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The nearest, dearest to the dead,
Who shuddering fires the funeral pyre
The white bones purified by fire,
Of finest linen lapped, to rest,
As infant on a mother's breast;
Nor Pity stays to question, whose
These funeral tears—for whom they fell;
Whatever with that grief might dwell
In that heart's long since ruined cell !
A heart no other passport needs
To Pity's own, than that it bleeds.
SCOTCH SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY AND CRITICISM,
BEFORE entering upon the main subject- tentious disputation. The subjects, acthe philosophers and critics, or rather cordingly, in which these divisions have the philosophical critics, and the critical most prevailed, are observed to be, among philosophers, of the “ Scotch school”- the ancients, losophy, in their own it may be convenient to say a word re- comprehensive sense of the word ; with specting the history and import of the their successors, theories of government, term School as a sectarian or sectional of jurisprudence, medical and juridical, designation.
and of theology, which, as some old In ancient as in modern times, and divine contends, is a species of jurispruwherever reason has enjoyed a certain dence-the jurisprudence (we suppose) degree of unrestricted development, there of paradise. To these peculiarities of have naturally, indeed necessarily, arisen doctrine, originated commonly by an differences of opinion upon most of the individual who thence received the name great subjects of human action and spec- and the authority of “ founder," and ulation. Differences of this nature, how- taught as a distinct system, has been ever, seem to have required the concur- given the denomination of Schools. rence of two conditions to deepen them The term in this sense was manifestly into distinct organizations; namely, great more appropriate, in point of effect as importance, real or imaginary, in the well as of etymology, to the ancient sects particular science, and a deficiency of en- than to the modern. The ancient were tireness, or of evidence, which left ground based upon something positive (such as for intelligent doubt or impunity to con that something or quiddity often was ) :
and, in general, confined themselves to this tendency, nor go into the trite ques. teaching their peculiar tenets to all who tion of preference between the analytic and chose to attend to them; the modern, the synthetic methods of philosophizing many of them, have rested upon a nega. --which may be regarded as the symbols, tive basis, and been much more industri- severally, of that tendency and its oppoous to prevent the tenets of others than site. Upon this matter we should be of even to propagate their own. In tendency, the opinion of Archbishop Whately and the former were constitutive, the latter others, that neither is to be preferred to destructive. In method, the one (to the entire exclusion of the other : that speak technically,) was synthetic, the they are not competitive, but concurrent, other analytic. But a system or creed of instruments of knowledge. We cannot, the latter character, we are assured by however, omit a passing protest against history as well as principle, is one of the the blind cant of the day upon this subleast fitted to attach to it many or ardent ject. “ We have now no schools of phi. followers; nor is it greatly to be com- losophy or science,” says some living, mended, perhaps, upon more essential example of the “march of intellect," grounds. Here then, is the leading cause because we own no “ masters," admit no of the disuse into which the term School dictation ;” because it is an age of " free in the acceptation in question, has been inquiry,” when reason has dethroned falling gradually in modern times; as authority, and every man forms his own well as of the decline, in fact, of those opinions, not receives them, as formerly, doctrinal associations based upon unani- upon the ipse dixit of another, &c., &c. mity of real conviction, and bound toge. On the contrary, for our part, we are almost ther by rational deference to intellectual ready to affirm that there was more authority, which were denoted by the originality of thought and independence name. One still hears, now and anon, of of opinion, as of cordial, living conviction, the Cartesian and the Baconian " Schools” in the very midnight of the middle ages. of philosophy; but it is only to contra- But what is still more discreditably disdistinguish the innovations of these mod tinctive of the present age, is, that it refuern reformers from the ancient systems ses to do what is really in the power of which they in part supplanted ; not that the generality-it does not adopt opinions; the philosophies of Bacon and Des Cartes or if it do, it lacks integrity of purpose are held as integral bodies of doctrine, or or vigor of faith enough to adhere to have many disciples, at once ardent and them.
The saying, intelligent, at the present day. The latter, one's business is no one's,” applies to whose genius, predominantly synthetical this universality of opinion-forming, -alone perhaps in modern Europe erected Have these peopleever been told—for such a “ School” to resemble those of antiqui- could not have reflected- what it is to ty-is now, indeed, but a name; although form an opinion—what a multitude of we should be surprised if he, like others, principles and considerations go to comhas not a philosophical revival, as soon pose even the slightest upon which they as the nature and true method of the act in their ordinary affairs? It is with moral sciences come to be at all as well opinion on this subject, as often with understood as are those of the physical. religion, where most pretended, least Bacon has still some professed followers— practised. In this matter the multitude persons, chiefly, who perhaps never read are, in truth, what they always have the Novum Organum--because his method been, as some one has irreverently exof inquiry is more in the negative or ana. pressed it, “ like dogs in a village ; if lytic spirit of the era. And here, in fine one bark, all bark without knowing in the unequal success of these two why.” But this observation has been so equally able system-founders, as well as forcibly, and, what is rarer still, so frankly the growing neglect even of the more asserted by a thinking writer on “ The popular of the two--we have a double American Drama,” in a late number of demonstration of the agency above as this Review, that we take the liberty of cribed to the negative tendency of modern bringing him to our support, in a position philosophy, in producing the decline of perhaps equally paradoxical and unpopu. what have been called Schools, or their lar. degeneration into sects, parties, and that “ This general opinion is the most still more homeopathic division of equivocal thing in the world. It is never « cliques.”
self-formed. It has very seldom indeed It is not the present purpose to censure an original development. In regard to
« What's every
the work of an already famous or infa- to be valued rather as having furnished, mous author, it decides, to be sure, with the first, a rich storehouse of materials, a laudable promptitude; making up all not merely quarried, but also cut to the the mind that it has, by reference to the hand of succeeding, architects, than reception of the author's immediately pre as presenting themselves anything like vious publication ;-making up thus the either a complete or a symmetrical ghost of a mind pro tem--a species of structure of politico-economical science. critical shadow that fully answers, never Smith's book, indeed, looks as if it were a theless, all the purposes of a substance, mere register of his researches, which he until the substance itself shall be forth- was yet to dispose into form ; nor is there coming. But, beyond this point, the any apparent preparation whatever for general opinion can be considered that of the “public,” except the language and the public, only as a man may call a book illustration, in which it is accurate and his, having bought it, &c.”
abundant. But we are not moralizing upon the Yet the “ Wealth of Nations"-aside age. We have simply desired, in develop- from the preëminent importance of its ing its analytic tendencies, to signalize, matter—is after all what the ladies call upon a broad scale, what we deem the delightful” reading. Yes; and the leading characteristic, in its excess as in reason of this is well worth exploring its excellence, of the class of writers for its own sake. But it will also, we known as the Scotch School. Whether think, prove the quality noted to be like this be a quality alike exceptionable in those agreeable defects, by which the both the cases, or at all in either, will, ladies themselves are said sometimes to however, probably appear from the fol- captivate, and must redound rather to the lowing survey of a few of the most syn- condemnation than the credit of a book thetical or systematic of the writers in like this-scientific in character and question. To say the Scotch School is to didactic in purpose. The thing happens say the Scotch intellect. This people in this wise. The reader is without preseems to have carried its proverbial clan- amble introduced to the most diminutive nishness into the abstractions of mind — process of mechanical art--pin-making. even the analytic and dispersive mind we He is led through the minute analysis of have just assigned them. One, then, its unexpected complexity. He knows would serve for a type of the whole na at no step of his progress whither or to tion.
what the next may bear him-conscious To begin with Adam Smith-ab Jove of motion, but ignorant of direction as principium. Confessedly, the Wealth of well as of destination. But he is not, we Nations is without unity of plan ; it may be sure, on this account the less, but evinces remarkably little even of that much the more, delighted, on beholding casual arrangement which results from the principle of the Division of Labor a connection of kindred between the de- unfolding its multifarious branches from tails of the same subject. Of this, as in a source so despicable; like the umbrafact of every other Scotch book that we geous oak from an acorn, like the earthcan at this moment call to mind, the cri- o'ercanopying vine from the cumminticism might be summed up in the simple sized seed of the parable. His bewilderformula: want of creativeness-want of ment has a charm which a knowledge of constructiveness. It would not be unfair the principles that govern the operation to describe the work in question, a col. would have impaired or prevented—as a lection of disquisitions upon the princi- walk, when we know not and care not pal topics of an unexplored science; whither, is, for this very reason, called a sometimes but remotely, if at all, con- walk of pleasure. Such is the state of nected with each other; poured forth as excited curiosity, which scarcely at all they may be supposed to have fallen remits in the perusal of the book in ques. under the occasional investigations of the tion; such is the character of the analytic author-highly important all of them, method of instruction; such, (and this and able as important, and graced by a will probably be startling to some of our style of peculiar animation and perspi- readers,) such is the principle, likewise, of cuity. But not having been selected epic and dramatic poetry, with much reference to logical method, Accordingly, if to please were the or disposed in subjection to any definite object, and not principally to instruct ; plan, they must be regarded as standing if Dr. Smith were writing an epic poem nearly upon their isolated merits, and are ora novel, where the reader, led through
a winding path of agreeable amazement, tive, the purely natural mode of gaining was to be astonished by the final eduction our knowledge, and therefore the most of “great things from small”—the rise pleasing. And here, by the way, is the or fal] of states and dynasties, from the principle of pleasure in all the æsthetipique of some goddess, still woman cal arts. It is nature that we love in enough to be whimsically cruel, or the no them, however deep or disguised. Their less capricious resentment of a love-mad effect is to retrace to us vividly the expebarbarian-in such case, he would have riences of early and unsophisticated youth; been quite right in his exclusive adop- their triumph to transport us back to that tion of the analytic method of exposi- real paradise of innocence, hope, love, tion; and would, indeed, have been sig- poetry, from which it is literally but too nally commendable for the dramatic skill true that we have "fallen by knowledge.” evineed in the management of this pin- What is the object of the science of Per. making plot; for no epical artisan could, spective, for example—the principal inwith Aristotle himself at his elbow, have strument of more than one of the Arts ? drawn the curtain more cunningly over Simply, to teach (or rather, unteach) us the future-have more artfully avoided to see external objects with the eyes of any disclosure that might anticipate the our infancy. Even in poetry—the least catastrophe—than our philosopher eludes natural, perhaps, of the fine arts—the all reference to the principles of the phe- figurative language which is one of its nomena he is unfolding. But the con most efficient resources, what is it but a sideration of pleasu
sure should here, of recurrence to the crude expedients of the course, be incomparably subordinate. savage, contrived to supply the poverty The object of the dramatic writer is to of his vocabulary by the extravagance of defer explanation as long as possible, his imagination? So that, it appears, consistently with sustaining the interest the highest refinements of our boasted of the audience or reader; that of the civilization are no more than the faithful didactic, on the contrary, to explain as rehearsals of the imperfections of what early as possible, consistently with the we call the « barbarous” ages, whether full and fundamental intelligence of the of the race or the individual ? So true is learner. And if the author of the Wealth it that nature alone is the veritable civili. of Nations has interchanged the pur- zation; that it is nature that lends their poses" doing those things which he interest to all our contrivances, whether ought not to have done, and leaving addressed to the sympathies or the underundone those things be ought to have standing of our fellow-men. It is this done”-we do not impute to him the benign mother who has strewn a charm meritricious merit of having had such alike over the ways 10 true pleasure and a design (which would have been in to true knowledge—which, rightly pur. him but a demerit the more, as the sued, would be found the same. And fact is a defect in his book); we only hence (to close this short, for a sentimen. account it an effect of the mental consti- tal, digression) the well-known maxim of tution of his countrymen, which the Horace, great genius of Smith was insufficient to
in medias res, overcome, and an evidence of what may Non secus ac notas, auditorem rabe expected from the exclusive employ pere,”, &c. ment of the analytic process, to which differs but in object, not at all in operathe Scotch writers, in all sorts of compo- tion, from the not less celebrated axiom sition, seem to be universally addicted. of Lord Bacon.
Some of our readers may smile, or It is not denied that the analytic method stare, (according to the proportions of is always the principal—as it has been conceit,) incredulously, at the intimation observed to be, originally and naturally, of a resemblance between an epic poem the only—mode of discovering know. or a play, and a problem in algebra or an ledge. But to impart, and even to extend experiment in chemistry. Yet it is a fact it with attainable dispatch and efficiency that both the processes are conducted in the synthetic must be brought, and the same way: and the latter is not brought early, to its aid. By this comless delightful to the cultivated curiosity bination you give the learner (in the of the scientific mind, than our dramatic happy illustration of Bossuet) a hold of contrivances to the popular feelings. It both ends of the chain of science; whereby is, that analysis, which is the mode of he is enabled, even with shut eyes and by procedure in both, is, in fact, the primi- merely feeling along the intermediate VOL. II.-NO. IV.
links, to trace through, of himself, the worthy of so rare a combination-enerconnection between principles and facts, getic without vulgarity, affluent without particulars and universals, theory and redundance-these are the lineaments practice.
which mark our respected image of Adam Having here presented Adam Smith in Smith ; these are qualities which, howmerely the particular aspect which suited ever we may disagree with many of his the present purpose, and which happens deductions, ensure the fortune, almost to be in our opinion) his “ weak side,” peculiar, of at once a popular and philowe might leave an unjust impression sopical immortality to the WEALTH OF respecting the merits of our author or the NATIONS. intelligence and candor of his critic, were Having dwelt so long upon Smith, we to quit the subject without alluding whom we have taken to be the most faalso to the peculiar excellences of one of vorable exponent of the analytic manner the most eminent writers, and one of the or genius and the (perhaps) consequent most original books, of the eighteenth synthetic incapacity or indisposition of century.
the Scotch School of writers, we shall A principal characteristic of Smith, dismiss the others who have written was his strong sense and an utter absence, upon general philosophy with a few curtogether with a visible abhorrence, of the sory remarks, and hasten to Dr. Campcharlatanism and clap-trap of authorship. bell, who seems to occupy the corresHe went direct to the heart of the sub- ponding position in the domain of Critiject; he seized with a grasp of equal cism-criticism which is the same analynerve and skill ; and, if only he brought sis applied to Literature and the Arts. it 'into a meridian light, seemed careless The lack just alluded to of constructive with what grace it was presented, or power-or, as they express it themselves, what effect he produced. Another trait- «a prudent aversion from system-maka moral one-was, the boldness, seem- ing"—is, no less than the analytic talent, ingly unconscious, of his sweeping conspicuous in the productions, whatever attacks upon those time-honored institu- the subject, of the whole tribe : it is in. tions'and customs which failed to ring upon deed, a consequence in some degree, of his touchstone of truth, the “ cui bono the national character. To construct a attacks the more effective from thus being, system (good or bad) invention is indisor appearing incidental, not " set ones,” pensable. Invention, when she would like those of Voltaire and the other soar beyond Contrivance, (which is her “ destructives” of that day and School. Aluttering,) must take the wings of enthuSmith has never the air of attacking siasm. But (fanaticism aside) who ever merely for the sake of giving offence. If heard of a Scotchman, an honest, we he wounds, it is, you feel, with the mean a disinterested, enthusiast; without friendly knife of the physician, not the which quality, of course, he is not an entreacherous dagger of the assassin or the thusiast, but a knave. Facts, not prin. petulant sword of the prize-fighter. His ciples, are what the Scotch intellect likes indignation is at the prejudice not at the best and is best qualified to work in; person. Nor does the sentiment appear practical and speedy results what it loves to be indignation so much as contempt; to pursue.
Its character of coolness, nor even contempt so much as a philo- calculation-engendered, perhaps, among sophic commiseration. He does not go other causes, by a northern climate and out of his way to demolish; he only an ungenerous soil-peculiarly fits it for dashes aside the rubbish or other obsta- the observing and the investigating procle that interfered with the foundation he
Hence, the excellence of the was laying-a course which tends to Scotch as Statists. Hence, their disposisuggest the reflection, what must not be tion to essay-writing and criticism. In the might and the magnanimity of an our remarks upon Adam Smith, it was intellect which does not deign a special or noted that even the “ Wealth of Nations” serious refutation to opinions that have, was but a collection of essays linked to for ages, engaged the obedience and awed one another by scarce any more unity the reason of even the civilized world! than that of subject. The same may be A heart both bold and benevolent; an said of his “ Theory of the Moral Sentiunderstanding discursive yet practical, ments," which has little of theory, except vigorous by nature and unsophisticated the title. The next in pretension, as far by culture; the taste of the man of the as we now recollect, is the maiden proworld with the temper and wisdom of the duction of Hume, called “ The System sage ; and lastly, an eloquence not un of Nature.” But this bad book has not