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gleams” which “come and go.” That | vocate of what we will call relatively is to say, what to the sceptic was indis- Transcendentalism - if
suppose tinguishable from what Mr. Balfour powers of reflection to be coupled with calls “ a desire," was to the Sage a sensible endowments so limited – de“ need."
bating within themselves as to whether But this survey leads us to look back these new-born feelings were really further along the lines of evolution ; indicative of something beyoud, or and in so doing we get a further merely self-caused feelings consistent presumption from analogy which with primitive solipsism.
We now strengthens the argument. Consider stand above this process, which has the gradual development of sensitive-been in great measure accomplished. ness to the environment, which, by a We see that the relative transcendeu. series which can be traced with toler- talist was right, - that evolution was able completeness, brings the living the gradual unfolding of the consciousbeing first to the vaguest consciousness ness to external nature. But we are of what is not itself, then to more dis- still conscious in ourselves of vague liuct relations with other beings avi- indications of a new insight into a mate and inanimate, to the increased higher and further Reality. The reli. differentiation of the senses, and soon gious consciousness, which includes to what is the first symptom of a sense the sense of “ ueed,” gives at least a which is destined to place the inhab- dim presage of further and higher itant of this small planet iu immediate kuowledge, of things as much beyond relations with that vast natural uni- our present comprehevsion as that verse which is kuown to astronomers. which is perceived by the sight of mau The earth worm has, we believe, no is beyond what is accessible to the eyes rudiment of a special organ of visiou, of the Colenterata. Does not the yet he will move in response to the course of evolution raise at least a prelight if you turn a bull's-eye lantern on sumption that these new and mystehim. The story of the advance from rious glimpses do in fact point to a earth worm to man is a suggestive one." further reality? Is evolution, so loug It is a story of the gradual unfolding of a process upwards to wider knowledge, the sentient orgavism to what is in to turn suddenly and begin a process some sepse a great Reality outside it. downwards to mere delusion ? At each stage in the advance, the germ And little as cau be gained on the of what is to be ultimately a means same lines from the wayward history of wide knowledge is mysterious and of man during his comparatively brief uncertain. That very seusitiveness to career, we have at least the rise into light which in man gives so definite a defiuiteness of the Christian ethics, perception of his
fellow-creatures, which carried further and spread far made the starfish (in all probability) wider the wonderfully deep sense only dimly aware of the presence of which we find in the Psalms of the some moving object intercepting the near presence of the living God, so light. We could conceive at each stage distinct from the vague and distant the advocate of Naturalism and the ad- Theism of (for instauce) the Vedas, so
intimate in the personal relatious cou1 " In the lowest forms of animal life the whole templated, and in great measure realsurface is sensitive to light, and organs of vision ized ; and yet carried into practical limited areas being especially sensitive to light in and general action by the doctrine of conjunction with a deposit of pigment. Lens-like the Incarnation to a degree which withstructures ... were subsequently formed; but out it could never have been possible. their function was not in the first instance to If the survey of the early course of throw an image of external objects on the perceptive part of the eye, but to concentrate the light ages leads us to look at the religious on it. From such a simple form of visual organ it instinct from the first as a dim sensiis easy to pass by a series of steps to an eye capable liveness to a new world, whose characof true vision.” (F. Balfour's Comparative En. bryology, 11. 471.)
ter is shadowed forth in the conscieuce,
have no doubt arisen in the first instance from
giving doubtless, as imperfect senses as sharing whatever degree of relativity give, new error as the necessary ac- sensible knowledge possesses, some of companiment of new knowledge (hence his most startling paradoxes fall; and the superstitions and distortions which an adequate recognition of the province bave discredited the religious instinct), of latent reasoning and its tests would surely we have here, in the later puri- still further diminish the force of his fying and focussing of the ethical destructive criticism. Mr. Balfour's ideals, a step at least in the direction constant dilemma,
or "inof a rational indication both of the stinct," practically identifying reatruth that what is manifest is a new son with complete philosophical sensitiveness to a new light, and of the analysis, ignores here the third ground nature of the reality towards which of a rational instinct which represents the religious consciousness is advanc- a latent rational process, ascertainably ing
such. On the whole it would appear that And as there is a rational as distinct the strength of Mr. Balfour's main from a blind instinct, so there is an position depends on his faithful adhe- open-eyed as distinct from a blind rence, in its interpretation, to the quasi- sense of need. And so understood, we inductive method on which it is really believe Mr. Balfour is on right lines in founded. Where his observations have giving us a groundwork for our acceptbeen patient and accurate, his conclu- ance of the great presupposition of sions are true and powerfully stated. theology, a Wise and Holy Author of He not only successfully disposes of the Universe, the satisfaction which the claims of Naturalism as a sufficient that assumption ministers to an urgent philosophy, and of the naturalistic ac- and constant need. count of ethics and of human reason, The nature of the justification is at but he gives the individual good ground least in keeping with the character of to look for what his own reason cannot the assumption. If the need points to lead him to by a direct path, in those a great reality, a fuller and higher engreat religious assumptions without bodiment and source of those ethical which our nature remains so incom- and rational instincts which the need plete, and our deepest needs continue represents, it is to be expected that we unsatisfied - a process which has some should not “ know as we are known” analogy (though but a partial one) lo by a Reason so far above our own. the formation of great hypotheses to A dog cannot understand the means explain natural facts.
whereby its master does effectually But it is obvious that utterly blind convey to it his will, and secure its and stupid guesses at Nature's methods obedience. We have no help for it but would be quite useless in leading to to surrender ourselves to what are so true results. And so too, if Mr. Bal- far non-rational causes of belief, that four's destructive criticism of the ana- we cannot rise to their apprehension lytical processes (notably in the chapter by direct logic; and the experience of on the “Philosophical Basis of Natu- consequent harmony and growth may ralism") are as valid as he seems to well be at least one principal element suppose, a reason so misleading, when in the justification of our trust. we can observe it closely, will not seem And further, once the bridge is fitted to suggest, with any prospect of crossed which joins us to the world of accuracy, the general lineaments of a reality, according to Joubert's saying, Life-philosophy.
“In poetry I should fear to go wrong But here we believe that Mr. Bal. if I differed from poets, in religion four's observation of the relevant facts if I differed from the Saints,” Authoris at fault. The reasoning processes, ity, whose credentials are discerned if patiently surveyed, do not yield such through the rational and moral light, bewildering results as he supposes. If has great value in carrying us further. physical science is clearly understood | Those in whom need and satisfaction
have been deepest may well determine have therefore fallen outside our scope. the line of further advance.
We may instance as an example the The justification, then, of our reli- | admirable treatment of “ Beliefs, For. gious convictions solely by the satis- mulas, and Realities.” faction they afford to what we have Throughout the book we have a comcalled a blind sense of need, while it bination, especially suited to our own harmonizes with one strain iu Mr. Bal- time, when the temperament of a Pasfour's disparagement of human reason, cal is so general, of a deep sense of the and with a pessimistic interpretation of difficulties of man's position, and of the his saying that “certitude is the child need for light we do not possess,
with of custom” a saying which naturally an equally deep sense that a practical recalls David Hume — appears to us acquiescence in scepticism or Agnostiboth inadequate and out of harmony cism would be to deny what is best in with the general drift of his striking our nature. That a great reality bebook. And so, too, a blind surrender yond us is the source of all that is to Authority is an inadequate account highest in us is for Mr. Balfour a cen. of the trust in Authority, the necessity tral belief which no detailed defeat of and value of which, in the social and the reason can shake ; and it would be religious life, he so powerfully exhibits. difficult to express better the sense We can accept his analysis and his with which the reader arises from the conclusion only with the reservations perusal of this work, of the painful and we have indicated. Theism as the even exaggerated sensitiveness of its presupposition of Theology is accepted, author to the limitations of human as an external world is allowed as a knowledge, to the shadowy and relative necessary presupposition to science. character of all we can grasp, to the In neither case can a complete logical darkuess which shrouds the vast Truth proof be given. In both cases our in- which exists somewhere to be known, tellectual (and ethical) nature points to if ever the limitations of our present their rational necessity for the comple- condition can be cast aside, than by tion of the scheme of human knowl- recalling the words in which a great edge. The analysis of past experience Christian thinker of our own time in the one case and of the phenomena directed that his death should be deof consciousuess in the other indicate a scribed on his grave : “ Ex umbris et conclusion which they cannot reach. imaginibus in veritatem." In both cases the last link of the process is outside the province of human reason, but that is (in the case of Theism) at least in harmony with the
From The Fortnightly Review. supposition that a Higher Power is act
SOPHIE KOVALEVSKY. ing on us, whose evidence is in our
La femme est toujours femme et jamais ne sera own life and growth, but whose pro- Que femme, tant qu'entier le monde durera. portion to ourselves is not such as to
MOLIERE. allow that we should hold it in the
The story of Sophie Kovalevsky is grasp of our limited faculties.
the story of a life divided against itThe directly practical object of Mr. self, of a conflict in which the combaBalfour's book has made it necessary to consider chiefly its main conclusion,
Souvenirs d'Enfance de Sophie Kovalevsky, and it has been impossible to do this écrits par elle-même, et suivis de sa biographie
par Mme. A.-Ch. Leffler, Duchesse de Cajanello briefly. We regret that the profound. (Paris, Hachette et Cie.). est portions of a work, most suggestive
Vospominania Detsva, published in the Vestnik throughout, and in parts very powerful, the same year into Swedish, under Madame Ko
Evropy of July and August, 1890 ; translated in passages characterized by a philosoph- valevsky's direction, with the title " Ur Ryska ical comprehensiveness and wisdom Lifvet.”. which are not equally apparent in some sky, has been recently translated into English
Vera Barantzova, a novel by Madame Koralepof the destructive criticisms it contains, 'Ward and Downey, 1895.
tants were differing sides of the same reinforced at night by a young servant personality. It was a contest for su- girl, who extemporized a bed for her. premacy between heart and brain, in self by spreading " a piece of grey felt which it is difficult to say which carried on the floor.” In the morning a pleasoff the victory. The latter could in- ant odor of coffee added itself to the deed point to the brilliant successes many already existing, and “ Niania,” which the world admired, but for these herself half clad, dispensed coffee and the former exacted payment in full rolls to the children in their beds ; only measure. It is to Madame Kovalev- by and by would the time come for sky's own pen that we are indebted for them to be washed and dressed. the interesting and charmingly told “ It must be admitted,'' says Madame story of her childhood and early youth. Kovalevsky, “that much time was These recollections, her first literary not spent on our toilettes. “Niania' work of importance, were published in passed a wet towel over our faces and the last year of her life, and were reo our hands, passed a comb once or twice ceived with a burst of admiration both through our tangled hair, put on a in Russia and Scandinavia. Sophie frock with several buttons wissing, and Kovalevsky was born at Moscow about we were ready." The necessary atten1850. Her life, therefore, may be said lion to the chamber seems to have to have run almost parallel with that been taken in hand by “Niania” in important period in the history of her much the
style. “ Without country which began with the Crimean troubling herself about us, she would war. Very curious is the series of sweep the floor, raising a thick cloud vivid pictures she draws of a Russian of dust, throw the coverlets over our upper-class household of forty years little beds, shake the mountain of pilago. The children, at this period of lows on her own bed, and the room was their lives, seem to have been per- all right for the day.” Anna, being mitted to catch only occasional glimpses some years older, escaped for a while of their parents, to whose presence to the French governess; but Sophie they were summoned for a few min- and her little brother “remained and utes, previous to their departure for played with their toys on the great some social function, when they gazed leather-covered divan with the horseadmiringly at their father's orders and hair protruding through its many their mother's jewels. For the rest, holes.” “Niania" sometimes told they lived in their own appartment them stories about the “Twelvewith their purse, an ignorant peasant headed Serpent,” the “Black Death,” woman, but warmly attached to the and others of the same stamp; and the family, and especially to little “Sonia,” proceedings were often enlivened by whom — rightly or wrongly — she be- the visits of the other servants and lieved to be less loved by her parents sundry gossips to drink tea with “Nithan either her elder sister or her little ania." The little Sophie, listening to brother. Madame Kovalevsky's ear- their conversations, learned amongst liest recollections were associated with other things that she herself had not this large, low room (so low that by been very heartily welcomed into the standing on a chair “Niania” could world. That the 6" Barinia' never touch the ceiling), with its close atmo- even looked at her,” both she and sphere and its ever-present peculiar “Excellency " " wanted a boy SO smell ; itself a compound of innumer- much.” Neither fresh air nor regular able other odors, of incense, of tallow exercise for the children seem to have candles, and the mixture used by entered into the ideas of “Niania.” 6. Niania” for her rheumatism. Here The French governess, indeed, never the three children quite literally lived came to the room without holding her
- here they spent their days ; here bandkerchief to her nose, aud implorthey played, and ate, and slept — they ing “Niania” to open the windows ; and their nurse ; their number being but the suggestion was always received
by her with unconcealed irritation as a not in those days — probably are not personal insult, and a mischievous for- even in these — easily procurable in eign notion.
remote country houses in Russia, and We are not surprised to learn that for one of the children's rooms at Palipoor little Sophie was, in her fifth year, bino sufficient wall-paper had not been attacked by a serious nervous illness. forthcoming. It had therefore been Happily for her, at this juncture her papered with old disused printed paper, father retired from active service, and amongst which were several sheets of withdrew with his family to his estate Ostrogradski's lectures on the differen. of Palibino, in the government of tial and integral calculus ; a reminisVitebsk. At Palibino“ Niania” would cence of General Kroukovsky's student probably have found it more difficult to days, and a hint, perhaps, that Sophie's preserve her cherished methods, but great mathematical gifts had not deher reign was destined to come to a scended to her from her father. This speedy close. The general had now a room possessed a strong fascivation for good deal of time on his hands, and it the little seven-year-old maiden. Here occurred to him to investigate certain she was to be found daily, her atten. of the domestic arrangements, with tion riveted on these walls, striving to results apparently startling to himself understand something of the strange and others. A domestic court-martial ligures and stranger formulas. "I rewas promptly held ; the French gov- member,” says Madame Kovalevsky, erness was dismissed, “Niania” de- “ that every day I used to spend hours graded to a lower rank — the care of before these mysterious walls, strug. the children being exchanged for that gling to understand some of the senof the linen — and an English govern- tences, and to tind the order of the ess replaced these fallen authorities. sheets. By dint of long contemplation It is with a feeling of patriotic pride some of the formulas became ixed that we read Madame Kovalevsky's firmly in my memory, and even the account of the labors and the victories text, though I could comprehend nothof our brave compatriot.
ing of it at the time, left its impression She tried hard to turn our room into an
on my brain." English nursery, and to make us into En
When, several years later, her father glish girls of the approved type. The task was prevailed on to let her have some - God knows — was not an easy one, but instruction in mathematics, the results thanks to a remarkable perseverance, she were a surprise and a revelation to all to some extent attained her ends. concerned ; not least to the little pupil She introduced a wholly new element into herself. The mysteries of the walls the household. Although she had been now grew clear, and her progress was brought up in Russia, she preserved all the made by leaps and bounds.
The difcharacteristics of the Anglo-Saxon race, ferential calculus presented no difficulsteadiness, method, tenacity of purpose. ties to her, and her tutor found that These qualities were precisely the reverse she knew the formulas by heart, and of those which characterized the rest of the
arrived at solutions and explanations household, and they account for the strong influence she exerted amongst us.
quite independent of his aid. There
was no denying her talent; nevertheLittle Sophie, so recently in danger less General Kroukovsky regarded its of becoming a nervous, sickly child, development with distrust, and someshowed a marked improvement in her thing like dismay. It was altogether health under the rational system estab- out of the ordinary course of things to lished by the admirable “Malvina see a little girl devoted to the differenJakovlevna.” She once more took a tial calculus, and was a state of matters firm hold upon life, and proceeded that might become difficult to deal forthwith to point out in what direction with. Moreover, he had difficulties her vocation lay.
enough on bis hands. Already some The resources of civilization were painful experiences with his elder