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pretensions to touch the history of or if anything exists besides philosophy as a philosopher should. thought, it is that Something---be It is with the eyes of the outside it God, be it devil, be it matter spectator, or, as the subject of this or substance, or howsoever the word sketch expresses it, the vulgar, that may change-a vast darkness, which we regard its strange, long-con- no man can fathom or define. The tinued, unproductive toil
. We do great sea raging outside has little not attempt to take up its phraseo- influence on the calm flux and relogy, or to explain its changes, so flux of bis tidal river: now it ebbs far as they come under our notice, to some bare unity, called, it may from within, but from without be, Idealism, it may be SensationWithout overstepping that barrier alism; now it rises in a tide infiniwhich separates the external sphere, tesimally greater, to acknowledge in which everything is real tó a duality of mental power. In our rational faculties, from the in- endless succession come those fallterior, in which all'is image and ings and flowings. The spiritual idea-some notion, we think, may conception rises with Descartes, be given of what was going on at à rises with Spinoza, ebbs with certain period in the inner circle, Hobbes, begins to mount with and how its movements affected, Locke, swells to a spring-tide in and were affected by, the outer shell Berkeley, falls back to the lowest of practical existence. The eigh-water-mark in Hume and the philteenth century was full of philoso-osophers of the Revolution. Yet phers and philosophisings, and yet how small a space is represented in it cannot in any way be described this coming and going! From Desas a philosophical age. It is an cartes, who was sure of himself, to age of rude contact, wild preju- Hume, who was sure of nothing, dices, petty motives, everything the distance is scarce so much as that is most foreign to the princi- might be represented by the line ples of pure thought. If there had of glistening pebbles or muddy been any practical tendency in the bank between high and low waterscience to elevate men's minds, mark. And so far as the big uniand bring them to a better atmo- verse was concerned, these great sphere, & more fit opportunity for thinkers might have been but so the exercise of its influence could many children weaving their endnot have been. But this is an less bootless games upon the maragency which no philosopher claims. gin of the stream. Man knew as In utter disinterestedness, without much and as little of himself at the hope of gain or reward, the think- end as at the beginning. He knew er goes on in his sphere within al as little of the speechless forces sphere. The world and its doings round him; he was as ignorant of are nothing to him-men and whence he came and whither he their ways are beneath his notice. was going. It may be said that While the world beats the air in its true philosophy proposes no end to fierce fever, while it fights and strug- itself, and is beyond all vulgar longgles with all the perversities of life, ings after a result; but we reply, he stands, in the dim Camera Ob- that our estimate of its extraordinscura of his own consciousness, gaz- ary, brilliant, and bootless labour ing at the reflections of things a labour which has confessedly turned topsy-turvy by the laws of occupied some of the finest intelnature. Is it a real world that is leets in the world—is made from outside ? No. It is but some phan- without, and not from within No tasm, probably quite unlike the one questions the strange interest moving current of images that come of these inquiries to all who get and go. There are no things in his within the magic circle. But to universe there are but thoughts; what purpose is this waste? asks
the bewildered spectator ; and substance, whatever it was, really neither from within nor from with- existed. With these impressions, out is there any reply.
Locke insisted, it was meet that The reigning philosophy of the man should be satisfied. Satisfied time that of Locke, when or not, he had reached the end of George Berkeley came into the his tether. To go farther was inworld; one of those serious mode- possible-to gain anything like abrate compromises between two sys- solute knowledge was impossible : tems of which the English mind the contentment thus enjoined seems peculiarly capable. Reject- might be to an eager spirit only the ing as untenable the philosophy forlorn and pathetic resignation of a which deduced everything from in- being blindly stumbling among the dividual consciousness, and yet not ghosts of things; but to Locke's material enough to deny some calm and unexaggerated intellipower to the mind itself in con- gence it was the reasonable contentjunction with the senses, Locke ment of a creature born to no better formed the conception of a double enlightenment, able to derive pleasaction always going on in those ure and pain, though not knowdark recesses of the human intellect ledge and certainty, from the shows which have never yet given forth of nature, and bound to make a their secret to any inquirer. His virtue of necessity and put up with decision
was, that though sense its inevitable deprivations. Most supplied the mind with all its ma- men do so without finding any terials, yet there was in the mind a difficulty in the matter; and it was certain power of reflection and ru- fit and right that they should do so, mination over the material supplied concluded the philosopher, with a which made every final conclusion calmness and moderation which a joint process effected by two were indeed the characteristic senpowers acting together — experi- timents in his case of philosophical ence bringing in the corn, but re- despair. He was resigning his own flection grinding it in the mill. science when he said it. According to this theory, no innate gave up philosophy as hopeless," principle, no, intuitive certainty, be- says Mr. Lewes. To this point had longed to man. True, he might the silent tide crept up when Bermove about among the phantasms keley came into the world. of earth with a certain vulgar ex- And here the spectator who ternal sense of their reality, but to knows the age will brighten with a know any one thing exactly as it is, thrill of warmer interest. The phiwas for ever denied to him by laws. losopher who was about to awaken immutable. His
ideas of the discussions, the laughter, the things were all his possession; they ridicule of the eighteenth century, might not even resenible the things is no abstract being shut up in a themselves, and probably did not fictitious world.
In bim life gives but they were all to which he could no contradiction to fame. There is attain. The ground on which he not a spot in his existence for which walked presented to him certain his warmest admirer need fear the appearances of verdure, beauty, light of day. Bishop Berkeley was solidity, various and extended sur- not only a philosopher, he was a face; but these were but impres- man. His being was not starved sions made on his senses, combined upon the meagre fare of speculation, and accumulated by his intellect, but nourished by all the generous and not, so far as he knew, afford- currents of existence. A life full ing even a fair representation of the of active service to his kind, full of earth in its own individuality. And the warm impulses of a spontaneous, yet the earth possessed an indivi- frank, open-hearted Irish natureduality, and the something, the a sensibility so keen as to lead him
differing from the ordinary motives and looks like a kind of natural of the philosopher. Though there is punishment for this beautiful and no want of candour in his reasoning, touching disingenuousness, that nor any disingenuous attempt at Berkeley's idealism holds the place the probation of any system dis- of a stepping-stone to the unmititinct from that of metaphysics, gated scepticism of Hume. The there is a foregone conclusion es- strain was too great for the comsentially unphilosophical in his mon mind, and produced a reaction; mind from the outset. It is "in and the assumption by the idealist opposition to sceptics and athe- of all power and perception to the ists”-it is "to promote" not only intellect alone, provoked an exami"useful knowledge," but re- nation of that intellect on the part ligion," that he gives forth his of the sceptic such as nothing philosophy to the world. This human can bear. But, we repeat, motive gives warmth and force to there is no disingenuousness in his words, and heightens every Berkeley's reasonings. They are energy of thought within him; but even pronounced to be (philosophiit is not the passionless search for cally) irrefutable—a fact which is truth, whatsoever that truth might no demonstration whatever, either happen to be, which is the ideal of their truth or of the cessation of temper of philosophy. One can other attempts equally irrefutable imagine the young man's nature (philosophically) to prove them at rising into a glow of pious enthu- once futile and foolish. So charmsiasm-high indignation with the ing is divine philosophy! frivolous doubting world around But the impression we derive of him—a passion of lofty eagerness Berkeley as a man, in the first outto change the spirit and atmo- burst of his powers, is by just so sphere which fills his country and much the more attractive and lovable debases his age. Under all the as this secret meaning within him measured composure of his demon- is unphilosophical. Such an ardent, strations, this light of meaning impassioned, generous young soul, glows subdued, like the sunshine as those which, some forty years ago, through the golden-tinted marble facing the infidel world with all the which serves for windows, as many fervour of youthful opposition made of our readers will remember, on beautiful by piety, began that peacethat Florentine hill where San ful revolution in France, which has, Miniato watches the dead. He is alasl developed into Ultramontanbetrayed not by any act or even ism, and many things less lofty and word, but by the intense still light lovely than Montalembert and Laof purpose and meaning in all his cordaire ; such a young knight of speculations. Each step he takes Christianity as about the same peconducts him not into new and un- riod the English Church gave birth discovered lands, where each inch to, among the earlier followers of of space may, for ought he knows, Newman—to develop (again alas !) contain a discovery, but, with á into Oratorists and Ritualists—was steady regularity and stateliness, the Irish youth, fallen upon evil to one great point at which he has days for religion, surrounded by aimed from the beginning. He has scepticism and that brutal freethinkcovered over the cross on his ing
which belonged to the eighteenth buckler, and fights for the moment century, reading Locke and Malein armour which bears no cognis- branche and the Grand Cyrus' in ance; but yet he is as truly, ac- his rooms at Trinity, and feeling cording to his perceptions, the his heart burn within him. Such a champion of religion, as if he wore one, throbbing all over with spirit the outward appearance of a Cru- and soul and genius-half scornful sader. It is curious enough, of, half indifferent to, the body which was, as he felt to his finger- dient of kicking a stone, and Reid's points, but the docile servant of his similar argument about breaking growing, swelling, creating mind his head against a post or stepping
such a one to acknowledge that into a dirty kennel, are simple sillisense was all, or almost all
, that nesses, strange though it may be to man had to guide him l The fash- give such a name to the sayings of ion of the age did not run in the two such authorities. They sugway of great missionary exertions gest a confusion of the two worlds, in our sense of the word; and Ber- quite excusable in the vulgar, but keley had actually embarked in the unpardonable in the learned. Outtortuous ways of metaphysics. It side everything is real to us. In our is not difficult to imagine with practical concerns we do not pause what a silent ardour, with what to discuss what images are imprinted light in his young eyes, he turned on the eye, or what sounds on the to elaborate his own system of tympanum. We hear and we see, thought. Philosophy is always free which is quite enough for us. to do what youth is always inclined Neither do we pause to consider how to; and that is, to spurn all previous it is that an impression of somefoundations, and begin from the be- thing snowy white or blazing crimginning for its own hand. Thus son is conveyed to us when we look the field was open for the Idealist; at a rose; the rose does not seem, no tradition of his science bound but is, red or white. It is rich him to respect the theories which with perfume; it has thorns that had preceded his. An iconoclast is prick and moss that clothes it. We nothing to a philosopher Berke- walk on solid soil without for an ley put his foot upon Locke with- instant contradicting reason by the out a moment's hesitation, and supposition that the foot which strode on to the often-contested and strikes that steady surface, and the never-conquered field. DORUK earth that receives it, are but phan
It was in the year 1710, when he tasms of our senses. The most prowas a young man of six-and-twenty, found and the most ideal of philoFellow of Trinity College, Dublin, sophers walks abroad like other working with his pupils in the ob- men, and accepts the ordinary acseurity of an island much more dis- cidents of nature with that unhesitant in all practical ways from Eng- tating natural conviction which he land than it is now, that the Prin- can no more contest than he can ciples of Human Knowledge' were doubt he ever so much-doubt his published. He does not seem in own existence. The stone and the all his subsequent life to have gone post are as indubitable to him as to beyond or much developed this ourselves. Few philosophers have early work. But in order to enable lived so healthful and full a matethe ordinary reader, who is not a rial life as the man who denied the philosopher, to follow the true sense existence of matter ; but then he of his argument, it must be permit- never denied its existence in the ted to us to pause once more and outer sphere of fact and every day make clear the difference between reality. “That what I see, hear, the world of actual life and the and feel doth exist-i.., is perworld of philosophy. If the argu- ceived by me-I no more doubt ments belonging to the one are than I do of my own being,” says received as applying to the other, Berkeley. “I do not argue against they are simple absurdities, such as the existence of any one thing that no man other than a food or mad- we can apprehend either by sensaman could hold or dwell upon. tion or reflection. That the things Dr. Johnson's " peremptory refu- I see with my eyes and touch with tation," as Mr. Lewes called it, of my hands do exist, really exist, Berkeley's theory by the easy expe- I make not the least question.