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previous history. His miraculous escape impresses him with no awe, the loss of his companions and friends with no regret or compassion. The dogs had their pay, and I can afford to pardon them. The boats swamped in the current all were lost--and, here am I, is his only remark. If he feels any gratitude towards his preserver, it turns, as in a heart of the very worst description it naturally would, to malignant aversion the instant he thinks that he stands in his way. The obligation is a bridle to his resentment, against his unconscious rival; but in his impatience of the restraint,
he could gnaw the curb until his lips were bloody.' His hatred is so vehement that it survives its cause, and he is forced to attribute it to natural dislike, to a principle of instinctive antipathy. The instant that he has in some measure requited his services, he challenges his benefactor, though he knows he has nothing to fear from him as a rival in Minna's heart, insults him the next evening, and soon after stabs bim when unarmed and defenceless. He repays the frank hospitality of Magnus Troil, and the unsuspicious confidence of his daughter, by endeavouring to persuade Minna to elope with him to his piratical haunts in the West Indies. Until he quits Burgh Westra, he is what we know a pirate must be,--hard-hearted, selfish, ungrateful and ferocious. And we cannot but suspect that, up to this period, our author had reserved for him a pirate's fate : that he had intended him to adorn the yard arm, or to display in a court of justice, the audacity of his prototype Gow, or to succeed in his threat of 'snapping a pistol in the powder room. That he should live honourably and die gallantly must, we think, have been an afterthought, for it is only by such a sudden alteration of his destiny, that we can account for his sudden alteration in disposition and conduct. He now feels that' to avail himself of the enthusiastic error of Minna, would outglare and outweigh all his former sins, were they doubled in weight and in dye. He feels remorse for having 'turned Bunce from a stroller by land to a rover by sea;' resolves to turn an honest man and use his criminal life no longer,' assumes the temporary command of the piratical sloop from mere disinterested generosity, surrenders to Mordaunt, instead of making his escape, with no apparent motive but to atone for his crimes, forgives Bunce, with Quakerlike placability, the ruin he has brought upon him, and bids farewell to Minna, with an acknowledgment of the honour and mercy of his judges, and the hope of being useful to his country. Such are the inconsistencies, the lame and impotent conclusions, into which a writer, with even our author's powers, may be betrayed by haste.
We need add little to the remarks which we have incidently applied to the remaining characters. Mordaunt is as insipid, and Yellowley and Halcro are as tiresome, as might be anticipated from s H H 3
their respective parts of hero and bore. The last is our peculiar aversion : perhaps from his resemblance to some of the tolerated small wits whom we have had the misfortune to encounter in blue society: the teTTIECO W EOIXOTES of Homer, clamorous, squeaking, and frisking in the full enjoyinent of a green old age of emptiness. The pirates are bold and vigorous sketches, and the chain of bullying by which Cleveland secures the affection of Bunce, and Bunce that of Fletcher, is happily imagined, and so is the adherence of the younger part of the crew to Cleveland, and of the weatherbeaten veterans to Goff, notwithstanding his propensity to be damned funny,' and run the ship ashore, or shoot his friends under the table, by way of frolic.
The poetry is below our author's standard: Halcro's address to Bet Stimbister, and the song of the Pirates as they bear off Cleveland, Fire on the main-top,' &c. are perhaps the best specimens. The latter, short as it is, has infinite spirit. You fancy you hear its triumphant chorus as they gallantly bend to their oars. It is a spark of fire carelessly struck out by a powerful hand—the same perhaps that gave words to the bold Pibroch of Donuil Dhu..
When we think over the work, of which we have given this very inadequate sketch, we must confess that its scenes do not recur to our memory as readily, or as agreeably, as those of most of its predecessors. It is superior, in its characters, to the Monastery,' and in its fable to the · Legend of Montrose,' and, as a whole, perhaps to the ' Antiquary,' and inferior in almost all parts to the others. It would have raised high the fame of an untried author, and has rather lowered that of the author of Waverley.'
Art. XIII.-A Second Dissertation prefired to the Supplemental
Volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica, exhibiting a General View of the Progress of Metaphysical, Morat and Political Philosophy in Europe, from the Revival of Letters. By Dugald
Stewart, F.R.S. &c. 1821. THE present is the third occasion, on which we have had an op
portunity of delivering our opinións respecting the merits of those views. in metaphysical science, which have been embraced by Mr. Stewart. In the execution of this task, which we have never gone out of our way to seek, but which our office naturally imposed upon us, we certainly did not compliment Mr. Stewart with any foolish expressions of unbounded admiration; nor did we affect to approve those principles in speculative philosophy, wbich belong to that particular school of which he is generally considered as the ostensible head; but we spoke of his talents without disrespect, and urged our reasons for differing from him in opinion, with coursy and, as we hoped, with candour. It seems, however, that he as displeased with the freedom of our animadversions; and we can uly say that we have seen it with regret. We collect the fact jerely from a short sentence in the Dissertation before us, in vhich our comments are alluded to, in terms that plainly indicate he kind of impression which they must have made upon his mind; and we notice the passage only in order that we may have an oportunity to explain and apologize.
In our review of the former part of this Dissertation we said, that in the plan which Mr. Stewart has adopted, if he has not consulted his strength, he has at least consulted his ease; for supposing a person to have the requisite talent and information, the task which our author has performed is one which, with the historical abstracts of Buhle or Tenneman, cannot be supposed to have required any laborious meditation. On this passage Mr. Stewart comments with perfect mildness, but still evidently under the influence of feelings, of which we cannot but be sorry to be the object.
On the insinuation contained in the foregoing passage I abstain from offering any comment. I have only to say that it is now for the first time (summer of 1820) that I have seen the work of Buhle; and that I have never yet had an opportunity of seeing that of Tenneman. From what I have found in the one, and from what I have heard of the other, I am strongly inclined to suspect that when the anonymous critic wrote the above sentence, he was not less ignorant than myself of the works of these two historians. Nor can I refrain from adding (which I do in perfect confidence) that no person competent to judge on such a subject can read with attention this historical sketch, without perceiving that its merits and defects, whatever they may be, are at least all my own.'— Dissertation, p. 250.
That we must have expressed ourselves awkwardly and unpleasantly in the passage which has drawn down from Mr. Stewart the remarks which we have just quoted, is sufficiently plain from the tone in which he speaks of it. We have, however, read the passage over both by itself and in conjunction with the context, and we own, we cannot help thinking that Mr. Stewart must have been under the influence of some hastiness of feeling when he extracted from it a sense so perfectly at variance with the general tenour of our criticism, as that which his comment upon it supposes. We certainly meant no insinuation of any kind in what we said; and the suggestion that he had been borrowing from Buhle, of all writers in the world, must no doubt have seemed so extravagant, that we can readily excuse Mr. Stewart for insinuating, in his turn, that we never could have seen the work when we preferred, as he imagined, a charge of such utter improbability. That this last
supposition, supposition, however, is not true, is in fact a mere matter of accident; for we put down the names of Buhle and Tenneman (respecting which last writer we really do know no more than Mr. Stewart, except that we have seen his work) simply as happening to be the first which occurred in our recollection. What we meant to say was, that a man of Mr. Stewart's abilities and acquirements would only need to take down the book of some such compiler as we had instanced, in order to refresh his memory respecting the , names and opinions of writers, and he would be able, without any further research at the moment, or any expense of meditation, to produce such a composition as that which we had then under our'. eye. This was no compliment to the first Dissertation, nor did we intend it to be such ; but it was, we conceive, a personal conipliment to Mr. Stewart; for we assumed the requisite talent and information' in the writer; and we had before admitted that the work was elegant, spirited and entertaining. All that we can say further is, that if lie really did bestow any considerable labour, either of thought or reading, upon the composition of his essay, beyond what. we had supposed, such a confession would materially affect the opinion which we entertain of the powers of his mind; and if he did not, as we cannot but suppose he will admit, then we are confident that he is too just, after this explanation, to retain any angry feelings against us, merely because we have said, that with all his merits, he is not without faults as a writer; and that viewing him as a philosopher, we see many reasons to doubt the soundness of his opinions. The several objections which we urged against his conclusions may, no doubt, have been unfounded; but we hope Mr. Stewart will do us the justice to admit (and if he will not we should appeal with confidence to our readers) that our objections. were neither captious in themselves nor uncourteously expressed. If in the warmth of composition, or in any momentary interval of forgetfulness, we trespassed upon the respect to which his age and character justly entitle him, all that we can do is, once more to repeat our regret. It is difficult for people to differ widely without appearing to differ warmly; but if metaphysicians, of all the species of philosophers, cannot discuss such abstruse points as commonly form the subject of their disputes, without mulual anger and inpatience,—we can only say that they are likely to be very bad company for each other; for there are hardly any two points about which, as the science now stands, they can reasonably be expected to agree.
Having said thus much, however, in vindication of ourselves from an accidental misapprehension, we have no further apologies nor explanations to offer; nor do we feel at all anxious respecting any possible misconceptions for the future. Whatever may be
thought by others of the opinions which we have expressed concerning the merit of Mr. Stewart's writings, we have said nothing respecting them which we are at all inclined to disavow. We think now, as we thought formerly, that his works are stamped with the image of an eloquent and elegant mind; and we give him full credit for extensive reading and for the most sincere zeal in the cause of what he believes to be the truth. If we have not formed so high an estimate of his powers of reasoning as some of our readers may probably have formed, we are at the same time perfectly ready to admit, that it is a point respecting which we are very possibly not in a situation to deliver an impartial judgment; for we differ so entirely from Mr. Stewart in his views of metaphysical science in general, that we really feel no difficulty whatever in supposing ourselves to be in error, as to the opinion which we may have formed of his talents in the mere dry work of abstract argument. We are aware that it would in many cases be almost as unjust to measure the ability of a metaphysician by the value of his discoveries, as to calculate the merit of a general solely by the number of his victories. A person, however, must be a very competent judge indeed of the matter in dispute, before he can be expected to form his judgment without any reference to these vulgar standards of opinon; and in the present case, it is so seldom that we feel disposed to adopt the conclusions, or even to allow the premises from which Mr. Stewart systematically reasons, that in a debate merely as to the extent of his genius for metaphysical science, we cannot but see that it seems almost like begging the question, for us even to hazard an opinion.
With respect to the Dissertation before us, this second part is, in every respect, so like its predecessor, that we have little more to say about it, than what we ventured to express on a former occasion. As part of a preface to an Encyclopædia, or in the more elevated diction of its author, as a “ sketch of the intellectual progress of the species,' we certainly are unable to comprehend the use which is to be made of it. It is so totally without any general views, and it is so impossible to draw from it any distinct and uniform conclusion, that it quite defies all systematic criticism. In saying this we really wish to pass no censure; for the essay before us is probably all that it was intended to be by its author, or even a good deal more; and viewed with reference, not to the reputation of Mr. Stewart, but simply to the purposes for which it was designed, it is undoubtedly a performance of a much higher kind than the public had any right to expect. We are told in the • Advertisement that the author's original design (as is well known to his friends) was to comprize in ten or twelve sheets all the preliminary matter which he was to contribute to this · Supplement: