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Besides numerous memoirs scat. sophic mind was so amply prepared, tered through various scientific by previous study, to contemplate journals, he published his Critical the diversified yet intimately conHistory of Geography and the Pro- nected series of phenomena and gress of Astronomy in the Fifteenth assemblage of laws which nature and Sixteenth centuries (1836-9). everywhere presents to the study
We have spoken almost entirely of a mind duly prepared to compreof Humboldt's public and acknow. hend it. ledged services to science and the In this point of view, the leading known features of his life and cha. idea of his last and greatest work racter; but of his more private appears to have been all along prehistory much remains unknown to sent to his conceptions, and to have the world, and to be collected only supplied the guiding principle and from the recollections of those with stimulus to his researches. And it whom he was brought into contact. is by a natural and obvious tranTo gather up such reminiscences sition that we trace the course of will be the
worthy task of his bio- his studies and compositions, in congrapher. We are, however, able to tinuous procession from the divermention one characteristic trait of sified experiences of his travels to his private life-his always ready the collected and condensed geneand generous encouragement of ralizations of his later meditations rising merit in younger cultivators - from the details supplied by his of science, and (as an instance) we journals and memorials of active have been informed, on good au- research into nature in her own thority, that the first living chemist haunts, to the conception and in Europe, Liebig, freely acknow- arrangement of the matured re. ledges that his whole success has sults of those profound thoughts been due to the early notice and in the composition of Cosmos. encouragement thus extended to • In the evening of a long and him.
active life,' Humboldt declares in Among the honours and attentions his preface, I present the public which Humboldt received from the with a work, the indefinite outlines highest quarters few were more of which have floated in my mind signal or gratifying than the respect for almost half a century. On the and esteem evinced during his visit mass of materials brought together to England in 1842, when in the by unprecedented toil, skill, and suite of his sovereign he was present
perseverance in the labours of his at the baptism of the Prince of earlier life, he still exerted the same Wales. His reception in the sci- unwearied powers of arrangement, entific circles, it need hardly be classification, and generalization to added, was not less marked.
rear the edifice of a comprehensive At this period he was known to system-designed to include, as he be engaged in preparing the pub- says, 'the phenomena of corporeal lication of his great and final work, things in their general connexion the appearance of which, in 1845, -to embrace nature as a whole, was recognised both by scientific actuated and animated by internal and general readers as constituting forces.' a kind of epoch in this class of He traces with admirable clear. philosophical writing.
ness the way in which each branch In tracing the preceding faint out- of science reacts upon, and unites itline of Humboldt's earlier labours, self to, others. For example, Botany, we have seen them divided among taken in its widest extent, leads a vast multiplicity of subjects, in- the observer to visit distant lands cluding every department of physical and ascend lofty mountains, and science and natural history. But thus to determine the laws of disall these varied and multifarious tribution of species over different researches were not carried on regions, whether characterized by without a unity of purpose and a
difference of climate from geogra. connected design correspondent to pbical position, or from difference the enlarged views with which they of elevation in the same region. were undertaken, and the compre- But then to understand the causes hensivo enirit in which his philo. of this distribution. the laws of 1859.]
climate, of temperature, of mete- we need not enlarge; nor on the orology, connecting the phenomena funereal honours of the solemn of earth with those of ocean, and procession, and service at the Dom especially of air, must be equally Church in Berlin--attended by all taken into account. But clima- the academic, ciric, and clerical tology, again, is intimately con- dignitaries, and even by royaltynected with solar infiuence, with which preceded the final deposit the rotation and revolution of the of his remains in the family vault earth; and thus with astronomy. at Tegel (May 10, 1859), to which Terrestrial magnetism evinces a those of his elder brother Wilhelm wonderful connexion with the whole had been some years before conrange of magnetic and electric signed. science, as well as with the mineral In devoting a few concluding structure of the earth. Geology remarks to the subject of his latest lends her aid to the determinations and most masterly production, the of the geodetical measurer, whose Cosmos, we may briefly refer to the calculations, aided by astronomical progress of the idea, as the author observation, react on astronomy, in has himself in some degree indicated which the magnitude and figure it. Its development in his own of the earth are such important mind was clearly the legitimate elements.
crowning inference from the accuThese are but isolated examples; mulated convictions of the enlarged yet they serve to illustrate the turn study of nature under so many of thought which pervades the re- phases and aspects. But the origisearches of Humboldt, and gives Dal conception to which he has so the clue to the whole design, and appropriately affixed the designation stamps the value of his labours. (and which has now become a stan
The substance of the Cosmos, in dard term in our philosophical the first instance, was given to the language), has been traced up to its world in the form of a course of rudimentary origin in the ancient public lectures, both at Paris and philosophy. The physical science Berlin (1827-28), but they were de- of the ancients, even where it livered wholly without notes ; and attained its highest development, the work, as it stands, was entirely was still but partial and desultory. composed in the course of the years It possessed but little of compre1843 and 1844.
hensiveness or unity ; nor could the The production of a man of such nature of the methods then pursued European celebrity of course at- lead to those higher generalizations, tracted immediate notice in other at once exact and extended, at once countries ; and within a year of its founded on precise data and empublication on the Continent, one bracing the widest enlargement of English translation (though extend ideas, which the modern inductive ing only to the first volume) had philosophy has been enabled to appeared (1845), followed in 1847 reach. The best physical ideas by the more complete one of General broached by some of the ancient Sabine, which received the advan. philosophers were purely conjectu. tage of the author's revision; and ral, evincing the power of their more recently by that in Bolin's individual minds to foresee truths Standard Library-including the afterwards to be demonstratively passages which, from whatever established, which to them were notive, had been suppressed in the purely ideal. ormer.
The first use of the term •Cos• Some supplementary additions, mos,' in the sense of the order of carrying up the statements of the the world, has been attributed to vork to the level of the most Pythagoras,but wascertainlyadopted recent discoveries, have been since by Plato and Aristotle; the former annexed by the author, on which conceiving the whole universe as a iz is believed he was engaged up living being, animated by a soul :to the period of his death.
κόσμος ζώον έμψυχον. (Timeus, 3ο.) On the sensation caused by that While in a yet more precise and event (though from bis great age positive form, the author of the it was naturally not unexpected), treatise, De Mundo, long ascribed
to Aristotle (c. ii. p. 391), defines hid beneath the covering of phenomena; Cosmos to be the connected system
in this way our aspirations rise beyond of all things; the order and arrange
the narrow confines of the world of ment of the whole universe, pre
sepse.—(Introd. p. 5, ist transl.) served under the gods and by the When, towards the close of his gods.' But among the ancients the life and labours, Humboldt received ideas of arrangement, order, and de- the highest scientific honour which sign in the material world, so far as our country can bestow-the award any positive estimation of evidence of the medal of the Royal Societywent, were necessarily of the most it was this crowning effort of his limited description ; yet it is very genius which, it was acknowledged, remarkable that when they launched stamped such peculiar.value on his on the wide sea of pure speculation, other labours : a riew of the case apart from mere details, they did in which was emphatically, enlarged some few instances strike out views
upon at the time by a fellow-coun. of so grand and comprehensive a tryman well qualified to do full character, that even Humboldt be justice to the views of his great cocame, as it were, a disciple of their temporary - the Baron Bunsen, school, and adopted the brief ex- who represented the venerable phipression of that conception as the losopher on that occasion, and who title of his great and crowning in his reply to the address of the work — the term KOEMOE - the President, emphatically observed principle of universal and perpetual
Humboldt thought he could show order, law, harmony, and reason
why and how this world and the unipervading the material universe.
verse itself is a Kosmos—a divine whole Such conceptions broached by the of life and intellect; namely, by its allapcients were in truth but philoso- pervading eternal laws. Law is the phical dreams, which, nevertheless, supreme rule of the universe; and that likeotherdreams, sometimes chanced law is wisdom, is intellect, is reason, to be true.
whether viewed in the formation of But in the mind and under the planetary systems or in the organization hands of Humboldt the idea thus
of the worm.----Proceedings of the Royal pregnantly expressed became fixed
Society: Anniversary, Nov. 30th, 1852. on the basis of demonstrative and It is clearly to be remarked and inductive evidence, and assumed the the remark has been dwelt on by rank and position of a distinct phi. some in a tone of hostile insinuation, losophical conclusion; a real and —that Humboldt in this great work tangible result as definitively de- does not specifically introduce any termined from the progress of high discussion of the bearing of his generalization, as any of the subor. views on final causes, or those higher dinate laws regulating the various contemplations which ought to arise portions of nature of which it is the out of such speculations. This is to paramount principle and aggregate a great extent true; but it must be expression.
considered that the less such specific The view which he took capnot conclusions are directly pressed be better or more comprehensively upon the reader, the more forcible expressed than in the author's own and irresistible is the conclusion eloquent words:
which he cannot fail himself to It is the idea, stamped with the same
draw, and which is rather involved image as that which in times of remote in, and almost synonymous with, antiquity presented itself to the inward the assertion of universal law and sense in the guise of an harmoniously order, and the immutable and endordered whole, Cosmos, which meets us lessly ramified and profoundly adat last as the prize of long and care- justed chain of physical causation. fully accumulated experience.
It is a common but mistaken To acknowledge unity in multiplicity;
unity in multiplicity; practice, especially with English from the individual to embrace the whole; amid the discoveries of later
writers, to be so continually ob
truding considerations of a theo. ages to prove and separate the individual truths, yet not to be overwhelmed with
logical kind into philosophical disthe mass; to keep the high destinies cussion, as to go far to vitiate of man continually in view, and to com
the force of their own argument, prehend the spirit of nature, which lies by depriving the scientific evidence 1859.] Tendency of the Study of Natural Philosophy. 23 of that entire independence in ration of Cosmos, that he dilates on virtue of which it acquires all its the eloquent testimony borne to force. From this fault the Con. their force by the early Christian tinental writers are much more free. Fathers, and its conformity to tbe And especially in reference to some entire spirit of Christianity.* branches of science which in this It is beyond the purpose of these country have been unhappily mixed remarks to go into theological disup with theological dogmas in a sertation. But it is in close and most pernicious manner, Humboldt immediate connexion with the subhas justly made it his boast that ject before us to observe the tenthese branches are, on the Con- dency and spirit of cosmical continent at least, withdrawn from templation. When fairly embraced Semitic influences. But as to the and understood in its full extent, general influence of the study of the grand conception of universal natural phenomena in promoting Cosmos_apart from all minor or these more sublime reflections, we subordinate arguments of design in can cite more than one passage in nature, however valuable in themwhich our author indicates very selves—involves as its consequence, clearly his sense of the tendency of almost as its synonym, the idea of such study. Thus, for example, he Universal Mind and of Supreme Inably traces the elementary rudi. telligence.
telligence. But strict philosophic ments of these elevated sentiments deduction, while in establishing this as they arise even in the most un. conclusion it subverts atheism, yet, tutored minds from the contem. on the other hand, ignores as beplation of the natural world :- yond its province or powers any
An indefinite and fearful sense of speculative theories of a more disthe unity of the powers of nature, and tinctly spiritual theism, and conof the mysterious bond wbich connects signs them altogether to a higher the sensuous with the super-sensuous, order of contemplations, beyond the is common even among savage commu- limits or function of science nities ; my own travels bave satisfied
But the evidence of mind me that this is so.
Out of the depth and activity of blind in nature points to the opening by feeling is also elicited the first impulse
which religion may enter, and into adoration : the sanctification of the
vest such conceptions with the more preserving, as of the destroying, powers
heavenly colouring supplied by its of nature.--Introd. p. 17. Trans. 1845. teaching, and rise to its more pecuBut to the more enlarged view of
liar doctrines and loftier aspirations. the scientific inquirer
Thus the advance of inductive Everything that is earnest and solemn
philosophy at once assures the within us arises 'out of the almost un
grand evidence of universal and suconscious feeling of the exalted order
preme Intelligence, and tends to and sublime regularity of nature, from dispel superstitious dogmas, by the perception of unity of plan amidst
which it is obscured and degraded. eternally recurring variety of form.- If it unhesitatingly disown contra
dictions to physical truth in matters No one who reads Humboldt's properly amenable to science, howglowing language in referring to ever they may have been associated the elevated tone of the descriptions with religious belief, yet wholly of nature and the visible universe apart from the region of science, it exhibited in many passages in the freely acknowledges the vast blank writings of the Old Testament, es- which can only be filled up by the pecially in the Psalms and the revelations of faith. If it exclude Prophets, can doubt how fully he violations of physical order in the himself participated in the sublime material universe, it fully recognises contemplations and devout senti. the admission of spiritual mysteries ments thus raised and expressed ; in the invisible world; adopting and it is with an equal sense of the the maxim, equally in accordance grandeur and impressiveness of such with the teaching of St. Paul and of religious conceptions associated with Bacon, Give unto faith the things natural objects, and the conside- which are of faith.'
Ib. p. 7.
HOL MBY HOUSE:
BY G. J. WHYTE MELVILLE,
THE NEWS THAT FLIES APACE.' DEEPER and deeper still
, Mary one object in life, to which duty, Cave found herself engulphed inclination, happiness must be sacri. in the whirlpool of political intrigue. ficed, and that object a political Almost the only courtier of the Queen's party who united activity Mary sat reading her letters on of brain to uncompromising resolu- the very sofa that Bosville had oc. tion, who was capable of strong cupied during his convalescence in effort and sound reflection, unwarped Sir Giles Allonby's house at Oxford. and unfettered by the promptings It was a day off duty with the Queen, of self-interest, she had insensibly and she had come to spend it with become the principal link that con- her kind old kinsman and his daugh. nected the policy of Merton College ter. The two ladies were alone; with the wiser counsels of the King's and contrary to their wont, an unhonest advisers. It was no womanly broken silence, varied only by the office she thus found herself com- pattering of a dismal winter rain pelled to undertake. False as is against the window, was preserved the position of a mediator between between them. Grace sat musing parties neither of whom are essen- over her work, and seemed buried tially quite sincere, it becomes in thought. She looked paler and doubly so when that mediator is one thinner than usual, and her eye of the softer sex. She must guide had lost the merry sparkle that used the helm with so skilful a hand, she so to gladden Sir Giles. It was less must trim the boat with so careful like her mother's now, so thought an eye; she must seize her oppor. the old knight; and his heart tunities so deftly, or make them so bounded after all those years to reskilfully; and through it all she flect how that mother had never must exercise co jealous a vigilance known sorrow, and had told him on over her own weaknesses, and even her death-bed that she was sure her own reputation, distinguishing she was only taken away because so nicely between public duty and her lot in this world had been too private feeling-doing such con- happy.' Aye! you may well laugh stant violence to her own affections on, Sir Giles, and troll out your and her own prejudices--that it is loyal old songs, and drink and ride not too much to say nothing but a
and strike for the King! Roysterwoman is capable of reconciling all ing, careless, war-worn veteran as these conflicting necessities into one you seem to be, there are depths in harmonious whole. Yet it is not that stout old heart of yours that womanly to encourage admirers up few have sounded ; and when little to a certain point, in order to obtain Gracey' is settled and provided for, their secrets, and then make use of You care not how soon you go to them for a political purpose; it is join that gentle, loving lady, whom not womanly to promote likings and you still see many and many a night dislikings between individuals of in your dreams,walking in her white opposite sexes, or otherwise, for the dress in the golden summer even. furtherance of a State intrigue; it ings under the lime-trees at home; is not womanly to be in correspon- whom your simple faith persuades dence with half a dozen ambitious you you shall look on again with the and unprincipled men, some of them same angel-face, to part from neverprofligates whose very names in
And where is the Sadducee connexion with a lady were suffi. that shall say you nay? cient to blast her fair fame for ever; Meantime, Sir Giles is drilling a and it is not womanly to have but newly raised levy of cavalıy on