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certainly led him to look with more regard on the latter—heartless and cruel as they were—than on the poor persecuted peasants. The general demand for biographical composition tempted some of our most popular original writers to embark in this delightful department of literature. Southey, as we have seen, was early in the field; and his more distinguished poetical contemporaries, Scott, Moore, and Campbell, also joined. The first, besides his admirable memoirs of Dryden and Swift, prefixed to their works, contributed a series of lives of the English novelists to an edition of their works published by Ballantyne, which he executed with great taste, candour, and discrimination. He afterwards undertook a life of Napoleon Bonaparte, which was at first intended as a counterpart to Southey's Life of Nelson, but ultimately swelled out into nine volumes. The hurried composition of this work, and the habits of the author, accustomed to the dazzling creations of fiction, rather than the sober plodding of historical inquiry and calm investigation, led to many errors and imperfections. It abounds in striking and eloquent passages; the battles of Napoleon are described with great clearness and animation ; and the view taken of his character and talents is, on the whole, just and impartial, very different from the manner in which Scott had alluded to Napoleon in his ‘Vision of Don Roderick.’ The great diffuseness of the style, however, and the want of philosophical analysis, render the life of Napoleon more a brilliant chronicle of scenes and events than a historical memoir worthy the genius of its author. MR MooRE has published a Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1825; Notices of the Life of Lord Byron, 1830; and Memoirs of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, 1831. The first of these works is the most valuable; the second the most interesting. The ‘Life of Byron,' by its intimate connexion with recent events and living persons, was a duty of very delicate and difficult performance. This was farther increased by the freedom and licentiousness of the poet's opinions and conduct, and by the versatility or mobility of his mind, which changed with every passing impulse and impression. “As well, says Mr Moore, ‘from the precipitance with which he gave way to every impulse, as from the passion he had for recording his own impressions, all those heterogeneous thoughts, fantasies, and desires that, in other men's minds, “come like shadows, so depart,” were by him fixed and embodied as they presented themselves, and at once taking a shape cognizable by public opinion, either in his actions or his words, in the hasty letter of the moment, or the poem for all time, laid open such a range of vulnerable points before his judges, as no one individual ever before, of himself, presented.” Byron left ample materials for his biographer. His absence from England, and his desire ‘to keep the minds of the English public for ever occupied about him —if not with his merits, with his faults; if not in applauding, in blaming him, led him to maintain a regular correspondence with Mr Moore and his publisher Mr Murray. He also kept a journal, and recorded memoranda of his opinions, his reading, &c. something in the style of Burns. His letters are rich and varied, but too often display an affectation of wit and smartness, and a still worse ambition of appearing more profligate than he was in reality. Byron had written memoirs of his own life, which he presented to Mr Moore, and which were placed by the latter at the disposal of Mrs Leigh, the noble poet's sister and executor, but which they, from a sense of what they thought due to his memory, consigned to the flames. The loss of the
manuscript is not to be regretted, for much of it could never have been published, and all that was valuable was repeated in the journals and memorandum-books. Mr Moore's “ Notices' are written with taste and modesty, and in very pure and unaffected English. As an editor he preserved too much of what was worthless and unimportant; as a biographer he was too indulgent to the faults of his hero; yet who could have wished a friend to dwell on the errors of Byron 2 MR CAMPBELL, besides the biographies in his Specimens of the Poets, has published a Life of Mrs Siddons, the distinguished actress, and a Life of Petrarch. The latter is homely and earnest, though on a romantic and fanciful subject. There is a reality about Campbell's biographies quite distinct from what might be expected to emanate from the imaginative poet. The lives of Burke and Goldsmith, in two volumes each, by MR JAMEs PRIoR, are examples of patient diligence and research, prompted by national feelings and admiration. Goldsmith had been dead half a century before the inquiries of his countryman and biographer began, yet he has collected a vast number of new facts, and placed the amiable and amusing poet in full length and in full dress (quoting even his tailors' bills) before the public. Amongst other additions to our standard biography may be mentioned the Life of Lord Clive, by SIR John MALcolM; and the Life of Lord Clarendon, by Mr T. H. ListER. The Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, by MR PATRIck FRASERTYTLER (published in one volume in the Edinburgh Cabinet Library), is also valuable for its able defence of that adventurous and interesting personage, and for its careful digest of state papers and contemporaneous events. Free access to all public documents and libraries is now easily obtained, and there is no lack of desire on the part of authors to prosecute, or of the public to reward these researches. A Life of Lord William Rossell, by Lord John Russell, is enriched with information from the family papers at Woburn Abbey; and from a similarly authentic private source, Lond NUGENT has written Memoirs of Hampden. The Life, Journals, and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, by the REv. J. SMITH, records the successful career of the secretary to the Admiralty in the reigns of Charles II. and James II., and comprises a Diary kept by Pepys for about ten years, which is one of the most curiously minute and gossiping journals in the language. While the most careful investigation is directed towards our classic authors—Shakspeare, Milton, Spenser, Chaucer, &c. forming each the subject of numerous memoirs—scarcely a person of the least note has been suffered to depart without the honours of biography. The present century has amply atoned for any want of curiosity on the part of former generations, and there is some danger that this taste or passion may be carried too far. Memoirs of “persons of quality’—of wits, dramatists, artists, and actors, appear every season. Authors have become as familiar to us as our personal associates. Shy retired men like Charles Lamb, and dreamy recluses like Coleridge, have been portrayed in all their strength and weakness. We have lives of Shelley, of Keats, Hazlitt, Hannah More, Mrs Hemans, Mrs Maclean (L. E. L.), of James Smith (one of the authors of “The Rejected Addresses'). of Monk Lewis, Hayley, and many authors of less distinction. In this influx of biographies worthlessmaterials are often elevated for a day, and the gratification of a prurient curiosity or idle love of gossip is more aimed at than literary excellence or sound instruction. The error, however, is one on the right
side. “Better,’ says the traditional maxim of English law, “that nine guilty men should escape than that one innocent man should suffer'—and better, say we, that nine useless lives should be written than that one valuable one should be neglected. The chaff is easily winnowed from the wheat; and even in the memoirs of comparatively insignificant persons, some precious truth, some lesson of dearbought experience, may be found treasured up for “a life beyond life.” In what may be termed professional biography, facts and principles not known to the general reader are often conveyed. In lives like those of Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr Wilberforce, Mr Francis Horner, and Jeremy Bentham, new light is thrown on the characters of public men, and on the motives and sources of public events. Statesmen, lawyers, and philosophers both act and are acted upon by the age in which they live, and, to be useful, their biography should be copious. In the life of Sir Humphry Davy by his brother, and of James Watt by M. Arago, we have many interesting facts connected with the progress of scientific discovery and improvement; and in the lives of Curran, Grattan, and Sir James Mackintosh (each in two volumes), by their sons, the public history of the country is illustrated. Sir John Barrow's lives of Howe and Anson are excellent specimens of naval biography; and we have also i. memoirs of Lord St Vincent, Lord Collingwood, Sir Thomas Munro, Sir John Moore, Sir David Baird, Lord Exmouth, Lord Keppel, &c. On the subject of biography in general, we quote with pleasure an observation of Mr Carlyle:— “If an individual is really of consequence enough to have his life and character recorded for public remembrance, we have always been of opinion that the public ought to be made acquainted with all the inward springs and relations of his character. How did the world and man's life, from his particular position, represent themselves to his mind? How did co-existing circumstances modify him from without—how did he modify these from within With what endeavours and what efficacy rule over them? with what resistance and what suffering sink under them? In one word, what and how produced was the effect of society on him? what and how produced was his effect on society? He who should answer these questions in regard to any individual, would, as we believe, furnish a model of perfection in biography. Few individuals, indeed, can deserve such a study; and many lives will be written, and, for the gratification of innocent curiosity, ought to be written, and read, and forgotten, which are not in this sense biographies.” Fulfilling this high destiny, and answering its severe conditions, Boswell's life of Johnson is undoubtedly the most valuable biography we possess. Moore's Byron, the life of Crabbe by his son, Lockhart's Burns, and the life of Bentham by Dr Bowring, are also cast in the same mould; but the work which approaches nearest to it is Lockhart's Life of Sir Walter Scott, an elaborate biography, published in 1838, in seven large volumes. The near relationship of the author to his subject might have blinded his judgment, yet the life is written in a fair and manly spirit, without either suppressions or misstatements that could alter its essential features. Into the controversial points of the memoir we shall not enter: the author has certainly paid too little deference and regard to the feelings of several individuals; and in the whole of his conclusions with regard to the Messrs Ballantyne, and indeed on the whole question as to the parties chiefly blameable for Scott's ruin, we believe him to have been wrong; yet far more than enough remains to enable us to overlook
these blemishes. The fearless confidence with which all that he knew and believed is laid before the public, and Scott presented to the world exactly as he was in life—in his schemes of worldly ambition as in his vast literary undertakings—is greatly to be admired, and will in time gather its meed of praise. The book, in the main, exhibits a sound and healthy spirit, calculated to exercise a great influence on contemporary literature. As an example and guide in real life, in doing and in suffering, it is equally valuable. “The more the details of Scott's personal history are revealed and studied, the more powerfully will that be found to inculcate the same great lessons with his works. Where else shall we be better taught how prosperity may be extended by beneficence, and adversity confronted by exertion? Where can we see the “follies of the wise” more strikingly rebuked, and a character more beautifully purified and exalted than in the passage through affliction to death? His character seems to belong to some elder and stronger period than ours; and, indeed, I cannot help likening it to the architectural fabrics of other ages which he most delighted in, where there is such a congregation of imagery and tracery, such endless indulgence of whim and fancy, the sublime blending here with the beautiful, and there contrasted with the grotesque—half perhaps seen in the clear daylight, and half by rays tinged with the blazoned forms of the past—that one may be apt to get bewildered among the variety of particular impressions, and not feel either the unity of the grand design, or the height and solidness of the structure, until the door has been closed on the labyrinth of aisles and shrines, and you survey it from a distance, but still within its shadow.’”
We have enumerated the most original biographical works of this period, but a complete list of all the memoirs, historical and literary, that have appeared, would fill pages. Two general biographical dictionaries have also been published, one in ten volumes quarto, published between the years 1799 and 1815 by Dr Aikin; and another in thirty-two volumes octavo, re-edited, with great additions, between 1812 and 1816 by Mr Alexander Chalmers. An excellent epitome was published in 1828, in two large volumes, by John Gorton. In Lardner's Cyclopaedia, Murray's Family Library, and the publications of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, are some valuable short biographies by authors of established reputation. The Lives of the Scottish Poets have been published by Mr David Irving, and a Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen by Mr Robert Chambers, in four volumes octavo. A more extended and complete general biographical dictionary than any which has yet appeared is at present in the course of publication, under the auspices of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.
METAPHYSICAL W RITERs.
We have no profound original metaphysician in this period, but some rich and elegant commentators. PRofessort Duo ALD STEwART expounded and illustrated the views of his distinguished teacher Dr Reid; and by his essays and treatises, no less than by his lectures, gave additional grace and popularity to the system. Mr Stewart was the son of Dr Matthew Stewart, professor of mathematics in the university of Edinburgh, and was born in the college buildings, November 22, 1753. At the early age of nineteen he undertook to teach his father's mathematical classes, and in two years was appointed his assistant and successor. A more congenial opening occurred for him in 1780, when Dr Adam Fergusson retired from the moral philosophy chair. Stewart was appointed his successor, and continued to discharge the duties of the office till 1810, when Dr Thomas Brown was conjoined with him as colleague. The latter years of his life were spent in literary retirement at Kinneil House, on the banks of the Firth of Forth, about twenty miles from Edinburgh. His political friends, when in office in 1806, created for him the sinecure office of Gazette writer for Scotland, with a salary of £600 per annum. Mr Stewart died in Edinburgh on the 11th of June 1828. No lecturer was ever more popular than Dugald Stewart—his taste, dignity, and eloquence rendered him both fascinating and impressive. His writings are marked by the same characteristics, and can be read with pleasure even by those who have no great partiality for the metaphysical studies in which he excelled. They consist of Philosophy of the Human Mind, one volume of which was published in 1792, a second in 1813, and a third in 1827; also Philosophical Essays, 1810; a Dissertation on the Progress of Metaphysical and Ethical Philosophy, written in 1815 for the Encyclopaedia; and a View of the Active and Moral Powers of Man, published only a few weeks before his death. Mr Stewart also published Outlines of Moral Philosophy, and wrote memoirs of Robertson the historian, and Dr Reid. “All the years I remained about Edinburgh,’ says Mr James Mill, himself an able metaphysician, “I used, as often as I could, to steal into Mr Stewart's class to hear a lecture, which was always a high treat. I have heard Pitt and Fox deliver some of their most admired speeches, but I never heard anything nearly so eloquent as some of the lectures of Professor Stewart. The taste for the studies which have formed my favourite pursuits, and which will be so to the end of my life, I owe to him.’ DR Thomas BRowN (1778-1820), the successor of Stewart in the moral philosophy chair of Edinburgh, was son of the Rev. Samuel Brown, minister of Kirkmabreck, in Galloway. His taste for meta
* Lockhart's Life, vol. vii. p. 417.
physics was excited by the perusal of Professor
Stewart's first volume, a copy of which had been lent to him by Dr Currie of Liverpool. He appeared as an author before his twentieth year, his first work being a Review of Dr Darwin's Zoonomia. On the establishment of the Edinburgh Review, he became one of the philosophical contributors; and when a controversy arose in regard to Mr Leslie, who had, in his essay on heat, stated his approbation of Hume's theory of causation, Brown warmly espoused the cause of the philosopher, and vindicated his opinions in an Inquiry into the IRelation of Cause and Effect. At this time our author practised as a physician, but without any predilection for his profession. His appointment to the chair of moral philosophy seems to have fulfilled his destiny, and he continued to discharge its duties amidst universal approbation and respect till his death. Part of his leisure was devoted to the cultivation of a talent, or rather taste for poetry, which he early entertained; and he published The Paradise of Coquettes, 1814; The Wanderer of Norway, 1815; and The Bower of Spring, 1816. Though correct and elegant, with occasionally fine thoughts and images, the poetry of Dr Brown wants force and passion, and is now utterly forgotten. As a philosopher he was acute and searching, and a master of the power of analysis. His style wants the rich redundancy of that of I)ugald Stewart, but is also enlivened with many eloquent passages, in which there is often a large infusion of the tenderest feeling. He quoted largely from the poets, especially Akenside; and was sometimes too flowery in his illustrations. His Lectures
on the Philosophy of the Human Mind are highly popular, and form a class-book in the university. In some of his views Dr Brown differed from Reid and Stewart. His distinctions have been pronounced somewhat hypercritical; but Mackintosh considers that he rendered a new and important service to mental science by what he calls “secondary laws of suggestion or association—circumstances which modify the action of the general law, and must be distinctly considered, in order to explain its connexion with the phenomena.’
[Desire of the Happiness of Others.] [From Dr Brown's Lectures.]
It is this desire of the happiness of those whom we love, which gives to the emotion of love itself its principal delight, by affording to us constant means of gratification. He who truly wishes the happiness of any one, cannot be long without discovering some mode of contributing to it. Reason itself, with all its light, is not so rapid in discoveries of this sort as simple affection, which sees means of happiness, and
of important happiness, where reason scarcely could
think that any happiness was to be found, and has already by many kind offices produced the happiness of hours before reason could have suspected that means so slight could have given even a moment's pleasure. It is this, indeed, which contributes in no inconsiderable degree to the perpetuity of affection. Love, the mere feeling of tender admiration, would in many cases have soon lost its power over the fickle heart, and in many other cases would have had its power greatly lessened, if the desire of giving happiness, and the innumerable little courtesies and cares to which this desire gives birth, had not thus in a great measure diffused over a single passion the variety of many emotions. The love itself seems new at every moment, because there is every Inoment some new
wish of love that admits of being gratified; or rather |
it is at once, by the most delightful of all combinations, new, in the tender wishes and cares with which it occupies us, and familiar to us, and endeared the more by the remembrance of hours and years of wellknown happiness. The desire of the happiness of others, though a desire always attendant on love, does not, however,
necessarily suppose the previous existence of some
one of those emotions which may strictly be termed love. This feeling is so far from arising necessarily from regard for the sufferer, that it is impossible for us not to feel it when the suffering is extreme, and before our very eyes, though we may at the same time have the utmost abliorrence of him who is agonizing in our sight, and whose very look, even
in its agony, still seems to speak only that atrocious spirit which could again gladly perpetrate the
very horrors for which public indignation as much as public justice had doomed it to its dreadful fate. It is sufficient that extreme anguish is before us; we wish it relief before we have paused to love, or with
out reflecting on our causes of hatred; the wish is the direct and instant emotion of our soul in these
responds with the tender esteem that is felt in love. There is the mere wish of happiness to them—a wish which itself, indeed, is usually denominated love, and which may without any inconvenience be so denominated in that general humanity which we call a love of mankind, but which we must always remem
| ber does not afford, on analysis, the same results as
other affections of more cordial regard to which we give the same name. To love a friend is to wish his happiness indeed, but it is to have other emotions at the same instant, emotions without which this mere wish would be poor to constant friendship. To love the natives of Asia or Africa, of whose individual virtues or vices, talents or imbecility, wisdom or ignorance, we know nothing, is to wish their happiness; but this wish is all which constitutes the faint and feeble love. It is a wish, however, which, unless when the heart is absolutely corrupted, renders it impossible for man to be wholly indifferent to man; and this great object is that which nature had in view. She has by a provident arrangement, which we cannot but admire the more the more attentively we examine it, accommodated our emotions to our means, making our love most ardent where our wish of giving happiness might be most effectual, and less gradually and less in proportion to our diminished means. From the affection of the mother for her new-born infant, which has been rendered the strongest of all affections, because it was to arise in circumstances where affection would be most needed, to that general philan
thropy which extends itself to the remotest stranger
on spots of the earth which we never are to visit, and
nature in fostering the generous wish, stronger as felt for an intimate friend than for one who is scarcely
known to us. If there be an exception to this gradual scale of importance according to intimacy, it must be in the case of one who is absolutely a stranger—a foreigner who comes among a people with whose general manners he is perhaps unacquainted, and who has no friend to whose attention he can lay claim from any prior intimacy. In this case, indeed, it is evident that our benevolence might be more usefully directed to one who is absolutely unknown, than to many who are better known by us, that live in our very neighbourhood, in the enjoyment of domestic loves and friendships of their own. Accordingly we find, that by a provision which might be termed singular, if we did not think of the universal bounty and wisdom of God—a modification of our general regard has been prepared in the sympathetic tendencies of our nature for this case also. There is a species of affection to which the stranger gives birth merely as being a stranger. He is received and sheltered by our hospitality almost with the zeal with which our friendship delights to receive one with whom we have lived in cordial union, whose virtues we know and
revere, and whose kindness has been to us no small part of the happiness of our life. Is it possible to perceive this general proportion of our desire of giving happiness, in its various degrees, to the means which we possess, in various circumstances of affording it, without admiration of an arrangement so simple in the principles from which it flows, and at the same time so effectual—an arrangement which exhibits proofs of goodness in our very wants, of wisdom in our very weaknesses, by the adaptation of these to each other, and by the ready resources which want and weakness find in these affections which everywhere surround them, like the presence and protection of God himself? “O humanity!’ exclaims Philocles in the Travels of Anacharsis, “generous and sublime inclination, announced in infancy by the transports of a simple tenderness, in youth by the rashness of a blind but happy confidence, in the whole progress of life by the facility with which the heart is ever ready to contract attachment! O cries of nature! which resound from one extremity of the universe to the other, which fill us with remorse when we oppress a single human being; with a pure delight when we have been able to give one comfort! love, friendship, beneficence, sources of a pleasure that is inexhaustible! Men are unhappy only because they refuse to listen to your voice; and, ye divine authors of so many blessings! what gratitude do those blessings demand 1 . If all which was given to man had been a mere instinct, that led beings, overwhelmed with wants and evils, to lend to each other a reciprocal support, this might have been sufficient to bring the miserable near to the miserable; but it is only a goodness, infinite as yours, which could have formed the design of assembling us together by the attraction of love, and of diffusing, through the great associations which cover the earth, that vital warmth which renders society eternal by rendering it delightful.”
The Discourse on Ethical Philosophy (already alluded to), by SIR JAMES MAcKINTosh, and his review of Madame de Staël's Germany in the Edinburgh Review, unfold some interesting speculations on moral science. He agrees with Butler, Stewart, and the most eminent preceding moralists, in admitting the supremacy of the moral sentiments; but he proceeds a step further in the analysis of them. He
attempts to explain the origin and growth of the
moral faculty, or principle, derived from Hartley's Theory of Association, and insists repeatedly on the value of utility, or beneficial tendency, as the great test or criterion of moral action. Some of the positions in Mackintosh's Discourse were combated with unnecessary and unphilosophical asperity by JAMEs MILL, author of an able Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind, 1829, in an anonymous Fragment on Mackintosh. Mill was a bold and original thinker, but somewhat coarse and dogmatical. Among the recent works on mental philosophy may be mentioned Abercrombie's Inquiry into the Intellectual Powers, and his Philosophy of the Moral Feelings. A Treatise on the Formation and Publication of Opinions, by MR BAYLEY, follows out some of the views of Dr Brown in elegant and striking language. The Essay on the Nature and Principles of Taste, by the Rev. ARCHIBALD ALison, is an elegant metaphysical treatise, though the doctrine which it aims at establishing partakes of the character of a paradox, and has accordingly failed to enter into the stock of our established ideas. The theory of Alison is, that material objects appear beautiful or sublime in consequence of their association with our moral feelings—that it is as they are significant of mental qualities that they become entitled to these appellations. This theory was ably illustrated by Mr Jeffrey in the Edinburgh Review, in a paper which was afterwards expanded into an Essay on Beauty for the Encyclopædia Britannica. The book and the essay can now only be considered as remarkable examples of that misapplication of talent and labour which is incidental to the infancy of science—the time of its dreams. The Scottish metaphysical school, of which Stewart, Brown, and Alison may be said to have been the last masters, will ever hold a high place in public estimation for the qualities which have been attributed to it; but it must be owned to have failed in producing any permanent impression on mankind: nor have we been brought by all its labours nearer to a just knowledge of mind as the subject of a science. The cause of this assuredly is, that none of these writers have investigated mind as a portion of nature, or in connexion with organization. Since the Scottish school began to pass out of immediate notice, this more philosophical mode of inquiry has been pursued by Dr Gall and his followers, with results which, though they have excited much prejudice, are nevertheless received by a considerable portion of the public. . The leading doctrines of Gall are, that the brain is the organ of the mind, that various portions of the encephalon are the organs of various faculties of the mind, and that volume or size of the whole brain and its various parts is, other circumstances being equal, the measure of the powers of the mind and its various faculties in individuals. This system is founded upon observation—that is to say, it was found that large brains, unless when of inferior quality, or in an abnormal condition, were accompanied by superior intellect and force of character; also that, in a vast number of instances which were accurately noticed, a large development of a special part of the brain was accompanied by an unusual demonstration of a certain mental character, and never by the opposite. From these demonstrations the fundamental character of the various faculties was at length eliminated. Thus it happens that phrenology, as this system has been called, while looked on by many as a dream, is the only hypothesis of mind in which scientific processes of investigation have been followed, or for which a basis can be shown in nature. Among the British followers of Gall, the chief place is due to Mr George Combe of Edinburgh, author of a System of Phrenology, The Constitution of Man Considered in Relation to Eaternal Objects, &c.
[Distinction between Potrer and Activity.] [From the ‘System of Phrenology.']
There is a great distinction between power and activity of mind; and it is important to keep this difference in view. Power, strictly speaking, is the capability of thinking, feeling, or perceiving, however small in amount that capability may be ; and in this sense it is synonymous with faculty action is the exercise of power; while activity denotes the quickness, great or
small, with which the action is performed, and also the degree of proneness to act. The distinction between power, action, and activity of the mental faculties, is widely recognized by describers of human na|ture. Thus Cowper says of the more violent affective
faculties of man:—
• His passions, like the watery stores that sleep
Occasion needs but fan them, and they blaze."
Dr Thomas Brown, in like manner, speaks of latent propensities; that is to say, powers not in action. ‘Vice already formed,’ says he, “is almost beyond our power: it is only in the state of latent propensity that we can with much reason expect to overcome it by the moral motives which we are capable of presenting:' and he alludes to the great extent of knowledge of human nature requisite to enable us ‘to distinguish this propensity before it has expanded itself, and even before it is known to the very mind in which it exists, and to tame those passions which are never to rage.” In o Tales of the Hall a character is thus descruiject :
“He seemed without a passion to proceed,
Or one whose passions no correction need : Yet some believed those passions only slept, And were in bounds by early habit kept."
“Nature,” says Lord Bacon, “will be buried a great time, and yet revive upon the occasion or temptation; like as it was with Æsop's damsel, turned from a cat to a woman, who sat very demurely at the board’s end till a mouse ran before her.” In short, it is plain that we may have the capability of feeling an emotion—as anger fear, or pity—and that yet this power may be inactive, insomuch that, at any particular time, these emotions may be totally absent from the mind; and it is no less plain, that we may have the capability of seeing, tasting, calculating, reasoning, and composing music, without actually performing these operations.
It is equally easy to distinguish activity from action and power. When power is exercised, the action may be performed with very different degrees of rapidity. Two individuals may each be solving a problem in arithmetic, but one may do so with far greater quickness than the other; in other words, his faculty of Number may be more easily brought into action. He who solves abstruse problems slowly, manifests much power with little activity; while he who can
quickly solve easy problems, and them alone, has The man who cal- ||
much activity with little power. culates difficult problems with great speed, manifests in a high degree both power and activity of the faculty of Number.
As commonly employed, the word power is synonymous with strength, or much power, instead of denoting mere capacity, whether much or little, to act; while by activity is usually understood much quickness of action, and great proneness to act. As it is
desirable, however, to avoid every chance of ambi- o
guity, I shall employ the words power and activity in the sense first before explained; and to high degrees of power I shall apply the terms energy, intensity, strength, or vigour; while to great activity I shall apply the terms vivacity, agility, rapidity, or quickness. In physics, strength is quite distinguishable from quickness. The balance wheel of a watch moves with much rapidity, but so slight is its impetus, that a hair, would suffice to stop it; the beam of a steam-engine progresses slowly and massively through space, but its energy is prodigiously great. | In muscular action these qualities are recognized with equal facility as different. The greyhound bounds . over hill and dale with animated agility; but a slight obstacle would counterbalance his momentum, and arrest his progress. The elephant, on the other hand, rolls slowly and heavily along; but the impetus of his motion would sweep away an impediment sufi.." to resist fifty greyhounds at the summit of their speed. In mental manifestations (considered apart from organization), the distinction between energy and vivacity is equally palpable. On the stage Siddons and Mr John Kemble were remarkable for the solemn deliberation of their manner, both in declama