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complete the noble literary and philosophical projects he had conceived amid the excitements of London, he pined in secret over a destiny he had voluntarily chosen. He felt that the allurements of a future pension and the largeness of his salary were at best but meager compensation for the sacrifices he had made. Had he remained at the bar he might have surpassed Erskine in learning, and rivaled him in skill as an advocate, while his depth and amplitude of thought would have furnished the richest materials for every occasion that admitted of eloquence. He needed, beyond most men, to be kept steadily at work under the impulse of great objects and strong motives urging him to the utmost exertion of his pow
We notice some things, however, quite characteristic. The formation there of a literary society, his letters home, his philosophical studies, his love of virtue amid society where depravity was not restrained by public sentiment, his generous pity for the ignorant and vicious, and his integrity as a judge, are all worthy of imperishable record.
The literary society he was instrumental in forming was organized the 26th of November, 1805. He was appointed its first president, and was the nucleus of all its interests. At the first meeting he opened the proceedings by an address, in which he stated its literary and scientific objects. The eulogy he pronounced at that time on Sir William Jones might perhaps be taken, by a partial friend, as almost a literal transcript of himself. In language of great sweetness and beauty he mingles that peculiar reverence for genius and virtue for which he was always distinguished.
His residence in India was, on the whole, injurious to his intellectual growth. He read a great deal, gathered vast materials for the great works in history and ethics which he had projected, wrote occasional articles for the periodicals of the island, and indulged in copious correspondence with friends at home; but his old habits of desultory reading and ingenious speculation allured him from the grand objects of his life, so that during the whole period of his residence in Bombay he consummated but little aside from his professional avocations. He returned to England in 1812, with his material interests but little improved, and with his constitution painfully impaired by an Eastern climate.
The two public independent bodies of Bombay, the “Grand Jury" and the “Literary Society," both presented him testimonials of their regard before his departure. The latter elected him its honorary president, and requested him to sit for his bust to be placed in their library; on which occasion Sir John Malcolm observed :
Select British Eloquence, p. 826.
* In offering some remarks upon that good which I believe to have resalted to Oriental literature from his example and influence, I shall speak with all the confidence that personal observation and experience can inspire. From the hour that Sir James Mackintosh landed in this country, he commenced, with an ardor that belongs only to minds like his, to make himself master of the history, the usages, and the religion of the inhabitants; and his progress was such as was to be expected from his capacity. As he had never made the Oriental languages his study in Europe, the period of his residence and the nature of his occupations while here, forbade his wasting time more valuably employed, in a course of study which he could not have completed. He, indeed, took a larger and better view of the good he had it in his power to effect; and those moments which would have been unprofitably given, by a man of his rich and cultivated mind, to the elements of an Indian language, were employed in kindling into flame those sparks of emulation and knowledge which his penetration discovered in men already possessed of that useful but subordinate qualification. It is impossible to estimate the exact quantity of good which his efforts produced; but it certainly very far exceeded what the individual labor of any one man could have effected. His character is, indeed, admirably calculated to forward that object which is constantly nearest his heart, the general diffusion of knowledge.' He showed, during his stay in India, a toleration and indulgence that extended even to the igno rant, where they showed a desire of improvement, and to all those whom he deemed capable of being actively useful in the advancement of learning and seience, he afforded the most flattering and substantial encouragement. His advice, his time, were at their service, and they found him, at all moments, disposed to give them his aid toward the promotion of their individual interests and fame.” Vol. ii., p. 115.
Such was the esteem placed on his talents, that immediately after his return home, he was offered a seat in Parliament, both by the government, and also by his old friends the Whigs. He chose the latter, and continued in the House of Commons till his death, closely adhering to his decision through all the vicissitudes of political life. He was not, however, by any means merely a party man. His political sentiments were always controlled by his moral convictions. His principles were liberal, and his political efforts were free from strife, intrigue, and malice. With acknowledged integrity and talents, and with a fidelity to his political connections which the most splendid allurements from an opposite direction could not shake, he enjoyed, nevertheless, but limited promotion. During the administration of Canning he was appointed Privy Councillor, and subsequently, a commissioner for the affairs of India. It was not, however, because he was averse to enviable distinction ; for he never indulged in the trick of disclaiming talents he knew he possessed. Still “ he never made the ghtest efforts to advance his interests with his political friends; never mentioned his sacrifices nor his services, expressed no resentment at neglect, and was therefore pushed into such situations as fall to the lot of the feeble and delicate in a crowd." Vol. ii, p. 504. His political efforts were confined principally to the House of
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XI.-16
Commons. But this was not the theater for the most happy display of his talents. He never attained there the celebrity which he won for himself by his forensic efforts before his appointment to the East. The lapse of only a few years had brought on him the infirmities of age. He had lost the vigor and ambition of youth, so that the stormy eloquence and rough debate that would crowd the galleries and lobbies of the House at midnight, did not suit either his taste, or his capacity. He always displayed profound knowledge of the topics he discussed; but he was too minute, dwelt too much on details, for popular effect; and his habits of speculation, added to his range of scholarship, were an evident incumbrance to rapid, off-hand debate.
In his political career he was the intimate associate of Romilly, Brougham, Earl Grey, Canning, Francis Horner, and Wilberforce. With these men, whose names are imperishable in the annals of British legislation, he took an active part in all the great struggles for Parliamentary reform.
In 1818 he was appointed Professor of Law and General Politics in the College at Hailesbury. This college was instituted for the education of young men designed for the East India service. The long residence of Sir James in the East, combined with his extraordinary attainments and public reputation, eminently qualified him for this post. And besides, it was entirely congenial to his tastes. His love of letters, and the amenities of literary life, were ever to him matters of paramount importance. The subject of morals, too, which entered largely into the course of instruction prescribed, had been the object of his earliest and most ardent study. Still, with all these attractions, his mind was not undivided in its pursuits. His profound interest in politics, his connection with the House of Commons, and consequently with public men, and his wonderful powers and facility in colloquial discussion, allured him too frequently from the labors of the desk.
His literary productions subsequent to his appointment to Hailesbury, were mostly fragmentary. His “Early History of England” and his “ History of the Revolution of 1688,” though not without obvious faults, are, nevertheless, elegant pieces of historical composition. His “Sketch of the Progress of Ethical Philosophy” is a masterpiece of its kind. His contributions to the Edinburgh Review, and indeed the most transient productions of his pen, were valuable, for he never wrote upon trivial topics; and whether we follow him in politics, history, or ethics, we discover everywhere gleams of light that flash across our path.
In 1832, at a time when applying himself with unwonted industry to literary pursuits, the life of Sir James was suddenly terminated by an accident which produced inflammation of the throat. He died 30th of May, in the sixty-seventh year of his age; “perhaps more regretted and less envied than any public man of his age."
The world, in pronouncing judgment on the literary merits of Mackintosh, will have more regard to his attainments as a scholar, than what he accomplished as an author. His largest, and what he contemplated as his grandest work, his “ History of England," was posthumous, and consequently unfinished. His life, he confessed, had been scattered over too large a surface. As a student, in the acquisition of knowledge, he was ardent and unwearied. But in productiveness many of his efforts failed to come up to the expectations of his friends. His great attainments and genius stood recorded in the public mind as a kind of mortgage, pledged as security for the accomplishment of magnificent literary works, and works, too, which every one knew he was adequate to perform. But he lacked steady and persevering application. He was deeply sensible of this, and there were not infrequent struggles between his better judgment and the proclivities of an easy disposition. “My works,” he writès on one occasion, "are still but projects.” And at another time, feeling how his heart had been divided between the rival and jealous claims of politics and literature, at the same time his early and unredeemed vows in regard to authorship being revived by recent reflection, he exclaims, with Madame de Sevigné, “Ma vie est pleine de repentie"_" My life is full of repentance.”
Aside, however, from everything else, we have felt the deepest interest in these “Memoirs” of Sir James, as the record of an accomplished and elegant scholar. To become pre-eminent as a man of letters was, indeed, the object of his earliest ambition. It floated before his mind continually. It affected his imagination as with the power of magic, alluring him to patient study, and promising him the rewards of fame. Literature and philosophy seemed to be his appropriate province. His classical taste, his sweetness of disposition, his polished and graceful manners, his ardent love of truth and virtue, and the unaffected modesty which mingled with the most profound and varied attainments, gave him at once an easy passport to the most refined and learned circles of his day.
Art. VI.-HAVEN'S MENTAL PHILOSOPHY.
Mental Philosophy, including the Intellect, Sensibilities, and Will. By Professor
JOSEPH HAVEN. Boston: Gould & Lincoln. 1858.
This volume occupies the whole ground claimed by psychology. It discusses the intellect, the sensibilities, and the will. The method which is adopted in the first and second branches is far more thorough than that which obtains in the third. The completeness of the work distinguishes it from all those essays which restrict themselves to a single department of the mind. The plurality of the mind in its faculties, and its unity as a whole, are maintained by a sifting analysis and by a comprehensive synthesis. It is not the least interesting feature in this writer to find each topic in his volume succinctly accompanied with its appropriate literature, especially as he has abstained from blending the literary and the critical, which never fails to be confusion instead of illustration.
Mr. Haven has grouped together many of the profound thoughts of modern mind, without allowing them to take the place of his own. He introduces the reader to such thinkers as Kant and Sir William Hamilton, but never exbibits the servility of a mere copyist. He has displayed no less independence of these borrowed treasures than skill in appropriating them. Nor is this volume wanting in the characteristics claimed by a scientific style. The poetic element which adorns it is neither large nor wanting; it tinges the sterner features of expression without dazzling the eye that examines those features; that perspicuity and precision with which the science of mind can never afford to part, candor compels us to award to Mr. Haven. Though we cannot accord to him that vigor and compression of thought which some of his reviewers have eulogized in his book, we deem him at least respectable in these higher tests of merit. Still further are we from awarding to him that originality which entitles a writer to the honor of a discoverer. There is here none of that bewitching radiancy with which genius bathes its new-born offspring. He ranks with that large class of writers whose mission is rather to select and classify truth, long the property of cultivated intellect, than to enlarge the boundaries of knowledge by new applications of great principles.
We are far from admitting the dogma that mental science is not susceptible of important advances; that it cannot be enriched by undiscovered truths which remain to be found within the compass of human thought. All important improvements in this branch are