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them, as, necessarily, propositions of universal and acknowledged truth, like mathematical axioms, is plain from the circumstance that many of those most in use are-like these common-places of Bacon-opposed to each other; as e. g. 'Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves;' to 'Be not penuy-wise and pound-foolish;' and again, 'The more haste, the worse speed;' or, 'Wait awhile, that we may make an end the sooner;' to 'Take time by the firelock,' or 'Time and tide for no man bide,' &c.

'It seems, I think, to be practically understood, that a Proverb is merely a compendious expression of some principle, which will usually be, in different cases, and with or without certain modifications, true or false, applicable or inapplicable. When then a Proverb is introduced, the speaker usually employs it as a Major-premise, and is understood to imply, as a Minor, that the principle thus referred to is applicable in the existing case. And what is gained by the employment of the Proverb, is, that his judgment, and his reason for it, are conveyed-through the use of a well-known form of expression, clearly, and at the same time in an incomparably shorter space, than if he had had to explain his meaning in expressions framed for the occasion. And the brevity thus obtained is often still further increased by suppressing the full statement even of the very Proverb itself, if a very common one, and merely alluding to it in a word or two.

'Proverbs accordingly are somewhat analogous to those medical Formulas which, being in frequent use, are kept ready-made-up in the chemists' shops, and which often save the framing of a distinct Prescription.

'And the usefulness of this brevity will not be thought, by any one well conversant with Reasoning, to consist merely in the saving of breath, paper, or time. Brevity, when it does not cause obscurity, conduces much to the opposite effect, and causes the meaning to be far more clearly apprehended than it would have been in a longer expression. More than half the cases, probably, in which men either misapprehend what is said,

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or confuse one question with another, or are misled by any fallacy, are traceable in great measure to a want of sufficient conciseness of expression.'

Perhaps it may be thought by some to be a superfluous task to say anything at all concerning a work which has been in most people's hands for about two centuries and a-half, and has, in that time, rather gained than lost in popularity. But there are some qualities in Bacon's writings to which it is important to direct, from time to time, especial attention, on account of a tendency often showing itself, and not least at the present day, to regard with excessive admiration writers of a completely opposite character; those of a mystical, dim, halfintelligible kind of affected grandeur.'

'It is well known what a reproach to our climate is the prevalence of fogs, and how much more of risk and of inconvenience results from that mixture of light and obscurity than from the darkness of night. But let any one imagine to himself, if he can, a mist so resplendent with gay prismatic colours, that men should forget its inconveniences in their admiration of its beauty, and that a kind of nebular taste should prevail, for preferring that gorgeous dimness to vulgar daylight; nothing short of this could afford a parallel to the mischief done to the public mind by some late writers both in England and America;-a sort of 'Children of the Mist,' who bring forward their speculations-often very silly, and not seldom very mischievous-under cover of the twilight. They have accustomed their disciples to admire as a style sublimely philosophical, what may best be described as a certain haze of words imperfectly understood, through which some seemingly original ideas, scarcely distinguishable in their outlines, loom, as it were, on the view, in a kind of dusky magnificence, that greatly exaggerates their real dimensions.'

1 The passages that follow are chiefly extracted from No. 29 of the Cautions for the Times; of which I may be permitted to say,-as it was not written by myself -that a more admirable composition, both in matter and style, I never met with.

In the October number of the Edinburgh Review, 1851 (p. 513), the reviewer, though evidently disposed to regard with some favour a style of dim and mystical sublimity, remarks, that ' a strange notion, which many have adopted of late years, is that a poem cannot be profound unless it is, in whole or in part, obscure; the people like their prophets to foam and speak riddles.'

But the reviewer need not have confined his remark to poetry; a similar taste prevails in reference to prose writers also. 'I have ventured,' says the late Bishop Copleston (in a letter published in the Memoir of him by his nephew), 'to give the whole class the appellation of the 'magic-lanthorn school,' for their writings have the startling effect of that toy; children delight in it, and grown people soon get tired of it.'

The passages here subjoined, from modern works in some repute, may serve as specimens (and a multitude of such might have been added) of the kind of style alluded to:

'In truth, then, the idea (call it that of day or that of night) is threefold, not twofold:-day, night, and their relation. Day is the thesis, night the antithesis, their relation the mesothesis of the triad,-for triad it is, and not a mere pair or duad, after all. It is the same with all the other couples cited above, and with all couples, for every idea is a trinitarian. Positive pole, negative one, and that middle term wherein they are made one; sun, planet, their relation; solar atom, planetary one, their conjunction, and so forth. The term of relation betwixt the opposites in these ideal pairs is sometimes called the point of indifference, the mesoteric point, the mid-point. This mid-point is to be seen standing betwixt its right and left fellow-elements in every dictionary: for example, men, man, women; or adjectively, male, human, female. God created man in His own image: in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.''

'So

'Now, this threefold constitution of ideas is universal. all things seem to go in pairs to sense, and to the understand

As

ing, so all are seen in threes by reason. This law of antinomy is no limited, no planetary law, nor yet peculiarly human; it is cosmical, all-embracing, ideal, divine. Not only is it impossible for man to think beauty without simultaneously thinking deformity and their point of indifference, justice without injustice and theirs, unity without multiplicity and theirs, but those several theses (beauty, justice, unity, namely) cannot be thought without these their antitheses, and without the respective middle terms of the pairs. As the eye of common-sense cannot have an inside without an outside, nor a solar orb without a planetary orbicle (inasmuch as it ceases to be solar the instant it is stript of its planet), so the eye of reason cannot see an inside without seeing an outside, and also their connexion as the inside and the outside of one and the same thing, nor a sun without his planet and their synthesis in a solar system. In short, three-in-one is the law of all thought and of all things. Nothing has been created, nothing can be thought, except upon the principle of three-in-one. Three-in-one is the deepest-lying cypher of the universe."1

Again: The 'relativity' of human knowledge, i.e., the metaphysical limitation of it, implies, we are told, the relation of a subject knowing to an object known. And what is known must be qualitatively known, inasmuch as we must conceive every object of which we are conscious, in the relation of a quality depending upon a substance. Moreover, this qualitatively known object must be protended, or conceived as existing in time, and extended, or regarded as existing in space; while its qualities are intensive, or conceivable under degree. The thinkable, even when compelled by analysis to make the nearest approach that is possible to a negation of intelligibility, thus implies phenomena objectified by thought, and conceived to exist in space and time. With the help of these data, may we not

1 This must have been in the mind of the poet who wrote-
'So, down thy hill, romantic Ashbourne, glides
The Derby Dilly, carrying three insides.'

b

discover and define the highest law of intelligence, and thus place the key-stone in the metaphysic arch?"

If thou hast any tidings' (says Falstaff to Ancient Pistol)

prithee deliver them like a man of this world.'

"

(

Again: Thus to the ancient, well-known logic, which we might call the logic of identity, and which has for its axiom, 'A thing can never be the contrary of that which it is,' Hegel opposes his own logic, according to which everything is at once that which it is, and the contrary of that which it is.' By means of this he advances a priori; he proposes a thesis, from which he draws a new synthesis, not directly (which might be impossible), but indirectly, by means of an antithesis.'

Again: It [Religion] is a mountain air; it is the embalmer of the world. It is myrrh, and storax, and chlorine, and rosemary. It makes the sky and the hills sublime; and the silent song of the stars is it. Always the seer is a sayer. Somehow his dream is told, somehow he publishes it with solemn joy, sometimes with pencil on canvas, sometimes with chisel on stone; sometimes in towers and aisles of granite, his soul's worship is builded. Man is the wondermaker. He is seen amid miracles. The stationariness of religion; the assumption that the age of inspiration is past, that the Bible is closed; the fear of degrading the character of Jesus by representing him as a man, indicate with sufficient clearness the falsehood of our theology. It is the office of a true teacher to show us that God is, not was-that He speaketh, not spoke. The true Christianity-a faith like Christ's in the infinitude of Man-is lost. None believeth in the soul of Man, but only in some man or person old and departed! In how many churches, and by how many prophets, tell me, is Man made sensible that he is an infinite soul; that the earth and heavens are passing into his mind; and that he is drinking for ever the soul of God!

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'The very word Miracle, as pronounced by christian Churches, gives a false impression; it is a monster; it is not one with the

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