Imágenes de páginas

which, we must say, appears to us to be a very vague production, and to have totally failed of setting the subject in its true light. Throughout his volume, there is a great want of analysis : indeed, he seems rather to condemn it, as is sufficiently evident from the following extract.

• No man appears more unfit for argumentative discussion on the common and every-day topics which engage the attention of men of the world, than the profound thinker, or the man of mental abstraction; and this is perfectly agreeable to the nature of things : for a man who is daily and hourly observing the fleeting objects of his own consciousness, and whose sole pleasure it is to be conversant with those evanescent shades of difference which subsist between the various powers and faculties of his own mind,-becomes unfit, by reason of the constant use of subtle and minute detail, to grasp, upon the spur of the moment, the great and leading features of any interesting question, or to make a deep and lasting impression upon the minds of others by a powerful display of argumentative skill. His power of mental analysis is too refined for objects of a formidable and gigantic nature ; and when he comes out into common life to measure his strength with the rustic minds around him, he too often finds, to his great mortification, that he is worsted and driven from the field by the athletic vigour of those who know nothing but what nature has taught them, about the abstract nature of mind, or the recondite rules of mental philosophy. pp. 6, 7.

Now we are quite ready to acknowledge, that an exclusive attention to any one subject may, and often does, unfit a man for the investigation of others; but, as Logic, if it be any thing, is a

recondite and accurate analysis of the phenomena of nature, and a classification of those phenomena by technical rules, it does not augur well for the expounder of it, to begin by throwing any disparagement on that habit of close analysis, to which modern writers on various departments of human nature owe the chief part of their excellence.

Mr. Blakey, so far from viewing Logic as essentially consisting in the analysis of that mental process which takes place in every instance of conclusive reasoning, excludes, at once, half the empire of human knowledge from all connection with it. We have always been led to regard the reasoning employed in mathematics, as the purest specimen of logic, in consequence of the rigid uniformity of the terms employed. Physics, as involving the application of mathematics to ascertained facts in nature, with the view of deducing further conclusions, stand next, perhaps, in perfection of example. But pure mathematics are the most rigid logic. Euclid's Elements are nothing else than chains of virtual syllogisms; and the study of that celebrated ancient geometer, is frequently recommended for its own sake, as tending to strengthen the understanding, and fortify the reasoning powers. But why is it calculated to answer this purpose? Precisely from its logical form, and its approximation to the ultimate principle to which all reasoning may be reduced. According to Mr. Blakey, however, there is no logic whatever in mathematics and natural philosophy; which is nearly the same as it would be to assert, that there is no accordance with the rules of grammar and composition in our finest writers; or that, in the most admired pieces of Handel, Beethoven, and Mozart, there is no latent correspondence with the fundamental principles of the science of music.

Now it appears to me,' he says, “ that the art of logic is confined by its very nature to subjects connected with human nature; or perhaps, to speak more plainly, to the following four branches of knowledge, namely, mental philosophy, moral philosophy, the science of politics in its widest sense, including jurisprudence, and the art of government; and also religion, both natural and revealed.

• These four branches of knowledge really contain every thing to which the science of logic can be applied. For it must be observed here, that these divisions include every thing of a debateable or argumentative nature. They give rise of themselves to discussion; their general principles are all liable to be received in different lights, and from this cause men are led to entertain very contrary, nay, opposite opinions on some of those important and vitally interesting topics.

« On account of the disputable nature of these branches of knowledge, we need the assistance of some rules to enable us to come to a certain conclusion regarding their truth, and also to be able to convey that knowledge, in as easy and familiar a manner as possible, to others. We call these rules by the name of logic; and we require to have them collected together, and applied to the four divisions of knowledge alluded to, for the purpose of being better acquainted with them, to see on which side the truth lies, and to have fixed in our minds certain general and particular ideas relative to the several constituent parts. We are to bear in mind that we want these rules, not for helping us, if that were possible, to see the truth of a demonstration, the contrary of which we cannot conceive; but to guide our minds in those departments of knowledge, where opposite facts, and opposite arguments, clash against each other, and where the mind may become perplexed and confused, by the weighing and consideration of such conflicting materials as are submitted to its contemplation. It is for this purpose that the art of logic is wanted. pp. 17, 18.

In short, the Author appears to us to have mistaken the whole nature and drift of the syllogism, which, we repeat, is simply the analysis of the process of nature in all sound arguments, an exhibition of what virtually takes place in every instance of correct reasoning. This is the basis of the system of Logic, which, as we have received it from the Aristotelians, consists partly of certain technical letters, words, and forms, with a view to facilitate a knowledge of the various ways in which arguments may be stated; to shew how they may be reduced to one universal principle, and to detect the various kinds of fallacies. The want of acquaintance that is frequently betrayed with the real pretensions of the system of logic, considered in itself, apart from the extravagancies of its application, and the vague manner in which it is defined, lead us to imagine that the Author has neglected the fountain-heads ef information, and has contented himself too much with those lax, erroneous, and unfair representations which he has obtained, at second-hand, from some of his fellow-countrymen in the north, where it has been the fashion to cry down logic for the last fifty years. The tendency, however, to despise the philosophy of the ancients, en masse, and to sweep it away bodily with the ideal theory that so deeply infected it, is now almost worn out; and if we mistake not, a re-action will be more and more manifest among those who look deeper than the mere surface of things, in favour of some of those remnants of ancient genius, among

which even Dugald Stewart acknowledges that the Grecian logic

holds a proud pre-eminence.

Mr. B.'s work contains a variety of remarks, many of them very useful, on topics connected with the more general philosophy of mind, as on the nature of mathematical evidence, on morals, on political philosophy, religion; on analogy, probable evidence, testimony, &c.; and it has the merit of being every where good in its moral and religious tendency.

Art. III. Travels into Bokhara, being the Account of a Journey from

India to Cabool, Tartary, and Persia; also, Narrative of a Voyage on the Indus from the Sea to Lahore, with Presents from the King of Great Britain; performed under the Orders of the Supreme Government of India in the years 1831, 1832, and 1833. By Lieut. Alex Burnes, F.R.S., of the E. I. Comp. Service, &c. În three Volumes, 8vo. Plates. London, 1834.

THESE Travels are of no ordinary interest. They describe

regions hitherto unexplored by Europeans, at least in modern times, although familiarized to the imagination by the recitals of classic history and the florid descriptions of oriental romance. One of the most ancient lines of commerce between the extreme East and the western world lay through Khorasan and Transoxiana, the Iran and Tooran of Persian writers. Bactra, the mother of cities', the capital of dynasties whose history stretches back into the age of fable, the sacred city of the Magian idolatry, owed its origin and wealth to its position on this line of trade, which made it the great rendezvous of the caravans that penetrated by the route of the Caspian Gates to Sogdiana, the country of th Indi, and the more distant Serica. Samarcand, the capital of Timour, and Bokhara, 'the strength of Islam', have in more recent times, risen to splendour from the same causes; and from being the emporia of trade, have become the seats of empire. Every where the caravanserai is older than the palace; and kings have built their power on the wealth of the merchant.

Other circumstances than those which give historical interest to these countries, now render them deserving of peculiar attention. Lying intermediate between the three great empires of Russia, China, and British India, it has become a subject of political inquiry, whether they are to be tributary to the gigantic ambition and cupidity of the Master of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, or whether it is feasible to open an advantageous intercourse between the Indo-British cities and Central Asia. Russia has long been anxious to push not only her trade, but her conquests in this direction; and Mouravier, who, in 1819, penetrated from the Bay of Balkan to the oasis of Khiva, strenuously recommended the Russian Government to take possession of that state, with a view thereby to secure the commerce of Bokhara. In 1820, the Baron de Meyendorff was sent as an envoy to the latter city, by way of Orenburg and the steppes of the Khirghis Tatars. He was received with great favour by the Khan of Bokhara; but the physical difficulties of establishing a commercial intercourse by either of these routes would seem to be insuperable. There is a third route open to Russia; that of the Persian caravans, by way of Astrabad and Khorasan; but the Toorkman deserts which intervene, present obstacles scarcely less formidable to commercial, still more to any military enterprise. On the other hand, it is now ascertained, that the route over the Hindoo Koosh, by which the produce of India was, in ancient times, transported on the backs of camels from the banks of the Indus to those of the Oxus, whence they were conveyed to the Caspian Sea,-is practicable at all seasons, and might be made the channel of a direct and valuable communication between British India and the emporia of the trade of Central Asia.

In the year 1831, Lieut. Burnes, who had for some time filled a political post in Sindetic India, was nominated by the Supreme Government to proceed on a mission to the Court of Lahore, bearing presents to the Maharaja; and he was directed to proceed by the river Indus, to explore the course of that river being the main object of his expedition. After encountering and dexterously overcoming the obstacles opposed by the jealousy of the rulers of Sinde, he accomplished a navigation which, though attended with no physical obstructions, had never been performed by any European of modern times, and having ascended to the mouth of the Punjnood, passed up the Chenaub to the Seik capital. It was from information which he obtained from so native merchants at Ooch in the Punjaub, that he was led to form the design of undertaking the journey across the mountains




to Bokhara; a design which received the most liberal encouragement from the Governor. General, whom Lieut. Burnes joined at Simla, in the Himalaya mountains, after the discharge of his mission to Lahore; but, as it was deemed imprudent and objectionable to enter those countries as an accredited agent, the overland journey was performed in the undisguised character of a Captain in the British army returning by that route to Europe.

Not the least interesting portion of the narrative, is the voyage up the Indus, although the Author has thrown it into the third volume, as being of a less attractive character than the journey to Bokhara. No part of this river had hitherto been surveyed, except the sixty-five miles between Tatta and Hyderabad. Tatta, which is supposed to represent the ancient Pattala, and is identified by Lieut. Burnes with the Minagur of the Periplus, stands at the head of the delta of the Indus, about 55 miles from the

It was the ancient metropolis, as Hyderabad is the modern capital, of Lower Sinde. Its commercial prosperity passed away with the empire of Delhi, and it does not now contain above 15,000 inhabitants. Few traces remain of its former greatness. It derives a portion of its present trade from a very curious frolic of superstition.

• Tatta stands on the high road from India to Hinglaj, in Mekran, a place of pilgrimage and great celebrity, situated under the barren mountain of Hala, (the Irus of the ancients,) and marked only by a spring of fresh water, without house or temple. The spot is believed to have been visited by Ram Chunder, the Hindoo demigod, himself; an event which is chronicled on the rock, with figures of the sun and moon engraven as further testimony. The distance from Tatta exceeds 200 miles; and the road passes by Curachee, Soumeeanee, and the province of Lus, the country of the Noomrees, a portion of the route of Alexander the Great. A journey to Hinglaj purifies the pilgrim from his sins. A cocoa-nut cast into a cistern, exhibits the nature of his career: if the water bubbles up, his life has been, and will continue, pure; but, if still and silent, the Hindoo must undergo further penance to appease the deity. The tribe of Goseins, who are a kind of religious mendicants, though frequently merchants and most wealthy, frequent this sequestered place, and often extend their journey to Seetadeep, not far from Bunder Abbass, in Persia. They travel in caravans of a hundred, or even more, under an agwa or spiritual guide. At Tatta, they are furnished by the high-priest with a rod, which is supposed to partake of his own virtues, and to conduct the cortege to its destination. In exchange for its talismanic powers, each pilgrim pays three rupees and a half, and faithfully promises to restore the rod on his return; for no one dares to reside in so holy and solitary a spot. The agwa receives with it his reward; and many a Hindoo expends in this pilgrimage the hard-earned wealth of a whole life. On his arrival at Tatta from Hinglaj, he is invested with a string of white beads peculiar to that city, and only found on the rocky ridge near it. They resemble the grains of pulse or juwaree ;

« AnteriorContinuar »