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A MAGAZINE OF BELLES LETTRES,
POETRY, MUSIC, AND THE FINE ARTS.
EDITED BY THE AUTHOR OF
“MANUELLA,” “ANTONIO FOSCARINI,” &c. &c.
All Works and Music for review to be addressed to “ The Editor of the
Psyche," 17, Old Bond Street.
“ The Pic Nic, by Louis,” in our next.
A Sea-Coast Adventure, by a London Cit,” will be noticed as early
As many contributions have been received too late in the month, the
AND ITS EFFECTS ON SOCIETY.*
BY JAMES A. MORRIS, Esq.
Repulsæ nescia sordidæ,
Intaminatis fulget honoribus.--Horace, oda 2, lib. 3. L'esprit humain aujourd 'hui, par suite de l'activité qui lui a été imprimée, ne peut plus s'arrêter dans les ténèbres; il réclame un aliment proportionné à son degré de developpement,-il veut la lumière.-L'Abbé de Bonnechose.
L'humanité est comme un homme ; comme lui, elle est douée d'une spontanéité qui la pousse, et de besoins qui exigent satisfaction pour elle,—vivre, c'est agir ; et plus elle agit, plus elle vit.—BUCHEZ La Science de l'histoire.
How strange is the antagonism that has subsisted since the birth of calculable time, between the intellectual principal of man, the creator, the redeemer, the beautifier, and that multitude of circumstances which have swayed the external world, under the terms of discrepant governments, of conventions, of prejudices. What an amount of bitter tears have been shed, what agonies have been heroically endured, what martyrdoms have stained the annals of all ages, when the power of intellectualism essayed to develope itself and the period of its manifestation was adverse, unpropitious, incapable of comprehending the beauty and truth of its enunciations; when the many could not assimilate with the idea it struggled to reveal; and when the rulers in high places persecuted into temporary oblivion, all that could tend to drag before the day the dark operations of their unjust and baneful axioms of policy
Merses profundo, pulchrior evenit. The earliest verifications of Intellectualism in Egypt, and in the countries beyond the Indus, were glorious and full of life, though the spiritual was by degrees lost and absorbed in the outward and visible type, and man prostrated his faculties in the worship of the base creations of his hands. Its period of transition to the beautiful clime of Greece, was marked and
* The term, intellectualism, must be taken as that intelligent operation of the mind (verstandigkeit) which mounts by the analysis of effects, to the Monas or great one cause, Its conceptions are always religious; for religion is the grand and final operation of existence-the function of humanity.
dignified by an intense and sublime aspiration after truth, and from the Ionic, Eleatic, and Pythagorean schools proceeded votaries, who twined the brows of Intellectualism with the beams of originality and theosophic invention. The doctrines of the “One, the Only, the Ultimate, the Omnipotent” were matured and promulgated, and from its identification with the imaginative genius of Plato, it soared towards perfection with an energy and strength, that even now captivate the soul though conscious of the unsubstantial and dream-like foundation of those exquisite and harmonious theories. Meditating on the fact, that man was a middle term between the absolute and the physical, between the great creator and the world of his creation, Plato's thoughts
Pronte e leggiere,
Come pennuti augelli, ascended above the mists and darkness of the diurnal orb to the luminous source of his inspirations, and abandoning the finite for the infinite, he assumed the Logos as the formula of those intellectual doctrines, which were the goal of his life and actions, and the end and aim of his moral existence. By the pure criticism of Aristotle, Intellectualism was stripped of the gorgeous attributes with which the fine imagination of Plato had invested it, and cause and effect, the tracing of the primal agent through the mysterious operations of his agency,“ the passing from the complex to the simple, from movements to the forces which produce them,” were the palæstra in which it had to exercise and exhibit its capabilities. In the school of the Sophists, an ambition for vain subtleties, an absorbing desire to win the reputation of consummate skill in the use of the dialectic weapons, degraded Intellectualism, turned it aside from the objects of its high pursuit, and while eager disputants battled for some verbal shadow, the sublime essence, the vivifying principle was sacrificed, and, in too many instances, recklessly abandoned. They departed from those beautiful speculations of Plato and his followers, the paramount tendency of which, was to refine, to elevate,
to spiritualize ; to develope the moral nature of man, to invigorate and enable it to soar above the gross sensualism of mere organic existence. In their arrogant assumption of the title that constituted them sole depositaries of Intellectualism and truth, in their scornful rejection of the claims of the universal family of humanity, they forgot that truth is the natural inheritance of all; that like the sun which lights the world, truth beams for all who have eyes to behold it, and that it is only when individuals appropriate its beauties to their own selfishness, and array it in their own peculiar forms, that its glories become degraded, sullied, and obscured. It is not error, says Lessing, but sectarian error, nay, and even sectarian truth, which is the source of such wide and deep unhappiness. Nolite fieri sapientes penes vosmetipsos. (St. Augustin. sermo 42, de sanctis).
The philosophy of Rome was another grade of the transition of Intellectualism. Slow and hesitating was its progress; nor should we express our surprise, for the history of modern physical science demonstrates in how gradual a manner fundamental truths are impressed upon mankind; how the master-spirits of each generation cling to their antique associations, to the idiosyncracy of their old habitudes, and that it is only by the approximation and blending of portions of the dogmas of the past with the theories of the present, that any thing new can be elaborated. This was an axiom of the alchemists, who quaintly said, “ expostremis antiquorum, efficiuntur primaria novorum. Varro, Cicero, Seneca, Pliny, and, in part, Tacitus, may be considered as the expression of the progress of intellectualism during the Roman period. The Romans, however, possessed a temperament of soul less fervent, less enthusiastic than the Greeks; they yearned less avidly after the ideal, they absorbed themselves less deeply in the contemplation of pure truth and eternal beauty. In their poetry, they were essentially unlike the bards of Hellas; inferior and dependent as the satellite to its ruling planet-for with the exception of Lucretius, what have they produced sublime as the