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Of calmer converse, he beguiled us on Through many a maze of Garden and
of Porch, Through many a system, where the scat
tered light Of heavenly truth lay, like a broken beam From the pure sun, which, though re
fracted all Into a thousand hues, is sunshine still,1
And bright through every change! — he
spoke of Him, The lone, 2 eternal One, who dwells above, And of the soul's untraceable descent From that high fount of spirit, through
the grades Of intellectual being, till it mix With atoms vague, corruptible, and dark;
from that of the Christian. “ si extitisset aliquis, qui veritatem sparsam per singulos per sectasque diffusam colligeret in unum, ac redigeret in corpus, is profecto non dissentiret a nobis.' Inst." lib. vi. c. 7.
2 το μόνον και ερήμον.
1 Lactantius asserts that all the truths of Christianity may be found dispersed through the ancient philosophical sects, and that any one who would collect these scattered fragments of orthodoxy might form a code in no respect differing Carmel, for which reason the Carmelites have claimed him as one of their fraternity. This Mochus or Moschus, with the descendants of whom Pythagoras conversed in Phænicia, and from whom he derived the doctrines of atomic philosophy, is supposed by some to be the same with Moses. Huett has adopted this idea, monstration Evangélique,” Prop. iv. chap. 2. $ 7.;
and Le Clerc, amongst others, has refuted it. See “ Biblioth. Choisie,” tom. i. p. 75. It is certain, however, that the doctrine of atoms was known and promulgated long before Epicurus. “ With the fountains of Democritus,” says Cicero, the gardens of Epicurus were watered;" and the learned author of the Intellectual System has shown, that all the early philosophers, till the time of Plato, were atomists, We find Epicurus, however, boasting that his tenets were new and unborrowed, and perhaps few among the ancients had any stronger claim to originality. In truth, if we examine their schools of philosophy, notwithstanding the peculiarities which seem to distinguish them from each other, we may generally observe that the difference is but verbal and trifling; and that, among those various and learned heresies, there is scarcely one to be selected, whose opinions are its own, original and exclusive. The doctrine of the world's eternity may be traced through all the sects. The continual metempsychosis of Pythagoras, the grand periodic year of the Stoics, (at the conclusion of which the universe is supposed to return to its original order, and commence a new revolution,) the successive dissolution and combination of atoms maintained by the Epicureans — all these tenets are but different intimations of the same general belief in the eternity of the world. As explained by St. Austin, the periodic year of the Stoics disagrees only so far with the idea of the Pythagoreans, that instead of an endless transmission of the soul through a variety of bodies, it restores the same body and soul to repeat their former round of existence, so that the identical Plato, who lectured in the Academy of Athens, shall again and again, at certain intervals, during the lapse of eternity, appear in the same Academy and resume the same functions - »
sic eadem tempora temporaliumque rerum volumina repeti, ut v.g. sicut in isto sæculo Plato philosophus in urbe Atheniensi, in eâ scholâ quæ Academia dicta est, discipulos docuit, ita per innumerabilia retro
sæcula, multum plexis quidem intervallis, sed certis, et idem Plato, et eadem civitas, eademque schola, iidemque discipuli repetiti et per innumerabilia deinde sæcula repetendi sint. — “De Civitat. Dei," lib. xii. cap. 13. Vanini, in his dialogues, has given us a similar explication of the periodic revolutions of the world. eâ de causâ, qui nunc sunt in usu ritus, centies millies fuerunt, totiesque renascentur quoties ceciderunt.” 52.
The paradoxical notions of the Stoics upon the beauty, the riches, the dominion of their inaginary sage, are among the most distinguishing characteristics of their school, and, according to their advocate Lipsius, were peculiar to that sect. “Priora illa (decreta) quæ passim in philosophantium scholis ferè obtinent, ista quæ peculiaria huic secta et habent contradictionem: i. e. paradoxa." -“ Manuduct, ad Stoic. Philos.' lib. iii. dissertat. 2. But it is evident (as the Abbé Garnier has remarked, “ Mémoires de l'Acad." tom. xxxv.) that even these absurdities of the Stoics are borrowed, and that Plato is the source of all their extravagant paradoxes. We find their dogma, "dives qui sapiens," (which Clement of Alexandria has transferred from the Philosopher to the Christian Pædagog. lib. iii. cap. 6.) expressed in the prayer of Socrates at the end of the Phedrus. ώ φίλε Πάν τε και άλλοι όσοι τηδε θεοί, δοίητέ μοι καλώ γένεσθαι τάνδοθεν τάξωθεν δε όσα έχω, τοίς εντος είναι μοι φίλια πλούσιον δε νομίζουμε τον σοφόν. And many other instances might be adduced from the "'Artepagtai," the Iloitikos, etc. to prove that these weeds of paradox were all gathered among the bowers of the Academy. Hence it is that Cicero, in the preface to his Paradoxes, calls them Socratica; and Lipsius, exulting in the patronage of Socrates, says “ille totus est noster.' This is indeed a coalition, which evinces as much as can be wished the confused similitude of ancient philosophical opinions : the father of scepticism is here enrolled amongst the founders of the Portico; he, whose best knowledge was that of his own ignorance, is called in to authorize the pretensions of the most obstinate dogmatists in all antiquity.
Rutilius, in his Itinerarium, has ridiculed the sabbath of the Jews, as “lassati mollis imago Dei;” but Epicurus gave an eternal holiday to his gods, and, rather than disturb the slumbers of Olympus, denied at once the interference of a
Nor yet even then, though sunk in earthly Or balmy freshness, of the scenes it left.1 dross,
But keeps unchanged awhile the lustrous Corrupted all, nor its ethereal touch
tinge, Quite lost, but tasting of the fountain still.
And here the old man ceased As some bright river, which has rolled winged train along
Of nymphs and genii bore him from our Through meads of flowery, light and eyes. mines of gold,
The fair illusion fled! and, as I waked, When poured at length into the dusky deep,
1 This bold Platonic image I have taken from Disdains to take at
a passage in Father Bouchet's letter upon the
Metempsychosis, inserted in Picart's Cérém. taint,
Relig." tom. iv.
« ille ipse
Providence. He does not, however, seem to have been singular in this opinion. Theophilus of Antioch, if he deserve any credit, imputes a similar belief to Pythagoras:-φησι (Πυθαγόρας) τε των πάντων θεους ανθρώπων μηδεν φροντίζειν. And Plutarch, though so hostile to the followers of Epicurus, has unaccountably adopted the very same theological error. Thus, after quoting the opinions of Anaxagoras and Plato upon divinity, he adds, κοινώς oύν αμαρτάνουσιν αμφότεροι, ότι τον θεόν εποίησαν επιστεφόμενον των ανθρωπίνων.
De Placit. Philosoph.", lib. i. cap. 7: Plato himself has attributed a degree of indifference to the gods, which is not far removed from the apathy of Epicurus's heaven; as thus, in his Philebus, where Protarchus asks, oőkovv εικός γε ούτε χαίρειν θεούς, ούτε το εναντίον ; and Socrates answers, πάνυ μεν ούν είκός, άσχημον γούν αυτων εκάτερον γιγνόμενόν έστιν;
- while Aristotle supposes a still more absurd neutrality, and concludes, by no very flattering analogy, that the deity is as incapable of virtue as of vice. και γαρ ώσπερ ουδέν θηρίου εστί κακία, ουδ' αρετή, ούτως ούδε θεού. “Ethic. Nicomach.” lib. vii. cap. 1. In truth, Aristotle, upon the subject of Providence, was little more correct than Epicurus. He supposed the moon to be the limit of divine interference, excluding of course this sublunary world from its influence. The first definition of the world, in his treatise “IIepi Koomov”. (if this treatise be really the work of Aristotle) agrees, almost verbum verbo, with that in the letter of Epicurus to Pythocles; and both omit the mention of a deity. In his Ethics, too, he intimates a doubt whether the gods feel any interest in the concerns of mankind. –εί γάρ τις επιμέλεια των ανθρωπίνων υπό θεων γίνεται. It is true, he adds ώσπερ δοκεί, but even this is very sceptical.
In these erroneous conceptions of Aristotle, we trace the cause of that general neglect which his philosophy experienced among the early Christians. Plato is seldom much more orthodox, but the obscure enthusiasm of his style allowed them to accommodate all his fancies to their own purpose. Such glowing steel was easily moulded, and Platonism became a sword in the hands of the fathers,
The Providence of the Stoics, so vaunted in their school, was a power as contemptibly i 2efficient as the rest. All was fate in the system of the Portico. The chains of destiny were
thrown over Jupiter himself, and their deity was like the Borgia of the epigrammatist," et Cæsar et nihil." Not even the language of Seneca can reconcile this degradation of divinity. omnium conditor ac rector scripsit quidam fata, sed sequitur; semper ,,paret, semel jussit.”. Lib. de Providentiâ," cap. 5.
With respect to the difference between the Stoics, Peripatetics, and Academicians, the following words of Cicero prove that he saw but little to distinguish them from each other:
Peripateticos et Academicos, nominibus differentes, re congruentes; a quibus Stoici ipsi verbis magis quam sententiis dissenserunt."
“Academic." lib. ii. 5. ; and perhaps what Reid has remarked upon one of their points of controversy might be applied as effectually to the reconcilement of all the rest. “The dispute between the Stoics and Peripatetics was probably all for want of definition. The one said they were good under the control of reason, the other that they should be eradicated." - Essays, vol. iii. In short, it appears a no less difficult matter to establish the boundaries of opinion between any two of the philosophical sects, than it would be to fix the landmarks of those estates in the moon, which Ricciolus so generously alloted to his brother astronomers. Accordingly we observe some of the greatest men of antiquity passing without scruple from school to school, according to the fancy or convenience of the moment. Cicero, the father of Roman philosophy, is sometimes an Academician, sometimes a Stoic; and, more than once, he acknowledges a conformity with Epicurus; '“non sine causa igitur Epicurus ausus est dicere semper in pluribus bonis esse sapientem, quia semper sit in voluptatibus. “Tusculan. Quæst.” lib. v. Though often pure in his theology, Cicero sometimes smiles at futurity as a fiction; thus, in his Oration for Cluentius, speaking of punishments in the life to come, he says, que si falsa sunt, id quod omnes intelligunt, quid ei tandemn aliud mors eripuit, præter sensum doloris?” – though here we should, perhaps, do him but justice by agreeing with his commentator Sylvius, who remarks upon this passage, “hæc autem dixit, ut causæ suæ subserviret." The poet, Horace, roves like a butterfly through the schools, and now wings along the walls of the Porch, now basks among the flowers of the Garden ; while Verzil, with a tone of mind strongly philosophi
Those songs are hushed, those chords are
still, And so, perhaps, will every thrill Of feeling soon be lulled to rest, Which late I waked in Anna's breast. Yet, no -- the simple notes I played From memory's tablet soon may fade; The songs, which Anna loved to hear, May vanish from her heart and ear; But friendship's voice shall ever find An echo in that gentle mind, Nor memory lose nor time impair The sympathies that tremble there.
TO LADY HEATHCOTE,
'T was clear that my rapt soul had
roamed, the while, To that bright realm of dreams, that
spirit-world, Which mortals know by its long track of
light O’er midnight's sky, and call the Galaxy.1
TO MRS. To see thee every day that came, And find thee still each day the same; In pleasure's smile or sorrow's tear To me still ever kind and dear; To meet thee early, leave thee late, Has been so long my bliss, my fate, That life, without this cheering ray, Which came, like sunshine, every day, And all my pain, my sorrow chased, Is now a lone and loveless waste.
Where are the chords she used to touch? The airs, the songs she loved so much?
1 According to Pythagoras, the people of Dreams are souls collected together in the Galaxy. - δημoς δε ονείρων, κατά Πυθαγόραν, αι ψυχαί ας συνάγεσθαί φησιν εις τον γαλαξίαν.. Porphyr. de Antro Nymph. cal, has yet left us wholly uncertain as to the sect which he espoused. The balance of opinion declares him to have been an Epicurean, but the ancient author of his life asserts that he was an Academician; and we trace through his poetry the tenets of almost all the leading sects. The same kind of eclectic indifference is observable in most of the Roman writers. Thus, Propertius, in the fine elegy to Cynthia, on his departure for Athens, illic vel studiis animum emendare Platonis, incipiam, aut hortis, docte Epicure, tuis.
Lib. iii. Eleg. 21. Though Broeckhusius here reads, “dux Epicure, which seems to fix the poet under the banners of Epicurus. Even the Stoic Seneca, whose doctrines have been considered so orthodox, that St. Jerome has ranked him amongst the ecclesiastical writers, while Boccaccio doubts (in consideration of his supposed correspondence with St. Paul) whether Dante should have placed him in Limbo with the rest of the Pagans - even the rigid Seneca has bestowed such commendations on Epicurus, that if only those passages of his works were preserved to us, we could not hesitate, I think, in pronouncing him a confirmed Epicurean. With similar inconsistency, we find Porphyry, in his work upon abstinence, referring to Epicurus as an example of the most strict Pythagorean temperance ; and Lancelotti (the author of “ Farfalloni degli antici Istorici”) has been seduced by this grave reputation of Epicurus into the absurd error of associating him with Chrysippus, as a chief of the Stoic school. There is no doubt, indeed, that however
OLD RING FOUND AT TUNBRIDGE-WELLS.
“ Tunnebridge est à la même distance de Londres, que Fontainebleau l'est de Paris.
Ce qu'il y a de beau et de galant dans l'un et dans l'autre sexe s'y rassemble au tems des eaux.
La compagnie," etc. - See Mémoires de Grammont, Second Part. chap. iii.
Tunbridge Wells. WHEN Grammont graced these happy
springs, And Tunbridge saw, upon her Pantiles, the Epicurean sect might have relaxed from its original purity, the morals of its founder were as correct as those of any among the ancient philosophers; and his doctrines upon pleasure, as explained in the letter to Menæceus, are rational, amiable, and consistent with our nature. A late writer, De Sablons, in his “Grands Hommes vengés,” expresses strong indignation against the Encyclopédistes for their just and animated praises of Epicurus, and discussing the question,
si ce philosophe étoit vertueux,” denies it upon no other authority than the calumnies collected by Plutarch, who himself confesses that, on this particular subject, he consulted only opinion and report, without pausing to investigate their truth. - αλλά την δόξαν, ού την αλήθειαν σκοπούμεν. To the factious zeal of his illiberal rivals, the Stoics, Epicurus chiefly owed these gross misrepresentations of the life and opinions of himself and his associates, which, notwithstanding the learned exertions of Gassendi, have still left an odium on the name of his philosophy; and we ought to examine the ancient accounts of this philosopher with about the same degree of cautious belief which, in reading ecclesiastical history, we yield to the invectives of the fathers against the heretics, -- trusting as little to Plutarch upon a dogma of Epicurus, as we would to the vehement St. Cyril upon a tenet of Nestorius. (1801.)
The preceding remarks, I wish the reader to observe, were written at a time, when I thought the studies to which they refer much more important as well more amusing than, I freely confess, they appear to me at present.
The merriest wight of all the kings All this I 'll prove, and then, to you That ever ruled these gay, gallant isles; Oh Tunbridge! and your springs iron
ical, Like us, by day, they rode, they walked, I swear by Heathcote's eye of blue At eve they did as we may do,
To dedicate the important chronicle. And Grammont just like Spencer talked, And lovely Stewart smiled like you. Long may your ancient inmates give
Their mantles to your modern lodgers, The only different trait is this,
And Charles's loves in Heathcote live, That woman then, if man beset her, And Charles's bards revive in Rogers. Was rather given to saying “yes,” Because, as yet, she knew no better. Let no pedantic fools be there;
For ever be those fops abolished, Each night they held a coterie,
With heads as wooden as thy ware, Where, every fear to slumber charmed, And, heaven knows! not half so polLovers were all they ought to be,
ished. And husbands not the least alarmed.
But still receive the young, the gay, Then called they up their school-day
The few who know the rare delight
Of reading Grammont every day, pranks, Nor thought it much their sense be
And acting Grammont every night. neath
THE DEVIL AMONG THE To play at riddles, quips, and cranks, And lords showed wit, and ladies teeth.
A FRAGMENT. As-“Why are husbands like the mint?"
τι κακόν ο γέλως; Because, forsooth, a husband's duty
CHRYSOST.“ Homil. in Epist. ad Hebræos.” Is but to set the name and print. That give a currency to beauty.
But, whither have these gentle ones,
These rosy nymphs and black-eyed nuns, Why is a rose in nettles hid
With all of Cupid's wild romancing, “Like a young widow, fresh and Led by truant brains a-dancing ? fair?"
Instead of studying tomes scholastic, Because 't is sighing to be rid
Ecclesiastic, or monastic, Of weeds, that “ have no business Off I fly, careering far there!"
In chase of Pollys, prettier far
Than any of their namesakes are, And thus they missed and thus they hit, The Polymaths and Polyhistors, And now they struck and now they Polyglots and all their sisters.
parried; And some lay in of full grown wit, So have I known a hopeful youth While others of a pun miscarried. Sit down in quest of lore and truth,
With tomes sufficient to confound him, ’T was one of those facetious nights Like Tohu Bohu, heapt around him,
That Grammont gave this forfeit ring Mamurra 1 stuck to Theophrastus, For breaking grave conundrum-rites,
1 Mamurra, a dogmatic philosopher, who never Or punning ill, or—some such thing; —
doubted about anything, except who was his
father. — “nullâ de re unquam præterquam de From whence it can be fairly traced,
patre dubitavit." -- In Vit. He was very learned
-“La-dedans, (that is, in his head when it was Through many a branch and many a opened,) le Punique heurte le Persan, l' Hébreu bough,
choque l'Arabique, pour ne point parler de la From twig to twig, until it graced
mauvaise intelligence du Latin avec le Grec,''
etc. - See “L'Histoire de Montmaur. The snowy hand that wears it now.
And Galen tumbling o'er Bombastus. 1 When lo! while all that 's learned and
But to begin my subject rhyme
When scarce there happened any frolics
1 Bombastus was one of the names of that great scholar and quack Paracelsus. — “ Philippus Bombastus latet sub splendido tegmine Aureoli Theophrasti Paracelsi,” says Stadelius de circumforanea Literatorum vanitate. — He used to fight the devil every night with a broadsword, to the no small terror of his pupil Oporinus, who has recorded the circumstance. (V'ide Oporin. Vit. apud Christian. Gryph. Vit. Select. quorundam Eruditissimorum, etc.) Paracelsus had but a poor opinion of Galen: “My very beard (says he in his Paragrænum) has more learning in it than either Galen or Avicenna."
2 The angel, who scolded St. Jerom for reading Cicero, as Gratian tells the story in his “ cordantia discordantium Canonum,” and says, that for this reason bishops were not allowed to read the Classics : "Episcopus gentilium libros non legat.”. - Distinct. 37.
But Gratian is notorious for lying — besides, angels, as the illustrious pupil of Pantenus assures us, have got no tongues. ούχ ως ημίν τα ώτα, ούτως εκείνοις ή γλωττα· ουδ' αν όργανά τις δώη φωνής αγγέλοις. - Clem. Alexand. Stromat.
3 The idea of the Rabbins, respecting the origin of woman, is not a little singular. They think that man was originally formed with a tail, like a monkey, but that the Deity cut off this appendage, and made woman of it. Upon this extraordinary supposition the following reflection is founded : If such is the tie between women and men,
The ninny who weds is a pitiful elf,
And thus makes a deplorable ape of himself. Yet, if we may judge as the fashions prevail,
Every husband remembers the original plan, And, knowing his wife is no more than his tail, Why he-leaves her behind him as much as
4 Scaliger. de Emendat. Tempor. -- Dagon was thought by others to be a certain sea-monster, who came every day out of the Red Sea to teach the Syrians husbandry. - See Jaques Gaffarel (“Curiosités Inouies,” chap. i.), who says he thinks this story of the sea-monster “carries little show of probability with it."
5 I wish it were known with any degree of certainty whether the Commentary on Boethius attributed to Thomas Aquinas be really the work of this Angelic Doctor. There are some bold assertions hazarded in it: for instance, he says that Plato kept school in a town called Academia, and that Alcibiades was a very beautiful woman whom some of Aristotle's pupils fell in love with : “Alcibiades mulier fuit pulcherrima, quam videntes quidam discipuli Aristotelis,” etc. - See Freytag “Adparat. Litterar." art. 86. tom. i.
6 The following compliment was paid to Laurentius Valla, upon his accurate knowledge of the Latin language : nunc postquam manes defunctus Valla petivit,
non audet Pluto verba Latina loqui.
His nouns and pronouns all so pat in,
To say his soul 's his own, in Latin ! See for these lines the “ Auctorum Censio " of Du Verdier (page 29.).
7 It is much to be regretted that Martin Luther, with all his talents for reforming, should yet be vulgar enough to laugh at Camerarius for