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Fragmens Philosophiques ; and we must refer him also to the same source, together with Mr. Henry's introduction to his translation of the “Criticism on Locke,” for some personal details wbich we intended to offer, and which will be found sufficiently interesting.
M. Cousin has been charged with a want of originality. It were, perhaps, presumptuous for us to attempt to discuss a charge of this nature. He himself replies to it in some degree in the Preface referred to. He acknowledges that he ha, bad masters, and hopes that he shall have many more.
He avows himself indebted to Laromiguière, De Biran, Royer-Collard, Kant, Schelling, and Hegel. He says he has borrowed much from Schelling and Hegel, which he thinks it need not demand much humility on his part to acknowledge.
part to acknowledge. He does not claim originality. He has, he informs us, always sought, and he still seeks truth, first to nourish and penetrate himself, and afterwards to communicate to his fellow-beings. The several parts of his system, it is very possible, may be found elsewhere ; but we consess we know not where else to find it as a whole. We should claim for him originality in his reduction of the elements of the reason to the ideas of the infinite, the finite, and their relation, in his development of the distinction between the spontaneous and reflective reason, and, consequently, in the manner in which he reaches the Objective and the Absolute; though we must confess we can find elsewhere some things from which we can, now that we know his views on these points, derive something like them, although it may be very doubtful whether we could have done it without the aid he has furnished us. Once in the Absolute, he does not differ essentially from the new German school. He follows Schelling and Hegel very nearly, in going from God to nature and humanity, and in his march through history. But his method, as has already been observed, is wholly different from theirs. He begins with the study of human nature; they, with a flight more admirable for its loftiness than its science, soar at once to the Absolute. But after all, the great question, and the only one which it becomes us to ask is, not, Is this philosophy original ? but, Is it true ?
We have no room to discuss this question. Our opinion may have been already gathered. We approve his Method; it is the only true method. It is simply, What is in the consciousness? How did it come there? What is its legitimacy? In psychology, he applies his method with singular sagacity and
He describes the actual consciousness with great acuteness and precision, and treats the primitive, the origin of our ideas, in a manner to merit our confidence; as is evinced by bis “Criticism on Locke,” translated by Mr. Henry, the production of a consummate metaphysician, and beyond question, one of the finest pieces of philosophical criticism in the world. That he has really thrown a bridge over the gulf which separates ontology from psychology, we have above disputed; but, after what he has shown us on the nature and developement of the reason, we believe we can leap it, and consequently dispense with the bridge. In erudition, in eloquence, as a writer and a lecturer, his merit cannot be easily exaggerated. His publications make an epoch in philosophical literature. The French language in his hands, poor and deficient as Englishmen suppose it, becomes equal to the profoundest thought, the warmest emotion, and the nicest metaphysical distinctions. We wish some one would appear to do a similar service to our own language, which, though possessed of ample resources,
of the loose manner in which it is used, and the repugnance to abstraction which characterizes those who use it, so vague, so equivocal in its philosophical department, that the metaphysician is sure to be baffled even in his most strenuous efforts to make himself intelligible, or at least to express himself without ambiguity. Mr. Linberg and Mr. Henry have had to contend with this difficulty in translating M. Cousin ; but their success has been such as to do them great credit.
In the application of his system to War and European politics, perhaps it is no want of charity to M. Cousin, to believe that the Frenchman got the better of the philosopher. However that may be, though we are decidedly opposed to war, we believe what some call his defence of it, and for which they condemn him, is substantially correct; and, till men become wise enough and good enough to tolerate individual and pational differences of opinion, the shock of ideas will issue in bloodshed. But, should it be found that in the application of his system he is not always correct, it would not lessen him in our opinion. We want no man to apply his system for us. Let him give us his method and his premises; we will do the rest for ourselves. We wish there were less judging a man by the applications which he makes of his system himself, and more attention directed to its principles.
We cannot conclude without thanking M. Cousin for the sympathy be uniformly expresses with humanity. He does not tell the truth with a sneer like Gibbon, with a cold regard to obtaining mere power over man with Machiavelli, nor with a malignant scowl at man's weakness with Hobbes. He feels himself a man, is penetrated with what the French happily call the sentiment of humanity. He contemplates the progress of the race with delight, and stands in awe before the dignity of human nature, which unveils itself before the light of bis philosophy. So long have we been accustomed to see man's weaknesses paraded with a sort of savage exultation, to have our hopes damped, our noblest energies repressed, by eternal declamations against human depravity, that we hold bim our personal friend and benefactor for having vindicated humanity, and showed that he feels it no disgrace to be a man.
In conclusion we would commend the study of his works to every one who would know himself; and especially to every young man whose soul burns to take an active part in the scenes around him, and to leave bis trace on the age in which he lives. He who would hereafter become a great and good man, must be a great philosopher. We know there are those, who will contradict this assertion ; we know there are those, who think very meanly of philosophy, and continually exclaim, “Give us practical men, not theorizers ; actions, not systems"; but, without meaning to be discourteous, we bid all such persons go and study bistory. The mere actor passes off, is forgotten, and there remains no trace of bis actions; but the philosopher, the mere theorizer, as he is contemptuously called, by the force of a few ideas which he throws out into the mass of thought, putteth down or setteth up kings, and prepares a new future for the human race. He who best comprehends and best developes ideas, is Earth's mightiest sovereign. A Sesostris, a Cyrus, an Alexander, may be gathered to their fathers, and their empires be forgotten; a Moses, a Socrates, a Plato, live and reign for ever.
0. A. B.
Art. IV.-History of the Town of Plymouth, from its first
Settlement in 1620 to the Present Time; with a concise
The rapid circulation of the former edition of the work, if not a sure test of its merit, was an indication, we think, both of the interest taken in the subject-matter by the public, and of the opinion they entertained of the author's ability to do it justice. And there were good reasons, we need not say, for the opinion, as well as for the interest. The contributions which Dr. Thacher had made to our historical matériel, not less than to other departments of our literature, authorized the expectation that the annals of his own Town, - and such a town, too, as it has been, - would, in his hands, be wrought into a volume of substantial and permanent value. rejoiced to see this expectation realized, especially in the issuing of the edition before us, with the very considerable improvements on the first, which several years of revision might be supposed to suggest. Its appearance must be a source of more than ordinary satisfaction to bistorical readers, – to most students, particularly, of our own peculiar history, to all, who are anxious, as at least all Americans should be, to appreciate, and see appreciated, as it deserves, both the character of the Pilgrims, and that of the great enterprise by which their names are chiefly known.
Nor do we feel the necessity of apologizing for venturing to congratulate the venerable Chronicler himself on the completion of this latest (we hope .not last) public labor of the more than four-score years, of which so large a portion has been devoted to his country's service. No idle employment is it for even years like these, to bestow them on the noble task of rendering this tribute to the generations which have gone before us. He who performs such a work well, deserves the privilege he secures, of connecting his own memory with theirs. Next, in these cases, to the doing a good thing, is the recording it fitly; and if, indeed, the good men do is worthy to survive them, if its value involves its influence as an example, on Shakspeare's principle, that
“One good deed dying tongueless,
Slaughters a thousand hanging upon that,” VOL. XXI. - 3D s. Vol. III. NO. I.
then is the “ bene-dicere” not so much the preservation, as it is the sequel, of the “bene-facere” of the act. The bistorian consummates, more than he celebrates, the career of his heroes. He coins the bullion which they leave in rude obscurity, and gives it currency with the race. This is the “clarum fieri, vel pace, vel bello.” No wonder if “ et qui fecére, et qui facta aliorum scripsere, multi laudantur.”
This is no time for going again over the old ground of the character of the extraordinary men who are commemorated in this volume; nor need we attempt a new disquisition on the mighty consequences, which have followed, and may follow, from the equally extraordinary events they were principally active in producing. All, however, will concur in the desirableness of preserving whatever data may be still collected. Philosophy, and theory, and poetry, we had before. These we can have at any time, — almost as well without data as with them, — sometimes a great deal better; but now we wanted facts. Let us have these, while they may yet be had; and the more of them, the better. The inferences may pretty safely be left to themselves.
A large proportion of this matériel, in some shape or other, has of course seen the light before. The art of inventing facts is an accomplishment as little to be desired, with the historian, as the art of suppressing them, or as the somewhat popular system of bringing them up, and putting them down, and iurning them round about, after the fashion of a puppet-show, and according to the particular effect which the showman wishes to produce. We do not want showmen in history, but workmen. We do not want effects, but facts. We want no machinery, nor theory, but the truth; and the more of this, as we said before, the better.
On these principles, we do not at all object to our author's informing us how much the Town agreed to pay the French Doctor for curing Hunter's wife.” We are deeply interested in the affecting story of the loves of Captain Miles Standish and Miss Priscilla Mullins, of Cape Cod; not omitting how Alden managed to get the “damages” for bimself, instead of his gallant friend, whose messenger he should have been; nor how, when he went to marry her, that famous journey was performed. Governor Winslow, too, we admire more than ever in his new capacity as Skipper of a corn-craft, — with some others of the old “standards” for a crew,-on a peddling expedition down