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was fitted to be a successful labourer in natural science, is to be decided, they would say, not by any preconception against him as a man intellectually out of his element in that species of labour, but by an examination of his actual scientific writings. In such an examination, too, various things are to be remembered. It is to be remembered that he did not profess to be a man wholly and solely devoted to scientific investigation and discovery, but only a collector in his leisure of miscellaneous scientific facts, with now and then a thought or experiment of his own by way of original contribution. It is to be remembered, also, that he lived and wrote almost before the rise of true mathematical and experimental science in Britain, and that, if in his writings there occur passages conceived in a spirit and couched in language now totally obsolete, he does not differ in this from those of his contemporaries to whom it is quite usual now for the historians of science to accord a high degree of respect. On the whole, if his scientific writings are a good record of much of the physical knowledge of his time, and if here and there they contain, as they do, shrewd hints and pregnant anticipations, that is as much as we could expect. It is interesting also to remark that he himself, in his anticipations of the future progress of science, seemed to rely most on the spirit of strict inquiry, and cautious and cold experiment. A discursive and fantastic mind, he said, might make 'happy gashes,' but the main body of solid results were to be looked for from the slow operations of hard persevering reason.

But, whatever may be thought of Browne's merits as a scientific writer and thinker of the seventeenth century, this is not the character in which he is destined to live in our literature. He is one of those men the main effect of whose writings is that they illustrate, and refresh in us as we read them, the eternal distinction that there is between what is possible in science and what is necessary in philosophy. There are among us who would obliterate this distinction, and who maintain that the sole matter of our thoughts as men ought to be what we definitely know and can rationally comprehend respecting the world in which we The consummation of wisdom, they think, is in a return, after a better fashion, to the philosophy of Shakespeare's Barnardine


'He apprehends no farther than this world,
And squares his life according.'

It is the very reverse of this philosophy in any form that could
be given to it that Sir Thomas Browne teaches. He was himself
a living violation of it, and all that he wrote is conceived in the


His Characteristics.


spirit of a protest against it. 'Desert not,' he says, 'thy title to a divine particle and union with invisibles.' 'Let intel'lectual tubes,' he says, 'give thee a glance of things which 'visive organs reach not.' 'Have a glimpse,' he says, 'of in'comprehensibles; lodge immaterials in thy head; ascend unto 'invisibles; fill thy spirit with spirituals.' The essence of all his teaching is contained in these little sentences; and he lived on the maxims which he taught. Deity,, angels, eternity, infinity, immortality, the resurrection, and the judgment-these were the thoughts in which he loved to lose himself; they alone were the realities, and nature and life the mere flitting phantasmagory through which they could be seen. To study the relations of the various parts of nature within itself was well, but the main relations were those connecting nature as a whole with that which was before it, above it, and beyond it! These were the relations, this was the mystery, which he delighted to con template. Whoever viewed nature and life otherwise than with a mind saturated with these contemplations, and to whom his own paltry existence of seventy years, or even the whole history of all the generations of men, appeared otherwise than as a momentary manifestation in one shape of something which had its beginning before the ages, would have its end after them, and meanwhile was looked down upon by invisible intelligences, whose thoughts interpenetrated the brief confusion, and the rustle of whose wings might almost be heard in it, that man, he believed, was destitute of the true sense of being. Such being his doctrine, it is evident that by all who do receive the Barnardine philosophy in any form as the true one, his writings can be regarded only as fantastic and obsolete moonshine. If the notion of the supernatural, and all the various names and terms, such as 'Deity, the soul,' &c., in which this notion has been embodied and perpetuated are, as some say, but the dregs and relics of a mode of thinking characteristic of one stage of the human evolution, but destined to be gradually purged out of our language as science marches on into the field of organic and social life, just as the terms phlogiston,' 'lapidifying spirits,' and the like, have been already extinguished during parts of the march already gone over; then, certainly, Browne's meditative and philosophic writings are but in the same predicament as his scientific writings, and are chiefly, if not solely, interesting as records marking the progress of thought at the epoch to which they belong. So far as the interest exceeds this, it can depend only on the greater inherent interest of the object-matter of his religious and speculative writings as compared with the scientific, or the greater nearness in which we

yet stand to him in our conceptions of this order! But surely there are others with whom the case is far otherwise than with those who maintain all this! There are yet among us who believe that the mind of man has an exercise assigned to it, and incumbent on it, where the knowing faculty takes its end; nay, that this knowing faculty itself is strongest where, by incessant dashing against this limit, it works by way of rebound. There are who believe that while those conceptions of the human race which appertain to the relations of the parts of visible nature within itself are varying, and probably on the whole progressive, the feelings and convictions which must ever accompany them respecting the relations of visible nature as a whole to what is invisible, form a necessary and permanent species of thought. As there are teachers in the former, whose teachings become antiquated, so there are teachers in the other, who, more or less clearly and purely, transmit and maintain the truth everlasting. While the earth voyages through the heavens, while it spins on its silent axle, while the crowds that inherit it cling to its orb, and the day and the night alternate to them, and the winds pipe their mournful music, and men sin and repent, toil and are bereaved, birth and death will still be thought of but as separations from the universal mystery, and imagination will still cast anchors beyond them. Hence, in such writings as the meditative and philosophic treatises of Browne, there is a value that does not lessen with the march of science. There is surely a piece of 'divinity in us; something that was before the elements, and 'owes no homage to the sun.' This is his text; and those who, in any sense whatever, can say that they believe in it, will read him with love and favour, while for those that can avow it as his fellow-Christians, the agreement will be still more rich, satisfactory, and intimate.

ART. VII.-Histoire des Grandes Opérations Financières, Banques, Bourses, Emprunts, Banquiers, Fournisseurs, Acquéreurs des Biens Nationaux. Par M. CAPEFIGUE. Paris: Librairie d'Amyot. 1856.

THE author of the work whose title we have placed at the head of this article is a native of Marseilles, in which city he was born in the beginning of this century. Though his father occupied in the great commercial city of France the humble position of a draper, or marchand de drap, yet he boasted of a noble Italian origin, and laid some stress on the fact that several of his ancestors filled high magisterial places in the Republic of Genoa. Capefigue, like his compatriots, Thiers and Mignet, commenced his law studies at Aix, somewhere about 1817 or 1818, a couple or three years after the now celebrated writers we have named had left for Paris. He arrived in the French capital in 1821. Unlike Thiers and Mignet, however, our author was of the Royalist, Religious, and Anti-Voltairean school, affected great piety, after the fashion in which piety is understood by pure Papists, and enrolled himself a member of certain societies in which the Parti Prêtre had influence. The result was that he was patronized by the ultra-Royalists, who gave him some literary employment in the Société de Bonnes Lettres, and procured his admission to the Ecole des Chartes. In 1823 he was selected to write the history of the Expedition of the Hero of the Trocadero into Spain, a feat which he accomplished in one of the sorriest productions that ever issued from the press. the star of the Duc d'Angoulême soon declined, his historiographer assumed somewhat of a more liberal tone, and was selected by the eloquent and accomplished Martignac, in 1827, to defend that minister's policy in the Messager des Chambres. The Martignac ministry did not live long; but before its demise, Capefigue had made his peace with the Ultramontanists by the publication of a life of St. Vincent de Paul, a personage who, having been first a simple shepherd, next a Barbary captive, ended by founding what are called les missions religieuses in France. At the close of 1827, Capefigue became a writer in the Moniteur de Commerce, which he soon left for the liberal Courrier Français. This he quitted in turn for the ultra Gazette de France, with which he remained in connexion till the commence ment of 1830. After the Revolution of the three days, several new journals were established, and, among others, a paper called Le Temps, set on foot by an enterprising cooper of Bordeaux, one Jacques Coste, who had made a good deal of money in his

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trade. To this journal the flexible Marseillais Capefigue attached himself. From 1827, however, he laboured concurrently at literature, composing, compiling, and gathering together matter for all sorts of speculations and undertakings. One of the fruits of this industry was soon to appear. This was the History of the Restoration, in ten volumes, the first two or three of which were given to the public in 1831. A good deal of the material for these, and indeed for the whole work, is supposed to have been supplied by Pasquier and Decazes, who were for a considerable time prominent actors on the political scene in France. Certain it is the Histoire de la Restauration is by far the best written and most readable of all Capefigue's productions, and may be consulted with fruit even to this day. From the period of its appearance the compiler seems to have made somewhat of a name with publishers, and thenceforth he engaged in a variety of works, not discontinuing meanwhile to supply articles to the Paris press whenever they were demanded of his fertile pen. In this talent of supplying the reading French public with leaders, the natives of Marseilles, like the natives of Ireland in London, have a wonderful facility. In 1848 there were at least a dozen Marseillais leading-article writers connected with Parisian journals. Capefigue was in that year and still is an anti-English writer in the Assemblée Nationale, with his fellow-townsmen Mery, Barthélemy, and Amedée Achard. Jules Gondon, another Marseilleois, then as now wrote Ultramontanism and abuse of England in the Univers, whilst Taxile Delord, Eugène Forcade, Alexandre Rey, Pougoulat, Eugène Guinot, and Louis and Charles Reybaud, all Marseillais, were connected with other Parisian journals. During the last five-and-twenty years, there can be little doubt, we should think, that M. Capefigue has written at least 4000 newspaper leaders, and compiled and written about eighty volumes of history, politics, sketches, literature, &c. It is evident that such a persevering penman was born for the epoch of book-making industrialism in which we now live.

Many of our readers may, from what we have stated, suppose that Capefigue, like Alexandre Dumas, has half-a-dozen intelligent literary journeymen under his orders, who fill in and colour his rough outlines, but we believe the fact to be otherwise. Any one who takes the trouble of reading, or running through here and there, sixty out of the eighty of M. Capefigue's volumes, will perceive that the scissors and paste play a great part in the composition and manufacture of them. Where the matter is not compiled and heaped together from other publications, you are sure to find a string of common-places written in the most slipshod and ungrammatical French, in which the writer repeats

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