakefield is but ill supplanted by the fashionable vocabulary of Almack's, or the last specimen of French extravagance. The age has lost by this departure from the literature of Goldsmith and Johnson. It has sacrificed quiet and ease, the delicious repose of authorship, the elegant finished calm of Rasselas and the Vicar; but it has not always reached sublimity.



[October, and strength are much talked of; we hear of vigour and boldness of conception with mastery of thought, (that we duly estimate); but we sigh in vain for the attic grace and softness of Goldsmith. One writer indeed connects us with the past. Washington Irving, like Charles Lamb, fairly belongs to another period, and seems by some freak of nature to have been thrown amid the bustle of the nineteenth century. But generally the age follows other standards of its own. In Irving's playful irony "Goldsmith was a pretty poet, a very pretty poet, though rather of the old school. He did not think and feel so strongly as is the fashion now-a-days; but had he lived in these times of hot hearts and hot heads, he would no doubt have written quite differently."

ART. III-A Discourse of Natural Theology, showing the Nature of the Evidence and the Advantages of the Study. BY HENRY LORD BROUGHAM, F. R. S. and Member of the National Institute of France. Philadelphia. Carey, Lea & Blanchard. 1835. 12mo. pp. 190.

ALTHOUGH this work of the multifarious ex-chancellor has been so long before the public, we take it up with the intention of subjecting its logic to a thorough examination, because we do not think it a good book; on the contrary, we think it calculated to do a great deal of harm to the very cause it professes to support. It professes to be an exposition of the nature and validity of the evidence on which the truths of Natural Theology rest; and we propose to show that his lordship has fallen into many grave misconceptions of his subject, uttered many irrelevances, propounded much bad logic, and set forth some principles unsound and of dangerous consequence. If this can be shown, it ought to be shown; for his lordship's name and character are held in much higher estimation in many quarters in this country than, in our opinion, it is entitled to hold; and this is likely to give his opinions a weight and influence they might not otherwise gain. Besides, so far as we know, the work has not been thoroughly reviewed, and in the right tone and manner. In most of the journals in this country, and in many in England, it has been highly commended as a valuable contribution to theological literature; and its logic and principles have been made the subject of exceedingly un

discriminating and unqualified approbation. On the other hand, with one exception, those English journals which have noticed it unfavourably, have appeared to us not sufficiently critical, thorough, and impartial, besides indulging too much in flippant personalities and irrelevant sarcasm. Avoiding these, we shall endeavour fairly to exhibit the train and substance of reasoning, and to justify the judgment we have expressed respecting his discourse. If our plan shall make the article less spirited and agreeable, we hope that, for the attentive reader, it will better promote the cause of truth. But we will not pass sentence before the evidence is adduced.

In the first section, after a few preliminary remarks, the writer attacks the common division of Science into the two great branches of Human and Divine. This he thinks necessary to the main design of his work, inasmuch as he supposes the division in question has arisen from the prejudice that Human Science and Divine are founded upon different kinds of evidence, and that it tends to perpetuate this prejudice. After having shown, as he supposes, that such a prejudice or principle could not be applied to classify the objects of ordinary scientific research, he concludes that it were equally erroneous to employ it, in order to make the general separation of all science into the two branches above mentioned.

This classification, according to the section before us, is not only inaccurate," as proceeding from an unsound principle of arrangement, but it also "materially impairs the force of the proofs upon which Natural Theology rests." We have no doubt but that the most of our readers will allow Lord Brougham at least the equivocal praise of originality in this part of his discourse; for few persons, we presume, have ever imagined that the division in question has arisen from such a source, or that it is attended with such consequence.

But the attempt to do away the distinction between Human Science and Divine, is not more novel than the method pursued is curious. This is undertaken by showing that the principle of classification from which the author has supposed it to spring, cannot be applied to subdivide the general department of Human Science; and if it fail here, he asks, is it not equally fallacious when employed to make the more general division of all science into the two great branches under consideration? To use his own language:

"The careless inquirer into physical truth would certainly think he had seized on a sound principle of classification if he should divide the objects with which philosophy, natural and mental, is conversant, into two classes-those objects of which we know the. 39




existence by our senses or our consciousness; that is, external objects which we see, taste, touch, smell, internal ideas which we remember, or emotions which we feel-and those objects of which we only know the existence by a process of reasoning, founded upon something originally presented by the senses or by consciousBut a moment's reflection will show both how very short a way this classification would carry our inaccurate logician, and how entirely his principle fails to support him even during that little part of his journey. Thus, the examination of certain visible objects and appearances enables us to ascertain the laws of light and vision. Our senses teach us that colours differ, and that their mixture forms other hues; that their absence is black, their combination in certain preparations, white. We are in the same way enabled to understand that the organ of vision performs its functions by a natural apparatus resembling, though far surpassing, certain instruments of our own constructing, and that therefore it works on the same principles. But that light, which can be perceived directly by none of our senses, exists, as a separate body, we only infer by a process of reasoning from things which our senses do perceive. So we are acquainted with the effects of heat; we know that it extends the dimensions of whatever matter it penetrates; we feel its effects upon our own nerves when subjected to its operation; and we see its effects in augmenting, liquefying, and decom. posing other bodies; but its existence as a separate substance we do not know, except by reasoning and by analogy. Again, to which of the two classes must we refer the air? Its existence is not made known by the sight, the smell, the taste; but is it by the touch? Assuredly a stream of it blown upon the nerves of touch produces a certain effect; but to infer from thence the existence of a rare, light, invisible, and impalpable fluid, is clearly an operation of reasoning, as much as that which enables us to infer the existence of light or heat from their perceptible effects.'

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The author continues thus to exclude the objects of Natural Philosophy, as he calls them, from the first class, by the application of this principle of his superficial logician, until he thinks himself justified in saying "Thus, then, there is at once excluded from the first class almost the whole range of Natural Philosophy." And he goes on to show that nothing remains, which, when severely examined, will stand the test. Thus, his argument is, that the principle of classification is unsound; for when applied to the objects of ordinary research it reduces them all to one class-the existence of all being made known by one and the same process of reasoning; and that class which the superficial inquirer supposes to fall under the cognizance of the senses or of consciousness, is, upon a severe examination, absolutely annihilated.

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