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But they had all past you by, unless your heart, your imagination, and your reason, had all been made recipient by divining dreams, which, when genius dreams, are in verity processes, often long, dark, and intricate of thought, terminating finally in the open air and on the celestial soil of eternal truth.
Shepherd. Aiblins, I've been mair studious than I was sensible o at the time, when lyin' by the silver springs amang the hills--for a shepherd's life is aften sedentary—and gin a body 'll just let his sowl alane, leeve it entirely to its ainsel, and no trammel't in its flights, its wonderfu' hoo, being an essence, it 'll keep hummin' awa' outowre far distant braes, gangin' and comin', just like that never-weary insect the unquarrelsome bee, that draps down instinctively on ilka honey flower that scents the wild, and wheels hame to its hive by air-ways never flown afore, yet every ane o' them the nearest and directest to the straw-roofed skep in the lown sunny neuk o' the garden, that a day lang murmurs to the sunsbine a swarming sang, and at nicht emits a laigh happy hum, as if a' the multitude were but ae bee unable to keep silence even in the hours o' sleep.
Opium-Eater. Yes—those high minds which, with creative genius, have given, in whatever form, a permanent being to the conceptions of sublime imagination; whether they have embodied their thoughts in colours, in marble, or in imperishable words, have all trained and enriched their genius in the same self-meditation. This is true of those whose arts seem to speak only to the eye :—the same derivation of its strength is yet more apparent in respect to the productions of those arts which use language as the vehicle of representation. That eloquence which, in the words of great historians, yet preserves to us, in living form, the character of men and nations — which, from the lips of great speakers of old or modern times, has swayed the passions, or enlightened the reason of multitudes—that poetry which, with a voice lifted up from age to age, has poured forth, in awful or dazzling shapes, imageries of the inmost passions and feelings of men, and made almost the soul itself a visible being
Shepherd. That's capital-indeed wonderful-on coffee.
Opium-Eater. The very powers which Bacon imparted to the science of Nature, he drew from the science of Mind. It was in the study of the Mind itself, that he found the true principles which must guide Natural Philosophy.
Shepherd. Na—there you're beyond my depth altogether. If I gang in to dook wi' you in that pool, l'se be droond to a moral.
Opium-Eater. But the yet highest character of all high study, is when viewed in its reflection on the mind. The discoveries of Astronomy have perfected Navigation. But it was not the prospect of that augmentation of human power that was in the mind of Galileo when he watched the courses of the stars, and strove in thought to
PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY.
explore the mechanism and inotion of worlds. It satisfied him that he could know.
Shepherd. That's a fine thocht, sir. I'm no sleepy.
Opium-Eater. In the trance of long and profound meditation, the power that rose in his spirit, and the illumination that flowed in upon his mind, standing alone amidst surrounding darkness, were at once the requital of all his painful vigils of thought. These were the recompense that was with him, when the prisons of jealous and trembling power were closed upon the illustrious sage, as if the stone walls could have buried in their gloom his mind itself, and the truth which it enshrined.
Shepherd. Galileo and Milton met at Florence, or somewhere else in Tuscany. I wush I had been o' the pairty, and had got a keek through the Italian's telescope.
Opium-Eater. Are we under any necessity, Mr. Hogg -
Opium-Eater, - of remembering the same fruits of astronomical knowledge, in order to venerate the name of Newton? Or, do we imagine that he himself saw in his sublime speculations, nothing more than the powers they would furnish to man? We never think of such advantages. We conceive of his mind as an intelligence satisfying its own nature in its contemplations, and our views of what he effected for mankind terminate, when we have said, that he assisted them to comprehend the sublimity of the universe.
Shepherd. Chalmers never spoke better-nor sae weel-in his Astronomical Discourses*—yet in preaching he's a Paul.
Opium-Eater. A world as full of wonders—aye, far fuller-my dear Shepherd—is disclosed to the metaphysical eye-yours or mineexploring the manifestations of spirit-and all its heavenly harmonies. All sorrow and all joy, the calamities which have shaken empires, the crimes which have hurried single souls into destruction, the grounds of stability, order, and power, in the government of man, the peace and happiness that have blossomed in the bosom of innocent life, the loves that have inwoven joy with grief, the hopes that no misery can over whelm, the stern undaunted virtue of Icfty minds,-if such thoughts have any power to produce tenderness, or elevation,-if awe, and pity, and reverence, are feelings which do not pass away, leaving the mind as unawakened and barren as before—if our capacities are dilated by the very images of solemn greatness of which they are made the repository—then is such study important, not merely by the works which may spring from it, when genius and science meet, but by its agency on the mind itself engaged in it, which is thereby enlarged and elevated.
Among the most striking and popular productions of the late Dr. Chalmers, by far the greatest man in the Scottish Church in modern times, were “A Series of Discourses on the Christian Revelation viewed in connexion with Modern Astronomy.”-M.
Shepherd. I would like to hear ye, sir, conversin wi' Coleridge and Wordsworth-three cataracts a' thunderin' at ance! When you drap your voice in speaking, it reminds me o' that line in Cammel,
“The torrent's smoothness ere it dash below.”
I never could understaun' distinctly the distinction between the Useful and the Fine Arts. I begin to suspeck there is nane in nature.
Opium-Eater. Distinction drawing is generally deceptive. Madame de Stael praises in monuments their noble inutility. Yet how can that which moves affection be useless? It is a means of happiness. Schools surely are useful, yet they tutor the mind only.
Shepherd. That's plain as a pike-staff.
Opium-Eater. Again, shall we call a language-master useful, and yet the poem useless out of which he teaches his pupils ?
Shepherd. There would assuredly be nae logic in that, sir.
Opium-Eater. What is a music-master? Why, his trade is useful to himself—he teaches one pupil a useful trade, and another, we shall say, a useless accomplishment. Yet he is not useless himself in teaching the useless accomplishment, because he gains thereby useful money.
Shepherd. Ane can never gang far wrang, I see, in ony doubtfu' discussion, to bring in the simile o' the rainbow.
Opium-Eater. What is a poet who indulges pleasure, and purposes pleasure merely to others; yet in the meantime sets printers and booksellers in motion ?
Shepherd. Dinna be angry wi' me, sir, for requeestin' you, gin ye hae nae objections, to define Utility.
Opium-Eater. It can be nothing but production of enjoyment. Yet those things of which the essence and sole existence is enjoyment, though they do not end with the present enjoyment, but by their influence on the mind are causes of future enjoyment, ai held useless !
Shepherd. I jalouse there maun be something at the bottom of the question which ye hae na yet expiscated. How stauns Poetry?
Opium-Eater. Utility, it may be said, regards the persons of mankind. Poetry their dreams. : Shepherd. That's rather antithetical—but very vague. It'll hardly do, sir.
Opium-Eater. Mr. Hogg, I beg your attention for a few minutes. There is a good root of utility—the bodily life. Whatever springs out of this is useful-agriculture, weaving, and brick-making, in the first degree. Secondly, things subservient and subordinate to these the protection of property by laws, the king, and the army. Then, as it is impossible to eat, or live in peace in your house without public
morals, or to hold the State, the great and universal shield of men's bodies, together without them— Morality and Religion. This is one utility—that of the body. Some inquirers seem hardly to know one another. But man, James, has two natures, and his utility has two roots. The above is reversed, beginning from his immortal and everhappy soul, resting upon, rooted in, deity. Proceed hence, and you derive at last the body, and earth, which, as we are constituted, are means to this soul, and necessary conditions to its fulfilling its own birth and destiny. But, begin from the body, which is to last from day to day—or from the soul, which is to last for ever—in either way you comprehend a totality, the whole being; arts for his body, science and morals for his soul. Imagination-poetry-seems to elapse—to elude grasp-between. It is neither the body nor the soul; but a light that plays about both.
Shepherd. Something sublime in a' that, sir; but rather unsatis. factory at the hinner end, when you come upon the preceese pint o' poetry.
Opium-Eater. Imagination of the arts seems separable, as a mimickry of reality-a play of mind borrowed from all real things in itself unreal.
Shepherd. Be it sae--it soun's sensible.
Opium-Eater. Tell the difference between Homer and Greek history, between Shakspere and English history.
Opium-Eater. When I compare Homer with the Roman history, I am tempted to say, the difference is, that we trace down the series of causations in actual events (bodily events) from Cæsar to ourselves. But Troy, like Olympus, is a world between which and us clouds roll. Yet this avails not when Shakspere writes Henry the Fifth. There is the very man-our king—more alive and himself than in history.* Are there clouds then, O Shepherd, between him and me—and do I, after all, see but his glorified shadow ?
Shepherd. I suspeck but his glorified shadow.
Opium-Eater. This then is the power of poetry—it dividen from the real world what it takes in the real world. Is not the Temple of Diana in a grove separate from this world, though built from the town quarry, and upon ground which is not only mere earth but made part of such a man's property, and paying rent ? So poetry consecrates and som but higher far-doth religion.
Shepherd. Do you ever gang to the kirk, Mr. De Quinshy?
Opium-Eater. Religion consecrates that which was common by changing it to our feelings—that is, our feelings to it. But what
The Duke of Marlborough, though a great general, was not well educated. Mentioning an historical fact in the House of Lords, one of his opponents asked him in what history of England he had found it? “History"-exclaimed Marlborough, “I found it in Shakspere, which I suppose is competent authority for any English gentleman " M
change? Is it removed from use ? No:—it is consecrated to use :but to pure, high, unworldly use. In approaching, contemplating that which is holy, our spirit seems freed from many bonds. Fetters of this world fall off. Holy bonds are laid on us, and holy bonds, which the soul receives willingly, are, therefore, liberty and law.
Shepherd. I ay thocht liberty had been ae thing, and law anither-, Just like black and white.
Opium-Eater. I think that all feeling of pleasure is, or necessarily appears to be spontaneous; and that, in consequence, all forms of thought and action, which are the natural produce of, and are produced by feelings of pleasure, appear to be free. They appear to be the. spontaneous product of our minds, and spontaneity is freedom. Further, forms of thought and action, which are not the work of our mind, but are presented to it, provided that feeling which appears to us spontaneous flows into these forms, and is at home in them—then are those forms, Mr. Hogg, freely accepted, and we are still conscious of liberty.
Shepherd. That's gaen glimmery.
Opium-Eater. Now, my dear Shepherd, Poetry is an example of forms which are the produce of our feelings of pleasure. Religion and morality, when accepted with love, are examples of forms presented to us, and accepted with the consciousness of liberty retained. But in both religion and morality there is necessarily some invention of the loving and happy mind for itself; and of a verity, Christianity is freefor it engrafts a spirit, out of which forms arise freely—and that spirit is love.
Shepherd. Do ye understaun the great question of Liberty and Necessity, sir ? It's desperate kittle.*
Opium-Eater. I call the will free—thereby expressing a feeling. Whether the present movement and the present determination of my will arise necessarily out of the predisposition of my mind, and is a necessary effect of existing causes, is a question of a fact wholly out of the domain of my consciousness. Our feeling of freedom is quite independent of and irrelevant to the fact of liberty or necessity. It is a feeling which throws no light, and possibly, in the nature of things, can throw none upon its own cause. A feeling springs up in us suddenly, seeming to us unpreformed, the birth of the moment. A person has loved me, and done acts of love to me that have made me happy for these twenty years past. I love that person. I may say that I know the causes of my love; the course of means which have constrained my love-yet notwithstanding that known conviction and constraint, I feel my love to be free.
North, (flourishing his crutch, and marching from the niche.) Hurra! Tickler's done brown.
• Kittle,-ticklish, in all its sensos.-M.