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like the sound of a trumpet, or to a seeing man either, who makes no such mistake, in what they differ. Sensation is, it is true, of many kinds; but individual sensations may be, and often are, uncompounded. We are not able to assent, therefore, to our author's conclusion, from the premises which we have given, that "in sensation more is implied than a single and simple rudiment." Sensibility to impressions from without, and an originating power within, are endowments neither of which can be analysed into any thing more elementary, and which manifest themselves together. In granting an independent and underived power to the will, all is conceded that an accurate pyschology will allow, or that-though this is a consideration not scientifically admissible-the moralist can require. In this section, the author discusses, in the briefest form, the origin of our idea of externality, the process by which sensations are transformed into perceptions, the gradual development of the personal consciousness, and other moot-points of pyschological inquiry. passes over these subjects with so light and quick a hand, that it is not easy always to say precisely what his doctrine is; but, if we make allowance for an occasional want of precision in language, it seems to coincide in its main features with the views laid down in their clearest form in Sir William Hamilton's writings.
The point at which the human mind begins to diverge from the brute, is the entrance of a distinct feeling of individuality— a consciousness of personal identity, and with this of moral freedom. In childhood, "the mind itself, or, if we choose to say so, its active rudiment, is much in advance," Mr. Taylor urges, "of the appetites, wants, desires, of the animal nature. Man, at this spring-time, has very much more of a vague impulse to act than of any definite motive for acting. It is now that he is learning to take his position as possessor of a freedom apart from which there could neither be intellectual expansion nor moral progress."
"In the absence, or during the abeyance, of powerful animal influences, and while there is a large suggestive fund of ever-shifting imaginations-as the incitements of volition, and an exuberance of energy which must be spent the human mind is coming into the use of its inherent liberty; it is tasting the enjoyment of its birthright-its sovereignty in relation to motives of all kinds. Among these motives, whether they be stronger or weaker in themselves, it takes its sport, refusing to be enthralled by any, and spurning every despotism: it is learning to be free.'"
It is impossible to sound the depths of the problems here started. But we confess that the presence "of a vague impulse to act," and the absence, or faint urgency, "of the appetites,
wants, desires, of the animal nature," do not seem to us the conditions of freedom, unless we are to say that the feather, blown lightly hither and thither by every stirring of the air, is freer than the stone which falls, at once and without deflection, earthwards. The state which Mr. Taylor describes is one of anarchy rather than of incipient liberty. It is only in the presence of "definite motives for acting,"-in the choice between two or more determinate courses,-that we become conscious of a selfdirecting power superior to the solicitations of circumstances, and learn to discipline ourselves to its exercise. Indeed, it is significant that we always think and speak of the freedom of the will as moral liberty. Until considerations of right and wrong enter, we are not conscious of its possession; till then, the most pleasurable sensation or the most powerful impulse has undisputed mastery over us. There is no question of an alternative. When, however, this is discerned to be right, and that wrong,-when what is pleasurable is forbidden, and that from which we shrink urged upon us, by a mysterious voice, which yet only enjoins and does not constrain,
we become aware that it is in our power to obey or to disobey. In the first conflict between natural desire and the moral sense, human nature at once learns and vindicates its freedom. It is raised from the level of a conscious thing to that of a person, and enters upon the prerogatives which, so far as we know, mark it off from all other orders of animal being. We regret that we cannot follow Mr. Taylor as he traces the various features and achievements of human nature, in its highest development, to its possession of the spontaneous, underived, and self-directing power of the will, acting upon the impressions communicated from the outer world. It would require an essay as long as his own to discuss them worthily: and to reproduce the ideas of another in any other words than those in which he has thought out and embodied them, and deprived of the illustrations which give them vitality, is to do them injustice. The postulates, we may briefly state, on which he bases his philosophy of mind, are (1), the independent and real existence of the outer world; (2) the genuine causative power of the will; and (3) the assumption, "that in the original structure of the mind there is nothing fallacious, nothing contrary to the reality of things, nothing that is spurious or factitious, and which, when we come to be better informed, we shall reject or denounce as a disguise of which the human race, or the uninstructed many, is doomed to be always the dupe and victim." These principles command our fullest acceptance. To the first of them Mr. Taylor is scarcely faithful, at least in some of his expressions. His language often slides into that of "cosmothetic idealism." speaks of our "notions," our "conceptions," of an outer world,
as if we had not a direct apprehension, but only a mental representation of it: and his doctrine of space as an abstraction implies the same thing. It is strange, that after the researches and criticisms of Sir William Hamilton, this ambiguity should characterise the language of well-informed writers, who certainly in substance and in spirit adhere to the doctrines of “natural realism." The use which is made of the second postulate as the basis of morals and theology, so far as their speculative foundation is concerned, has already been seen. The third (which, properly speaking, includes the former two) is applied to the refutation of the selfish and utilitarian theories of the social emotions, and to the determination of man's relations to the unknown and infinite. This enumeration presents but a few of the topics discussed. In dwelling as we have done on the small points of difference which divide us from the author, we have principally had regard to the claims of his work as "an elementary book." We have, therefore, animadverted principally on those portions of it which seemed to us likely to lead to misconception on the part of those using it as an introduction to mental science. But in quitting it, we desire to express our conviction that, if not precisely fitted to answer the purpose intended, it will discharge a function yet more important. Within the same bulk, we know of no work on the higher philosophy abounding more in veracious, subtle, and suggestive thought, clothed in a style which, if occasionally somewhat too elaborate and involved, wanting in simplicity and directness, yet well reflects the finer and more delicate shades of the meaning it conveys.
ART. VIII.-MR. COVENTRY PATMORE'S POEMS. The Angel in the House: Book I. The Betrothal. Book II. The Espousals. By Coventry Patmore. Second Edition. London: J. W. Parker and Son, 1857.
Tamerton Church-tower, and other Poems. By Coventry Patmore. London: J. W. Parker and Son, 1857:
It is impossible to imagine any works, admitting of comparison at all, more remarkably contrasted than those of Mr. Alexander Smith, reviewed in our last Number, and those of Mr. Coventry Patmore, which we propose briefly to notice in this. They differ not only in merit, but in all those qualities which leave the question of merit undetermined. They are each the other's antithesis. What Mr. Smith is, that Mr. Patmore emphatically is not. Inferior in command of words, in richness of imagery,
in the music of his rhythms, in all, in fact, that constitutes the mere vesture of poetry, to the author of the Life Drama and the City Poems, Mr. Patmore is infinitely superior to him in all that is essential. His fancies are not, like Mr. Smith's, and the earth, "upon nothing hung." He has thoughts to express, a definite meaning to convey, often subtle and suggestive, and sometimes deep and true. And his language is transparent to his thought. It fits it closely, like hand and glove. It is free from all meretricious ornament. Simplicity is its characteristic. His muse is not clad in a coat of many colours, but "whiterobed and pure."
Nor does he differ more from Mr. Smith, and the spasmodic school generally, in the characteristics we have named than in his views of art and of human life. With genuine poetic gifts, he has improved them by sedulous culture and study. He is not eaten up with an ambition to produce a poem which shall "make pale the braggart cheek of the world," nor a victim of the delusion that such a poem can be produced "at a dash." His aim is rather to "instruct and warn. He feels that a worthy muse should be employed upon some worthy subject. The poets of the spasmodic school appear to think that the greatness of their powers will be best shown in contrast with the meanness of the topic on which they employ them; just as the alchemist's triumph would be the greater, the baser the metal which he converted into gold. And if self-display is their object, they may be right. Mr. Patmore has expressed a different doctrine in the following lines, which stand near the commencement of his last poem, and embody its distinguishing tone and spirit: "How vilely 'twere to misdeserve
The poet's gift of perfect speech,
We have said that his views of human life are in contrast with those of the spasmodic school. In Mr. Dobell's Balder, the hero,—who, so far as serious intention can be ascribed to the author at all, is evidently designed to be the type of poetic
genius,-is anxious to enrich himself with a varied and Goethelike experience of human nature. He is desirous of tasting
"All thoughts, all passions, all desires,
Whatever thrills this mortal frame."
But to do this, it is necessary that he should know what remorse is. Therefore, to gratify himself with that sensation, he kills his innocent wife and (we believe) her infant child. And all this in the interests of high art. Mr. Patmore's conceptions of the moral discipline of the poet are very different. He should be "girt with thought and prayer" for his task. To him "strong passions mean weak will;" while
"He safest walks in darkest ways
Whose youth is lighted from above."
Like those of most young poets, his earlier productions were of a somewhat dolorous cast. His heroes were sadly unfortunate, mostly in their love affairs. But there is nothing of the curse God and die" style of sentiment, which seems to be considered natural and impressive under such circumstances. On the contrary, the one lesson is variously enforced :
"Best fruits come not of sunniest years;
Good use have griefs; they try
The sacred faculty of tears,
And man with men ally."
We are aware that it is asserted by many that the poet has nothing to do with moral considerations; that art cannot have an ethical purpose without forfeiting its own proper character. And examples enough can be quoted of great poems-though not the greatest which seem to show that the two are not necessarily connected; that views of life little pure and elevated are compatible with the loftiest imaginative genius. On the other hand, the proof is yet more abundant that the most excellent morality may be embodied in very wretched verse. But, of course, if the essence of poetry is truth, the more and the deeper the truth it teaches, the higher, other things being equal, will be the poetry. The moralist starts from certain principles and convictions, and looks about him for the means of most powerfully enforcing them. The poet is possessed with a conception, the ideal of a character, the picture of a scene, the grouping and mutual action of various connected circumstances and persons. He will be able to embody them with most effect in proportion as he sees all the relations that are involved in them, and can make the visible symbolise the invisible. And as there are few things which do not involve ethical considerations, or considerations still higher, so there are few topics to which such considerations will be foreign. Only they should appear as a part of