Imágenes de páginas

us be born and bred as we may-black, white, red, or a deep briche burnished copper-in spite o' the division o'tongues, there's nae division o’ hearts, for it's the same bluid that gangs circulatin' through our mortal tenements, carrying alang on its side the same freightage o' feelins and thochts, emotions, affections, and passions—though, like the ships odifferent nations, they a' hoist their ain colours, and prood prood are they o' their leopards, or their crescent-moons, or their stars, or their stripes o’ buntin ;—but see! when it blaws great guns, hoo they a' Hing owerboard their storm-anchors, and wben their cables part, hoo they a' seek the shelterin' lee o' the same michty break-water, a belief in the being and attributes of the One Living God. But was ye never out in the daytime, sir ?

Opium-Eater. Frequently.

Shepherd. But then it's sae lang sin’ syne, that in memory the sunlicht maun seem amaist like the moonlicht,-sic, indeed, even wi' us that rise wi' the laverock, and lie doon wi' the lintie, is the saftenin' the shadin'-the darkenin' power o' the past, o'time the prime minister o'life, wha, in spite o' a' opposition, carries a' his measures by a silent vote, and aften, wi' a weary wecht o' taxes, bows a' the wide warld doon to the verra dust.

Opium-Eater. In the South my familiars have been the nightingales, in the North the owls. Both are merry birds--the one singing, and the other shouting, in moods of midnight mirth :*-nor in my deepest, darkest fits of meditation or of melancholy, did the one or the • other ever want my sympathies, whether piping at the root of the hedgerow, or hooting from the trunk of the sycamore-else all still both on earth and in heaven.

Shepherd. Ye maun hae seen mony a beautifu' and mony a sublime sicht, sir, in the region, lost to folk like us, wha try to keep oursells awauk a' day, and asleep a' nicht—and your sowle, sir, maun hae acquired something o' the serene and solemn character o' the sunleft skies. And true it is, Mr. De Quinshy, that ye hae the voice o' a nichtwanderin' man--laigh and loun-pitched on the key o' a wimplin' burn speakin' to itsell in the silence, aneath the moon and stars.

Tickler. 'Tis pleasant, James, to hear all us four talking at one time. Your bass, my counter, Mr. De Quincey's tenor, and North’s treble

North. Treble, indeed!
l'ickler. Aye, childish treble-

Shepherd. Come, nae quarrellin' yet. That's a quotation frao Shakspeare, and there's nae insult in a mere quotation. I never cou'd admire Wullie's Seven Ages. They're puir, and professional.

It is noticed in William Stewart Rose's Letters from the North of Italy, that nightingales THEORY OF SYMPATHY.

sing by day in that part of the country which he describes. Formerly cages containing night. ingales used to be hung ontside the shops in the Merceria, at Venice, and old travellers relate how the birds used to sing in the day-time, so that, although in an island in the sea, the auditori Inight alınost think they were far away, in a wood in the country.-M.


Opiurn-Euter. Professional, but not poor, Mr. Hogg. Shakspeare iutended not in those pictures to show the most secret spirit of the seasons of life. In one sense they are superficial,—but the sympathies touched thereby may be most profound for the familiar, when given by a master's hand, awakens the unfamiliar-yea, the grotesque gives birth to the grand—the simple to the sublime—and plain and easy as are the steps of that stair, made of earth's common stone, without any balustrades of cunning or gorgeous carving—yet do they finally conduct us, as we ascend, to the portico, and then into the penetralia, of a solemn temple-even the temple of life. For is not that an oracular line,

“Sans eyes, sans nose, sans teeth, sans every thing !"

Shepherd. Faith, I believe it is. I was gaun to gie ye prose picturs o the Seven Ages omy ain pentin'—but I'll keep them for anither Noctes. And noo, sir, wu!l ye be sae gude as help yoursell to a glass o' Calcavalla—or is't Caracalla ? --- and then launch awa', as Allan Cunningham says, wi' “ a wet sheet and a flowin' sail,” into the sea o' metapheesics.

Opium-Eater. It is incumbent on every human soul, Mr. Hogg, to bear within itself a fountain of will. This, Fichté called its I—the ego of each individual. This should be active and full of all power, endless in the production of desires-only coerced and ruled by knowledge and apprehensions of right and wrong, and sundry tendernesses.

Shepherd. I hear a response to that, sir, in my ain sowle—but no that very distinck.

Opium-Eater. To the forming mind which is yet uninstructed and blind, the discovery by sympathy of the judgments over it, is useful to instruct, to give it knowledge of itself, of them, and of the constitution of things.

Shepherd. Didna Adam Smith* say something like that, sir ?
North. Yes, James, but not precisely so.

Opium-Eater. But when the mind is formed, then it ought to use that sympathy only as a means of tenderness—I mean that sympathy which discovers to it the operation of other minds. That sympathy ought to be in subjection to its self-moving principles and powers. Yes, Mr. Hogg, Adam Smith is right in thinking that a great part of actual morality is from this operation of sympathy. There are numbers of people to whom it is almost a recognised and stated law or truth, that the apprubation and condemnation of society is the reason for doing and not doing. But hear me, sir. The tendency of the Christian

• In his Theory of Moral Sentiments, a work which has been so overshadowed by his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, as to be almost wholly unnoticed now. Adam Smith, who was Professor of Logic and Moral Philosophy in Glasgow University, was founder of the modern science of political economy. He died in 1790.

religion is to produce that I-the ego-and draw out of itself—that is, the individuality - all the rules of action. Therefore, it is the perfect law of liberty. In other words,—at the same time that it is perfect liberty it is perfect law. The Jewish law is wholly external—that is, not that it ends and is completed in things external, but its power is from without, and from without it binds. The other binds from within. Indeed, it does not so much bind as reign.

Shepherd. A fine and good distinction.

Opium-Eater. Now all people who are bound from without, are Jews of this earth. They are held, regulated, constricted, and constructed, -edified, that is, built up, of a quantity of intercatenated ideas given to them, which they had no part in making, in and by which they desire and trust to live. But life is not there, except that life is every where. The number of them was great among old-fashioned people, who lived, moved, breathed, and had their being among a set of hereditary rules, many of them good, many indifferent, and many ridiculous-but, on the whole, destroying the individuality, the I—and lying like a perpetual, although unfelt weight on the will.

Shepherd. Strictly speakin', no free-augents.

Opium-Eater. Now, my dear James, poetry is of the earth, a spirit analogous to Christianity. It is free, yet under full law, producing out of itself both action and guidance, both “law and impulse.” Poetry is in willing harmony with the world, a vast law voluntarily embraced, hence, evermore and to the last, spontaneous. The essence of Christianity again, is, that the human being becomes without a will, and yet has the strongest will. It is self in the utmost degree triumphant, by means of the utter annihilation of self. For the Christian seeks absolute conformity of his will to the will of God, whatever that may be, and however promulgated. He desires, and is capable of, no other happiness. It would be misery to him to imagine himself divided from that will. The conforming to that will is, then, in the utmost degree, inmost utter spontaneity, perfect liberty, and yet absolute law. But in this state, his own will, which, towards God, is nothing but the resignation of all will, is towards all human beings utter and irresistible. He can speak and act; he can do whatever is to be done ; he can rule the spirits of men; he can go conquering nations in the power of the Word, and the sword of the Spirit. Therefore, so he is at once selftriumphant and self-annihilated. He is self-annihilated, for he has given himself up; he feels himself not—is nothing—mere conformity -passiveness-manifestations of an agency. He feels only the presence, the spirit, the power in which he lives. He lives in God. At the same time he is self-triumphant. For what is self, but the innermost and very nature of the being, the “ intima et ipsissima essentia ?" All that is subsequent and accidental is not self; but this Christian love, as it advances, throws off, expels more aud more, every thing that is sub



sequent and acidental, bringing out into activity, consciousness, and power, that nature which was given with being to the soul. Moreover, this state of surrendered, happy love, searches that nature with pleasures nothing short of ecstasy. So that the ultimate extinction of self becomes its unspeakable happiness; and self, annihilated, exalted in glory, and bathed in bliss, is self-triumphant, and death is immortality.

Shepherd. O man ! if them that's kickin' up sic a row 1.he noo about the doctrine o' the Christian religion, had looked intill the depths o' their ain natur wi' your een, they had a' been as mum as mice keekin' roun' the end o' a pew, in place of scrauchin' like pyets on the leads, or a hoody wi’ a sair throat.

Opium-Eater. I know not to what you allude, Mr. Hogg, for I live out of what is called the religious world.

Shepherd. A loud, noisy, vulgar, bawling, brawling, wranglin', branglin', routin' and roarin' warld—maist unfittin' indeed for the likes o'you, sir, wha, under the shadows o' woods and mountains, at midnight, communes wi' your ain heart and is still.

Opium-Eater. No religious controversy in modern days, sir, ever seemed to me to reach back into those recesses in my spirit where the sources lie from which well out the bitter or the sweet waters—the sins and the miseries—the holinesses and the happinesses, of our incomprehensible being !

Shepherd. And if they ever do, boo drumly the stream !

Opium-Eater. Better even a mere sentimental religion, which, though shallow, is pure, than those audacious doctrines broached by pride-inhumility, who, blind as the bat, essays the flight of the eagle, and ignorant of the lowest natures, yet claims acquaintance with the decrees of the Most High.

Shepherd. Aye-better far a sentimental, a poetical religion, as you say, sir—though that's far frae bein' the true thing either—for o'a' . three blessings o' man, the last is the best—love, poetry, and religion. What'n a book micht be written, I've aften thocht—and aiblins may hae said-on thae three words !

Opium-Eater. Yes, my dear James-Beauty, the soul of Poetry, is in.leed divine-but there is that which is diviner still—and that is Duty.

Flowers laugh before her on their beds,
And fragrance in her footing treads;
She doth preserve the stars from wrong,
And the eternal heavens through her are fresh and strong.

Shepherd. Wha said that ?

Opium-Eater. Who? Wordsworth. And the Edinburgh Reviewlaughed.

Shepherd. He has made it, sin syne, lauch out o' the wrang side o its mouth. Ile soars.

North. Human life is always, in its highest moral exhibitions, subiime rather than beautiful—and the sublimity is not that of the imagination, but of the soul.

Shepherd. That's very fine, sir; I wish you would say it owre again-do. .

North. The setting or the rising sun, being mere matter, are in themselves, James, nothing, unless they are clothed in light by the imagination, unless the east and the west are irradiated by poetry. But the spirit that is within us, is an existence, in itself vast and imperishable, and we see and know its nature--its essence then best, when we regard it with the steadiest, most solemn, and impassioned gaze-not veiling it in earthly imagery, and adorning it with the garments of sense, and then worshipping its imagined grandeur and beauty with such emotions as we creatures of the clay, children of the dust, have been wont to cherish towards transitory shadows--the fleeting phantoms of our own raising—but stripping it rather bare of all vain and idle, however bright and endearing colours, poured over it by the yearnings, and longings, and passions of an earthly love---and trying to behold it in its true form and lineaments, not afraid that even when it stands forth in its own proper lights and proportions, Virtue will ever seem less than angelical and divine-although her countenance may be somewhat sad, her eyes alternately raised to heaven in hope, and cast down in fear to the earth—her voice, it may be tremulous-or mute, as she stands before her Creator, her Saviour, and her Judge-her beauty visible, perhaps, to the intelligences, to the bright ardours round the throne-but all unknown to herself, for she is humble, awestruck, and sore afraid. And so, too, were all the countless multitudes of human beings, who have in this life-so evanescent-put their trust perhaps too much in her—although her name was Virtue,—for still she was but human—and there is a strong taint-a dire corruption in all most bright and beautiful-that was once but an apparition of this earth.

Shepherd. Mr. De Quinshy, do na ye admire that ?
Opium-Eater. I do.

North. It will, I believe, be found, that in the highest moral judge ment of the characters of men, the feeling or emotion of beauty will not exist at all—but that it will have melted away and disappeared in a state of mind more suitable to the solemn, the sacred subject. A human being has done his duty, and gone to his reward. “God grant, in his infini:e mercy, that I may do mine, and escape from darkness into eternal light !" That is, or ought to be the first feeling, or thought of self—so suddenly interfused with the moral judgement on our dead brother, that is as one and the same feeling and thought-too awful too dreadful to be beautiful,- for the soul is with gloom overshadowed --and the only light that breaks through it, is light straight from Ileaven,-light ineffable, and that must not be profaned by an earthly

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