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also a subject on which the sublime heathen above quoted would shame the reasoning of many a Christian philosopher. It is with the doctrine of our duties—the “knowledge of good and evil”—the “physiology of the passions”- with our sympathies and antipathies—our joys and our sorrows. What subject can be more interesting to man or of more difficult analysis ?
“Man [says our author] is manifestly affected by two orders of intellectual phenomena. The first operate through the medium of our sensations, the others are derived from the inmost recesses of the soul, the true source of our purest enjoyments; the sphere of the one kind is the exterior world, of the other what we would call our interior life. There are two kinds of ideas in our nature, ideas acquired and ideas inspired. Those which appertain to our corporeal preservation, and those which lead us to the general order established by the creation.—Prel. Con. vol. i. p. 17.
Of the exterior life, (as our author calls it) of the sensible system, the attributes are three-Curiosity, Attention and Perception. Curiosity, he considers the first intellectual attribute of the sensible system, and resulting altogether from an involuntary impulse. But not so with Attention; this we direct at will in taking cognizance of any object that interests us; it is through this faculty alone that we appreciate the difference or agreement of things. With regard to Perception, he remarks, it is that act of the mind which enables us (as it were) to appropriate the objects subjected to the action of our senses, in the sphere of the exterior world. It is more or less active in proportion to the intensity of attention. Nothing exists for us in nature but so far as we perceive it.
To desire-to seek-to fix in our attention-to perceive, these are the intellectual attributes of the "sensible system,” considered in relation to the world without us. But the most important phenomena pass altogether within us. Man often retires within himself, within the secret chambers of the soul, to contemplate its movements, tranquil or agitated. The better to commune with it, he divests himself of his physical impressious—he analyses bis perceptions, and recognizes their relations to each other. He retains within his memory what he has thus acquired. It is when he is alone with his reason, that he tastes the true pleasures of contemplative philosophy, and identifies himself with all places, times and people. He delights to take refuge within himself. He loves to find himself face to face with the undying principle which animates bim, when all the external world is but as a dream that is past.
It requires but little study (our author thinks) to see that man has capabilities and inclinations altogether natural and independent of experience or the ministry of the sensations. He is endued internally with a sense moral and sublime, by virtue of which, he judges his actions, good or bad, with just as much certainty as the palate judges of flavours, or the ear of sounds. And this innate disposition has nothing in common with the will, no more than the beating of the heart or the circulation of the blood. It developes itself spontaneously, and without previous reflection.
“ The interior life of animals presents phenomena not less worthy of the attention of the physiologist. The abuse of theories has involved in confusion, even at this day, the operations of this instinct, which is evidently coercive. Thus, at its birth, and before it has tried its beak or its webbed feet, the swan already has inclinations which are proper to its kind. The young duck darts into the water to the great astonishment of the hen which has bred it, which yet could not be induced to trust itself to the same element. It is absurd to pretend to explain these inclinations by the mechanical conformation of the body." Prel. Con. vol. i. p. 49.
It must be remembered that our author ranks among the first physicians of France. He appears to have turned his attention particularly to the study of the affections of the mind as they appear in madmen and idiots, as well as sane subjects. His opinions, it must be presumed, are formed from actual, personal experience and observation; and his illustrations drawn often from subjects under his immediate care.
Reflection is the first of the faculties which belong to the interior life of the sensible system. It is nearly the same operation within us, that “attention” is, in relation to external objects. Order, says a profound thinker, is the necessary end of reflection. It has no need of the organs which belong to any kind of external impression, nor yet of light, sound or taste; it knows no locality, it fills no space: it acts altogether in the interior of the understanding, according to the results acquired by previous perception. Animals have the faculty of reflection ; they must have an idea, more or less confused, of time, or why should they quicken their pace that they may arrive earlier at an object ? They havę, beyond question, the idea of space. We see them daily make use of reflection to shorten their route over the fields, and they measure, with astonishing precision, the length of a leap in reference to their strength.
The next of the interior faculties, is “reverie,” which, in common language, is nothing more than “wandering reflection.” In this peculiar state of the sensible system, many ideas, in a manner, pass over the mind, and frequently no traces of them remain. Reverie, generally, is more agreeable than reflection, because it requires no effort of mind; it imposes neither fetters nor restraint. It is one of the usual phenomena of a contemplative life.
But one of the most extraordinary faculties of the sensible system, is "memory”-that faculty by which we recal at pleasure the ideas which have, at previous times, been subjected to the action of the mind. This faculty recalls them either individually or in groupes, and almost always in the same order in which they were originally perceived. Memory appertains to the mind alone. It is an act of the animating principle of our nature more or less distinctly reproduced. It is the recalling of a perception, or rather of an intellectualised (intellectualisée) impression, if we may so express ourselves. Memory is a representative faculty; it is the living mirror of intelligence, where often, at our will, the past is recalled; it is the treasury of genius. History is but a record of memory; and what men call renown, is nothing but memory reaching through ages. This faculty is not always subject to the will.
“It would require a chapter to lay before our readers, all the theories of our physiologists upon the pretended mechanism of memory. Some allege physical traces of objects, which, they pretend, are preserved in the pulpous substance of the brain. But what can we learn from the scalpel of anatomists? What have our doctrines of dissection in common with an organ, merely destined to give play (faire valoir) to the energies of the mind ? It is as though to comprehend the theory of light, we contented ourselves with examining the material structure of the glass which condensed or reflected its rays." Vol. i. p. 74.–Prel. Con.
Imagination is the next of these faculties. It is not, says our author, always easily distinguished from memory. Memory reralls words, signs; renews ideas, judgments, &c. But imagination creates new combinations of these ideas, and new images. There is always something inventive in this intellectual attribute, which gives a very remarkable superiority over other animals.
In spite of all the evils which we charge on the imagination, its pleasures are indispensable to civilized life. We are in need of her deceptions, and are ever delighted to wander in the sphere of her visionary allurements. Some author has said "that Euclid was the first of sovereigns; that demonstration can govern men infallibly.” He who advanced this strange maxim, could never have felt the deeper passions of our nature, To an indifferent man or one void of imagination, the right line VO... V.–No. 11.
is “sans doute” the shortest; but there is no certainty that it would prove so to hiin, who prefers a longer.
The fifth of these intellectual attributes is Conscience ; it has been remarked that the term which expresses this attribute, is found in all languages. Our author thinks this faculty innate, “le nom qu'on donne a la conscience, exprime d'ailleurs tres bien qu'elle est innée.” Through all antiquity the positive knowledge of good and evil bas existed; in every country, among all people we find this guide to our actions. This faculty, which is never inactive, judges after the same manner with all men; we have the sublime faculty of distinguishing within our- , selves that which belongs to conscience, and that which appertains to the world without us. It requires no effort of combination, no reasoning to make this distinction; our mind makes it from the earliest period of our life.
“Our soul is originally endued with the elements of the just and the unjust ; conscience is that which constitutes more especially the interior man. It is through her that we arrive at conviction, that we judge of beauty or deformity, of all the perfections and all the vices of our nature. Conscience is, properly speaking, the sense of the heart, it is the most worthy spring of the fleeting will of man. We learn to perceive by conscience as we learn to see with the eye. But when we faithfully follow the dictates of moral impulses, we soon become convinced that justice is innate in the heart of man.--Prel. Con. p. 87.
The empire over the noblest portion of man is confided by the Creator to himself. Subject to the action of his sixth intellectual attribute the Will-man becomes a moral agent. He cannot alter the plan and the mechanism of his material organs; he cannot suspend or quicken the throbbings of his heart; but he can modify and change at pleasure his determinations; and it is this which constitutes him a moral being. God has endued him with a will independent of bimself, and hence flows the merit and demerit of his actions. If man had not this independent will, this free choice of good and evil, he could not be a responsible agent. The will, as Bossuet has said, is not attached to our organs, it presides over their actions; “but who would believe,” says M. Alibert, "that it is perhaps, one of the least active of our faculties. It is a power almost always subject to some passion. When these cease to urge it, and it retires under the dominion of reason alone, the will is generally weak, and often at the mercy of the least obstacle. Without a love of glory how much would heroes accomplish ?"
Among the intellectual attributes of the sensible system, few distinguish man so much from other animals, that have but ephemeral and fugitive wilis. The effects of man's will
endure for ages after he has passed from the earth; his successors perpetuate, in a manner, the spirit which lived within him. It is with this faculty as with memory, its failure is a symptom of age and decay. With the will disappears what men call character. The will, when impelled by the energy of some passion, is capable of subduing almost every obstacle, and directing, in a manner, the events of ages; but few have within them this mighty lever to human power— few can will with strength and perseverance: “Dieu seul a une volonté permanente, parce qui il n'est pas susceptible de viellir.”
The last of these internal attributes is Habit; the greater part of the actions of men have a tendency to become habitual. Indeed such is the power of this faculty that many individuals, whom we meet with in life, seem to be mere machines adapted to a certain routine of daily occupation and to nothing beyond it. If plants, as it is supposed, display some traces of this faculty, it is because they have some slight shade, more or less apparent, of sensibility. Habit gives us the first lesson, the first model of method. What it performs with respect to our physical organs it also executes in the mind. It is by the aid of habit that we classify and arrange our ideas, and that they succeed each other with precision and harmony. It is the great object of education to introduce into the system of our thoughts, the habitual recurrence of those which are most conformable to our own happiness, and the well-being of the society in which we live. Character, good or bad, proceeds from nothing but our babits of thought; the rules of art, the principles of science, would be nothing without habit. The province of habit is to give greater facility to the various actions of life, and to annul that sort of resistance which the organs oppose to the will.
We have thus endeavoured to afford our readers a short sketch of the metaphysical part of our author's work; thus far he has deemed it requisite to the right understanding of the “physiology of the passions.” The term “physiology” we have been accustomed to consider as more appropriate to the physical than the moral or intellectual science. Brown, and others, have afforded long dissertations on the “physiology of mind.”
The innate principle of our moral emotions, which our author calls“ conscience,” is the same as that which is spoken of by Shaftesbury and Hutcheson, under the term “moral sense.". The great error of these writers was, in denominating this principle, a sense, whereas they have nothing analogous. We should as soon think of denominating the memory a 'sense. We believe it cannot be disputed, that such an original principle does exist in the mind, whatever it may be called. We consider