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What do you say to that? I think this is a piece of Germanism for you. Her father was a day-labourer like the son, and had become organist before him out of a natural love of music. I had fetched the girl from her tea. A decent-looking young man was in the room with her; the door was open, exhibiting the homely comforts inside; a cat slept before it on the cover of the garden well; and there were plenty of herbs and flowers, presenting altogether the appearance of a cottage nest. I will be bound that their musical refinements are a great help to their enjoyment of all this; and that a general lift in their tastes, instead of serving to dissatisfy the poor, would have a reverse effect by increasing the sum of their resources. It would indeed not help to blind them to whatever they might have reason to ask or to complain of. Why should it? But it would refine them there also, and enable them to obtain it more happily, through the means of the diffusion of knowledge on all sides.

The mansion of Norbury Park, formerly the seat of Mr Locke, who appears to have had a deserved reputation for taste in the fine arts, (his daughter married an Angerstein) is situate on a noble elevation upon the right of the village of Mickleham. Between the grounds and the road, are glorious slopes and meadows, superabundant in wood, and pierced by the river Mole. In coming back we turned up a path into them, to look at a farm that was to be let. It belongs to a gentleman, celebrated in the neighbourhood, and we believe elsewhere, for his powers of " conversation;" but this we did not know at the time. He was absent, and had left his farm in the hands of his steward to be let for a certain time. The house was a cottage, and furnished as becomes a cottage; but one room we thought would make a delicious study. Probably it is one; for there were books and an easy chair in it. The window looked upon a close bit of lawn, shut in with trees; and round the walls hung a set of prints from Raphael. This looked as if the possessor had something to say for himself.

We were now in the bosom of the scenery for which this part of the country is celebrated. Between Mickleham and Dorking, on the left, is the famous Box Hill, so called from the trees that grow on it. Part of it presents great bald pieces of chalk; but on the side of Mickleham it has one truly noble aspect, a " verdurous wall," which looks the higher for its being precipitous, and from its having somebody's house at the foot of it,-a white little mansion in a world of green. Otherwise the size of this hill disappointed us. The river Mole runs at the foot of it. This river, so called from taking part of its course underground, does not plunge into the earth at once, as most people suppose. So at least Dr Aikin informs us, for I did not look into the matter myself. He says, it loses itself in the ground at various points about the neighbourhood, and rises again on the road to Leatherhead. I protest against its being called" sullen," in spite of what the poets have been pleased

to call it for hiding itself. It is a good and gentle stream, flowing through luxuriant banks, and clear enough where the soil is gravelly. It hides, just as the nymph might hide; and Drayton gives it a good character, if I remember. Unfortunately I have him not. by me.

The town of Dorking disappointed us, especially one of us, who was a good deal there when a child, and who found new Londonlooking houses started up in the place of old friends. The people also appeared not so pleasant as their countrymen in general, nor so healthy. There are more King's and Duke's Heads in this neighbourhood; signs, which doubtless came in with the Restoration. The Leg of Mutton is the favourite hieroglyphic about the Downs. Dorking is famous for a breed of fowls with six toes. I do not know whether they have any faculty at counting their grain. We did not see Leith Hill, which is the great station for a prospect hereabouts, and upon which Dennis the critic made a lumbering attempt to be lively. You may see it in the two volumes of letters belonging to N. He "blunders round about a meaning;" and endeavours to act the part of an inspired Cicerone, with oratorical "flashes in the pan." One or two of his attempts to convey a particular impression are very ludicrous. Just as you think you are going to catch an idea, they slide off into hopeless generality. Such at least is my impression, from what I remember. I regret that I could not meet at Epsom or Leatherhead, with a Dorking Guide, which has been lately published, and which, I believe, is a work of merit. In the town itself I had not time to think of it: otherwise I might have had some better information to give you regarding spots in the neighbourhood, and persons who have added to their interest.

One of these however I know. Turning off to the left for Brockham, we had to go through Betchworth Park, formerly the seat of Abraham Tucker, one of the most amiable and truth-loving of philosophers. Mr Hazlitt made an abridgment of his principal work; but original and abridgment are both out of print. Either of them would surely sell at this moment, when the public begin to be tired of the eternal jangling and insincerity of criticism, and would fain hear what an honest observer has to say. It would only require to be well advertised; not puffed; for puffing, thank God, besides being a very unfit announcer of truth, has well nigh cracked his cheeks.

Betchworth Castle is now in the possession of Mr Barclay the brewer, a descendant, if I mistake not, of the famous Barclay of Urie, the apologist of the Quakers. If this gentleman is the same as the one mentioned in Boswell's Life of Johnson, he is by nature as well as descent worthy of occupying the abode of a wise man. Or if he is not, why shouldn't he be worthy after his fashion? You remember the urbane old bookworm, who conversing with a young gentleman, more remarkable for gentility than beauty, and under

standing for the first time that he had sisters, said, in a transport of the gratuitous, "Doubtless very charming young ladies, Sir." I will not take it for granted, that all the Barclays are philosophers; but something of a superiority to the vulgar, either in talents or the love of them, may be more reasonably expected in this kind of hereditary rank than the common one.

With Mr Tucker and his chesnut groves I will conclude, having in fact nothing to say of Brockham except that it was the boundary of our walk. Yes; I have one thing, and a pleasant one; which is, that I met there by chance with the younger brother of a family whom I had known in my childhood, and who are eminent to this day for a certain mixture of religion and joviality, equally uncommon and good-hearted. May old and young continue not to know which shall live the longest. I do not mean religion or joviality! but both in their shape.

Believe me, dear Sir, very truly yours.--Mine is not so novel or luxurious a journey as the one you treated us with the other day; which I mention, because one journey always makes me long for another; and I hope not many years will pass over your head, before you give us a second Ramble, in which I may see Italy once again, and hear with more accomplished ears the sound of her music.


THE COMPANION here closes his public appearance in that character. I would have continued the work with pleasure, had circumstances allowed me; but though it has succeeded perhaps beyond what might have been expected during the present ostentatious and busy imposition of gross goods on the public, I could neither pay it attention enough, nor afford to wait time enough, to get it up to a sale that should indemnify all parties concerned, without more help than the speculation was thought to warrant. I therefore take leave of my readers; shaking them by the hand all round, after the fashion in which they have encouraged me; and hoping to meet them again under circumstances more favourable. It has happened, that the composition of this work, like that of the Indicator, has taken place at one of the most painful periods of my life; which I mention for several reasons; first, because I like to be explicit among friends; second, because it will serve to excuse the hurry and negligence of a great deal of the style; and third, because I think it useful as well as pleasant to be able to tell the reader, that the pleasures I have described myself as feeling on many occasions have nevertheless been as genuine as my cares, and that the love of nature, and the pursuit of truth and good, are never without their consolations.


At no time do I pretend to be exempt from error. So far from it, and so little claim for reputation do I seek, apart from that love of truth which it is within the power of every heart, not absolutely foolish, to learn the value of, that I could as soon compare notes with regard to my faults as my good qualities, in order to see what we might all do for the better, if in these midway times between past opinions and future, men's minds

were not so uneasy, and doubtful, and beset with false pretensions on all sides, as to dislike a premature look of reliance even on themselves, and be inclined to attribute simplicity to ostentation. They require (paradoxical as it may seem, and so much harm have certain desperadoes of egotism done them) to be encouraged to think better of their own natures, before they can believe that you do not pique yourself on your faults, or that it is possible for any man, under any experiences, to merge the idea of himself in the consideration of all. That they will think otherwise some day I have no doubt; because it is clear to me, that although they are still in that "minority" of their understanding which Bacon speaks of, they have already, by his assistance, outgrown that stationary look of error, which was kept upon them by the hand of authority; and if we consider for how short a period we know anything of the very existence of the world (a sorry four or five thousand years at the utmost, which is like a dot of ink in eternity) and yet what an amazing progress in the short space of two centuries the community have made in the use of those new instruments of knowledge which Bacon put into their hands, there seems to be no reason why they should not learn of him in things ethical as well as mechanical, and arrive at a period when they shall agree to lay down all gratuitous beliefs, in order to see how much of them they may retain, and with what discoveries they can improve them.

Now to afford some encouragement, if it were only an atom of it, towards the hope and furtherance of the arrival of this period, is all that I aim at in my writings. I have my opinions on certain points, for I cannot help them; but I do not pretend that they are infallible; I am not certain they are true: I have sometimes even doubts and misgivings about them; only less painful than what I should feel in returning to the dens of superstition. All that I claim is, a right to state them with decency, in vindication of the great human privilege which Bacon set free, and which (never let it be forgotten) concerns our moral as well as mechanical advancement; and all that I yearn for, and that I would die and be forgotten tomorrow to secure (paying myself in one great sum of anticipation for whatever I might lose) is the open, grave, and sincere discussion of these and all other points interesting to the welfare of every one of us.

"The efficiency of any science in improving the powers of the mind," says the writer of an admirable work lately published, " can borrow nothing from its incorrectness." Why should there be a difference in this respect between mathematical and moral science? The truth is, that all men cannot agree to keep up a lie, even if it could be supposed advantageous; and the doubt it produces, is the signal that the time is come for its overthrow. I do not mean any one lie in particular, but all:-and to think that the world cannot do without lying, is to confound the pleasures of imagination with the advantages of moral truth; all which may co-exist in men as well as in children, as long as the unknown exists with the known, or there is colour in the flower, or a star in the sky. To say that men cannot do without lying, is to say that they cannot do without the discord that lying produces, and that makes them complain of the very existence for which they defend it. "In fact," says a French writer, quoted by the one I have just mentioued, " the distinctive character of truth is to be equally and constantly beneficial to all parties; while falsehood, useful only for an instant to a few, is ever pernicious to all the rest." And as it is impossible to stop speculative principles, and nobody, if he could, would have any more right to do so than others have to dictate to his (thus setting up his arrogant knowledge, or ignorance, out of a pretended hatred of arrogance) it is of the last importance that the world should come to just


conclusions on the great points upon which they are at issue. “ Mankind," (to return to our excellent unknown author) can never err in their speculative views without endangering their real welfare. It follows, as a necessary consequence, that the sole end of enquiry ought to be, not the support of any particular doctrines, but the attainment of truth, whatever may be the result to established systems." And again, to conclude with a large extract, which we recommend to the earnest attention of our readers :

"The greater the number of inquirers, the greater the probability of a successful result. Some will come to the inquiry under circumstances peculiarly favourable to success, some with faculties capable of penetrating where less acute ones fail, and some disengaged from passious and prejudices with which others are encumbered. While one directs his scrutiny to a particular view of the subject, another will regard it in a different aspect, a third will see it from a position inaccessible to his predecessors; and, by the comparison and collision of opinions, trath will be separated from error and emerge from obscurity. If attainable by human faculties, it must by such a process be ultimately evolved.

"The way, then, to obtain this result is to permit all to be said on a subject that can be said. All error is the consequence of narrow and partial views, and can be removed only by having a question presented in all its possible bearings, or, in other words, by unlimited discussion. Where there is perfect freedom of examination, there is the greatest probability which it is possible to have that the truth will be ultimately attained. To impose the least restraint is to diminish this probability. It is to declare that we will not take into consideration all the possible arguments which can be presented, but that we will form our opinions on partial views. It is, therefore, to increase the probability of error. Nor need we, under the utmost freedom of discussion, be in any fear of an inundation of crude and preposterous speculations. All such will meet with a proper and effectual check in the neglect or ridicule of the public: none will have much influence but those which possess the plausibility bestowed by a considerable admixture of truth, and which it is of importance should appear, that, amidst the contention of controversy, what is true may be separated from what is false.

"The objection, that the plan of unlimited discussion would introduce a multiplicity of erroneous speculations, is in reality directed against the very means of attaining the end. Though error is an absolute evil, it is frequently necessary to go through it to arrive at truth; as a man, to ascertain the nearest road from one place to another, may be obliged to make frequent deviations from the direct line. In the physical sciences, through how many errors has the path to truth frequently lain! What would have been the present state of knowledge, if no step had been hazarded without a perfect assurance of being right? Even the ideal theory of Berkeley and the scepticism of Hume have had their use in establishing human science on its just foundation. We are midway in the stream of ignorance and error; and it is a poor argument against an attempt to reach the shore, that every step will be a plunge into the very element from which we are anxious to escape. Mankind, it is obvious, are not endowed with faculties to possess themselves at once of correct opinions on all subjects. On many questions they must expend painful and persevering efforts; they must often be mistaken, and often be set right, before they completely succeed. To stop them at any point in their career, to erect a barrier, and say, thus far your inquiries have proceeded, but here they must terminate, can scarcely fail to fix them in the midst of some error. It is prejudging all future efforts and all future opportunities of discovery, without a knowledge of their nature and extent. It is proclaiming, that whatever events may hereafter take place, whatever new principles may be evolved, whatever established fallacies may be exploded, how much soever the methods of investigating truth may be enlarged and enhanced in efficacy, and how gigantic soever may be the progress of the human mind in other departments of knowledge; yet no application of any of these improvements and discoveries shall be made to certain particular subjects, which shall be as fixed spots, immoveable stations, amidst all the vicissitudes and advancement of science."Essays on the Formation and Publication of Opinions, &c. Second Edition, p. 130.

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