signs, for which they seem to be intended ; and, therefore, that they are scarcely ever attended to themselves, whilst their causes, or the qualities, suggested by then, attract constant attention; it still remains to be remarked on this subject, that there are some instances in wbich we cannot avoid attending even to the sensations corresponding to the primary qualities. This circumstance is not, however, at all inconsistent with what I have already said on the subject :-thus, if we receive a blow from a hard body, we are forced to attend, not to the hardness itself, but to the painful sensation which it excites, and to confess, that it has no resem. blance to hardness, and cannot exist any where but in a sentient being. In this case we do not say, as we usually do in the case of slighter impressions, that we feel any thing, for instance, hardness in the body from which we received the impression ; but we say, that we feel considerable pain in the part affected ; whilst, on the contrary, when we apply our hand gently to a hard body, we pass over the feeling excited in the mind, or the sensation, and say, that we find great hardness in the external object. In the latter case we have a sensation as well as in the former, and both excited by the same cause, operating, it is true, with different degrees of force ;-and, perhaps, we may be able to get a glimpse at the wisdom of nature, by considering the different degrees of atten. tion we pay to each. In the first case, where the sensation is painful, and the effect may be dangerous to the animal lise, we are forced to attend to the sensation only, and to the state of our own minds: but, in the second, where there is no such danger, and where the sensation appears to be intended merely for a sign, we pass immediately from the mental feeling, wbich is scarcely noticed, to the object suggested, or to the external exciting cause of the sensation *.--This is a wise provision of nature; that what. ever is dangerous to the existence of the body, fixes in an instant all our attention upon its preservation.-Nor is this the result of reasoning, which, it is generally allowed, would be less effectual for that purpose +, but of a provident and unerring instinct I.

* Reid's Intellectual Powers of Man, Ess. II. ch. xvi.; and his loquiry, &c. + See Hume's Essays, Vol. II.

Besides many other remarks on this subject, Mälebranche has the folo lowing :-"L'ebranlement des fibres qui accompagne le chatouillement, temoigne a l'ame la bonne constitution de son corps, qu'il a assez de force pour resister a l'impression de l'objet, et qu'elle ne doit point apprehender qu'il en soit blessé : mais le mouvement, qui accompagne la douleur, etant quelque peu plus violent, il est capable de rompre quelque fibre du corps et l'ame en doit etre avertie par quelque seusation desagreable, afin qu'elle y prenne garde.”

'" Ainsi l'ame se sent touchëe des sentimens qui different essentiellement, et qui, marquant precisement les qualites des objets par rapport a son corps, lại font sentir promptement et vivement si ces objets


I have already remarked, that the manner in which heat and cold are perceived, is different from that of the other perceptions of touch.-Were we to suppose a man born blind, and devoid of the power of local motion, he would be able to perceive sounds, tastes, odours, heat, and cold, and all the secondary qualities, ex. cept colour.--But it seems true, also, that he could not be capable of the perceptions of extension and figure, of hardness and soft. Ress, roughness and smoothness, solidity and motion.

The perceptions, then, of the secondary qualities are more immediute, if I may so express it, than those of the primary; at least, the mode in which they are, or may be acquired is very different ;--so that, in this respect, we have an additional reason for distinguishing these two classes of qualities from each other. But, although the primary qualities do not seem to be immediately perceived by means of their corresponding sensations, in the same way, at least, as the secondary are; and, although they may not be known in the present philosophical acceptation of their Aames without some reasoning and experience, still the first hint we get at the knowledge of each of them is derived from our sensations.

It is strange what a number of revolutions have taken place in the opinions of philosophers, with regard to the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. The ancient atomists held the same opinions on this subject with the followers of the

Cartesian Cartesian school *; whilst Aristotle and his followers confounded them, and would admit of no distinction.—The subject was re. vived by Des Cartes and Locke, and the distinction once more established : but, on the received principles, it was shewn to be futile by Berkely and by Hume, as neither primary or secondary qualities, according to their views, had any existence. The last philosopher of eminence, who has fully reconsidered the subject, and, in my opinion, set it in a true light, is Dr. Reid.—lle is of opinion, that there is a real foundation for the distinction : but I shall reserve his doctrine for future discussion, and remark, before I conclude, that his observations on certain states or con. ditions of our bodies, on mechanical powers or forces, on chemical powers, on medical powers or virtues, and on vegetable and ani. mal powers, considered as objects of Sensation and Perception, are well calculated to illustrate the degree of knowledge we possess with respect to secondary qualities. These states or conditions, and these different species of powers, are the unkuown causes of known effects; and known by us, not absolutely in themselves, but relatively through their effects :--thus, the words tooth-ach, head-ach, &c. in common language mean disorders of the teeth and head; just as the words smell, taste, colour, signify certain proper. ties of bodies; but as the words smell and taste signify, each of them, two things, a sensation of the mind, as well as its external cause; so the words tooth-ach and head-ach, though in common language generally applied to the disorder of the particular part, mean also a painful feeling of the mind, and that affection or disorder of the body, which is its cause.“ -A

sont capables de lui nuire."-" Il faut considerer, que si l'ame n’appercevnit que ce qui se passe dans sa main, quand elle se brule ; si elle n'y voyoit que le mouvement et la separation de quelques fibres, elle ne s'en mettroit guere ea peine, et meme elle pourroit quelquefois, par fantasie et par caprice, y prendre quelque satisfaction, comme ces fantasques, qui se divertissent a tout rompre dans leurs emportemens et dans leurs debauches,”-"Si nous n'apporcevious que la separation des parties de notre corps, lorsque nous nous torulous, ou que nous recevons quelques blessures, nous nous persuaderions bientot, que ontre bonheur n'est pas d'être renfermé dans un corps, qui nous empèche de jouir de choses, qui nous doivent rendre heureux ; et ainsi nous serions bien aises de la voire detruire."-" Il s'ensuit de la que c'est avec une grande sagesse, que l'auteur de l'union de notre ame avec notre corps, a ordonne, que nous sentions de la douleur, quand il arrive au corps un changement capable de lui nuire, et que nous sentions du chatouillement quand ces mouvemens sont modérés, sans appercevoir la verité de ce qui se passe dans notre corps, ni les mouvemens des ces fibres, dont nous venons de parler."“ Premierement, parce qu'en sentant de la douleur et du plaisir, nous distia. guons avec plus de facilité les objets qui en sont l'occasion. --Secondement, parce que cette voie de nous faire connoitre, si nous devons nous unir aux corps qui nous environnent, ou nous en separer, est la plus courte-Engin, parce que la douleur et le plaisir etant des modifications de notre ame qu'elle sent par rapport a sou corps, et qui la touchent bien davantage que la connoissance du mouvement des quelques fibres, qui lui appartien droit; cela l'oblige a s'en mettre fort en peine, et fait une union tres-etroite entre l'une et l'autre partie de l'homme,"Recherche de la Verité, Tom. I. liv, i. ch. 10. mind * Cudworth's Intellectual System of the Universe, B. I, ch, i.

person, then, who would wish to be paradoxical, could, in consequence of this two-fold meaning of these words, prove that a tooth-ach is not in the tooth, nor a head-ach in the head; just as rationally and logically as the followers of Des Cartes and Locke have shown, that the secondary qualities are mere sensations, existing no where but in the mind. But it would be evident, that his pretended demon. stration was only an abuse of words, inasmuch as he applied only to the feelings of the mind, words, which in the ordinary accepta. tion of language, are used by all mankind to express disorders in some particular parts of the body.-“ It has been observed," says Mr. Stewart, “ with great truth by Dr. Reid, that Des Cartes' Reasonings against the existence of the secondary qualities of mat. ter owe all their plausibility to the ambiguity of words. When he affirms, for example, that the smell of a rose in not in the flower, but in the mind; his proposition amounts only to this, that the rose is not conscious of the sensation of smell : but it does not follow from Des Cartes' Reasonings, that there is no quality in the rose, which excites the sensation of smell in the mind; which is all that any person means when he speaks of the smell of that flower. For the word smell, like the names of all secondary qualities, signifies two things,-a sensation in the mind, and the unknown quality, which fits the rose to excite that sensa. tion. The same remark applies to that process of reasoning by which Des Cartes attempts to prove, that there is no heat in the fire.” Mr. Stewart quotes on the same subject the following very just remarks from Malebranche: If you ask whether fire is hot, grass green, and sugar sweet, I answer, that, if by heat, cold, and savour, you understand such a disposition of parts, or some unknown motion of insensible particles,--then fire is hot, grass green, and sugar sweet. But if by heat and other qualities, you understand what I feel by fire, what I see in grass, &c., fire is not hot, nor grass green ; for the heat I feel, and the colours I see, are only in the soul.”


Art. X.-The Law Student.


Inner Temple, August, 1811. My Dear FRIEND, You are of opinion that I have overpraised Sir Vicary Gibbs, and not done justice to the talents of Mr. Garrow. Since I last had the pleasure of writing to you, I have attended the Court of King's Bench pretty constantly, and am not sure that you are wrong. The refinements of the Attorney General, contrasted with the vulgarities of Mr. Garrow, have perhaps blinded my judgment; and I have not sufficiently appreciated the commanding powers of the latter advocate; he is in truth a man of most won: derful quickness, and it is this that renders him so great a far vourite with the Chief Justice of his Court, my Lord Ellenborough. His lordship is overwhelmed with business, and unless his leading advocate at Nisi Prius were as quick and clear-headed as himself or Mr. Garrow, there would be no possibility of getting through the cause-paper. No man at the bar comprehends the Chief's obiter remarks so readily, and answers them so well, as Mr. Garrow; and it is quite delightful to hear his lordship and that advocate sift a point to the bottom, and come to the truth of it, divested of all its wordy disguises. A fellow-student of mine calls this Mr. Garrow's interlocutory eloquence; and VOL, II. NO, III.



shew me the man who possesses a greater share of it than he. The Attorney General is slow, elaborate, and technical in all his interlocutory remarks, more learned, but not so clear. Having allowed Mr. Garrow all his genius for his profession, all his elo. quence, all his knowledge of human nature, all his activity, all his experience, I must still, in justice, revert to his illiberality, his narrow-mindedness, his want of feeling, his want of the gentleman. I do not believe any of his casual auditors ever went out of Court with a respect for Mr. Garrow, even if they met with no instance of his littleness of mind ; and it requires a frequent attendance in Court to discern that : they are amused with his manner of brow-beating and badgering a witness : Suave ma. ri magno: they are glad it is not they themselves; and they feel à prospective dread of ever undergoing the same ordeal : they fear Mr. Garrow, but they do not respect him: he is the Jack. Ketch of the bar, not to say the Jack-pudding: they laugh at him in his latter capacity; and God keep them out of his claws in the former! Mr. Garrow is often as good as a comedy or a farce; and is as full of bye-play and stage-strick as an actor. I remember his playing off an excellent joke against a witness who happened to be deaf, and whose deafness it was Mr. Garrow's part to make appear pretended. He said to the witness in a low tone, -"So, you have the misfortune to be deaf, sir?” 66 Yes, sir.” “You have great difficulty in hearing ?” “ Yes, sir, very." And it was not till I raised my voice thus (lowering it still more) that you could hear what I said at all ?” No, sir.” The whole affing of the Court, and I believe the whole jury, bar, and all, roared with laughter; and the poor witness might tas well have been dumb and deaf too, for all the utility of his tes. timony. And yet a sensible man knows very well (and no man knows better than Mr. Garrow) that it is distinctness and not loudness of utterance that enables a deaf man to comprehend one's meaning. Mr. Garrow on this occasion was painfully distinct in his enunciation, and the deaf witness saw what the cross-exami. ner said, rather than heard it. He suffered the speaker to say he had raised his voice,-just as the deaf man in Joe Miller said, 6 Don't bawl so loud,” when the other only opened his mouth wide; or as the blind man said scarlet was like the sound of a trumpet. Mr. Garrow's voice looked loud, and the witness sup. posed it was so. All this is not calculated to bring the bar into any profound respect; and I am afraid Mr. Garrow thinks the profession a greater system of artifice than it really is. Those, who have had the pain, as well as the pleasure, of constantly listening to him, perceive in him a narrow-minded recognition of no country but England, of no language but English, of no reli. gion- but the Christian ; and, worse than all, it is too appa


« ElőzőTovább »