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such thing in the world as simple conviction. It would be amusing to observe how reason had, in one instance, been overruled into acquiescence by the admiration of a celebrated name, or another into opposition by the envy of it; how most opportunely reason discovered the truth just at the time that interest could be essentially served by avowing it; how easily the impartial examiner could be induced to adopt some part of another man's opinions, after that other had zealously approved some favourite, especially if unpopular, part of his, as the Pharisees almost became partial even to Christ at the moment that he defended one of their doctrines against the Sadducees. It would be curious to see how a professed respect for a man's character and talents, and concern for his interests, might be changed, in consequence of some personal inattention experienced from him, into illiberal invective against him or his intellectual performances, and yet the railer, though actuated solely by petty revenge, account himself the model of equity and candour all the while. It might be seen how the patronage of power could elevate miserable prejudices into revered wisdom, while poor old Experience was mocked with thanks for her instruction; and how the vicinity or society of the rich and, as they are termed, great could perhaps melt a soul that seemed to be of the stern consistence of early Rome, into the gentlest wax on which Corruption could wish to imprint the venerable creed,-"The right divine of kings to govern wrong," with the pious inference that justice was outraged when virtuous Tarquin was expelled.

I am supposing the observer to perceive all these accommodating dexterities of reason; for it were probably absurd to expect that any mind should itself be able in its review to detect all its own obliquities, after having been so long beguiled, like the mariners in a story which I remember to have read, who followed the direction of their compass, infallibly right as they thought, till they arrived at an enemy's port, where they were seized and doomed to slavery. It happened that the wicked captain, in order to betray the ship, had concealed a large loadstone at a little distance on one side of the needle.

On the notions and expectations of one stage of life I suppose all reflecting men look back with a kind of contempt, though it may be often with the mingling wish that some of its enthusiasm of feeling could be recovered.-I mean the period between proper childhood and maturity. They will allow that their reason was then feeble, and they are prompted to exclaim, What fools we have been, while they recollect how sincerely they entertained and advanced the

most ridiculous speculations on the interests of life and the questions of truth; how regretfully astonished they were to find the mature sense of some of those around them so completely wrong; yet in other instances, what veneration they felt for authorities for which they have since lost all their respect; what a fantastic importance they attached to some most trivial things; what complaints against their fate were uttered on account of disappointments which they have since recollected with gaiety or self-congratulation; what happiness of Elysium they expected from sources which would soon have failed to impart even common satisfaction; and how certain they were that the feelings and opinions then predominant would continue through life.

If a reflective aged man were to find at the bottom of an old chest-where it had lain forgotten fifty years-a record which he had written of himself when he was young, simply and vividly describing his whole heart and pursuits, and reciting verbatim many passages of the language which he sincerely uttered, would he not read it with more wonder than almost every other writing could at his age inspire? He would half lose the assurance of his identity, under the impression of this immense dissimilarity. It would seem as if it must be the tale of the juvenile days of some ancestor, with whom he had no connexion but that of name. He would feel the young man thus introduced to him separated by so wide a distance of character as to render all congenial sociality impossible. At every sentence he would be tempted to repeat,--Foolish youth, I have no sympathy with your feelings, I can hold no converse with your understanding. Thus, you see that in the course of a long life a man may be several moral persons, so various from one another, that if you could find a real individual that should nearly exemplify the character in one of these stages, and another that should exemplify it in the next, and so on to the last, and then bring these several persons together into one society, which would thus be a representation of the successive states of one man, they would feel themselves a most heterogeneous party, would oppose and probably despise one another, and soon after separate, not caring if they were never to meet again. If the dissimilarity in mind were as great as in person, there would in both respects be a most striking contrast between the extremes at least, between the youth of seventeen and the sage of seventy. The one of these contrasts an old man might contemplate if he had a true portrait for which he sat in the bloom of his life, and should hold it beside a mirror in which he

looks at his present countenance; and the other would be powerfully felt if he had such a genuine and detailed memoir as I have supposed. Might it not be worth while for a self-observant person in early life to preserve for the inspection of the old man, if he should live so long, such a mental likeness of the young one? If it be not drawn near the time, it can never be drawn with sufficient accuracy.


I have frequently remarked to you in conversation the effect of what has been called a ruling passion. When its object is noble, and an enlightened understanding directs its movements, it appears to me a great felicity: but whether its object be noble or not, it infallibly creates, where it exists in great force, that active, ardent constancy, which I describe as a capital feature of the decisive character. The subject of such a commanding passion wonders, if indeed he were at leisure to wonder, at the persons who pretend to attach importance to an object which they make none but the most languid efforts to secure. The utmost powers of the man are constrained into the service of the favourite cause of this passion, which sweeps away, as it advances, all the trivial objections and little opposing motives, and seems almost to open its way through impossibilities. This spirit comes on him in the morning as soon as he recovers his consciousness, and commands and impels him through the day with a power from which he could not emancipate himself if he would. When the force of habit is added the determination becomes invincible, and seems to assume rank with the great laws of nature, making it nearly as certain that such a man will persist in his course as that in the morning the sun will rise.

A persisting, untamable efficacy of soul gives a seductive and pernicious dignity even to a character and a course which every moral principle forbids us to approve. Often in the narrations of history and fiction, an agent of the most dreadful designs compels a sentiment of deep respect for the unconquerable mind displayed in their execution. While we shudder at his activity, we say with regret, mingled with an admiration which borders on partiality, What a noble being this would have been if goodness had been his destiny! The partiality is evinced in the very selection of terms, by which we show that we are tempted to refer his atrocity rather to his destiny than to his choice. I wonder whether an emotion like this has not been experienced by each reader of "Paradise Lost," relative to the leader of

the infernal spirits: a proof, if such were the fact, that a very serious error has been committed by the greatest poet. In some of the high examples of ambition we almost revere the force of mind which impelled them forward through the longest series of action, superior to doubt or fluctuation, and disdainful of ease, of pleasures, of opposition, and of hazard. We bow to the ambitious spirit which reached the true sublime, in the reply of Pompey to his friends, who dissuaded him from venturing on a tempestuous sea, in order to be at Rome on an important occasion: "It is necessary for me to go, it is not necessary for me to live."

Revenge has produced wonderful examples of this unremitting constancy to a purpose. Zanga is a well-supported illustration. And you may have read a real instance of a Spaniard, who, being injured by another inhabitant of the same town, resolved to destroy him: the other was apprised of this, and removed with the utmost secrecy, as he thought, to another town to a considerable distance, where, however, he had not been more than a day or two, before he found that his enemy was arrived there. He removed in the same manner to several parts of the kingdom, remote from each other; but in every place quickly perceived that his deadly pursuer was near him. At last he went to South America, where he had enjoyed his security but a very short time before his unrelenting enemy came up with him and effected his purpose.

You may recollect the mention, in one of our conversations, of a young man who wasted in two or three years a large patrimony in profligate revels with a number of worthless associates who called themselves his friends, and who, when his last means were exhausted, treated him, of course, with neglect or contempt. Reduced to absolute want, he one day went out of the house with an intention to put an end to his life; but wandering a while unconsciously, he came to the brow of an eminence which overlooked what were lately his estates. Here he sat down and remained fixed in thought a number of hours, at the end of which he sprang from the ground with a vehement, exulting emotion. He had formed his resolution, which was, that all these estates should be his again: he had formed his plan, too, which he instantly began to execute. He walked hastily forward, determined to seize the very first opportunity, of however humble a kind, to gain any money, though it were ever so despicable a trifle, and resolved absolutely not to spend, if he could help it. a farthing of whatever he might obtain. The first thing that drew his attention was a heap of coals shot out of

carts on the pavement before a house. He offered himself to shovel or wheel them into the place where they were to be laid, and was employed. He received a few pence for the labour; and then, in pursuance of the saving part of his plan, requested some small gratuity of meat and drink, which was given him. He then looked out for the next thing that might chance to offer, and went, with indefatigable industry, through a succession of servile employments, in different places, of longer and shorter duration, still scrupulously avoiding, as far as possible, the expense of a penny. He promptly seized every opportunity which could advance his design, without regarding the meanness of occupation or appearance. By this method he had gained, after a considerable time, money enough to purchase, in order to sell again, a few cattle, of which he had taken pains to understand the value. He speedily but cautiously turned his first gains into second advantages; retained without a single deviation his extreme parsimony; and thus advanced by degrees into larger transactions and incipient wealth. I did not hear, or have forgotten, the continued course of his life; but the final result was, that he more than recovered his lost possessions, and died an inveterate miser, worth £60,000. I have always recollected this as a signal instance, though in an unfortunate and ignoble direction, of decisive character, and of the extraordinary effect which, according to general laws, belongs to the strongest form of such a character.

But not less decision has been displayed by men of virtue. In this distinction no man ever exceeded, for instance, or ever will exceed, the late illustrious Howard.

The energy of his determination was so great, that if, instead of being habitual, it had been shown only for a short time, on particular occasions, it would have appeared a vehement impetuosity; but by being unintermitted it had an equability of manner which scarcely appeared to exceed the tone of a calm constancy, it was so totally the reverse of anything like turbulence or agitation. It was the calmness of an intensity kept uniform by the nature of the human mind forbidding it to be more, and by the character of the individual forbidding it to be less. The habitual passion of his mind was a measure of feeling almost equal to the temporary extremes and paroxysms of common minds: as a great river, in its customary state, is equal to a small or moderate one when swollen to a torrent.

The moment of finishing his plans in deliberation, and commencing them in action, was the same. I wonder what must have been the amount of that bribe in emolument

or pleasure that would have detained him a week inactive after their final adjustment! The law which carries water down a declivity was not more unconquerable and invariable than the determination of his feelings towards the main object. The importance of this object held his faculties in a state of excitement which was too rigid to be affected by lighter interests, and on which therefore the beauties of nature and of art had no power. He had no leisure feeling which he could spare to be diverted among the innumerable varieties of the extensive scenes which he traversed: all his subordinate feelings lost their separate existence and operation by falling into the grand one. There have not been wanting trivial minds to mark this as a fault in his character. But the mere men of taste ought to be silent respecting such a man as Howard: he is above their sphere of judgment. The invisible spirits who fulfil their commission of philanthropy among mortals do not care about pictures, statues, and sumptuous buildings; and no more did he, when the time in which he must have inspected and admired them would have been taken from the work to which he had consecrated his life. The curiosity which he might feel was reduced to wait till the hour should arrive when its gratification should be presented by conscience, which kept a scrupulous charge of all his time, as the most sacred duty of that hour. If he was at every hour, when it came, fated to feel the attractions of the fine arts but the second claim, they might be sure of their revenge; for no other man will ever visit Rome under such a despotic consciousness of duty as to refuse himself time for surveying the magnificence of its ruins. Such a sin against taste is very far beyond the reach of common saintship to commit. It implied an inconceivable severity of conviction that he had one thing to do, and that he who would do some great thing in this short life must apply himself to the work with such a concentration of his forces, as to idle spectators, who live only to amuse themselves, looks like insanity.

His attention was so strongly and tenaciously fixed on his object that, even at the greatest distance, as the Egyptian pyramids to travellers, it appeared to him with a luminous distinctness as if it had been nigh, and beguiled the toilsome length of labour and enterprise by which he was to reach it. It was so conspicuous before him, that not a step deviated from the direction, and every movement and every day was an approximation. As his method referred everything he did and thought to the end, and as his exertion did not relax for a moment, he made the trial, so seldom made,

what is the utmost effect which may be granted to the last possible efforts of a human agent and therefore what he did not accomplish, he might conclude to be placed beyond the sphere of mortal activity, and calmly leave to the immediate disposal of Omnipotence.

Unless the eternal happiness of mankind be an insignificant concern, and the passion to promote it an inglorious distinction, I may cite George Whitefield as a noble instance of this attribute of the decisive character, this intense necessity of action. The great cause which was so languid a thing in the hands of many of its advocates, assumed in his administrations an unmitigable


Many of the Christian missionaries among the heathens, such as Brainerd, Elliot, and Schwartz, have displayed memorable examples of this dedication of their whole being to their office, this external abjuration of all the quiescent feelings.

This would be the proper place for introducing (if I did not hesitate to introduce in any connexion with merely human instances) the example of Him who said, "I must be about my Father's business." "My meat and drink is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work." "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished."


born at Woodford, Essex, 1771, Fellow of New College, Oxford, 1790, one of the founders of The Edinburgh Review, 1802, Rector of Foston-le-Clay, Yorkshire, 1806, Prebendary of Bristol, 1828; Rector of Combe-Florey, Somersetshire, 1829, Canon Residentiary of St. Paul's Cathedral, 1831, died in London, 1845.

He published a number of sermons, political pamphlets, articles in The Edinburgh Review, and Letters on the Subject of the Catholics to my Brother Abraham, who Lives in the Country, by Peter Plymley, 1807, et seq., 21st edit., Lond.. 1838, p. 8vo, and a collective edition of his Works, Lond., 1839-40, 4 vols. 8vo: reprinted as The Library Edition, The Traveller's Edition, The People's Edition. After his death appeared: Fragments on the Roman Catholic Church, Lond., 1845, 8vo; Sermons Preached at St. Paul's Cathedral, etc., Lond., 1846, 8vo; Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy, etc., Edited by Lord Jeffrey, 1849, 8vo; privately printed, 100 copies: published. Lond., 1850, fp. 8vo. See also Wit and Wisdom of the Rev. Sydney Smith, etc.. with a Bio

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That vast advantages, then, may be derived from classical learning, there can be no doubt. The advantages which are derived from classical learning by the English manner of teaching involve another and a very different question; and we will venture to say, that there never was a more complete instance in any country of such extravagant and overacted attachment to any branch of knowledge as that which ob tains in this country with regard to classical knowledge. A young gentleman goes to school at six or seven years old; and he re mains in a course of education till twenty. three or twenty-four years of age. In all that time his sole and exclusive occupation is learning Latin and Greek (unless he goes to the University of Cambridge; and then classics occupy him entirely for about ten years: and divide him with mathematics for four or five more: foot-note): he has scarcely a notion that there is any other kind of excellence and the great system of facts with which he is the most intimately acquainted are the intrigues of the heathen gods with whom Pan slept?-with whom Jupiter?-whom Apollo ravished? These facts the English youth get by heart the moment they quit the nursery; and are most sedulously and industriously instructed in them till the best and most active part of life is passed away. Now, this long career of classical learning, we may, if we please, denominate a foundation; but it is a foundation so far above ground, that there is absolutely no room to put anything upon it. If you occupy a man with one thing till he is twenty-four years of age, you have exhausted all his leisure time: he is called into the world and compelled to act; or is surrounded with pleasures and thinks and reads no more. If you have neglected to put other things in him, they will never get in afterwards;-if you have fed him only



with words, he will remain a narrow and limited being to the end of his existence.

The bias given to men's minds is so strong that it is no uncommon thing to meet with Englishmen whom, but for their gray hairs and wrinkles, we might easily mistake for school-boys. Their talk is of Latin verses; and it is quite clear, if men's ages are to be dated from the state of their mental progress, that such men are eighteen years of age, and not a day older. Their minds have been so completely possessed by exaggerated notions of classical learning, that they have not been able, in the great school of the world, to form any other notion of real greatness. Attend, too, to the public feelings, look to all the terms of applause. A learned man!-a scholar!-a man of erudition! Upon whom are these epithets of approbation bestowed? Are they given to men acquainted with the science of government? thoroughly masters of the geographical and commercial relations of Europe? to men who know the properties of bodies, and their action upon each other? No: this is not learning; it is chemistry or political economy,-not learning. The distinguishing abstract term, the epithet of Scholar, is reserved for him who writes on the Eolic reduplication, and is familiar with the Sylburgian method of arranging defectives in and . The picture which a young Englishman, addicted to the pursuit of knowledge, draws,-his beau ideal of human nature-bis top and consummation of man's powers, is a knowledge of the Greek language. His object is not to reason, to imagine, or to invent; but to conjugate, decline, and derive. The situations of imaginary glory which he draws for himself are the detection of an anapast in the wrong place, or the restoration of a dative case which Cranzius had passed over, and the never-dying Ernesti failed to observe. If a young classic of this kind were to meet the greatest chemist, or the greatest mechanician, or the most profound political economist, of his time, in company with the greatest Greek scholar, would the slightest comparison between them ever come across his mind?-would he ever dream that such men as Adam Smith and Lavoisier were equal in dignity of understanding to, or of the same utility as, Bentley and Heyne? We are inclined to think that the feeling excited would be a good deal like that which was expressed by Dr. George about the praises of the great King of Prussia, who entertained considerable doubts whether the King, with all his victories, knew how to conjugate a Greek verb in . Edinburgh Review, Oct. 1809, and in his Works.


A great deal has been said of the original difference of capacity between men and women; as if women were more quick, and men more judicious.-as if women were more remarkable for delicacy of association, and men for stronger powers of attention. All this, we confess, appears to us very fanciful. That there is a difference in the understandings of the men and the women we every day meet with, every body, we suppose, must perceive; but there is none surely which may not be accounted for by the difference of circumstances in which they have been placed, without referring to any conjectural difference of original conformation of mind. As long as boys and girls run about in the dirt, and trundle hoops together, they are both precisely alike. If you catch up one-half of these creatures, and train them to a particular set of actions and opinions, and the other half to a perfectly opposite set, of course their understandings will differ, as one or the other sort of occupations has called this or that talent into action. There is surely no occasion to go into any deeper or more abstruse reasoning in order to explain so very simple a phenomenon. Taking it, then, for granted that nature has been as bountiful of understanding to one sex as the other, it is incumbent on us to consider what are the principal objections commonly made against the communication of a greater share of knowledge to women than commonly falls to their lot at present: for though it may be doubted whether women should learn all that men learn, the immense disparity which now exists between their knowledge we should hardly think could admit of any rational defence. It is not easy to imagine that there can be any just cause why a woman of forty should be more ignorant than a boy of twelve years of age. If there be any good at all in female ignorance, this (to use a very colloquial phrase) is surely too much of a good thing.

Something in this question must depend, no doubt, upon the leisure which either sex enjoys for the cultivation of their understandings:-and we cannot help thinking that women have fully as much, if not more, idle time upon their hands than men. Women are excluded from all the serious business of the world; men are lawyers, physicians, clergymen, apothecaries, and justices of the peace,-sources of exertion which consume a great deal more time than producing and suckling children: so that if the thing is a thing that ought to be done,if the attainments of literature are objects really worthy the attention of females, they

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