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upon his tenants having their boots or shoes polished (four sous) before they are allowed to go up-stairs. He also insists upon seeing the marriage lines of all persons representing themselves as man and wife. It is indeed averred that some concierges require certificates of vaccination, of policies of insurance, or a book at a savings-bank, as also a numerously signed certificate of correct habits and unimpeachable morality. It is essential in other places that the locataires should go to mass, and confess at least once a fortnight. Some porters, on the other hand, derive a vast fund of amusement from mystifying their locataires : for example, they inform young simpletons au cinquième—or, as they have it," au cintième,” that the husband of the little lady with the black veil is waiting for them on the staircase, with enormous moustachios, and still more enormous pistols; or they send a poet without boots on an expedition in search of three thousand four hundred francs, which they say their aunts have sent from Aurillac, but the administration would only deliver it at their offices. They never let a retired officer with two wooden legs pass the lodge without inquiring if he wants his boots polishing today. Madame Egueulard has the babit of what she calls“ speaking her mind" to her locataires; but her candour, however praiseworthy, is not at all appreciated. Fichtapoire has a scale of fines. Coming in after twelve, 4 francs; and for every hour later, 5 francs. For rudeness to“ Madame l'Administratrice,” 5 francs ; for making a noise going up-stairs, 3 francs ; pouring out cabbage-water, 5 francs; kicking Monsieur Egueulard on his own account, 20 francs; on his wife's, 40 francs. A house in Paris is a community, and the porter is head of the community. Hence it is the tenants become “administrés," and the porter “administrateur.” Needless to say that the “ administration" is on the look-out for the fabulous fortunes that are to be realised by the Exposition of 1867.
Among the prophecies for the ensuing year are the following: The competition among halfpenny papers in giving premiums will be carried to providing wives to the subscribers, with incomes of from twenty to thirty thousand francs. Education among young men will be solely directed to riding, especially in steeple- chases; to playing "au baccarat," fencing, eating, drinking, and entertaining
ces petites dames.” At nineteen they will take their degrees of " baccalauréat es cocodès.” This is another reading for cocottes, which we also meet with elsewhere. The sapeurs have been very indignant at Thérésa singing "la femme à barbe,” notwithstanding which all Paris will be in a turmoil at the enlèvement of the fair cantatrice by a Russian prince.
BY FRANCIS JAcox.
MR. GRADGRIND's great and distinctive doctrine is that Facts alone are wanted in life. In education, he would plant nothing else, and root out everything else.“ In this life, we want nothing but Facts, sir ; nothing but Facts!" His author defines Mr. Gradgrind to be, in his own style, a man of realities ; a man of facts and calculations; a man who proceeds upon the principle that two and two are four, and nothing over, and who is not to be talked into allowing for anything over.
With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication-table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to."* The matter-of-fact man all over, from top to toe, intus et in cute.
It would be well, said Mr. J. Stuart Mill (whom some people take to be a mere utilitarian), nearly thirty years ago, if the more narrowminded portion, both of the religious and scientific education-mongers, would consider whether the books which they were banishing from the hands of youth were not instruments of national education to the full as powerful as the catalogues of physical facts and theological dogmas which they have substituted -as if science and religion were to be taught, not by imbuing the mind with their spirit, but by cramming the memory with summaries of their conclusions. And he gave his word for it, that catechisms, whether Pinnock's or any other, would be found a poor substitute for those old romances, whether of chivalry or of faëry, which, if they did not give a true picture of actual life, did not give a false one, since they did not profess to give any, but (what was much better) filled the youthful imagination with pictures of heroic men and women. When Mr. Mill, a few years since, reprinted a number of his critical and miscellaneous essays, he includedt a portion of the review just quoted, -republishing the fragment under the suggestive title of A Prophecy. So he, at least, whatever may be thought of the school he is supposed to belong to, at any rate born and bred in,
Was not built up, as walls are, brick by brick;
Although you beat your head against it-pshaw !
* Hard Times, ch. i. ii., and passim. † Dissertations and Discussions, Political, Philosophical, and Historical, vol. i. † Mrs. Browning : Aurora Leigh, book iv. VOL, LX.
tasy and heart; but, “ wouldst thou plant for Year and Day, then plant into his shallow superficial faculties, his Self-love and Arithmetical Understanding, what will grow there.”* Aunt Nesbit, for her part, in Mrs. Stowe's Dismal Swamp story, confines herself avowedly and exclusively to what is practically useful: useful information is all she desires either to acquire or impart. “Well, I suppose, then,” observes her niece, Nina, on one occasion of her aunt's confession of faith, “that I'm very wicked, but I don't like anything useful. Why, I've sometimes thought when I've been in the garden, that the summer-savoury, sage, and sweet marjoram were just as pretty as many other flowers; and I couldn't see any reason why I shouldn't like a sprig of one of them for a bouquet, except that I've seen them used so much for stuffing turkeys."I Mrs. Gore presents us, again, in Lady Vernon, with a collet monté and rigid education-monger, who submits to rigid analysis every careless word uttered by her children, and refers back at once to some entry in her education-ledger. “* Any rash notice of a rainy day was connected by mamma with their early doses of Mrs. Marcet's Conversations on Atmospherical Phenomena; nor could Susan take out her leaded nettingcushion without producing a cross-examination from her mother on the first principles of mechanics, as imbibed (with her bread and milk) from the Dialogues of Joyce.”I When M. de Tocqueville found in America the mental characteristic of a positive, matter-of-fact spirit—"a demand that all things shall be made clear to each man's understanding, an indifference to the subtler proofs which address themselves to more cultivated and systematically exercised intellects”—an Edinburgh Reviewer (it was Mr. Mill) remarked that for this, which may be called, in short, the dogmatism of common sense, we need not look beyond our own country. “ There needs no Democracy to account for this—there needs only the habit of energetic action, without a proportional development of the taste for speculation;" the diffusion of half-instruction, without any sufficient provision for sustaining the higher culture, tending greatly to encourage such excess.
Indeed, the Positive Philosophy school, at least in this country, is not to be too hastily assumed to be all for facts, unconditionally and exclusively. Neither Mr. Stuart Mill, nor Mr. Buckle, nor Mr. Lewes, for instance, is the man to accept without reserve what even a poet has laid down as the law,-viz.
That facts are chiels that winna ding,
An' downa be disputed. || They would go a long way with such another poet as Mr. Leigh Hunt, where he contends for facts of the imagination--everything being a fact which does anything for us : “ Facio, factum—to do, done. What is done in imagination, makes a greater or less impression according to the power to receive it; but it is unquestionably done, if it impresses us at all; and thus becomes, after its kind, a fact." A stupid, unimaginative fellow-to add the critic's illustration-requires tickling to make him
* Sartor Resartus, book iii. ch. iii.
† Dred, ch. xi.
laugh; a livelier one laughs at a comedy, or at the bare apprehension of a thing laughable. In both instances there is a real impression, though from very different causes: “one from “matter-of-fact' (if you please), the other from spirit of fact; but in either case the thing is done, the fact takes place. The moving cause exists somehow, or how could we be moved ?"'* On the other hand, facts, if too nakedly told, may, as Lord Lytton (in his once assumed character of an historian) observes, be very different from truths, in the impression they convey.t " True as fiction," is a phrase proposed to mock the poet's imagination of an ideal homestead; but the poet, instead of finding offence or stumbling-block (kavdalov) in the phrase, catches at, and accepts, and appropriates it:
“ True as fiction ?”
Or whisper, with their patriarch locks, of heaven ? | But to return to the Positivists. Mr. Buckle, in his exposition of some of the speculations of Dr. Black, speaks of them as likely to find small favour with those purely inductive philosophers, who not only suppose, perhaps rightly, that all our knowledge is in its beginning built upon facts, but who countenance, what seems to the historian of Civilisation the “very dangerous opinion," that every increase of knowledge must be preceded by an increase of facts. He, for one, will not join such men in the opinion that Black had far better have occupied himself in making new observations, or devising new experiments, than in thus indulging his imagination in wild and unprofitable dreams. He regards as the worst intellectual symptom of this great country, what he calls the imperfect education of physical philosophers, and their disposition to overrate the discoverers of new, but often insignificant, facts. that predicament, that our facts have outstripped our knowledge, and are now encumbering its march. . . . We want ideas, and we get more
• The Seer, essay vi.
† Athens: Its Rise and Fall, ii. 405. # Poetical Works of Leigh Hunt, p. 186; edit. 1844.
facts.” The most effective way of turning them to account, he maintains, would be to give more scope to the imagination, and to incorporate the spirit of poetry with the spirit of science.* Liebig declares the attaching too high a value to the mere facts, to be often a sign of a want of ideas. That sentence Mr. Buckle prints in italics, and says that if he had his way, it should be engraved in letters of gold over the portals of the Royal Society and of the Royal Institution. Thought, he contends, is the creator and vivifier of all human affairs. Actions, facts, and external manifestations of every kind, often triumph for a while; but it is the progress of ideas which ultimately determines the progress of the world. Why is it that inductive science, which always gives the first place to facts, is essentially popular, and has on its 'side those innumerable persons who will not listen to the more refined and subtle teachings of deductive science ? Because “ facts seem to come home to every one, and are undeniable. Principles are not so obvious, and, being often disputed, they have, to those who do not grasp them, an unreal and illusory appearance, which weakens their influence.”] Mr. Buckle thinks it past a doubt, that one of the causes of the triumph of the Baconian philosophy is the growth of the industrious classes, whose business-like and methodical habits are eminently favourable to empirical observations of the uniformities of sequence, since, indeed, on the accuracy of such observations the success of all practical affairs depends. But, with all their merits, he is evidently ill-satisfied with the preponderance of Gradgrinds in this great middle class.
Not that Gradgrinds have it all their own way, either, or carry before them. The late Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton once wrote a letter taking exception to a friend's opinion, that the public is so sagacious as to require only bare facts, and wants no more ornament or entertainment than a mathematician ; and in this letter Sir Thomas maintained, on the contrary, that the public neither can nor will receive into its obtuse understanding anything which is not conveyed through the medium of the imagination or the feelings. “ All the observations I have made in life--all the persons who have succeeded, and all those who have failed, furnish proofs of this. I will, however, only give you one. Dr. Lawrence, a man of great learning and talents, used to make speeches in the House, admirable for their facts, but to which no man ever attended except Fox: he was always seen sitting in the attitude of deep attention; and when asked the reason, he said, “Because I mean to speak this speech over again. He actually did so; and those facts, which from Dr. Lawrence were unbearably heavy, moved and delighted the House from Fox, and ensured certain and silent attention from all. Why? Because Dr. L. thought with you, and Fox had the good fortune to agree with me!"||
Mr. Lewes, the historian of mental philosophy, and expositor of its positive form, will be found to agree with Mr. Buckle in a protest against the popular over-estimate of facts, as such. The scientific value of facts he shows to depend on the validity of the inferences bound up with them;
* Buckle's History of Civilisation in England, ii. pp. 501 sq.
§ Ibid., p. 580.