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our wants); but it is the first stage of religion rather than of science. It promotes science chiefly by its opposition to science. This is no paradox. It fills the mind with vague terrors, which it becomes the effort of a few bolder spirits to disperse or to inquire into. It presents to the thinker that contrast --that something to oppose-without which there is no energy of thinking. But it does not itself initiate science; the explanation of science grows up in antagonism to it, and out of the noble desire of knowledge. We proceed with the exposition:
"In direct contrast to this is the scientific attitude, based upon the second of the two assumptions just rehearsed. It never could have obtained acceptance in the early stages of our development. It implies a certain advance of culture and great familiarity with the orderliness of nature. Before men could refer the changes they observed to the influence of properties inherent in the objects, a strong conviction must have arisen
that the order of succession in phenomena was not variable, but fixed. Invariableness would inevitably lead to the conception of all changes being due to the relations between the various properties of objects-first, by discrediting the interference of an external will, which is essentially incalculable; next, by disclosing that there was really no need of anything but the recognised or recognisable properties of objects to account for all changes.
"These two sharply-opposed modes of conceiving phenomena-one of which aims at penetrating the mysteries of existence, and explaining the external order by knowledge of the ultimate causes, the other of which aims only at detecting the exact relations of coexistence and succession which determine that order, without any hope of knowing the ultimate causes-these two modes require some intermediate transitional mode, which will enable the mind to pass from one to the other. Such a transition is effected in the metaphysical stage, which agrees with the theological, inasmuch as it also assumes a knowledge of the ultimate causes, and assumes that these causes are in essence independent of the objects. But it differs from the theological in discarding the idea of these agencies being variable; by this it forms the passage to a scienti
fic conception. In the place of deities it assumes abstract entities. Thus by gradual modifications the personal agency becomes an impersonal agency, the deity an abstraction, and this in turn becomes more and more material, as we see in the succession of-1st, Spirit; 2d, Entity; and, 3d, Fluid, or ether."
We cannot but think that, if Mr Lewes had left himself free and unhampered with Comte's law of development, he would have given us a clearer account of the progress of the mind in science than he has done here. We will not further discuss Comte's theological stage; as to his metaphysical, it is an assemblage of several different modes of thinking, which only, in a few instances, can be traced back to the theological. Our essences, or the ancient forms of things, were never gods or goddesses. There was no necessity to distil a deity down into an essence. Sometimes mate objects a power or effort anathe imagination infuses into inanilogous to human will without passing through any intermediate theological stage-that is, without first inventing a personal demon external to the thing itself. Sometimes these supernumerary entities, which the earliest stage of science (and also the latest) introduces to explain phenomena, are quite objective in their character, and are due jects make upon us. to the first impression external obFire starts,
on collision, from a stone. How almost inevitable the process of thought which supposes the fire to exist in some latent state in the stone, ready to dart forth, as a seranimal is trodden on! It is but pent's tongue darts forth when the very lately that the idea of latent heat has been discarded from modern science.
The metaphysical stage, we are told, "differs from the theological in discarding the idea of these agencies being variable; by this it forms the passage to a scientific conception.' But no such transitional mode of thinking is at all necessary towards attaining the con
ception of invariableness. This is at once established in certain familiar cases by the daily use of our A more subtle and extensive observation of phenomena enlarges from time to time the number of those cases in which the invariableness of the order of nature is established, till at length the conviction flashes on us, and becomes more and more confirmed, that all the phenomena of external nature are linked in some invariable order. The growth of this conviction has nothing to do with the introduction of animal spirits, or essences, or other subtle entities to explain phenomena.
Apparently dissatisfied himself with this passage from the theological to the metaphysical, and again from the metaphysical to the positive or purely scientific, Mr Lewes, a few pages further on, proposes another classification of our modes or methods of thinking.
"To get rid," he says, "of the equivoque which lies in the phrases theological and metaphysical, he may grasp all three under the subjective and objective methods, their tendencies being thus characterised the subjective draws all explanations of external phenomena from premises directly suggested by conscious
ness; it identifies the external order with the internal order. Obviously this is the primitive method. When, in the early days of our development, we find ourselves face to face with phenomena the order of which we do not understand, we satisfy the irresistible impatience which demands an immediate explanation by assuming that the objects are moved as we are moved. We feel that
our own actions are determined by our volitions, by the mysterious something within us; and we assign a similar cause to the motions of external objects. Quite otherwise is it with the objective method. This arises out of a more extensive and
precise knowledge of the objects, familiarity with which gradually reveals something of their order of co-existence and succession. As such knowledge accumulates, it irresistibly pushes aside the infrom consciousness. It reveals cosmical terpretation which was originally drawn order more and more as a system not measurable by the analogies of human personality.”
This is clearer; but it is hardly satisfactory. If objective stands here for the correct method, then every kind of incorrect method must fall under the head of subjective; but, as we have already shown, the imagination may set to work in an objective as well as a subjective method. And, again, what precisely is the meaning of subjective? * If it is limited to the cases where we directly infuse into inanimate nature a will or passion like our own, as when we contemplate the forces of nature as having an analogy to effort (a mode of thinking at all times very prevalent), the meaning of the word is distinct, and we understand it as denoting a well-known erroneous method. But if every mode of reasoning in which a power analogous to the human mind is called in to explain, not individual phenomenon, let us cosmical order' say, but that which it is the work of science to elucidate is to be called subjec
* Mr Lewes has in a note used the word subjective in a sense which leads us to suspect that he has not exercised on this occasion his usual watchfulness over his abstract terms, and that he had not rigidly defined to himself the meaning he intended to affix to the word. He says:"The influence of the subjective method is constantly traceable in commercial and other enterprises rashly undertaken by men in the confidence that facts will bend to their desires. A man sees great advantage to himself if events take a certain direction; and he believes that this direction will be taken because he greatly desires it. The more objective mind sets aside its wishes, and tries to calculate the chances of the direction from a knowledge of the external condition." Here the subjective method stands for the well-known influence of our desires over our judgments. The sanguine speculator who sees tallow rise, or hops fall, according to his own interest in the market, does not infuse his own personality into tallow or hops, or the incidents of the market. Tallow and hops are as thoroughly objective to him as to the coolest calculator who does not allow his own wishes to bias his estimate of probabilities.
tive, then the word seems to us misplaced; it is misplaced as a term of reprehension, and has lost its strict contrast to the term objective. Mind is known to us, in the first instance, from our own consciousness; but when we infer from his actions that a fellow human being has the same mind or consciousness as ourselves, mind then becomes, in our thoughts, as objective a reality as motion. It is as distinct an object of thought. And if, further, we reason from the relation of all the parts of the world to each other that an intelligent power is here the great Harmoniser, we do not, each of us, place his own mind in the centre of the universe; but, treating Intelligence as an objective reality, we endeavour to conceive some kind of intelligence corresponding to this cosmos. When Anaxagoras reduced all things to his atoms and his vous, his vous was as much an objective reality as his
There is a manifest truth in Comte's law of development; but his determination to treat the religious element as a mere passing error of the human mind, marred and confused his statement of it. The time which sees a rude science, sees also a rude theology. The same unchecked imagination presides over both fields of thought. With a rational science comes in a rational theology. This Comte thought fit to deny; hence the theological stage was transferred into a sort of temporary provisional epoch, altogether to disappear in the scientific; whereas the history of the human mind distinctly proves that science and theology have both advanced together-science modifying theology, and an advanced theology reacting upon science.
This last, we believe, is an assertion peculiarly distasteful to the Positivist, who has a violent objection to all reasoning upon final causes. But his objection may not be so well founded, even on his own principles, as he supposes. Why
does he venture to reason on the constancy of the order of nature? Because experience or enlarged observation has taught him this great truth. And if the same ever-widening experience has taught us that everything in nature subserves a purpose, it becomes as impossible to think things purposeless as to think them inconstant. It is as legitimate to expect purpose as to expect constancy in phenomena not yet thoroughly investigated; and thus we may as fairly reason from the one expectation as from the other.
We quite agree with Mr Lewes in the account he gives of what is, at this present moment, the precise work of the man of science it is to set before us the real order of events. By his labours, should they ever prove successful, this whole world would appear to the mind's eye in its true and full reality:-such reality as the senses are cognisant of. We should see it clearly. To earn for us this intellectual perception is the great but yet limited task of the man of science.
Our senses, aided by memory, give to us a representation of the world which is neither deceptive nor chaotic (as some have ventured to call it), which is both a beautiful and orderly representation, affording sufficient basis for active and pleasurable life; but which still leaves the mind exposed to many errors, and, let us add, stimulates it to many imaginations. The order of causation is not at once revealed to the senses, except in some simple cases. Those various trains of events, linked each to each in inevitable sequence, which compose our world, cross and intermingle, or else the senses fail altogether to detect the more subtle events in the series. It is the task of science to rectify this partial confusion, and to present the world to the eye of intellect in its completeness of order, the various trains all disentangled from each other.
It is not at first that science limits itself to its real task, or sets about this task in the best or legiti
mate method. And the history of its preliminary tentatives and curious deviations from the right path becomes a subject of interesting study to those who would trace the development of the human mind. But we would observe that the true method differs from the false, not in introducing any absolutely new rules or practices, but in adhering to good practices and refraining from bad. At no era, when men were sufficiently intelligent to occupy themselves with the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge, was the paramount necessity of the observation of facts for a moment denied; at no time would experiment or verification be otherwise than highly valued; at no time would a "generalisation, based upon induction," fail to be appreciated. But such generalisations are of slow growth, and meanwhile one must reason on things around us; and something is seized upon and called a principle, and held up as a torch to try if nature can be seen thereby. Based on the first data of the senses, we have wrought out for ourselves certain laws of motion-but how slowly! Wanting these inductions, the active-minded man (and who will quarrel with his activity? stray as he will, he will find something, if not the thing he sought) conjures up some laws of motion out of fancied analogies between his own human movements and those he sees in the inanimate creation. The true method differs from the false in adhering more and more to the good practices and dropping the bad; and happily the adherence to the good practice becomes more easy at every advance in knowledge, till at length the deviation from it becomes the exception and the rarity. Those who have read critically the works of Roger Bacon assure us that he occasionally lays down with as much precision as his successor Francis Bacon the true aims
of science. He is energetic in discarding authority and fixing his eyes on the realities of nature. Yet, on other occasions, he relapses into a slavish respect for authority, or into vague and fanciful speculations.
No writer has more distinctly brought before us the inevitable disadvantages of "historical position" which the early prosecutor of science laboured under than Mr Lewes. Thus while he, with rigid impartiality, points out the defects of Aristotle, he at the same time furnishes the fullest excuse for them. We sincerely hope that this volume he has given us will be the precursor or instalment of a larger work unfolding the development of science. It will, if prosecuted in the same manner as the present specimen, be a work as instructive in modern science as in ancient or medieval. For this contrast between old mistake and latest discovery leads, as we have said, to perhaps the most attractive and impressive manner of expounding the truths of science.
In this respect
our space has not permitted us to do justice to the present volume. It is full of interesting views or glimpses of the last achievements of science; so that even he who is careless of Aristotle, or indifferent, or opposed to the abstract statements he may meet with about induction, or causation, and the like, will yet find the book entertaining from the choice illustrations drawn from the science of the day. Nor in these days of light reading, and easy writing, should the industry and laborious application involved in such a work as this be forgotten. Mr Lewes has not been contented with quotations or translations made by others he has read extensively, and, above all, must have patiently made his way through those works of Aristotle which even scholars are contented to have glanced at.
VOL. XCVI.-NO. DLXXXVI.
VICTOR HUGO ON SHAKESPEARE.
A WILD, disorderly, insane book! -so one critic might characterise this work of Victor Hugo's. A noble book, full of generous sentiments and bursts of audacious eloquence! -so might another critic, with equal justice, describe it. Both sentences would be just. Never were genius and madness brought so near together as in these pages of Victor Hugo; never, surely, did so much flagrant absurdity find itself side by side with what is truly admirable. Even in point of style the contradictions are unexampled. At one time coarse, and abrupt even to absurdity; it is, at another time, broad and massive as the sculpture of Michael Angelo: again, on other occasions, it will weary us with sentences made intolerably long by the mere enumeration of names or useless repetition of examples. Himself the greatest scourge of pedants, he is more open than any modern author we know to the charge of pedantry-if it be pedantry to rake together names of men and books for no apparent purpose but the display of extensive reading.
The English translator had a difficult task before him. It might well have thrown into despair the most consummate master of our language. Mr A. Baillot (such is the name on the title-page) evidently looked upon his undertaking, from the commencement, as a quite desperate affair. The difficulties were immense; therefore he resolved, once for all, to make no effort to encounter them. He starts off at once, and continues throughout his whole course with a dogged literalism such as we have never seen
equalled; which at times reminds us of nothing so much as those translations of Virgil that schoolboys make, "I sing arms and a man.” At times this literalism succeeds remarkably well; but it is a mere chance. Being, so far as we have examined, as accurate as he is literal, this dogged fidelity meets occasionally with its reward. He seems to have felt that no skilful treatment on his part, no delicate handling, no dexterous qualification or happy compromise, would avail to shield the fastidious reader from many a rude shock to his nerves. Therefore he declines to take upon himself the least feeling of responsibility. He plods on from word to word; it is the dictionary translates, not he. It is Victor Hugo who chooses the path; he follows step for step. Sometimes a reference to the original throws a light upon the translation,* but, in general, it must be confessed that the profound obscurity you occasionally meet with in the English is but a too faithful copy of the profound obscurity of the French.
As we have said, the work itself defies criticism. It is useless to raise objections or detect faults: absurdities are too numerous and glaring; they seem perfectly conscious of themselves, and defy you. it would be a still greater mistake to adopt a tone of derision or of contempt. Ridicule is soon checked by some terrible earnestness, and by a display of power that forces respect. One cannot laugh comfortably at the gambols of a giant. What if he should come too near where we ourselves are standing?
'William Shakespeare:' par Victor Hugo. Hugo: authorised English Translation.
'William Shakespeare:' by Victor
At p. 132 is an amusing illustration of the translator's very literal method. Victor Hugo, speaking of the ironical or burlesque in art, says, Behind the grimace, philosophy makes its appearance. A philosophy smooth," &c. The word rendered "smooth" is "déridée." A cheerful philosophy would be the natural expression; but the translator went down to the root, so he wrote a philosophy smooth." He might at least have smoothed the brow of his philosophy.