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our wants); but it is the first stage fic conception. In the place of deities itasof religion rather than of science. sumes abstract entities. Thus by gradual It promotes science chiefly by its modifications the personal agency becomes opposition to science. This is no
an impersonal agency, the deity an ab
straction, and this in turn becomes more paradox. It fills the mind with and more material, as we see in the sucvague terrors, which it becomes the cession of-Ist, Spirit; 2d, Entity; and, effort of a few bolder spirits to dis- 3d, Fluid, or ether.” perse or to inquire into. It presents to the thinker that contrast We cannot but think that, if Mr —that something to oppose-with- Lewes had left himself free and unout which there is no energy of hampered with Comte's law of dethinking. But it does not itself velopment, he would have given us initiate science; the explanation a clearer account of the progress of of science grows up in antagonism the mind in science than he has to it, and out of the noble desire of done here. We will not further knowledge. We proceed with the discuss Comte's theological stage; exposition :
as to his metaphysical, it is an
assemblage of several different “ In direct contrast to this is the sci, modes of thinking, which only, in entific attitude, based upon the second of the two assumptions just rehearsed.
a few instances, can be traced back It never could have obtained acceptance to the theological. Our essences, or in the early stages of our development.
the ancient forms of things,
were It implies a certain advance of culture never gods or goddesses. There and great familiarity with the orderli- was no necessity to distil a deity ness of nature. Before men could refer down into an essence. Sometimes the changes they observed to the influ. ence of properties inherent in the objects, mate objects a power or effort ana
the imagination infuses into inania strong conviction must have arisen that the order of succession in phenome. logous to human will without passna was not variable, but fixed. Invari- ing through any intermediate theoableness would inevitably lead to the con- logical stage—that is, without first ception of all changes being due to the inventing a personal demon relations between the various properties
ternal to the thing itself. Someof objects—first, by discrediting the in
times these supernumerary entities, terference of an external will, which is essentially incalculable ; next, by dis
which the earliest stage of science closing that there was really no need of (and also the latest) introduces to anything but the recognised or recoge explain phenomena, are quite objecnisable properties of objects to account tive in their character, and are due for all changes. “ These two sharply-opposed modes jects make upon us.
to the first impression external ob
Fire starts, of conceiving phenomena-one of which aims at penetrating the mysteries of
on collision, from a stone. How existence, and explaining the external almost inevitable the process of order by knowledge of the ultimate thought which supposes the fire to causes, the other of which aims only at
exist in some latent state in the detecting the exact relations of stone, ready to dart forth, as a serexistence and succession which determine that order, without any hope of animal is trodden on! It is but
pent's tongue darts forth when the knowing the ultimate causes- these two modes require some intermediate transi
very lately that the idea of latent tional mode, which will enable the mind heat has been discarded from moto pass from one to the other. Such a dern science. transition is effected in the metaphysi- The metaphysical stage, we are cal stage, which agrees with the theolo- told, “ differs from the theological gical, inasmuch as it also assumes a in discarding the idea of these knowledge of the ultimate causes, and assumes that these causes are in essence
agencies being variable; by this it independent of the objects. But it
forms the passage to a scientific differs from the theological in discarding
conception.' But no such transithe idea of these agencies being variable"; tional mode of thinking is at all by this it forms the passage to a scienti- necessary towards attaining the con
ception of invariableness. This is our own actions are determined by our at once established in certain fami- volitions, by the mysterious something liar cases by the daily use of our
within us; and we assign a similar cause A more subtle and exten- otherwise is it with the objective method.
to the motions of external objects. Quite sive observation of phenomena en
This arises out of a more extensive and larges from time to time the num- precise knowledge of the objects, familiber of those cases in which the arity with which gradually reveals someinvariableness of the order of na- thing of their order of co-existence and ture is established, till at length succession. As such knowledge accumuthe conviction flashes on us, and lates, it irresistibly pushes aside the inbecomes more and more confirmed, from consciousness. It reveals cosmical
terpretation which was originally drawn that all the phenomena of external order more and more as a system not nature are linked in some invari- measurable by the analogies of human able order. The growth of this personality.” conviction has nothing to do with the introduction of animal spirits, This is clearer ; but it is hardly or essences, or other subtle entities satisfactory. If objective stands here to explain phenomena.
for the correct method, then every Apparently dissatisfied himself kind of incorrect method must fall with this passage from the theolo- under the head of subjective; but, gical to the metaphysical, and again as we have already shown, the imfrom the metaphysical to the posi- agination may set to work in an tive or purely scientific, Mr Lewes, objective as well as a subjective a few pages further on, proposes method. And, again, what preanother classification of our modes cisely is the meaning of subjective ? * or methods of thinking.
If it is limited to the cases where “ To get rid,” he says, “ of the equi
we directly infuse into inanimate voque which lies in the phrases theolo- nature a will or passion like our gical and metaphysical, he may grasp all own, as when we contemplate the three under the subjective and objective forces of nature as having an anamethods, their tendencies being thus logy to effort (a mode of thinking characterised : the subjective draws all
at all times very prevalent), the explanations of external phenomena from premises directly suggested by conscious- meaning of the word is distinct, ness; it identifies the external order with and we understand it as denoting the internal order. Obviously this is a well-known erroneous method. the primitive method. When, in the But if every mode of reasoning in early days of our development, we find which a power analogous to the ourselves face to face with phenomena human mind is called in to explain, the order of which we do not understand,
not individual phenomenon, let us we satisfy the irresistible impatience which demands an immediate explana
say, but that
" cosmical order” tion by assuming that the objects are
which it is the work of science to moved as we are moved. We feel that elucidate-is to be called subjec
* Mr Lewes has in a note used the word subjective in a sense which leads us to suspect that he has not exercised on this occasion his usual watchfulness over his abstract terms, and that he had not rigidly defined to himself the meaning he intended to affix to the word. He says :-“The influence of the subjective method is constantly traceable in commercial and other enterprises rashly undertaken by men in the confidence that facts will bend to their desires. A man sees great advantage to himself if events take a certain direction ; and he believes that this direction will be taken because he greatly desires it. The more objective mind sets aside its wishes, and tries to calculate the chances of the direction from a knowledge of the external condition.' Here the subjective method stands for the well-known influence of our desires over our judgments. The sanguine speculator who sees tallow rise, or hops fall, according to his own interest in the market, does not infuse his own personality into tallow or hops, or the incidents of the market. Tallow and hops are as thoroughly objective to him as to the coolest calculator who does not allow his own wishes to bias his estimate of probabilities.
tive, then the word seems to us does he venture to reason on the misplaced ; it is misplaced as a constancy of the order of nature ? term of reprehension, and has lost Because experience or enlarged obits strict contrast to the term objec- servation has taught him this great tive. Mind is known to us, in the truth. And if the same ever-widenfirst instance, from our own con- ing experience has taught us that sciousness; but when we infer from everything in nature subserves a his actions that a fellow human purpose, it becomes as impossible to being has the same mind or con- think things purposeless as to think sciousness as ourselves, mind then them inconstant. It is as legitimate becomes, in our thoughts, as objec- to expect purpose as to expect contive a reality as motion. It is as stancy in phenomena not yet thordistinct an object of thought. And oughly investigated ; and thus we if, further, we reason from the rela- may as fairly reason from the one tion of all the parts of the world to expectation as from the other. each other that an intelligent power We quite agree with Mr Lewes in is here the great Harmoniser, we do the account he gives of what is, at not, each of us, place his own mind this present moment, the precise in the centre of the universe ; butwork of the man of science : it is treating Intelligence as an objective to set before us the real order of reality, we endeavour to conceive events. By his labours, should some kind of intelligence corre- they ever prove successful, this sponding to this cosmos. When whole world would appear to the Anaxagoras reduced all things to his mind's eye in its true and full atoms and his vous, his vous was reality :-such reality as the senses as much an objective reality as his are cognisant of. We should see it atoms.
clearly. To earn for us this intellecThere is a manifest truth in tual perception is the great but yet Comte's law of development; but limited task of the man of science. his determination to treat the re- Our senses, aided by memory, ligious element as a mere passing give to us a representation of the error of the human mind, marred world which is neither deceptive and confused his statement of it. nor chaotic (as some have ventured The time which sees a rude science, to call it), which is both a beautisees also a rude theology. The ful and orderly representation, afsame unchecked imagination pre- fording sufficient basis for active sides over both fields of thought. and pleasurable life ; but which With a rational science comes in still leaves the mind exposed to a rational theology. This Comte many errors, and, let us add, stimuthought fit to deny; hence the the- lates it to many imaginations. The ological stage was transferred into order of causation is not at once a sort of temporary provisional
revealed to the senses, except in epoch, altogether to disappear in some simple cases. Those various the scientific ; whereas the his- trains of events, linked each to each tory of the human mind distinctly in inevitable sequence, which comproves that science and theology pose our world, cross and interhave both advanced together-sci- mingle, or else the senses fail altoence modifying theology, and an gether to detect the more subtle advanced theology reacting upon
events in the series. It is the task science.
of science to rectify this partial This last, we believe, is an asser- confusion, and to present the world tion peculiarly distasteful to the to the eye of intellect in its comPositivist, who has a violent objec- pleteness of order, the various trains tion to all reasoning upon final all disentangled from each other. But his objection may not
It is not at first that science libe so well founded, even on his own
mits itself to its real task, or sets principles, as he supposes. Why about this task in the best or legiti
mate method. And the history of of science. He is energetic in disits preliminary tentatives and curi- carding authority and fixing his ous deviations from the right path eyes on the realities of nature. becomes a subject of interesting Yet, on other occasions, he relapses study to those who would trace the into a slavish respect for authority, development of the human mind. or into vague and fanciful speculaBut we would observe that the true tions. method differs from the false, not No writer has more distinctly in introducing any absolutely new brought before us the inevitable rules or practices, but in adhering disadvantages of " historical posito good practices and refraining tion” which the early prosecutor from bad. At no era, when men of science laboured under than Mr were sufficiently intelligent to occu- Lewes. Thus while he, with rigid py themselves with the pursuit of impartiality, points out the defects knowledge for the sake of know- of Aristotle, he at the same time ledge, was the paramount necessity furnishes the fullest excuse for of the observation of facts for a them. We sincerely hope that this moment denied; at no time would volume he has given us will be the experiment or verification be other- precursor or instalment of a larger wise than highly valued ; at no work unfolding the development of time would a "generalisation, bas- science. It will, if prosecuted in ed upon induction,” fail to be the same manner as the present appreciated. But such generalisa- specimen, be a work as instructive tions are of slow growth, and mean- in modern science as in ancient or while one must reason on things medieval. For this contrast bearound us; and something is seized tween old mistake and latest disupon and called a principle, and covery leads, as we have said, to held up as a torch to try if nature perhaps the most attractive and imcan be seen thereby. Based on the pressive manner of expounding the first data of the senses, we have truths of science. In this respect wrought out for ourselves certain our space has not permitted us to laws of motion—but how slowly! do justice to the present volume. Wanting these inductions, the ac- It is full of interesting views or tive-minded man (and who will glimpses of the last achievements quarrel with his activity ? stray as of science; so that even he who is
; he will, he will find something, if careless of Aristotle, or indifferent, not the thing he sought) conjures or opposed to the abstract stateup some laws of motion out of ments he may meet with about fancied analogies between his own induction, or causation, and the human movements and those he like, will yet find the book entersees in the inanimate creation. The taining from the choice illustrations true method differs from the false drawn from the science of the day. in adhering more and more to the Nor in these days of light reading, good practices and dropping the and easy writing, should the indusbad ; and happily the adherence to try and laborious application inthe good practice becomes more easy volved in such a work as this be at every advance in knowledge, till forgotten. Mr Lewes has not been at length the deviation from it be- contented with quotations or transcomes the exception and the rarity. lations made by others : he has
Those who have read critically read extensively, and, above all, the works of Roger Bacon assure must have patiently made his way us that he occasionally lays down through those works of Aristotle with as much precision as his suc- which even scholars are contented cessor Francis Bacon the true aims to have glanced at.
VOL. XCVI.-NO. DLXXXVI.
VICTOR HUGO ON SHAKESPEARE.
A WILD, disorderly, insane book! equalled; which at times reminds -so one critic might characterise us of nothing so much as those this work of Victor Hugo's. A noble translations of Virgil that schoolbook, full of generous sentiments boys make, “I sing arms and a man. and bursts of audacious eloquence! At times this literalism succeeds re—somight another critic, with equal markably well; but it is a mere justice, describe it. Both sentences chance. Being, so far as we have exwould be just. Never were genius amined, as accurate as he is literal, and madness brought so near to this dogged fidelity meets occasiongether as in these pages of Victor ally with its reward. He seems to Hugo; never, surely, did so much have felt that no skilful treatment flagrant absurdity find itself side by on his part, no delicate handling, side with what is truly admirable. no dexterous qualification or happy Even in point of style the contra- compromise, would avail to shield dictions are unexampled.
the fastidious reader from many a time coarse, and abrupt even to rude shock to his nerves. Thereabsurdity; it is, at another time, fore he declines to take upon himbroad and massive as the sculpture self the least feeling of responsibiof Michael Angelo : again, on other lity. He plods on from word to occasions, it will weary us with word; it is the dictionary transsentences made intolerably long by lates, not he. It is Victor Hugo the mere enumeration of names or who chooses the path; he follows useless repetition of examples. Him- step for step. Sometimes a referself the greatest scourge of pedants, ence to the original throws a light he is more open than any modern upon the translation,* but, in geneauthor we know to the charge of ral, it must be confessed that the pedantry--if it be pedantry to rake profound obscurity you occasionally together names of men and books meet with in the English is but a for no apparent purpose but the dis- too faithful copy of the profound play of extensive reading.
obscurity of the French. The English translator had a dif- As we have said, the work itself ficult task before him. It might defies criticism. It is useless to raise well have thrown into despair the objections or detect faults : absurmost consummate master of our dities are too numerous and glarlanguage. Mr A. Baillot (such is ing; they seem perfectly conscious the name on the title-page) evidently of themselves, and defy you. Yet looked upon his undertaking, from it would be a still greater mistake the commencement, as a quite des- to adopt a tone of derision or of conperate affair. The difficulties were tempt. Ridicule is soon checked immense; therefore he resolved, by some terrible earnestness, and once for all, to make no effort to by a display of power that forces encounter them. He starts off at respect. One cannot laugh comfortonce, and continues throughout his ably at the gambols of a giant. whole course with a dogged literal- What if he should come too near ism such as we have never seen where we ourselves are standing ?
William Shakespeare: par Victor Hugo. • William Shakespeare:' by Victor Hugo: authorised English Translation.
* At p. 132 is an amusing illustration of the translator's very literal method. Victor Hugo, speaking of the ironical or burlesque in art, says,
« Behind the gri·mace, philosophy makes its appearance. A philosophy smooth,” &c. The word rendered "smooth” is “déridée.” A cheerful philosophy would be the natural expression ; but the translator went down to the root, so he wrote a philosophy smooth.” He might at least have smoothed the brow of his philosophy.