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much of the nature of system. In short, oric, is perhaps a merit to excuse, if it all their writers, from the highest to the may not justify, the ambitious title of a lowest, (denominated and dignified hy “ Philosophy."
Philosophy.” At the same time, it whatever other titles,) are essentially es must be observed that criticism is not sayists and critics; nothing more. The always the more solid for being “scienshrewd, sagacious Reed, the father of tific," it is often the less so. In matters their philosophy, was but the critic of of taste the heart should be heard as Locke. The desultory and more imagi. well as the head. Nor must this opinion native Beattie wrote whole volumes of of the Philosophy of Rhetoric be supessays, “good, bad and indifferent;” or posed to proceed merely from its affectamore precisely in Martial's description of tion of laying down a system of “Canhis own epigrams--Sunt bona, sunt quæ ons ;" which are, in our opinion, the dam mediocria, sunt mala plura. Stewart least scientific and creditable feature of himself-the clear, classic, comprehen- the performance. Throughout, critisive Stewart-was but the Addison of cism is, with Campbell, an operation philosophic criticism. The sage and purely intellectual. It is to the same searching Hume, in soaring above his omission, wherewith we had to charge valuable" Essays,” betook him to his- his countrymen of the philosophic detory, a subject which calls quite as little scription, of the synthetic method, but for invention, and which he, moreover, which we shall call in the subject of critbegan, it is known, in sections, or in the icism (if only for distinction's sake), the shape of essays. The clever, though sympathetic—it is to the neglect of this rather crabbed and conceited, Kaims, has coördinate element of inquiry that we given us clusters of critiques and essays, trace the radical error of his theory; and which he dignifies, however, with the must ascribe the sketchy and somewhat titles of “Theory and History,” the superficial character of the performance. “ Elements of Criticism,” the “ History of This will, we trust, be evident before we Human Nature ;” though it may be ques- conclude. It would not be difficult, tioned whether he commends his know. while it would be shorter, to prove it ledge, either of human nature or sound from his “ Canons.” But, besides that criticism, (amongst other things,) by the it is surer, in general, to try men by preference he assigns to some of the eccen- their practices than their precepts, the tric buffooneries of Shakspeare over the course has in this case the peculiar forfine, frenzied consistency of the Phædre tune of being more favorable to the arof Racine. What are the Lectures of raigned—a consideration, of which comBrown—that subtlest of those proverbs mon sense concurs (for once) with the of subtlety, the Scotch metaphysicians common law to entitle him to the benefit. but the essays of a Professor, their elab Thedigressive disquisitions so frequent orate redundancy of phrase and explica- in the “ Philosophy of Rhetoric,” will tion, ever on the strain to "fix" the not only the best present the points in volatile essence of his painfully refined question, but also exhibit the uncomanalysis, and ever missing it without the mon penetration of the author into the clumsy contrivance of his frequent itali- nature of men and the modes of affecting zation. In fine, the first purely critical them, as well as a perfect acquaintance Review, in Europe, was of Scotch origi. with the established principles of taste. nation. And then it would be endless to Accordingly these episodes, though blemenumerate the catalogue of its essayists, ishes to the eye of method, are most in&c., from Jeffrey down to Macaulay and teresting, perhaps the most instructive Brougham :—for Brougham, though“ not portions of the book. One deduction a Pict,” (as Byron owned so candidly,) (which, however, is a fault of style or “ but a Borderer,” is yet, in intellect as manner) must be made from their positive in education, in his defects and his quali- merits regarded as essays. They are geneties, moral and mental, the thorough rally introduced-so unlike Smith-with Scotchman. But we hasten to Dr. Camp- a lengthy preamble and conducted bell, the representative of the critical throughout with a prolixity little less species.
tedious. The writer gives you the imAnd here we again find the essayist, pression of his attaching exorbitant value muffled in the stole of the philosopher. to his speculations. The slightest triBut we also recognize the same acute- umph over a fellow-laborer-and Campness of distinction and scientific vigor bell never, willingly, misses even the of investigation, which, in a subject, vul. slightest—is ushered in (so to speak,)with garly considered, so rhapsodical as Rhet- à flourish of trumpets; and tritest truisms
are often uttered with the “pomp and number this now nearly obsolete fanaticircumstance” and solemnity of a discov- cism, and veering round to the Aristote
In short-for a production scarce lian Logic, properly understood. A result better as to the whole than a distorted to which the clear, succinct and masterly abridgment of Quinctilian with the flow- vindication of it by Archbishop Whately, ing robe of the Roman clipped, besides, with the wholesome chastisement adminto a kilt—there appears to us throughout istered by the still sturdier champions of the book an air of pedantic self-compla- the Westminster Review, must have greatcency, a tone of what the French term ly contributed. trop d' emphase.” You will say,
this But there are two of these topics of is a pretty liberal “ deduction” of ours. the “ Philosophy of Rhetoric” which deYes; but it leaves undiminished the mand an especial consideration–Theatric qualities accorded to the author—the Sympathy and Versification. Here may qualities, namely, resultant from the best be tested the Scotch theory of criti. analytic faculty; while it marks, in pur- cism. The inquiry is, Whether (accordsuance of our general design, the defects ing to Campbell and Jeffrey, the legislator inevitably consequent upon the exclusive and executive of the critical code in employment of the faculty.
question) the refinements of taste are, Of the dissertations in question the most even in their most exquisite manifestations, remarkable (if memory serves us well, to be submitted to the rigor of rules; the and we ask indulgence to a memory of instincts of sympathy to be set aside by some years old) are the following : the results of analysis ? The affirmative “On Wit and Laughter;" which, how. is of course assumed and applied by ever, does little but repeat Shaftesbury Campbell in the discussions which we and Locke. On the Nature of Signs, or proceed to examine. With this examinaartificial language, which is ingenious tion we intend to close. And as it is a and excellent, but scarce more original subject less hacknied by magazine metathan the preceding. In his remarks under physicians than most of its kind, and may the latter head upon axioms, Campbell be quite new to many of our readers, as does not indeed follow his illustrious pre- well as because it involves the issue upon decessor so closely as usual. He seems which we have rested our objection to the to have misunderstood him. And this Scotch philosophical and critical method surmise may perhaps, be extended to the —for these reasons, we expect for it a kindred subject of logic. For though he fresh effort of close and patient attention. would, in this matter, have erred, we On the subject of theatrical sympathy, think, with Mr. Locke-which might in- or the principle of that pity which is felt deed in the spirit of Cicero's “ malo errare for fictitious suffering, Dr. Camphell becum Platone, &c., be deemed an extenua. gins with a refutation (no hard task) of tion; he has, it seems to us, erred much the theories severally of Fontenelle and farther without him. For that Locke, in Du Bos; and ends, we may observe, his indignation against the abuses of the much after a fashion of his, with substischolastic logicians, had, in fact, mistaken tuting nothing of his own-for this would the true province and use of the science require invention. With regard to the itself, as conceived and taught by its mixture of pain and pleasure which great founder, is now generally agreed. seems to be a characteristic of this scenic But Campbell, with the rest of the Scotch wo, he remarks that school; far from observing the error or passions associated together and having moderating the excusable zeal of a dis. the same object, some of which are pleascoverer, outstrips the master-if in no- ant, some painful, but the former prething else—in not merely misapprehen- dominate, there ariseth a greater and more sion of the “ Aristotelian logic,” but also durable pleasure to the mind than would intolerant and unmeasured invective result from the pleasant ones if alone and against its adherents. The misapprehen- unmixed.” How this comes to pass he sion might be pardoned in them; the syl- despairs of human sagacity to explain. logism being in fact the formula of the Now, if, instead of ring into the fact sympathetic method, for which this paper with the mole-eye of analysis, he had beasserts the Scotch to be incapacitated taken him for a moment to the synthetic constitutionally: the abuse is more easily principle of collating it with other facts of accounted for than excused.
a kindred nature, an explanation would pleased to have observed the Edinburgh not, we opine, have appeared so hopeReview—a loyal exponent of Scotch sen less. timent-venturing to reprove, in a recent In the first place Campbell concedes
From a group of
himself the main position of Du Bos; notony of impression is essentially equivawhich is sound, unquestionably, name lent to absence of sensation ; which, by ly; That the mind is painfully averse to the way, was the principle resorted to, to listlessness and languor, as is evinced in explain our unconsciousness of the althe thousand sorts of amusement and leged “music of the spheres;”-that vadiversion which it devises: that, on the riety or novelty in the sensations is a other hand, emotion and activity of what necessary condition of excitement, and kind soever are as such its delight. Next, that the more marked the variety, the we know from common experience that, more violent the transition, the more vivid although any passion or group
pas- will be the resulting emotion. Now the sions" will serve to excite the mind, question which posed Campbell, it will be neither one nor the other can sustain remembered, is this—Why, from a mix. the excitement indefinitely. Uniformity, ture of painful and pleasurable emotions, whether of similarity, or succession, or the latter predominating, a greater and association between our sensations, or more durable pleasure proceeds, than rather impressions, tends by nature to de- would result from the pleasant ones by stroy gradually their capacity to excite, themselves and without any alloy of or to stimulate at all. This is a remark pain ? The preceding observations have, of popular triteness in the matter of plea- we trust, placed the Doctor's difficulty
The principle is not less true in within the competency of our plainest regard to pain; though somewhat less reader. It has been seen that the maxi. evident, for obvious reasons.
We com mum of mental excitement is produced monly say habit reconciles men to the by the contrast of pleasure and pain; and hardest conditions. It is not that the that the emotion may be obtained indeficauses have ceased to operate as at first, nitely by the conflict and interchange of but that they have ceased (through the these antagonistic principles. But exciteintervention of counteracting causes) to ment, as above remarked, is of itself produce their original effects. So strong agreeable; and, moreover, the pleasant is this tendency to which we give the emotions, being in the present case, acname of habit, that long-continued pun- cording to the hypothesis, predominant, ishment, may ultimately lose its effi- the overplus of pleasure, by a well-known cacy of torture, coming to be a kind law, gives its character to the whole of " second nature”—unless constantly mental phenomenon. Whereas, if we reinforced by contrast with sources of suppose the pleasurable ones unmixed, pleasure in view, but unattainable. they want the generic variety which Accordingly, the heathens, who were stimulates strongly, and thus speedily well versed in the metaphysics of pain, languish ; as already explained. To conplaced their Hades contiguous to Elysi- clude in mathematical language, it is the um; in order, doubtless, that the miseries difference, not the sum of our pleasures of the wicked might be perfected and per- and pains that determines what we call petuated by the constant visitation of its our happiness or our misery, respectively. delicious airs,
Now, to the article of Versificaton.” “Which, fanning their odoriferous wings, The point in question turns upon the dispense
character and effect of the Alexandrine Native perfumes, and whisper whence they measure. Having subjected it to his stole
crucible of analysis, Dr. Campbell falls The balmy spoils."
upon Pope who was the advocate, as he Having borrowed an illustration from a is the best example, though not the author, poet, the authority of another may be of the innovation ; treating him with that added—who would have the traitor of contentious rigor which marks indeed the his country doomed,
temperament, as much as the method, of “ To dwell
the Scotch race of Critics-in whom a Full in the sight of Paradise,
craniologist would not fail to find a Beholding heaven and feeling hell.”
“ large development” of “ Causation” So, too, in the way of reconcilement by and « Combativeness.” The objection habit, our own country, now considered to Pope's theory of the “ Alexandrine” quite a favored region of the world, was had, however, been raised before our auonce a place of transportation for English thor, by Dr. Johnson ; a critic whose ear criminals, and Botany Bay will soon, ap was still farther, perhaps, from the deliparently, be a very eligible place of cacy of an “ Eolian.” “It is easy to alresidence.
low with what unaffected diffidence we It follows from our statement, that mo. must dissent upon a question so nice,
from critics so accomplished. But, with What we frequently consider simple sen. Pope himself on our side, we are not sations, are in fact rather clusters of without heart and hope to vindicate the sensations, separated by but inappreciable most perfect, as polished, of versifiers intervals; and may each comprise millions from objections originating in the er. of mental acts. There was no exaggerroneous system of criticism which we ation in the saying of the preacher, Faare (it is hoped not unsuccessfully) com- cilius atomos dinumerare possem quam bating
A Sensation, is in the The Doctors, both, charge Pope with strictest sense, instantaneous. These inerror and inconsistency -Error, in sup- tervals or quiescent states of the mind posing that, in English, of metrical lines then are to its sensations what space is unequal in the number of syllables and to the physical objects, through which pronounced in equal times, the longer alone we are enabled to measure it. The suggests celerity (this being the princi- intervals constitute the matter of duple of the Alexandrine); Inconsistency, ration; 'sensations are a species of countin that Pope himself uses the same con ers by which we coinpute, as well as trivance to convey the contrary idea of conceive, it. slowness.
But sensations, at least for the objects But why, in English? It is not, and of this discussion, may be considered cannot be, disputed that, in the hexame- acts of the mind. It also seems to us ter verse of the Greeks and Latins,- that the idea of motion, if not abstractly which is the model in this matter what the same, is inseparable from that of is distinguished as the “ dactylic line,” action, and consequently sensation. Inwas uniformly applied to express velocity. deed St. Bernard above designates sensHow was it to do so ? Simply from the ations directly by the term motion--MOTUS fact of being pronounced in an equal cordis. Succession of feelings, Motion time with, while containing a greater of body, (which also is a succession number of syllables or “ bars” than, the of relative positions,) these are therefore ordinary or average measure; as, on the things convertible. It is to be observed, other hand, the “ spondaic line,” com- however, that this relation is limited, posed of the minimum number, was, like its terms themselves, and everyupon the same principle, used to indicate thing in nature, by the imperfection of slowness. So too of the Alexandrine in our faculties.
When our sensations English versification. No, says Camp- loiter, within certain limits, we feel it to be bell, there is a difference: thé Alexan. repose ; when the flux is rapid beyond a drine is not in fact, like the dactylic line, certain degree, it seems to solidify into pronounced in the common time. But unity. So, in the external world, the undoes this alter the principle? What is doubted motion of the sun or planets is the rationale of Metre, whether the clas- not perceived because of its relative slowsical hexameter or the English heroic ? ness; nor, on the other hand, that of a
Its sensations and their intervals are spinning-top, which is said by the boys the mind's sole measure of time. With- to “ sleep,” because of its very celerity. out the intervals, which may be consid- But what this degree? where those ered a sort of negative sensations, the limits ? are ultimate facts of our nature, sensations proper or positive could never and vary with individual organization. (with submission to Locke) give us an Hence we see, by the way, how analysis adequate, if any, notion at all of du- rests itself upon feeling; and thence the ration. Were the latter alone to be absurdity of its attempting to superregistered by the memory, our whole ex sede it, perience would, it is probable, be amalga The principles thus unfolded, we now mated into a simple act of consciousness, proceed to the application. wherein the occasional variety among
Now, the dactylic line, containing a particular feelings would appear to be a greater number of syllables than the ordidiversity of qualities, not a diversity of nary hexameter, requires a proportionably individual sensations, and this would, of greater number of mental acts or efforts course, convey no intimation of suc
to pronounce it, and also requires that cession.
these acts be done within the regular, These Intervals—as we have called that is to say, in an equal, time. Hence them, for want of a specific term—are its capacity of expressing rapid motion. susceptible of degrees, things of more But why should not the same conditions, and less. Sensations are not-we are we repeat it, produce the like effects in speaking of duration, not intensity the case of the Alexandrine? Because,
reasserts Dr. Campbell—for it is only as- bell, considering but the dismaying length sertion that he opposes to the united au- of the line, prepares himself for a discord, thorities of Dryden, Pope and experience and thus prevents the illusion. --because the disproportion between the There remains but a farther question, Alexandrine and the English heroic time which is this: Whether the mind does is greater than that between the dactylic in fact make the endeavor attributed to it and the common hexameter line. Now, to produce a concord? But this we must syllabically at least, the fact is very de- leave each reader to determine for himself, cidedly the reverse. The disparity in the as analysis can go no farther; and if there latter may mount to four syllables: in should be any who have never “ hummed the former, it cannot exceed two. But as a tune or bad an ear,” we would refer them the principles of measurement in the an- to the authority of some musical neighbor. cient and the English prosodies are differ- Nor can it be retorted, that if the " Alexent-quantity in the one and accentuation andrine” have the effect contended for, in the other—it would not be fair to insist a line (for example) of twice the length upon this point. In truth, the question ought therefore to have double the effect. does not turn upon the number of the In our exposition of the principles of the syllables, but rather of the acts or motions question, it was shown that the producof the mind; and though it be admitted tion of this effect had certain limits, how. that the “ Alexandrine ” is not, in fact, ever unable we may have found ourselves as Campbell objects, like the “ dactylic” to define them. It is certain that a man line, pronounced in the common time, it can walk twenty miles in a day: it is is by no means a consequence that the equally certain he cannot walk two hunmind has not made the effort. And if it dred. Can you fix the limit beyond which has, the argument is à fortiori in favor he cannot move an inch? With regard to, of the Alexandrine. The mind will na our subject, the utmost to be said is this: turally proportion its exertion to the work So long as, by the joint diversions resultwhich it has, and hopes, to compass in ing from the effort and the expectation to the given time; nor will the efforts made produce a unison, the attention can be have been any fewer for the final failure. kept upon the general conformity of the A person having to travel unequal dis- line with the metrical standard, the illutances in equal times, and applying, of sion will last, the effect will follow. But course, greater expedition to perform the should the disparity be carried beyond a greater journey, will not thence infer, certain degree—as, for instance, in the should he fail, that it is the rate that was fourteen-syllable line of Dryden—then slower-he is conscious it was quicker- the eye or the ear is awakened to the but only that the rout was longer. So difference—the mind passes from the likewise in the case before us; the rapid- equality to the excess--the spell is disity of the mind's motion is to be estimated solved—the concord turned to dissonance, by what has been mentally essayed, not and celerity to sloth. This change is what has been physically accomplished. somewhat like that which may be effected
It may be here interposed that we con. with a telescope, by reversing the tube ceive the difference between Campbell and looking through the object-glass; or and Pope, after all, to turn much upon rather like that we experience when sail. the opposite points of view from which ing rapidly in sight of land: the shore it they seem to have regarded the matter, is which seems in motion if our attention (one of the most prolific sources, by the be that way, whereas, if we turn it prinby, of diversity of opinion.) To recur cipally upon the vessel, the optical illuto our illustration, Pope contemplated only sion is instantly corrected. the accelerated efforts of the traveler on In conclusion, while pronouncing the the longer rout: Campbell only the quan- Alexandrine, the common time or medium tity of space to be traveled. The attention of measurement can be but in the memof the one was engrossed by the quick- ory; or rather, we would say, the ear is ened succession of sensations or mental tuned to it. So that the point where the acts which the mind experiences in its illusion may break, the shock occur, and efforts to compress the “ Alexandrine” the motion cease, is necessarily as variwithin the common time ; expecting, of ous as susceptibility of mind or delicacy course, a concord, the reader strains to of ear. And thus is the dispute of the produce it, and thus accelerates the mind's doctors with Pope resolved, in this last action, which is the measure or (as above analysis, into that most indefinite question explained) a convertible expression for of sensuous or organic sensibility! this imaginary or ideal motion. Camp And now, having brought the matter