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the Brobdignagians who follow him. But | ished from our earliest years with the Coperall this is really quite a delusive view, and nican system of astronomy, the Newtonian the image altogether inappropriate. All this doctrine of attraction, the chemistry which exgoes upon the supposition that knowledge is presses the composition of substances in their a sort of measurable material commodity, nomenclature ; but are we really in any matethat goes on increasing by perpetual addi- rial respect superior to those who formerly tions, like the wall which the bricklayer builds, were taught other systems, which, though or the hoard which the miser accumulates. they did not explain all facts, explained all
The smallest attention to the history of that men then knew of fact, and very probascience shows us how baseless this represen- bly all that we, as individuals, know of fact; tation is. Knowledge does not commonly or who were taught systems which prevailed thus grow by repeated addition of parts to then because the ideas in which the newer parts, but by perpetual transformations systems are expressed were not then matured ? When the house has been built by one man, Granted that we have got the truth free from it is pulled down, and a new one—it is to be some of their errors, yet their views included hoped, a better—built in its place by anoth- much truth which is incorporated in our views; er man. We are not, therefore, to expect that and it is very possible that they saw their the houses built in the nineteenth century truth more clearly than we see ours.
And shall be nineteen times, or any other number that some of them did this is plain ; for they of times as large as those built in the first could use their truth to deduce and predict century. When the hoard has been accumu- other truths, as eclipses, and separation of lated to a certain amount, it is put in some metals, which, as we have said, few of us new shape, -employed in trade, it may be, could do. And if this be the case, was not and made to bring an increase, and thus the their knowledge really more profound than man becomes really rich ; not by the addi-ours ? and can we be said to know more than tion of coin to coin without spending or they did merely because we can assent to changing, so as necessarily to give to each propositions which have been established in successive generation a larger and larger more recent times ? store. The notion that man’s intellectual Is it not, in truth, the fact, that in a great stature goes on constantly increasing is not number of cases where we profess to know a wbit more wise than the notion that his cor- the scientific discoveries of modern times, we poreal stature goes on dwindling from genera- merely repeat the phrases in which these tion to generation. The notion that the men discoveries are expressed, without fully unof our days are giants compared with men of derstanding the meaning of the language former times is not more philosophical than which we use ? And is it not also true, that the notion that there were giants in those we are very often prevented from fully underdays compared with whom we are dwarfs. standing the language of modern science beThe old proverbial expression is far truer, cause we are ignorant of the previous stages that we may see further than they did, be- of science? We do not really know that cause we stand on their shoulders. The truth which we despise our predecessors for not is, that, compared with the men of other knowing : we do not know this well, -pretimes, we are neither giants nor dwarfs. The cisely because we do not know what our prerelation betwe in the two generations is nei decessors did know. We are perplexed by ther the one nor the other. In both ages, such terms as right ascension and oblique asmen were men, In our age we have, it may cension, because we do not know the manbe, better food, both for the body and the ner in which former astronomers studied the mind ; but it would be very unwise to sup- circles of the celestial globe. We do not enpose that we are on that account better, or ter into the full import of Bacon's or Newton's stronger, or fairer, than our great-grand- great works, because we do not know the fathers. They had not turtle and South- | ideas which were in the minds of their condown mutton; but, perhaps, goat's flesh and temporaries. We talk of the discovery of new mead, or, it may be, acorns and water. metals, but we do not know what we mean But let us not thence conclude that, there by a melal, because we have not traced the fore, they were weak and we are strong ; previous progress of such inquiries. Here that if we could be brought into comparison there is certainly a difference between our with them, their inferiority would forth with predecessors and ourselves, but is it so enappear. Nobody, we suppose, believes this. tirely and manifestly to our advantage ? And just the same is the case with the re- They knew what we do not. We know sults of our intellectual food. We are nour- what they did not. If we know well what we
know, we have the advantage, because our of knowledge is not fixed for the world ; knowledge then includes theirs ; but if our though even for the world the progress
of knowledge do not include theirs, the posses- the standard is a perpetual transformation, sion of it is no advantage to us, for the know which makes measurement of relative posiledge is hollow and verbal merely. If this tion far from easy; but with regard to indibe so, we, compared with them, are not like viduals, the standard is fixed. The'standard Gulliver among the Lilliputians. We are of the value, or, if you will, of the profoundsuch as Gulliver would have been, if he had ness of knowledge, as distinguished from become a convert to the Laputan philosophers, shallowness, is, that it is really knowledge ; and had returned to his home gravely assert- distinct and clear thoughts, not merely ing as a recent discovery that sunbeams could remembered words; knowledge connected be extracted from cucumbers, and that a with principles, not merely noted as facts. machine might be constructed which should All that complies not with this condition is reason.
shallow, is worthless, is intoxicating, and, But, says Mr. Macaulay, if you object to therefore, dangerous. All that is real knowshallow knowledge, tell me what is your stand- ledge is valuable, even if it be little ; so far, ard of shallowness? Is it fixed or change the poet's words are too absolute, if rigorously able? Is not that shallow knowledge now, taken : but the little of the first couplet is exwhich would have been deep in the days of plained by the shallow of the second. But Erasmus ?-We have already said that we real knowledge, as it becomes more and more express the fact much more appropriately, entensive, retaining its reality and its fullness by saying that the knowledge of modern of ideas, and the clear deduction of knowledge times is more advanced, than by saying that from knowledge, becomes profound in a stronit is “more profound.” But with regard to ger sense; and although, as Mr. Macaulay the standard of knowledge, and of its “ pro- has very well said, it must always be little, foundness," or whatever quality that be, compared with the whole extent of possible which makes it really valuable, do we ask and conceivable knowledge, it need not at what is the standard of this value? It is any stage be shallow, since it may go to the plain, from what has been just said, what the full depth of the thoughts which it professes answer must be. Knowledge, to be valuable, to combine and express. must really be knowledge. The man must The remarks which we have made agree, know, and not merely read books and talk of for the most part, with some of those which what they contain.' He must have ideas Professor J. Forbes has urged upon his
puwhich correspond to the words :-true ideas; pils, and since upon the public, in the little ideas made true by a possession of facts and of book to which we have referred at the behistory, so far as these elements are requisite ginning of this article. He has treated the for the purpose. His knowledge being thus subject in a more profound and methodical true and real, he may know
manner than we ave done, as becomes a little; but, much or little, his knowledge learned professor compared with monthly will be valuable. He
know more critics. And we are too magnanimous and or less than a given man of the last age, too consistent to be discontented, if any reador the last age but one. But whether he er, convinced by our reasons, is still of opinknow more or less, he will not despise the ion that a little of such reasoning is a danman of the former age ; because he knows gerous thing, and should determine to draw that he himself certainly knows much less from Professor Forbes's page a deeper than many men of the last
great- draught of antidote to the siren strains in er degree than they knew less than the most which Mr. Macaulay sang his Encomium scientific men of our times. The standard Moriæ.
age, in a far
From Tait', Magazine.
WINTER PICTURES OF DENMARK.
the external features of nearly every part
of Copenhagen, and feel sufficiently qualified, Let us perfectly understand one another, therefore, to give one man's humble but horeader. If you imagine that I am about to nest impressions of its salient features and give you a full, true, and particular account general characteristics. So sensitive are of all the lions in the city—to enumerate, nearly all men to the first sight of both ciin guide-book fashion, the thousand-and-one ties and individuals, that sometimes the most remarkable buildings, and to dwell, with intimate subsequent acquaintance fails to stupefying minuteness, on the contents of mu- change the original intensely vivid concepseums, churches, palaces, arsenals, and so tion, no matter whether it is right or wrong. forth, I give you fair warning that you will Undoubtedly, many a traveler who glances be grievously disappointed. Such dreary for the first time at a landscape bathed in rule-and-square drudgery would of itself till golden sunlight, or who first visits a city a huge quarto volume, and even then the when it is unusually prosperous, gay, and subject would be far from being exhausted. splendid, is impressed with a correspondingI only profess to notice such striking exter- ly exaggerated notion of the beauty of the nal objects, and such general traits of man- one, and the attractions of the other. But ners, as come immediately under my person- let him first see the same landscape when a al observation or inquiry, and can be cor- black storm is lowering over it, and first see rectly described by a stranger; for it would the same city when its commerce is debe absurd presumption to affect to write pressed, and its dwellers spiritless—his opiaught of higher pretension on the strength nion would be just the reverse. And yet of a few weeks' residence. Nothing but a that opinion would, in either case, be an errovery long sojourn, a perfect familiarity with neous one. For my own part, I have a sinthe manners of the people, and a thorough gular affection for the road or street by knowledge of the language, would enable an which I may first enter a strange city; and Englishman to authoritatively and fully de- however long I may afterward sojourn pici life in the capital of Denmark, and to there, and however humble or uninteresting pleasingly illustrate it with legendary lore.* in itself the road or street in question may My object, so far as Copenhagen is concerned, be, I afterward tread it with greater pleais to give a tolerably clear and faithful gene- sure, and more frequently than any other. ral idea of the place and people, with notices It happened that I entered Copenhagen in a of a few objects of really surpassing interest; / way by no means calculated to bias any imand happy shall I be if my humble sketches pressions of it, and yet the very first time I prove instrumental in creating a desire on trod its streets I imbibed opinions concernthe part of the public for a work of the de- ing it which every day's acquaintance only scription above spoken of.
more strongly confirms. At the time I pen this, I am familiar with Copenhagen contains about 130,000 inha
bitants, and is situated on the Sound, about * I know only one gentleman who eminently pos- nine English miles distant from the opposite sesses all these qualifications, and I have strongly coast of Sweden. It is as flat a place as and repeatedly urged him to write a work on the subject, which could hardly fail to be replete with
can well be conceived, nor are there ele
any interest. I allude to Mr. Charles Beckwith, who vated grounds very near it. The view of has distinguished himself here by his Danish-En: Copenhagen from the sea is very striking, glish works, and is favorably known to the English owing to its having on the west side an enorpublic, by his admirable translations of his friend, Hans Christian Andersen's, “ Bazaar,” “ Rambles in
mous mass of dockyards, forts, batteries, the Hartz Mountains," " Moo Baronesses," &c. &c. It is inclosed with ramparts, elevated
DANISH LITERATURE AND LITERARY MEN.
to a considerable height, and forming delight- the comparatively trifling business traffic in fựl walks planted with trees. There are also the streets, and also from t':e leisurely habits beautiful promenades in other parts of the of the people themselves. The fact is, the city. Many parts of the town are intersect- Danes have not yet learned to live in a hurry; ed with canals.
but, although they are “slow," they are Copenhagen is emphatically a city of pala- steady and sure; although they are a cences, of museums, of public buildings. This tury behind England in many of the leading is its grand distinctive feature, and to ap-improvements of the age, they are more preciate it fully nothing but a personal visit than a century ahead of England in generally will suffice. No person of ordinary intelli- diffused plenty and comfort ; and although gence can walk through it without, at every they do not gallop through life as though for step, exclaiming—This is A CAPITAL! The a wager, they know how to enjoy it rationalnumber of grand edifices belonging to the ly. My countrymen! I scorn to flatter State are truly astonishing, and yet, taking you-what I here say may be unpalatable to the city all through, there is not one erection some among you; but it is true. of extraordinary grandeur—not a palace, not a church, not a square, which will bear comparison with those of many other cities. It The booksellers’ shops were, of course, a is true that some of the Government build- subject of particular interest to me. They ings are of amazing extent, and are well make very little external show, generally built; but, generally speaking, they are es- having only one or two small windows, a sentially plain in their architecture, and ex- considerable height from the pavement, with hibit little grandeur of conception. Some a few books and prints displayed against the of the churches are very extraordinary erec- lower panes. Glazed show-cases, also, contions, and contain paintings and sculptures taining new works, &c., are attached under(especially the latter) of inestimable value. neath the windows, and along the sides of There are theatres, a very grand casino, and the entrance passages. In many instances, many places of exhibition. The generality the shop itself is only accessible by a flight of the streets are narrow, and the people of steps from a side entrance—strongly conare surprisingly mixed up with the carriages, trasting in this, as in other respects, with on the middle of the road, in the narrowest similar concerns in England. Some of the streets; but as no vehicle by law is allowed shops are well stocked with works in various to drive at a greater rate than one Danish languages (especially German and French), mile (about five English) per hour, accidents and the publishers are intelligent men, au rarely occur. The houses have all a sub- courant on literary subjects.
They sell stantial and yet a light appearance, owing to English books at the London prices; but the the great number of their windows. Some time occupied in procuring them to order is are lofty, especially those facing the ram- never less than one month, and sometimes parts. Although there is not one truly above three. One striking feature in English grand street in Copenhagen, there are asto- large towns, shops devoted to the sale of nishingly few mean Nearly every weekly literary sheets and periodicals is altostreet throughout the city is at least respect gether unknown in Copenhagen. There are able. You will search in vain for those no works whatever published in numbers in dirty, dismal, fetid, sweltering alleys and Denmark, and no magazines, with the excepcourts common to all English towns; and tion of one, a literary and critical monthly, you will look equally in vain for any of those entitled “Nord og Syd,” (North and South). repulsive street scenes common in the latter. As to English cheap journals they are utterBeggars are certainly not unknown here, but ly unknown; but the English and French they are exceedinglý few--no miserable ob- monthlies and quarterlies have many subjects in rags and tatters ever disgust the scribers. The number of newspapers of all eye; and never yet have I met a drunken descriptions issued in Denmark is from sevenman in Copenhagen, although I have tra- ty to a hundred. In Copenhagen alone versed it at all hours.
there are ten daily and four weekly newsThere is no lack, as I shall hereafter show papers, and nearly every little village--under of indoor gayety in Copenhagen ; but the which designation Englishmen would, in fact, general aspect of the city, to a foreigner ac- class almost all places in the kingdom, excustomed to the stunning bustle of English cepting the capital —has one or more papers towns, is decidedly dull. Partly, this arises of its own. The largest of the Copenhagen from the very little show the shops make, papers is somewhat larger than one leaf only
of the London “ Times," and the smallest | thority, said to me, “Sir, his tragedies are are not quite double the size of an ordinary entitled to a place on the same shelf with sheet of letter paper. The type is large and those of Shakspeare and Schiller; and it is the lines leaded out, so that the mass of read- worth a foreigner's while to study the laning in one of these papers is actually much guage, for the sole purpose of being able to less than is contained in even half a page of appreciate Oehlenschlæger.” “Really,” I some of the London weekly papers, which replied, “if that is the case, it is grievous use small type. These miniature papers give to reflect that the accident of language a little local and foreign intelligence ; but the should confine the works of such a man to so bulk of the matter consists of original lead limited a circle of readers. It seems to me ing political articles. One important feature much like giving to a party what was meant in them is their feuilleton, which consists of for mankind."* either fiction or poetry, original or translated. Nothing astonishes the Danes more than At this time, one of the biggest daily jour- to be informed that their countryman, Hans nals, called the “ Fædrelandel” (Father Christian Andersen, has attained such an unland), is publishing in its feuilleton a regular- rivaled popularity in England. I have conly continued translation of Dickens' tale of versed with many on the subject, both at Co• Darid Copperfield,” which occasionally penbagen and elsewhere, and all agree that occupies nearly half of the current number. Andersen, in their estimation, holds only a The Government organ is "Berlingske Ti- secondary place compared with some other dende” (Berling's Gazette). Some of these Danish authors. Presuming this opinion to papers are printed in Roman characters, but be correct, one certainly would derive a very the majority are in German type. Their high opinion of the genius of the authors price is from one penny to twopence each alluded to. Andersen's countrymen do not number. There is also a weekly publication deny that he is a highly gifted man; nor are called “ Corsaren” (The Corsair), of the they insensible to his peculiar merit. All same description as “ Punch” of London, they contend for is, that his genius is essenand the “ Charivari" of Paris. I am in- tially of a less lofty order than that of such formed that it was originally very able, but beings as Oehlenschlæger. They admit that is considered to have fallen off' greatly of he is a true diamond, but not a surpassingly late. Some of its illustrations struck me as brilliant one. At present, I much regret being good, but most of them are puerile, that I have only read a little of Andersen's without either wit or satire discoverable in writings; but that little is quite sufficient to them.
impress me with a notion that he is the GoldDenmark is really an intellectual kingdom. smith of Denmark. I loved the man ere I Education is so generally diffused by the had read a dozen of his pages: he is so State that it is a nation of readers, and, as a genial, so purely child-like in his temperanatural sequence, these readers bave mentalment, and so filled with unfeigned heartfelt pabulum supplied them by a very strong affection for his brother man. I should, for array of native writers. The number of my own part, bitterly abhor any author who works issued from the Copenhagen press is merely simulated sensibility—I should loath very considerable, and some of them-espe- his very name. Now I have private reason cially gift books and annuals—are got up in to know that Andersen is no hypocrite, but a style which would not disgrace the best really only transfers his feelings to paper, London or Paris houses. The prices are and presents us with a sweet reflex of his moderate, and as an instance of the com- own infantile yet finely-poetical and noble paratively immense circulation works at times nature. This it is that gives that charm attain here, I may mention that a poem of to his writings, which has been so universally length, entitled “ Den Lille Hornblæser felt. This it is which will impart unto them (The Little Trumpeter), by H. P. Holsthaving for its subject 'the recent war with the Duchies—was published just before my Oehlenschlæger has sold the entire copyright of all
* Since writing the above, I have learned that arrival, and five thousand copies were sold his works—which fill many volumes-for the sum within the first fortnight.
of only 6,000 rix.dollars Danish, or £675 sterling; Many of the living Danish authors are Why, there are English novelists who have earned men of very great talent—a few even are of twice as much within one fortnight! And yet, the
works in question are the long-life-labors of a brilliant genius. Foremost in the latter rank mighty intellect.-W. H. is the veteran Oehlenschlæger, of whom a
+ I probably shall hereafter give some personal gentleman, who I know to be a first-rate au- 1 details concerning Hans Christian Andersen. W.H.