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first published; but his chronology, generally, does not bear a very close examination. Some very extraordinary anachronisms, which the critics are totally at a loss to account for, have somehow slipped into his story. There was a young philosopher in France in those days, of a most precocious, and subtle, and inventive genius — of a most singularly artistic genius, combining speculation and practice, as they had never been combined before, and already busying himself with all sorts of things, and among other things, with curious researches in regard to ciphers, and other questions not less interesting at that time;

there was a youth in France, whose family name was also English, living there with his eyes wide open, a youth who had found occasion to invent a cipher of his own even then, into whose hands that publication might well have fallen on its first appearance, and one on whose mind it might very naturally have made the impression here recorded. But let us return to the story.]—'I saw in my younger days, a report of a process, that Corras, a counsellor of Thoulouse, put in print, of a strange accident of two men, who presented themselves the one for the other. I remember, and I hardly remember anything else, that he seemed to have rendered the imposture of him whom he judged to be guilty, so wonderful, and so far exceeding both our knowledge and his who was the judge, that I thought it a very bold sentence that condemned him to be hanged. [That is the point]. Let us take up somE FORM of ARREST, that shall say, THE COURT understands nothing of the matter, more freely and ingenuously than the Areopagites did, who ordered the parties to appear again in a hundred years.' We must not forget that these stories are not regarded by the author merely for the use he makes of them, - that they carry, besides what he applies them to, the seeds of a richer and bolder matter, and sometimes collaterally a more delicate sound, both to the author himself who declines saying anything more about it in that place, and to others who shall happen to be of his ear! One already prepared by previous discovery of the method of communication here indicated, and by voluminous readings in it, to understand that appeal, begs leave to direct the attention of

the critical reader to the delicate collateral sounds in the story last quoted.

It is not irrelevant to notice that this story is introduced to the attention of the reader, 'who will, perhaps, see farther into it than others,' in that chapter on toleration in which it is suggested that considering the fantastic, and unscientific, and unsettled character of the human beliefs and opinions, and that even the Fathers' have suggested in their speculations on the nature of human life, that what men believed themselves to be, in their dreams, they really became, it is after all setting a man's conjectures at a very high price to cause a man to be roasted alive on them; the chapter in which it is intimated that considering the natural human liability to error, a little more room for correction of blunders, a little larger chance of arriving at the common truth, a little more chance for growth and advancement in learning, would, perhaps, on the whole, be likely to conduce to the human welfare, instead of sealing up the human advancement for ever, with axe and cord and stake and rack, within the limits of doctrines which may have been,

, perhaps, the very wisest, the most learned, of which the world was capable, at the time when their form was determined. It is the chapter which he calls fancifully, a chapter · on cripples,' into which this odd story about the two men who presented themselves, the one for the other, in a manner so remarkable, is introduced, for lameness is always this author's grievance, wherever we find him, and he is driven to all sorts of devices to overcome it; for he is the person who came prepared to speak well, and who hates that sort of speaking, where a man reads his speech, because he is one who could naturally give it a grace by action, or as another has it, he is one who would suit the action to the word.

But it was not the question of 'hanging' only, or 'roasting alive,' that authors had to consider with themselves in these times. For those forms of literary production which an author's literary taste, or his desire to reach and move and mould the people, might incline him to select

the most approved forms of popular literature, were in effect forbidden to men,

bent, as these men were, on taking an active part in the affairs of their time. Any extraordinary reputation for excellence in these departments, would hardly have tended to promote the ambitious views of the young aspirant for honors in that school of statesmanship, in which the 'Fairy Queen' had been scornfully dismissed, as an old song.' Even that disposition to the gravest and profoundest forms of philosophical speculation, which one foolish young candidate for advancement was indiscreet enough to exhibit prematurely there, was made use of so successfully to his disadvantage, that for years his practical abilities were held in suspicion on that very account, as he complains. The reputation of a Philosopher in those days was quite as much as this legal practitioner was willing to undertake for his part. That of a Poet might have proved still more uncomfortable, and more difficult to sustain. His claim to a place in the management of affairs would not have been advanced by it, in the eyes of those old statesmen, whose favour he had to propitiate. However, he was happily relieved from any suspicion of that sort. If those paraphrases of the Psalms for which he chose to make himself responsible,if those Hebrew melodies of his did not do the business for him, and clear him effectually of any such suspicion in the eyes of that generation, it is difficult to say what would. But whether his devotional feelings were really of a kind to require any such painful expression as that on their own account, may reasonably be doubted by any one acquainted at all with his general habits of thought and sentiment. These lyrics of the philosopher appear on the whole to prove too much; looked at from a literary point of view merely, they remind one forcibly of the attempts of Mr. Silence at a Bacchanalian song. * I have a reasonable good ear in music,' says the unfortunate Pyramus, struggling a little with that cerebral development and uncompromising facial angle which he finds imposed on him. I have a reasonable good ear in music: let us have the tongs and the bones.'

• A man must frame some probable cause, why he should not do his best, and why he should dissemble his abilities,' says

*

this author, speaking of colour, or the covering of defects; and that the prejudice just referred to was not peculiar to the English court, the remarkable piece of dramatic criticism which we are about to produce from this old Gascon philosopher's pages, may or may not indicate, according as it is interpreted. It serves as an introduction to the passage in which the author's double meaning, and the occasionally double sound of his stories is noted. In the preceding chapter, it should be remarked, however, the author has been discoursing in high strains, upon the vanity of popular applause, or of any applause but that of reason and conscience; sustaining himself with quotations from the Stoics, whose doctrines on this point he assumes as the precepts of a true and natural philosophy; and among others the following passage was quoted :

• Remeinber him who being asked why he took so much pains in an art that could come to the knowledge of but few per

sons, replied, ' A few are enough for me. I have enough with one, I have enough with never a one.' He said true; yourself and a companion are theatre enough to one another, or you to yourself. Let us be to you the whole people, and the whole people to you but one. You should do like the beasts of chase who efface the track at the entrance into their den.' But this author's comprehensive design embraces all the oppositions in human nature; he thinks it of very little use to preach to men from the height of these lofty philosophic flights, unless you first dive down to the platform of their actualities, and by beginning with the secret of what they are, make sure that you take them with you. So then the latent human vanity, must needs be confessed, and instead of taking it all to himself this time, poor Cicero and Pliny are dragged up, the latter very unjustly, as the commentator complains, to stand the brunt of this philosophic shooting.

But this exceeds all meanness of spirit in persons of such quality as they were, to think to derive any glory from babbling and prating, even to the making use of their private letters to

* Taken from an epistle of Seneca, but including a quotation from a letter of Epicurus, on the same subject.

their friends, and so withal that though some of them were never sent, the opportunity being lost, they nevertheless published them; with this worthy excuse, that they were unwilling to lose their labour, and have their lucubrations thrown away.Was it not well becoming two consuls of Rome, sovereign magistrates of the republic, that commanded the world, to spend their time in patching up elegant missives, in order to gain the reputation of being well versed in their own mother tongue ? What could a pitiful schoolmaster have done worse, who got his living by it? If the acts of Xenophon and Cæsar had not far transcended their eloquence, I don't believe they would ever have taken the pains to write them. They made it their business to recommend not their saying, but their doing. The companions of Demosthenes in the embassy to Philip, extolling that prince as handsome, eloquent, and a stout drinker, Demosthenes said that those were commendations more proper for a woman, an advocate, or a sponge. 'Tis not his profession to know either how to hunt, or to dance well.

Orabunt causas alii, cælique meatus
Describent radio, et fulgentia sidera dicent,

Hic regere imperio populos sciat. Plutarch says, moreover, that to appear so excellent in these less necessary qualities, is to produce witness against a man's self, that he has spent his time and study ill, which ought to have been employed in the acquisition of more necessary and more useful things. Thus Philip, King of Macedon, having heard the great Alexander, his son, sing at a feast to the wonder and envy of the best musicians there. •Art thou not ashamed,' he said to him, 'to sing so well?' And to the same Philip, a musician with whom he was disputing about something concerning his art, said, Heaven forbid, sir, that so great a misfortune should ever befall you as to understand these things better than I. Perhaps this author might have made a similar reply, had his been subjected to a similar criticism. And Lord Bacon quotes this story too, as he does many others, which this author has first selected, and for the same purpose; for, not content with appropriating his philosophy, and pretending to

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