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seems at last to have brought on a confirmed purpose than to give effect to the enlightened and thoroughly diseased habit of uncharitable- and deliberate will of the community. To ness, and misanthropic anticipations of cor: enforce these doctrines his whole life was ruption and misery throughout the civilised devoted; and though not permitted to comworld. The indiscreet revelations of the work plete either of the great works he had proto which we have alluded have now broughtjected, he was enabled to finish detached to light instances, not only of intemperate portions of each, sufficient not only fully to abuse of men of the highest intellect and develope his principles, but to give a clear most unquestioned purity, but such predic. view of the whole design, and to put it in the tions of evil from what the rest of the world power of any succeeding artist to proceed has been contented to receive as improve with the execution. Look now upon the other ments, and such suggestions of intolerant and side of the parallel. Tyrannical Remedies, as no man would be- Mr. Coleridge, too, was an early and most lieve could proceed from a cultivated intel- ardent admirer of the French Revolution ; but lect of the present age-if the early history the fruits of that admiration in him were, not of this particular intellect had not indicated a reasoned and statesmanlike apology for an inherent aptitude for all extreme opinions, some of its faults and excesses, but a resolu-and prepared us for the usual conversion of tion to advance the regeneration of mankind one extreme into another.

at a still quicker rate, by setting before their And it is worth while to mark here also, eyes the pattern of a yet more exquisite form and in respect merely of consistency and of society! And accordingly, when a fullultimate authority with mankind, the advan-grown man, he actually gave into, if he did tage which a sober and well-regulated under- not originate, the scheme of what he and his standing will always have over one which friends called a Pantisocracy—a form of soclaims to be above ordinances; and trusting ciety in which there was to be neither law either to an erroneous opinion of its own nor government, neither priest, judge, nor strength, or even to a true sense of it, gives magistrate—in which all property was to be itself up to its first strong impression, and sets in common, and every man left to act upon at defiance all other reason and authority. his own sense of duty and affection! Sir James Mackintosh had, in his youth, as This fact is enough :-And whether he afmuch ambition and as much consciousness of terwards passed through the stages of a Jacopower as Mr. Coleridge could have : But the bin, which he seems to deny-or a hotheaded utmost extent of his early aberrations (in his Moravian, which he seems to admit,-is really Vindiciæ Gallica) was an over estimate of the of no consequence. The character of his unprobabilities of good from a revolution of derstanding is settled with all reasonable men: violence; and a much greater under-estimate As well as the authority that is due to the of the mischiefs with which such experiments anti-reform and anti-toleration maxims which are sure to be attended, and the value of set- he seems to have spent his latter years in tled institutions and long familiar forms. Yet, venting. Till we saw this posthumous publithough in his philanthropic enthusiasm he did cation, we had, to be sure, no conception of miscalculate the relative value of these op- the extent to which these compensating maxposite forces (and speedily admitted and rec-ims were carried; and we now think that few tified the error), he never for an instant dis- of the Conservatives (who were not originally puted the existence of both elements in the Pantisocratists) will venture to adopt them. equation, or affected to throw a doubt upon Not only is the Reform Bill denounced as the any of the great principles on which civil so- spawn of mere wickedness, injustice, and ciety reposes. On the contrary, in his earliest ignorance; and the reformed House of Comas well as his latest writings, he pointed mons as “low, vulgar, meddling, and sneering steadily to the great institutions of Property at every thing noble and refined,” but the and Marriage, and to the necessary authority wise and the good, we are assured, will, in of Law and Religion, as essential to the being every country, "speedily become disgusted of a state, and the well-being of any human with the Representative form of government, society. It followed, therefore, that when brutalized as it is by the predominance of dedisappointed in his too sanguine expectations mocracy, in England, France, and Belgium !” from the French Revolution, he had nothing And then the remedy is, that they will recur to retract in the substance and scope of his to a new, though, we confess, not very comopinions; and merely tempering their an- prehensible form, of " Pure Monarchy, in nouncement, with the gravity and caution of which the reason of the people shall become maturer years, he gave them out again in his efficient in the apparent Will of the King !" later days to the world, with the accumulated Moreover, he is for a total dissolution of the authority of a whole life of consistency and union with Ireland, and its erection into a sepastudy. Ar no period of that life, did he fail rate and independent kingdom. He is against to assert the right of the people to political Negro emancipation--sees no use in reducing and religious freedom; and to the protection taxation - and designates Malthus' demonof just and equal laws, enacted by representa-tration of a mere matter of fact by a redundant tives truly chosen by themselves: And he accumulation of evidence, by the polite and never uttered a syllable that could be con- appropriate appellation of "a lie;" and represtrued into an approval, or even an acquies- sents it as more disgraceful and abominable cence in persecution and intolerance; or in than any thing that the weakness and wickthe maintenance of authority for any other ledness of man have ever before given birth to. Such as his temperance and candour are in , secution. We are sure we treat Mr. Ccleri politics, they are also in religion; and recom- with all possible respect when we say mended and excused by the same Aagrant his name can lend no more plausibility : contradiction to his early tenets. Whether he surdities like these, than the far greaiers ever was a proper Moravian or not we care of Bacon or Hobbes could do to the ter not to inquire. It is admitted, and even stated sympathetic medicines, or in churchyari somewhat boastingly in this book, that he was paritions. a bold Dissenter from the church. He thanks We fear we have already transgress heaven, indeed, that he "had gone much just limits. But before concluding, ker farther than the Unitarians !" And to make to say a word on a notion which we ting his boldness still more engaging, he had gone generally entertained, that Sir James Le these lengths, not only against the authority tosh did not sufficiently turn to prusi. of our Doctors, but against the clear and ad- talent which was committed to him; and mitted doctrine and teaching of the Apostles much less than, with his gifts and oppthemselves! “What care 1,' I said, • for the ties, he ought to have done. He ha Platonisms of John, or the Rabbinisms of Paul? seems, no doubt, to have been occasio My conscience revolts ?! That was the ground of that opinion; and yet we cannot but .. of my Unitarianism." And by and by, this it in a great degree erroneous. If he Las L infallible and oracular person does not hesitate in early life, conceived the ambitious de to declare, that others, indeed, may do as they of executing two great works,-one choose, but he, for his part, can never allow principles of Morals and Legislation, anu u. that Unitarians are Christians! and, giving no on English History; or had not let it be u... credit for "revolting consciences” to any one stood, for many years before his death, but himself, charges all Dissenters in the he was actually employed on the latte: lump with hating the Church much more do not imagine that, with all the know than they love religion-is furious against the his friends had (and all the world now be repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and of his qualifications, any one would be Catholic Emancipation, and at last actually, thought of visiting his memory with such and in good set terms, denies that any Dis- reproach. senter has a right to toleralion! and, in per- We know of no code of morality wbk fect consistency, maintains that it is the duty makes it imperative on every man of en of the magistrate to stop heresy and schism ordinary talent or learning to write a ko by persecution--if he only has reason to think book :-and could readily point to instance that in this way the evil may be arrested; where such persons have gone with uncon adding, by way of example, that he would be tioned honour to their graves, without leati. ready " to ship off—any where, any mission- any such memorial—and been judged to bar: aries who might attempt to disturb the un- acied up to the last article of their duty doubting Lutheranism of certain exemplary merely by enlightening society by their live Norwegians, whom he takes under his special and conversation, and discharging with abis protection.

and integrity the offices of magistracy or les We are tempted to say more. But we de- lation, to which they may have been calia sist; and shall pursue this parallel no farther. But looking even to the sort of debt whic: Perhaps we have already been betrayed into may be thought to have been contracted by feelings and expressions that may be objected the announcement of these works, we canr. to. We should be sorry if this could be done but think that the public has received a very justly. But we do not question Mr. Cole- respectable dividend-and, being at the best ridge's sincerity. We admit, too, that he was but a gratuitous creditor-ought not now a man of much poetical sensibility, and had withhold a thankful discharge and acquittance visions of intellectual sublimity, and glimpses The discourse on Ethical Philosophy is ful of comprehensive truths, which he could payment, we conceive, of one moiety of the neither reduce into order nor combine into first engagement,—and we are persuaded will system. But out of poetry and metaphysics, be so received by all who can judge of its we think he was nothing; and eminently dis- value; and though the other moiety, which qualified, not only by the defects, but by the relates to Legislation, has not yet been tenbest parts of his genius, as well as by his dered in form, there is reason to believe that temper and habits, for 'forming any sound there are assets in the hands of the executors judgment on the business and affairs of our from which this also may soon be liquidated actual world. And yet it is for his preposter- That great subject was certainly fully treated ous judgments on such subjects that his memory of in the Lectures of 1799—and as it appears is now held in affected reverence by those from some citations in these Memoirs, that, who laughed at him, all through his life, for though for the most part delivered extempore, what gave him his only true claim to admira- various notes and manuscripts relating to them tion ! and who now magnify his genius, for no have been preserved, we think it not unlikely other purpose but to give them an opportunity that, with due diligence, the outline at least to quote, as of grave authority, his mere deli- and main features of that interesting disquisirations, on reform, dissent, and toleration-his tion may still be recovered. On the bill for cheering predictions of the approaching mil. History, too, it cannot be denied that a large lennium of pure monarchy—or his demonstra- payment has been made to account and as tions of the absolute harmlessness of taxation, it was only due for the period of the Revoloand the sacred duty of all sorts of efficient per- tion, any shortcoming that may appear upon

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iat score, may be fairly held as compensated in the history of the world for the last two y the voluntary advances of value to a much hundred years ? above all, what useful lessons reater extent, though referring to an earlier could be learned, for people or for rulers, from eriod.

a mere series of events presented in detail, But, in truth, there never was any such without any other information as to their

ebt or engagement on the part of Sir James: causes or consequences, than might be inhapa z And the public was, and continues, the only ferred from the sequence in which they apBuiten

lebtor on the transaction, for whatever it may peared ? To us it appears that a mere record have received of service or instruction at his of the different places of the stars, and their

Wand. We have expressed elsewhere our successive changes of position, would be as SCE

?stimate of the greatness of this debt; and of good a system of Astronomy, as such a set of he value especially of the Histories he has annals would be of History; and that it would left behind him. We have, to be sure, since be about as reasonable to sneer at Newton seen some sneering remarks on the dulness and La Place for seeking to supersede the and uselessness of these works; and an at- honest old star-gazers, by their philosophical tempt made to hold them up to ridicule, under histories of the heavens, as to speak in the the appellation of Philosophical histories. We same tone, of what Voltaire and Montesquieu are not aware that such a name was ever ap- and Mackintosh have attempted to do for our

plied to them by their author or their admirers. lower world. We have named these three, 2. But if they really deserve it, we are at a loss as having attended more peculiarly, and more

to conceive how it should be taken for a name impartially, than any others, at least in modern

of reproach; and it will scarcely be pretended times, to this highest part of their duty. But, 123 ce that their execution is such as to justify its in truth, all eminent historians have attended me application in the way of derision. We do to it—from the time of Thucydides downat not perceive, indeed, that this is pretended; wards ;--the ancients putting the necessary dad and, strange as it may appear, the objection explanations more frequently into the shape

seems really to be, rather to the kind of wri- of imaginary orations—and the moderns into hid ting in general, than to the defects of its exe- that of remark and dissertation. The very

cution in this particular instance-the objector first, perhaps, of Hume's many excellences code to having a singular notion that history should consists in these philosophical summaries of * consist of narrative only; and that nothing the reasons and considerations by which he

can be so tiresome and useless as any addition supposes parties to have been actuated in se face of explanation or remark.

great political movements; which are more We have no longer room to expose, as it completely abstracted from the mere story, oh! deserves, the strange misconceptions of the and very frequently less careful and complete, wat objects and uses of history, which we humbly than the parallel explanations of Sir James

conceive to be implied in such an opinion; Mackintosh. For, with all his unrivalled sa-
and shall therefore content ourselves with gacity, it is true, as Sir James has himself
asking, whether any man really imagines that somewhere remarked, that Hume was too
the modern history of any considerable State, little of an antiquary to be always able to
with its complicated system of foreign rela- estimate the effect of motives in distant ages;
tions, and the play of its domestic parties, and by referring too confidently to the princi-
could be written in the manner of Herodotus? ples of human nature as developed in our own
-or be made intelligible (much less instruct times, has often represented our ancestors as
ive) by the naked recital of transactions and more reasonable, and much more argumenta-
occurrences? These, in fact, are but the crude tive, than they really were.
materials from which history should be con- That there may be, and have often been,
structed; the mere alphabet out of which its abuses of this best part of history, is a reason
lessons are afterwards to be spelled. If every only for valuing more highly what is exempt
reader had indeed the talents of an accom- from such abuses; and those who feel most
plished Historian,—that knowledge of human veneration and gratitude for the lights afforded
nature, that large acquaintance with all col- by a truly philosophical historian, will be sure
lateral facts, and that force of understanding to look with most aversion on a counterfeit.
which are implied in such a name—and, at No one, we suppose, will stand up for the in-
the same time, that leisure and love for the troduction of ignorant conjecture, shallow dog-
subject which would be necessary for this matism, mawkish morality, or factious injustice
particular application of such gists, the mere into the pages of history-or deny that the
detail of facts, if full and impartial, might be shortest and simplest annals are greatly prefer-
sufficient for his purposes. But to every other able to such a perversion. As to political
class of readers, we will venture to say, that partiality, however, it is a great mistake to
one half of such a history would be an in- suppose that it could be in any degree ex-
soluble enigma; and the other half the source cluded by confining history to a mere chroni-
of the most gross misconceptions.

cle of facts—the truth being, that it is chiefly Without some explanation of the views and in the statement of facts that this partiality motives of the prime agents in great transac- displays itself; and that it is more frequently tions—of the origin and state of opposite inte exposed to detection than assisted, by ihe arrests and opinions in large bodies of the people guments and explanations, which are supposed -and of their tendencies respectively to as to be its best resources. We shall not resume cendency or decline-what intelligible account what we have said in another place as to the could be given of any thing worth knowing / merit of the Histories which are now in question; but we fear not to put this on record, as periods, they would be listened to with impa. our deliberate, and we think impartial, judg- tience. It is at such times, too, that the inment—that they are the most candid, the telligent part of the lower and middling most judicious, and the most pregnant with classes look anxiously through such publica thought, and moral and political wisdom, of tions as treat intelligibly of the subjects to any in which our domestic story has ever yet which their attention is directed; and are thus been recorded.

led, while seeking only for reasons to justify But even if we should discount his Histo- their previous inclinings, to imbibe principles ries, and his Ethical Dissertation, we should and digest arguments which are impressed on still be of opinion, that Sir James Mackintosh their understandings for ever, and may frue. had not died indebted to his country for the tify in the end to far more important concluuse he had made of his talents. In the vol- sions. It is, no doubt, true, that in this way, umes before us, he seems to us to have left the full exposition of the truth will often be them a rich legacy, and given abundant proofs sacrificed for the sake of its temporary appli. of the industry with which he sought to the cation; and it will not unfrequently happen last to qualify himself for their instruction, that, in order to favour that application, the and the honourable place which his name exposition will not be made with absolute must ever hold, as the associate and successor fairness. But still the principle is brought of Romilly in the great and humane work of into view; the criterion of true judgment is ameliorating our criminal law, might alone laid before the public; and the disputes of suffice to protect him from the imputation of adverse parties will speedily settle the correct having done less than was required of him, in or debatable rule of its application. the course of his unsettled life. But, without For our own parts we have long been of dwelling upon the part he took in Parliament, opinion, that a man of powerful understandon these and many other important questions ing and popular talents, who should, at such both of domestic and foreign policy, we must a season, devote himself to the task of anbe permitted to say, that they judge ill of the nouncing such principles, and rendering such relative value of men's contributions to the discussions familiar, in the way and by the cause of general improvement, who make means we have mentioned, would probably small account of the influence which one of do more to direct and accelerate the rectificahigh reputation for judgment and honesty may tion of public opinion upon all practical ques. exercise, by his mere presence and conversa- tions, than by any other use he could possibly tion, in the higher classes of society,--and still make of his faculties. His name, indeed, more by such occasional publications as he might not go down to a remote posterity in may find leisure to make, in Journals of wide connection with any work of celebrity; and circulation,-like this on which the reader is the greater part even of his contemporaries now looking-we trust with his accustomed might be ignorant of the very existence of indulgence.

their benefactor. But the benefits conferred It is now admitted, that the mature and en- would not be the less real; nor the consciouslightened opinion of the public must ultimately ness of conferring them less delightful; nor rule the country; and we really know no other the gratitude of the judicious less ardent and way in which ihis opinion can be so effectu. sincere. So far, then, from regretting that ally matured and enlightened. It is not by Sir James Mackintosh did not forego all other every man studying elaborate treatises and occupations, and devote himself exclusively systems for himself, that the face of the world to the compilation of the two great works he is changed, with the change of opinion, and had projected, or from thinking that his coun. the progress of conviction in those who must try has been deprived of any services it might ultimately lead it. It is by the mastery which otherwise have received from him, by the strong minds have over weak, in the daily in- course which he actually pursued, we firmly tercourse of society; and by the gradual and believe that, by constantly maintaining hualmost imperceptible infusion which such mane and generous opinions, in the most enminds are constantly effecting, of the practical gaging manner and with the greatest possible results and manageable summaries of their ability, in the highest and most influencing preceding studies, into the minds immediately circles of society, -by acting as the respected below them, that this great process is carried adviser of many youths of great promise and on. The first discovery of a great truth, or ambition, and as the bosom counsellor of many practical principle, may often require much practical statesmen, as well as by the timely labour; but when once discovered, it is gene- publication of many admirable papers, in this rally easy not only to convince others of its and in other Journals, on such branches of importance, but to enable them to defend and politics, history, or philosophy as the course maintain it, by plain and irrefragable argu- of events had rendered peculiarly interesting ments; and this conviction, and this practical or important, -he did far more to enlighten knowledge, it will generally be most easy to the public mind in his own day, and to insure communicate, when men's minds are excited its farther improvement in the days that are to inquiry, by the pursuit of some immediate to follow, than could possibly have been efinterest, to which such general truths may fected by the most successful completion of appear to be subservient. It is at such times the works he had undertaken. that important principles are familiarly started Such great works acquire for their authors in conversation; and disquisitions eagerly pur- a deserved reputation with the studious few; sued, in societies, where, in more tranquil | and are the treasuries and armories from

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which the actual and future apostles of the his place as the author of some finished work truth derive the means of propagating and de- of great interest and importance. If he got fending it. But, in order to be so effective, over the first illusion, however, and took the the arms and the treasures must be taken forth view we have done of the real utility of his from their well-ordered repositories, and dis- exertions, we cannot believe that this would seminated and applied where they are needed have weighed very heavily on a mind like and required. It is by the tongue, at last, and Sir James Mackintosh's; and while we cannot by the pen, that multitudes, or the indi- not but regret that his declining years should viduals composing multitudes, are ever really have been occasionally darkened by these persuaded or converted, -by conversation and shadows of a self-reproach for which we think not by harangues—or by such short and oc- there was no real foundation, we trust that he casional writings as come in aid of conversa. is not to be added to the many instances of tion, and require little more study or continued men who have embittered their existence by attention than men capable of conversation a mistaken sense of the obligation of some are generally willing to bestow. If a man, rash vow made in early life, for the performtherefore, who is capable of writing such a ance of some laborious and perhaps impractibook, is also eminently qualified to dissemi- cable task. nate and render popular its most important Cases of this kind we believe to be more doctrines, by conversation and by such lighter common than is generally imagined. An ampublications, is he to be blamed if, when the bitious young man is dazzled with the notion times are urgent, he intermits the severer of filling up some blank in the literature of study, and applies himself, with caution and his country, by the execution of a great and candour, to give an earlier popularity to that important work-reads with a view to it, and which can never be useful till it is truly allows himself to be referred 10 as engaged in popular ? To us it appears, that he fulfils the its preparation. By degrees he finds it more higher duty; and that to act otherwise would irksome than he had expected;

and is tempt. be to act like a general who should starve his ed by other studies, altogether as suitable and troops on the eve of battle, in order to replen- less charged with responsibility, into long fits ish his magazines for a future campaign-or of intermission. Then the very expectation like a farmer who should cut off the rills from that has been excited by this protracted incuhis parching crops, that he may have a fuller bation makes him more ashamed of having reservoir against the possible drought of an- done so little, and more dissatisfied with the

little he has done! And so his life is passed, But we must cut this short. If we are at in a melancholy alternation of distasteful, and all right in the views we have now taken, Sir of course unsuccessful attempts; and long fits James Mackintosh must have been wrong in of bitter, but really groundless, self-reproach, the regret and self-reproach with which he for not having made those attempts with more certainly seems to have looked back on the energy and perseverance: and at last he dies, unaccomplished projects of his earlier years: -not only without doing what he could not

- And we humbly think that he was wrong. attempt without pain and mortification, but He had failed, no doubt, to perform all that prevented by this imaginary engagement from he had once intended, and had been drawn doing many other things which he could have aside from the task he had set himself, by done with success and alacrity—some one of other pursuits. But he had performed things which it is probable, and all of which it is as important, which were not originally in- nearly certain, would have done him more tended; and been drawn aside by pursuits credit, and been of more service to the world, not less worthy than those to which he had than any constrained and distressful completasked himself. In blaming himself—not for tion he could in any case have given to the this idleness, but for this change of occupa- other. For our own parts we have already tion — we think he was misled, in part at said that we do not think that any man, whatleast, by one very common error-we mean ever his gifts and attainments may be, is really that of thinking, that, because the use he ac- bound in duty to leave an excellent Book to tually made of his intellect was more agree- posterity; or is liable to any reproach for not able than that which he had intended to make, having chosen to be an author. But, at all it was therefore less meritorious. We need events, we are quite confident that he can be

say, that there cannot be a worse criterion under no obligation to make himself unhappy of merit: But tender consciences are apt to in trying to make such a book : And that as fall into such illusions. Another cause of soon as he finds the endeavour painful and regret may have been a little, though we really depressing, he will do well, both for himself think but a little, more substantial. By the and for others, to give up the undertaking, course he followed, he probably felt, that his and let his talents and sense of duty take a name would be less illustrious, and his repu- course more likely to promote, both his own tation less enduring, than if he had fairly taken I enjoyment and their ultimate reputation.

other year.


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