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and universality may be found in its aims and objects. Science has burst all bonds, and is aiming to comprehend the universe, and thus it multiplies fields of inquiry for all orders of minds.... There is no province of nature which it does not invade. Not content with exploring the darkest periods of human history, it goes behind the birth of the human race, and studies the stupendous changes which our globe experienced for hundreds of centuries, to become prepared for man's abode. Not content with researches into visible nature, it is putting forth all its energies to detect the laws of invisible and imponderable matter ... Difficulties only provoke it to new efforts. It has laid open the secrets of the polar ocean, and of hitherto untrodden barbarous lands. Above all, it investigates the laws of social progress, of arts, and institutions of goverment, and political economy, proposing as its great end the alleviation of all human burdens, the weal of all the members of the human race. In truth, nothing is more characteristic of our age than the vast range of inquiry which is opening more and more to the multitude of men ... Thought frees the old bounds to which men used to confine themselves. It holds nothing too sacred for investigation. It calls the past to account; and treats hoary opinions as if they were of yesterday's growth. No reverence for authority drives it back. No great name terrifies it. The foundations of what seems most settled must be explored.

I have hitherto spoken of science, and what is true of science is still more true of literature. Books are now placed within reach of all. Works, once too costly except for the opulent, are now to be found on the laborer's shelf. Genius sends its light into cottages. The great names of literature have become household words among the crowd ... Every party, religious or political, scatters its sheets on all the winds... We may lament, and too justly, the small comparative benefit as yet accomplished by this agency; but this ought not to surprise or discourage

In our present state of improvement, books of little worth, deficient in taste and judgment, and ministering to men's prejudices and passions, will almost certainly be circulated too freely ... Men are never very wise and select in the exercise of a new power. Mistake, error, is the discipline through which we advance. It is an undoubted fact, that, silently, books of a higher order are taking place of the worthless. Happily, the instability of the human mind works sometimes for good, as well as evil; men grow tired at length even of amusements.

The remarks now made on literature, might be extended to the fine arts. In these we see, too, the tendency to universal


ity ... It is said, that the spirit of the great artists has died out; but the taste for their works is spreading. By the improvements of engraving, and the invention of casts, the genius of the great masters is going abroad. Their conceptions are no longer pent up in galleries open to but few, but meet us in our homes, and are the household pleasures of millions ... Works, designed for the halls and eyes of emperors, popes, and nobles, find their way, in no poor representations, into humble dwellings, and sometimes give a consciousness of kindred powers to the child of poverty.

The art of drawing, which lies at the foundation of most of the fine arts, and is the best education of the eye for nature, is becoming a branch of common education.

Thus, we see in the intellectual movements of our times, the tendency to expansion, to universality; and this must continue. It is not an accident, or an inexplicable result, or a violence on nature ; it is founded in eternal truth. Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge ; and its nature is sinned against, when it is doomed to ignorance ... Every being is intended to acquaint himself with God and his works, and to perform wisely and disinterestedly the duties of life. Accordingly, when we see the multitude of men beginning to thirst for knowledge, for intellectual action, for something more than animal life, we see the great design of Nature about to be accomplished; and society, having received this impulse, will never rest till it shall have taken such a form as will place within every man's reach the means of intellectual culture ... This is the revolution to which we are tending: and without this, all outward political changes would be but children's play, leaving the great work of society yet to be done.


WITH BRAINS, SIR.” "PRAY, Mr. Opie, may I ask what you mix your colors with ? " said a brisk dilettante student to the great painter. “With brains, sir,” was the gruff reply, and the right one. It did not give much of what we call information, but it was enough to awaken the inquirer ... Many other artists, when asked such a question, would have set about detailing the mechanical composition of such and such colors, in such and such proportions, rubbed so and so; or perhaps they would have shown him how they laid them on; but even this would leave him at the critical point. Opie preferred going to the quick and the heart of the matter: "With brains, sir.”

Sir Joshua Reynolds was taken by a friend to see a picture.

you look.

He was anxious to admire it, and he looked it over with a keen and careful eye.

“ Capital composition; correct drawing; the color, tone, excellent; but but it wants it wants That!" snapping his fingers; and, wanting " That,” though it had everything else, it was worth nothing.

Again, Etty was appointed teacher of the students of the Royal Academy; having been preceded by a clever, talkative, scientific expounder of esthetics, who delighted to tell the young men how everything was done, how to copy this, and how to express that. A student came up to the new master: “How should I do this, sir ? ” “Suppose you try.” Another: “What does this mean, Mr. Etty ?” “Suppose

“ But I have looked.” “Suppose you look again.” ... And they did try, and they did look, and looked again; and they saw and achieved what they never could have done, had the “ How" or the “What” been told them, or done for them ... In the one case, sight and action were immediate, exact, intense, and secure; in the other, mediate, feeble, and lost as soon as gained. Seeing is the passive state, and at best only registers; looking is a voluntary act: it is the man within coming to the window.

So, young friends, bring Brains to your work, and mix everything with them, and them with everything. Let“ Tools, and a man to use thembe your motto. Stir up, direct, and give free scope to Sir Joshua's “ That,and try again and again, and look at everything for yourselves. Dr. J. Brown.


Amongst the petty dishonesties of common life, there are some more hurtful, but, perhaps, none more paltry, than that of pretending to know where one is ignorant. It is a fault into which many not ill-meaning persons are drawn, from a false shame which would probably be checked, if any immediate evil consequences seemed likely to flow from it... They dislike to appear at a loss, or defeated, or under a short-coming about any thing; and thus are tempted either to affect knowledge where they have it not, or in some way to allow it to be supposed that they are not ignorant. For example; some one adverts to a fact in science with which he is familiar.

Perhaps it is brought forward for the instruction or entertainment of the rest, perhaps to show his own knowledge, perhaps only in the fair course of conversation ; no matter how it may be in this respect, the point at present in question is, the want of candor in the persons whom he is addressing, in hearing as if they understood that and all the related facts, putting on an intelligent look, assenting to the proposition as if convinced of its soundness, and, perhaps, even hazarding some remarks, that may favor the supposition of their being as well informed on the subject as the first speaker ... Or, perhaps, a passage of a classic or foreign author is quoted, pedantically or otherwise, it matters not; what I have to remark is, the unconscientiousness of the rest of the company, or of particular members of it, in letting the thing pass as an intelligible part of the discourse, and appearing to sanction its appositeness, when in reality, they are either altogether ignorant of the language in which it is written, or have been unable to follow the sense of the passage with any degree of cleamess.

When any rational and well-meaning person feels himself tempted into such courses, let him only consider how absurd it is to suppose, that there can be any real disgrace in being ignorant of any particular fact whatever. Science is a vast field, so is learning, insomuch that there can be no man in existence acquainted with the whole of either. The most eminent in both scientific knowledge and learning know only a part, and are liable to be found ignorant of much. This is well known, and universally allowed by the really educated.

When, therefore, any ordinary person is found unacquainted with some particular fact, or even with some entire science, or some whole language, there is no reason why he should be deemed a generally ignorant man. It may be presumed that, if he is ignorant of one thing, he is conversant with another, as is the case with the most eminent students; and thus he may pass very well, though openly acknowledging that, on the point in question, he is blank as a new-born babe. For example, how well may a man fulfil his duties in the world, and how well informed may he be in what is useful and serviceable, although he does not know one fact in the topography of Ceylon !

If these considerations fail, let us only reflect for a moment on the disgrace of being detected in an attempt to conceal ignorance. There is a story of Sheridan having once apparently quoted a passage from a Greek poet in the House of Commons, when in reality he only uttered a gabble resembling Greek. An honorable gentleman, who spoke after him, fully assented to the application of the passage to the case in question ... How ineffably ridiculous must that man have appeared when Sheridan disclosed the trick! This is a dishonor, to which every one is exposed who, in any way, however slight or negative, affects to appear knowing where he is ignorant.


The practice is also to be regarded as very injurious to conversation. Indeed, when one remembers how much of the time of most social assemblages is occupied in the vaporings of those who would fain be thought knowing, or in worrying down the assertions hazarded by ignorant effiontery, or in allowing those who know nothing, on the point in question, to speak of something else not called for, merely that they may seem to know something; and when he contrasts this uninstructive jabber with the comparatively well-authenticated statements to be found in books, he might almost be tempted to think that a page well read is worth a whole evening of ordinary conversation ... Perhaps it would really be so, if there were not in conversation a gratification to a different part of the mental nature, the social feelings, and, also, an excitement which occasionally scintillates new and original ideas, and leads to profitable trains of thought and inquiry for the future.

Speaking vaguely in ignorance, and then defending what has been said, is another of the great banes of conversation in all except highly-accomplished circles; and I have often wished for the presence of some one who, having committed a whole encyclopædia, almanac, and ready-reckoner to his mind, would be able to correct all wide and false speaking, and thus check long endless discussions in the outset ... I once witnessed the good effects of such a monitor, in the course of an excursion in an Irish steamer. Some young men were delivering their ideas about a variety of matters in the usual loose way, and one of them, at length, remarked of the pyramids, that they were so very high, that he verily believed the Wicklow hills were a joke to them.

“I should think not,” said a solemn, quiet-looking man. “ The pyramids are known to be very much less than the Wicklow mountains." “ And did you ever see the pyramids, then ?" No, sir.” “But I have; and I can tell you, the Wicklow hills are nothing at all beside them.”

“ I am sorry, sir,” resumed the solemn man, that I cannot join you in that opinion. Although I have not seen the pyramids, I know their measure by the accounts of the best authors. The largest is now fixed at five hundred and forty-three feet high. But the Wicklow hills are generally from two to three thousand feet.”

It was, of course, unimportant to have this out-of-the-way knowledge at command; but its effect in the present case, in stopping short what would probably have been an incessant wrangle for the remainder of the voyage, made me truly thankful, that the solemn man had chanced to be of our company.


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