« ElőzőTovább »
throw general or undistinguishing imputations on the characters of individuals. Among them, as among the members of all other bodies united by common interests, plots may be meditated and offences committed, which individuals, though willing to participate, dare not alone undertake. The history of mankind furnishes abundant examples of the inexcusable excesses into which even virtuous men bave fallen, when collected into ussociations for particular purposes. Submission to counsel, confession of error, retractation of wrongs all the conduct and all the motives which spring from the noblest propensities of our nature, seem to be almost inevitably stified by the very condition of corporate capacity; whilst the pitiable shelter of community in ill-doing, and the feeble consolation of community iu peril, are bartered for the honourable satisfaction of independent virtue.
Leaving the ministers' of Edinburgh to approve them„selves individually innocent of the outrage which they have collectively perpetrated, we turn to the inore pleasing task of presenting our tribute of respect to those who have withstood and repelled the insult. The attack was too fierce to be opposed merely by defensive measures; the injury too gross to adunit of compromise. The defeal which followed has been signal, and will be for ever memorable. The personal animosity which may have been kindled in the conflict, will, it is hoped, soon die away, as such an extinction will furnish the most unquestionable proof that public spirit,
and not party interest, was the motive which originally • prompted their conduct.
It'may afford some pleasure to our readers, and it cannot but furnish sentiments of complacency to the distinguished supporters of Mr. Leslie's cause, to be assured, from the most unquestionable authority, that their conduct has been conforinable to the views and notions of their late illustrious principal, Dr. Robertson.
: Art, VII.-- Enea AT&POEITQ; or, the Diversions of Purley.
" (Continued from p. 129.) WE have hitherto indulged ourselves much at length in observations on the artful sophisms with which this work abounds, and which seem destined by the author to prepossess the reader at his entrance on it.
- In the second chapter, he assumes the character of a phi. losopher, to destroy the error of abstraction, as the Parisian
Cait. Rev. Vol. 7. Murch, 1800.
anarchists assumed the appellation of patriots, to destroy;. not to preserve their country.
Poor Sir Francis takes the lead in this work of verbal distruction.
Passing by the prettivess of Rer, Ler loquens and Ler, Rer mutus, as very improperly assigned to the baronet, who, but for the seductions of Winbledon, would never have aiuied at any thing beyond persoval prettiness, we proceed to a view of Mr. Tooke laying his paw (his claws halfsheathed) on truth, candour, and real philosophy, personified in the immortal Locke. · His dapper disciple says, (p. 16.)
* F. But I wish at present for a different sort of information. Is this manner of explaining RIGHT and JUST and LAW and DROIT and DRITTO, peculiarly applicable to those words only, or will it apply to others? Will it enable us to account for what is called Abstraction and for abstract ideas, whose existence you deny ?
11. I think it will : and if it must have a name, it should rather be called subaudition than abstraction ; though I mean not to quarrel about a ritle.'
Arrah! by Jas---s, but you inust; for you have invaded the land of bulls. We have tolerated your English depre-;. dations for collections of witticisms and jokes; but it is the first time we bave seen an Irish bull in the provinces of grammar and pretended philosophy, which have hitherto been principally appropriated to the various tribes of the asininë family.
But our present author is a witty philosophist, and where . arguments fail, he is ready with a witticism, a pun, or a. bull. .
Every school-boy, who has passed the lowest form, knows that subuuition is to supply a word which he does not either pronounce or insert, in order to complete the sentence, or to render its meaning obvious. Now this is the very reverse of Abstraction, which is an effort of the mind to withdraw, not to supply a word, or to suppose or understand any thing not expressed. When we affirin any thing of colour, (white for 'instance), instead of supplying the colour to which the substance is attached, as a boy supplies the noun, &c. ip parsing his lesson, our effort is ot' a directly contrary tendency,' and we strenuously endeavour to separate the colour froin its substratum, and to think of white, and not of white wood, or white silk, or white linen, &c. Speaking accu. rately, the effort is never completely successful, it is
like all human efforts, imperfect; it is, however, an effort to abstract, and it is very useful in generalizing our language, when it succeeds but imperfectly in generalising our ideas. It will therefore, require more wit or more artful sophistry than Mr. Topke possesses, to substitute for abstraction, an act of the mind so directly opposite as that of subaudition, i
He proceeds; justly as a grammarian, after grossly blun. dering as a philosopher.
• The terms you speak of, however denominated in construction, are generally (I say generally) Participles or Adjectives used without any Substantive to which they can be joined ; and are therefore, in construction, considered as Substantives.
An Art, t (aliquid) Act um
— (aliquid) Debit-um.
(aliquid) Rendit-um, redditum. .,
- (aliquid) Incens-um. An Expanse - (aliquid) Expans-um. &c. Such words compose the bulk of every language. in English, those which are borrowed from the Latin, French, and Italian, are easily recognized; because those languages are sufficiently familiar to us, and not so familiar as our own; those from the Greek are more striking ; because more unusual : but those which are original in our own language have been almost wholly overa. looked, and are quite unsuspected.' ". 17..
These words, these participles and adjectives, not understood as such,' (hear it, reader, with becoming reverence !!) “have caused a metaphysical jargon and a false morality, which can only be dissipated by, etymology.
Where is thy blushing countenance, 'audacious Pinkerton, *hó hast blasphenied etyinology as folly? In the sage and virtuous hands of the apostle of Wimbledon, what wonders' it effects! For all miracles must sink before the pretensions of the man who shall dissipate metaphysical jargon and false morality hy etymology: He adds,
When they come to be examined, you will find that the ridicule which Dr, Conyers Middleton has justiy bestowed upon the Papists for their absurd coinage of Saints, is equally applicable to ourselves and to all other metaphysicians; whose moral deities, mural causes, and moral qualities are not less ridiculously coined and imposed upon their followers.' Po 18.
Ile then gives the following examples, like a true book
maker, in a line running in single words through the centre of the page, which our purchasers would not thank us for imitating:
! ‘Fate, Destiny, Luck, Lot, Chance, Accident, Heaten, Hell, Prod ridence, Prudence, Innocence, Substance, Fiend, Angel, Apostle, Saint, Spirit, True, False, Descrt, Merit, Fault, &c. for as well as JUST, RIGht and wrong, are all merely participles poetically embodied, and substantiated by those who use them.
'So CHURCH, for instance, (Dominicum, aliquidj is an adjective; and formerly a most wicked one; wliose misinterpretation) causei more slaugliter and pillage of mankind than all the other cheuts' together.' P. 18. ? To use the author's slang—and the Wimbledon purlieus are much infested with such language, which must affect even its philosophy-how will these cheats be rendered ho nest by assigning them their proper parts of speech! They would proceed in their rogueries as effectually under the denomination of adjectives, as they now do, or as they ever did, under the denominations of moral causes and inoral qualities.
Sir F. Burdett, bowever, affects to be more sagacious on this subject than we can pretend to be.
• F. Something of this sort I can easily perceive ; but not to the extent you carry it. I see (docile youth!) that those skam deilies Fate and DESTINY---aliquid Batum, quelque chose Destinée--are merely the past participles of Iuri and Destiner.'. P. 19.
What learning in a pupil ? But he is the pupil of the best scholar, and the only * patriot of the age, at least in the Wimbledon dialect. '
The baronet proceeds with examples from a greater pum. ber of books than he has perused in his whole life, until he stumbles, in p. 49, on Dr. Johnson, Mr. Steevens, and Mr. Malone, as commentators of Shakespeare, Thris disturbs the bile of his master. . L! I wish you bad separated Mr. Steevens (for be has really done some good service) from the varnes of such (commentators I camiot call them) as Johnson and Malone.' P. 49.
: : : Where are all the advocates of the giant Johnson? Where is Dr. Parr, the very shadow of the nighty shade? Will lia vings, will even, bishopricks avert the wordy wrath of the
* Sir F. Burdett has a bust of Horne Tooke, on the pedestal of which is in. serted a wretched copy of verses (we do not know whether they are lis own, in wliich Mr. T. is afiirmed to be the only patrict of the times. This should lave been known to Lord Grenville when he selected a new ministry,
Doctor from those who insult the memory of the God of Words ? Pour on them, Doctor, the phials of your vengeance! Whirl them into the air in Johnsonian, Ciceronian, and Demosthenian tornadoes ! Turn against cavillers their own weapons, and suffocate them, as they suffocate their readers, with endless quotations!
In the mean tiine we will accompany them a little longer. In page 95, they discuss, in their fippant manner, the in. fluence of custom and fashion on language. . ..,
. But, in our inquiry into the nature of language and the meaning of words, what have we to do with capricious and mutable fashion Fashion can only help us in our commerce with the world to the rule (a necessary one, I gramt) of
Lognendum ut vulgus. .. . in But this same fashion, unless we watch it well, will mislead un widely from the other rule of
Sentiendum ut sapientes. 'F. Heretic! What can you set up, in matter of language, agniust she decisive authority of such a writer as Horace?
Quem penes arbitrium est et jus et norma loquendi. *H. I do not think him any authority whatever upon this occasion, He wrote divinely: and so Vestris danced. But do you think our dear and excellent friend, Mr. Cline, would not give us a much more satisfactory Account of the infuence and action, the power and properties of the nerves and muscles by which he performed such wonders, than Vestris could ? who, whilst he used ihem with such excellence, did not perhaps know he had them. In this our inquiry, my dear Sir, we are not poets nor dancers, but anatomists. 7. 95.
This is a witticism, and formed from a fallacious simile. There is scarcely any similitude between the art of dancing and the construction of language ; and etymology has more resemblance to genealogy than to anatomy. A writer rather more extravagant than Mr. Tooke, has lately published a work entitled Terboiomy, and in his treatment of language he bas often availed himself of such kuowledge as Le miglii obtain in the dissecting-room of the dear vir. Cline. But be analyses words into their constituent parts; and Mr. Tooke traces words to their origin, in radical words, which he pretends to have a certain meaning, independent of cussom, and owing to their being the original representations of our ideas.
This we directly and positively deny; and we consider the mails of quotations(which may be useful to other purposes)