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are infinitely more heart-stirring that Swift's remarkable definition of
I reminded you of the philosophic the anxious hopes, and tender re-
“ This influence of per- and overpowering would be the emoceptible objects in awakening assotion,-in contradiction to the direct ciated thoughts and associated feel- evidence of the case, which shows ings, seems to arise, in a great mea- that the intensity of the emotion is sure, from their permanent operation directly as its suddenness,—that it is, as exciting or suggesting causes. in fact, owing to the co-existence, to When a train of thought takes its the oneness, of the ideas of perceprise from an idea or conception, the tion and conception, i. e. of the senfirst idea soon disappears, and a sation of the external object and its series of others succeeds, which are associate feelings. gradually less and less related to that I have not time now further to with which the train commenced; illustrate this the great defect of Mr. but, in the case of perception, the Stewart's explanation. I will only exciting cause remains steadily be- remark that the same error exists in fore us; and all the thoughts and Mr. Alison's theory of Beauty, which feelings which have any relation to it ascribes the pleasure we feel when crowd into the mind in rapid suc- gazing on a beautiful object to the cession, strengthening each other's exercise of the mind in recalling, or effects, and all conspiring in the gathering together, its agreeable same general impression." Before I associations. The error of both of direct your attention to the principal these very elegant and ingenious circumstances in which this elegant writers may be explained in this way. explanation is defective, I beg leave We all know that the greater the to remark to you, I am sure unne- number of our pleasurable associacessarily, that the perceptible object tions, the greater will be our excitewhich forms a part of a group of ment when gazing on an object that vivid feelings must be in itself inte- excites them. So, if we say, that of resting-your stick from the associa- five persons who view any fine statue tions connected with it—the spoon, of antiquity, one has but one assospoken of by Captain King, from its ciation, another five, another ten, being so unexpectedly met with in a another twenty, and another fifty, we part of the globe far remote from the shall justly conclude, that he who home it brought to their recollection, has fifty pleasurable associations will —that, in fact, the vividness of the as- be more vividly excited than the rest, sociate conception is directly as the in the proportion of fifty to twenty, interest embodied in the co-existent fifty to ten, to five, to one. So far, object of perception. Mr. Stewart's Mr. Stewart and Mr. Alison are corexplanation satisfactorily accounts rect: where they err is, that they for the longer duration of the relative seem to believe, that the man who feelings, from the permanence of the has fifty associations must travel exciting cause; but it does no more: through fifty stages of feeling before it does not account for the vividness he arrives at the ultimate vivid emoof those feelings or rather, it is an tion ; that he will consequently be a explanation directly opposite to the longer time than the others in sumfact.
For if Mr. Stewart's expla- moning or gathering together his nation were true, the excited state prior recollections, in the proportion of feeling the mind evinces at the of fifty to twenty, to ten, &c.; as presence of an interesting object of if indeed, fifty, or a hundred, or a perception would not be a sudden thousand, were not as much one burst of emotion, as, you know, is the state of mind, as one, or five, or ten. case, but would be the result of a As this is an interesting subject, and train of associate images that crowd would itself require a letter to make into the mind in rapid succession, it less obscure, I will shortly return
all conspiring in the same general to it. What I have said of the sudimpression.” Now, the force and denness of the effect, and of the difextent of the illusive reality of the fusion of the reality of an external associate conceptions is partly owing object of sense, will appear more to the suddenness of the effect of the evident from the following exceedperceptible object ;-so that, if Mr. ingly interesting case. “ During the Stewart's explanation were true, the time I passed," says the celebrated longer the interval between the per- Dr. Rush, “ at a country school, in ception of the object and its effect on Cecil County, in Maryland, I often the kindred images, the more vivid went, on a holiday, with my schoolmates, to see an eagle's nest, upon so minutely investigated. I need the summit of a dead tree in the not now attempt to explain to yon neighbourhood of the school, during the emotion of the widow of the the time of the incubation of that Irish patriot, on kearing those songs bird. The daughter of the farmer, which were intertwined with every in whose field the tree stood, and recollection of her heart, with her with whom I became aequainted, husband's unhappy death. (He cut married, and settled in this city his throat an hour before he was (Philadelphia) about forty years ago. to be led to the scatfold.)
The in our occasional intercourse, we simple explanation of that, and now and then spoke of the innocent analogous phenomena, is, you now haunts and rural pleasures of our know, the diffusion of the reality of youth, and, among other things, of the suggesting object over the feelthe eagle's nest in her father's field. ings suggested. A few years ago, I was called to In this explanation of a very intervisit this woman, when she was in esting phenomenon, which it would the lowest stage of typhus fever. be impertinent, with you, to endeavour Upon entering her room, I caught to make plainer, yon see, my dear her eye, and, with a cheerful. tone of friend, there is no distorting of facts, voice, said only—the eagle's nest. She or straining of theory, in order to instantly seized my hand, without give plausibility to a paradoxical hybeing able to speak, and discovered pothesis. There is nothing assumed strong emotions of pleasure in her in it, beyond what takes place every countenance, probably from a suduler time we direct our eyes to some obassociation of all her domestic con- ject, which, you know, we are doing nexions and enjoyments with the three-fourths of our ordinary life. words I had uttered. From that Many every-day occurrenees which time she began to recover. She isi appeared to you strange and unacnow living, and seldom fails, when countable, will now, that you have we meet, to salute me with the echo the key of their apparent anomaly, of-the eagle's nest!”
be neither one nor the other. The This is a beautiful and indeed im- effect which the sound of the national portant instance of the effect of an air, first heard amid his native hills, interesting object of external sense, has on the Swiss soldier, will no in suddenly awakening its associate longer surprise you, when you bring images; and well illustrates “ the to mind that that sound is not then utility of a knowledge of the facul- merely the remembrance of a wellties of the mind to a physician.” known air, but a real constituent of a Dr. Rush reports this case in his lec- complex whole of delightful emoture under that head. Apply: Mr. tion. The emotion which our young Stewart's explanation to this case, friend P. displays at the sight of a and you will see how lamentably it red shawl, and the more sad one that fails. On the contrary, how clear and is excited in him, when the songintelligible it appears when examined' “ Home, sweet Home,” is sung, according to Dr. Brown's simple which you know he cannot altogether theory: the diffusion of the reality disguise even in the bustle of a of the external object (Dr. Rush), crowded theatre, will no longer apone part of a group of interesting re- pear mysterious to you, when you membrances, over the awakened as reflect that the reality of these persociate conceptions, the remaining ceptions of sight and sound is difportion of the group or complex fused over feelings which, I fear, have whole. I need not dwell upon the too strong'a hold of his mind. By suddenness of the effect, or on the the bye; it puzzled me very much, many important inferences that may wllyhe should be affected by that be deduced from this interesting case, or any other song, for his friends but leave itsto yourself to reflect on. say he has no taste for music; and
You are now, I presume, able to you and I know his associations apply to your own case the remarks with the word-home; cannot be of I have made, which, indeed, have such a nature as to give tonderness extended to a greater length than to their recollection. intended; but the subject is ex- I'must break off abruptly, but shall tremely interesting, and one that, as perhaps reour to the subject! far as I know, has not been before
NOTÉS FROM THE POCKET-BOOK OF A LATE OPIUM-EATER.
FALSIFICATION OF THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND. I am myself, and always have 1648. This doctrine is the main pilbeen, a member of the Church of lar of our constitution, and perhaps England, and am grieved to hear the the finest discovery that was ever many attacks against the Church, made in the theory of government. [frequently most illiberal attacks) Hitherto the doctrine that the King which not so much religion as politi- can do no wrong had been used not to cal rancor gives birth to in every protect the indispensable sanctity of third journal that I take up. This I the king's constitutional character, say to acquit myself of all dishonor- but to protect the wrong. Used in able feelings, such as I would abhor this way, it was a maxim of Oriental to cooperate with, in bringing a very despotism and fit only for a nation heavy charge against that great body where law had no empire. Many of in its literary capacity.—Whosoever the illustrious patriots of the Great has reflected on the history of the Parliament saw this ; and felt the neEnglish constitution-must be aware cessity of abolishing a maxim so fatal that the most important stage of it's to the just liberties of the people. developement lies within the reign of But some of them fell into the oppoCharles I. It is true that the judi- site error of supposing that this abocial execution of that prince has been lition could be effected only by the allowed by many persons to vitiate direct negation of it; their maxim all that was done by the heroic par- accordingly was—“ The king can do liament of November 1640: and the wrong", i. e. is responsible in his ordinary histories of England assume own person. In this great error even as a matter of course that the whole the illustrious wife of Col. Hutchinperiod of parliamentary history son participated*; and accordingly through those times is to be regarded she taxes those of her own party who as a period of confusion. Our con- scrupled to accede to the new maxim, stitution, say they, was formed in and still adhered to the old one, with 1688-9. Meantime it is evident to unconscientious dealing. But she any reflecting man that the revolu- misapprehended their meaning, and tion simply re-affirmed the principles failed to see where they laid the emdeveloped in the strife between the phasis : the emphasis was not laid, two great parties which had arisen in as it was by the royal party, on the the reign of James I, and had ripen- words “ can do no wrong”—but on ed and come to issue with each other “ The king”: that is, wrong may in the reign of his son. Our consti- be done ; and in the king's name; tution was not a birth of a single in- but it cannot be the king who did stant, as they would represent it, but it [the king cannot constitutionally a gradual growth and developement be supposed the person who did through a long tract of time. În par- it]. By this exquisite political reticular the doctrine of the king's vi- finement, the old tyrannical maxim carious responsibility in the person of was disarmed of it's sting; and the his ministers, which first gave a sane entire redress of all wrong, so indisand salutary meaning to the doctrine pensable to the popular liberty, was of the king's personal irresponsibility brought into perfect reconciliation [“ The king can do no wrong"), with the entire inviolability of the soarose undeniably between 1640 and vereign, which is no less indispensa
* This is remarked by her editor and descendant Julius Hutchinson, who adds some words to this effect that if the patriots of that day were the inventors of the maxim [The king can do no rorong), we are much indebted to them.” The patriots certainly did not invent the maxim, for they found it already current: but they gave it it's new and constitutional sense. I refer to the book however, as I do to almost all books in these notes, from memory; writing most of them in situations where I have no access to books. -By the way, Charles I., who used the maxim in the most odious sense, furnished the most colorable excuse for his own execution. He constantly maintained the irresponsibi. lity of his ministers : but, if that were conceded, it would then follow that the king must be made responsible in his own person imand that construction led of necessity to his trial and death. Dec. 1824.
ble to the popular liberty. There is amongst hundreds of illustrations moreover a double wisdom in the new more respectable than Dr. Grey's I sense: for not only is one object [the will refer the reader to a work of our redress of wrong] secured in con- owndays, the Ecclesiastical Biography junction with another object [the [in part a republication of Walton's King's inviolability] hitherto held ir- Lives] edited by the present master reconcileable, but even with a view of Trinity College, Cambridge, who to the first object alone a much more is held in the highest esteem whereffectual means is applied, because ever he is known, and is I am perone which leads to no schism in the suaded perfectly conscientious and as state, than could have been applied impartial as in such a case it is posby the blank negation of the maxim; sible for a high churchman to be. i. e. by lodging the responsibility ex- Yet so it is that there is scarcely one actly where the executive power of the notes having any political re[ergo the power of resisting this re- ference to the period of 1640-60 sponsibility] was lodged. Here which is not disfigured by unjust then is one example in illustration of prejudices: and the amount of the my thesis—that the English consti- moral which the learned editor tution was in a great measure gradu- grounds upon the documents before ·ally evolved in the contest between him—is this, that the young student the different parties in the reign of is to cherish the deepest abhorrence Charles I. Now, if this be so, it fol- and contempt of all who had any lows that for constitutional history share on the parliamentary side in no period is so important as that: the “confusions” of the period from and indeed, though it is true that the 1640 to 1660: that is to say of men Revolution is the great æra for the to whose immortal exertions it was constitutional historian, because he owing that the very revolution of there first finds the constitution fully 1688, which Dr. W. will be the developed as the “ bright consum- first to applaud, found us with mate flower,” and what is equally any such stock of political principles important he there first finds the or feelings as could make a beneficial principles of our constitution ratified revolution possible. Where, let me by a competent authority,-yet, to ask, would have been the willingness trace the root and growth of the con- of some Tories to construe the flight stitution, the three reigns immedi- of James II. into a virtual act of abately preceding are still more pro- dication, or to consider even the most perly the objects of his study. In formal act of abdication binding proportion then as the reign of against the king,-had not the great Charles I is important to the history struggle of Charles's days gradually of our constitution, in that pro- substituted in the minds of all parties portion are those to be taxed with a rational veneration of the king's office the most dangerous of all possible for the old superstition in behalf of the falsifications of our history, who have king's person, which would have promisrepresented either the facts or the tected him from the effects of any acts principles of those times. Now I af- however solemnly performed which firm that the clergy of the Church of affected injuriously either his own inEngland have been in a perpetual terests or the liberties of his people. conspiracy since the era of the re- — Tempora mutantur: nos et mulastoration to misrepresent both. As mur in illis. Those whom we find in an illustration of what I mean I refer fierce opposition to the popular party to the common edition of Hudibras about 1640 we find still in the same by Dr. Grey: for the proof I might personal opposition 50 years after, refer to some thousands of books. but an opposition resting on far difDr. Grey's is a disgusting case: for ferent principles: insensibly the prinhe swallowed with the most anile ciples of their antagonists had reached credulity every story, the most extra- even them: and a courtier of 1689 vagant that the malice of those times was willing to concede more than a could invent against either the Pres- patriot of 1630 would have veutured byterians or the independents: and to ask. Let me not be understood to for this I suppose amongst other de
mean that true patriotism is at all formities his notes were deservedly more shown in supporting the rights ridiculed by Warburton. But, of the people than those of the king: