Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

morrow.

really believed they might be of some to say somwill all tend to something; slight use to the present generation of and, come what will, that is a satisyoung men. Of their general sinceri- faction. I will arrange my plans at ty I have no doubt, though a passage once, (what delight in being able to here and there occurs in which the arrange my plans for myself, without author seems to have got up the feel the interference of tutors and statutes !) ing for the sake of writing about it. and adhere to them. Let me see-to You will judge whether they are suit- law's grave study-umph !-how much able to your journal.

must one give to that? Will six

hours do ? Say seven ; then there Jan. 2.-I foresee this will be a re will remain seventeen. Give seven markable year in my life, and I am to sleep, and five to nature ; the deuce determined to record its progress. is in it, if one cannot make something The years I passed at college were of the other five. Political economy? barren-how could they be otherwise ? Yes, that is a good practical study, What were mathematics to me, and particularly belonging to this age. I what was I to mathematics? What begin with Mill's “ Elements” toeven were the more genial studies

That will occupy, say two which are encouraged in these ancient hours. Two from five and there refoundations ? Interesting, no doubt, main three : an hour and a half of this to a certain extent; for it is true, will do for metaphysics,-an hour and though Mr. Campbell says it, that dis a half still on hand. Hang it, I shall tance does lend a sort of enchantment have too much time. Well, one will to the view, but nowise germane to the want so much for odds and ends :matter, nowise connected with the poetry, novels, and now and then a feelings and sympathies of which, as a little history; and, perhaps, a new lancitizen of this age, I am conscious. guage. And then, all our social intercourse Jan. 5.-Law studying is very unhow much it partook of the same cha- fairly abused. Blackstone is very racter! How little it savored of re- pleasant reading : I was quite annoyality, and yet how desperately we ed to break off much earlier than I struggled to give it that taste! There intended to-day, in consequence of an was none of the imaginary quietness engagement to visit the National Galof the cloister,-for, to the best of our lery with some ladies. It is very hard ability, we were men of the world; that these public institutions are not and nothing of the genuine bustle of open at more convenient bours. To society,-for our attempts to mimic it, this, in fact, may be attributed nearly though very praiseworthy, were emi- all the idleness of young men. Dined nently unsuccessful. Henceforth the out: a sad interruption to one's genecourse of my life will be different. ral studies. Stiff breezes, of course, frequently ;

Jan. 7.-Have cut all the pages of sometimes real storms; now and then Mr. Mill's work, and read the first a raking fire from some hostile vessel; chapter. It is a very wonderful book. but still it will be a straight, steady, What a model of a style ! each senonward course,-a conscious progress; tence a light post carriage, fitted up not that miserable tossing which brings for accommodation of one idée nette, with it the sensation of sickness, though as the French call it, and with none we know a!l the while that we are of the heavy baggage of clauses and only in

qualifications. And a safe style ; you “ A painted ship

are so sure that it is not tricking you; Upon a painted ocean.'

every word has been filtered half-aMy studies henceforth will dozen times through a logical sieve, something; my converse with men till it is perfectly free of all figurative and -no, I did not mean women, particles; and no thought is admitted though, by your smiling, Sir, you seem which is not willing to take the form

mean

[ocr errors]

of a dilemma. He disgusts me with impression upon mne than any I ever the vagueness and intangibility of the read. It is strange that a logical law books.

grappling-iron should not keep as firm Feb. 1.-Law is an intolerablc stu- hold of the mind as metaphorical birddy. No plain general principles ; no- lime; but so it is, and, therefore, thing clear, nothing demonstrable ; all henceforth I will try Ricardo or some a loose collection of facts and forma- of the Dii Minores of the school-Me. lities. That I should submit to such taphysicians--Locke, Reid, Berkely, drudgery! It is dry, disagreeable ; Hume—then a course of Greek phiand is it quite right ? am I not destroy- losophy, down all through the later ing the powers of my mind by doing Platonists—then bare at the Germans, so ? and is not this a crime, the great- Kant, Fichte, Schiller, and the rest of est that can be committed ? And them,-for which purpose the language what valuable time-time wanted for must be learnt, but that will be the so many other studies—is consumed work of a very short time. Tben to in these ruinous occupations ! Five history. I doubt whether history is hours have I buried this morning in of any use—however, it must be read; “ Preston upon the Quantity of Es- so it may as well be done thoroughly. tates ;” and, when one has made due I will read once more through Heroallowance for eating, sleeping, talking, dotus and Thucydides, then Diodorus walking, and visiting, five hours really Siculus, and the rest,—then all the constitute a very considerable majori- Romans, reading Niebuhr to illustrate ty of all that belong to me. I will them—then the old Latin-English histake the subject into my serious con- tories and the Chroniclers—then to sideration.

France--the old history will not take

long-Joinville to illustrate chivalry, March 3.–What a glorious relief! Davila because every one reads him; I have thrown off the incubus of a and then Thierry will do the rest. profession, and henceforth shall find, But the Revolution ! Heaven and as Solomon did, a time for all things. earth! there are ninety-six volumes There is a glorious satisfaction in the must be read through, or a friend of sacrifice I have made. To strictly mine assures me I shall not know a meditate the thankless muse, instead word about the causes of it, or the acof laboring to get on in the world! tors in it. Well, be it so. Then How I despise-no, that is not the Italian history, Macchiavelli, Guicci. word--how I pity the poor slaves who ardini; and to cut the matter short, are still toiling night and day in the as I have time on my hands, I will service of Mammon, grinding at his read gh Muratori. Then there's mill, trembling at his frown, or quail- only Spain and Germany left, and ing beneath his lash! And it is not these will be soon settled. Next the mere luxury of freedom either, comes the literature of the different though that were much—there are the countries. solid, tangible advantages. What a But I am very sleepy : so this, with host of hours have I now at my dispo- my plans for studying physical science, sal, which will yield a miserable re- I will resume another day. turn, if I get less than cent. per cent. out of them in the increased length of April 1.--How very absurd a notion days, which wisdom confers on us; it is, that the mind can gain anything for Crichton died an octogenarian at by mere inhaling : of all useless habits, thirty, and Newton was an older man simple reading is the most utterly, abthan Methusalem. All my day to solutely useless. We gain more by myself! How shall I dispose of it? balf an hour's writing than by a whole Political economy—By the way, it is day of book-worming. This is the very strange, that, perfect writer as most important practical truth I have Mr. Mill is, his book has made less yet found out; it has saved me a world

of trouble that I had created for my- the evening, for the purpose of waking self; by acting upon it, my inind has early, very strong coffee. gained more quickness and energy Afternoon.-Have written three than it was ever conscious of in any chapters. Character of my heroineprevious part of its existence. The blue eyes, pale complexion, (inem. exercise of thought acquired from “Oh, call it fair," &c.,) capable of writing has enabled me to discover intense feeling, and rides a bay filly the holes in my metaphysical science, (given by her uncle, an old East Inthe vagueness of my notions on mo- dian); does not understand Latin or rals, the incoherency of my critical keep an album, A glorious creature ! dogmas. The light that has burst in I am quite in love with her myself. upon me, through the crevice of this What delight there will be in writing one discovery, is dazzling almost to about her! painfulness. I must positively betake Sept. 4.--Did not rise till ten this myself to some of my old reading ha- morning; for what use can there be in bits, in order that I may have a shade doing so till I remove into my new against its excessive brilliancy. And lodging ? The numeroựs interrupwhat a difference there is in the actu- tions

Have just finishal effect of the two pursuits ! To ed an argument with D- upon the read for its own sake, every one who origin of ideas. I never met with a has read knows and feels to be absurd; man so wedded to falsehood. Some whereas, writing, which is the ex- of the remarks I made it was quite pression of a man's own thoughts, is impossible for him to answer ; and good simply because it is so. We yet he would not allow that he was write, because we have something to convinced. It is pitiable to see a say, and all ultimate pleasure is quite man of some talent so obstinate and needless.

ignorant. I have pinned him down

into my novel. It is always well to Aug. 3.-A lady asked me yester- strike while the iron is hot; so, for a day to show her some of my composi- time, I have interrupted the series of tions in prose or verse. Ha ! ha! to my story to introduce him. suppose that anything could remain in Sept. 12.-Dined out yesterday. my desk, or that any one would take Hateful necessity! Emily - is the intolerable trouble of manufactur- a beautiful creature, and unquestionaing compositions for any purpose ex- bly very clever. There was scarcely cept to influence the opinions of the an observation I made which did not fools called the public; or sell them seem to strike her in the same way as to the knaves called Journalists ! I it did myself. This bas considerably have believed many delusions in my changed my conception of my beroine. lime ; but that was one to which I ne- Hazel eyes are decidedly preferable ver yielded-thanks to my good genius. to blue. Emily C is fond of bil

Sept. 1.—This day commenced a liards, and maintains that ladies have novel. It will certainly be completed a full right to play with a cue.

My in six weeks ; till that time, I shall heroine shall play with a cue. I will seclude myself entirely from society, not read Political Economy-that's remove into a small lodging in Austin fixed. I escaped by a miracle from Friars, rise punctually at three o'clock tunabling into an argument after dinin the morning, and to prevent any ner, with old Sir John L, about disturbance from without, dispense the Corn Laws; and if I had, then with a servant, and order the knocker should I have gone with the Cain-mark to be muffled. My diet will be, in of a young doctrinaire upon me for the morning, dry toast, sopped in weak the rest of my life. The change in tea; at dinner, barley-broth, and, now my plan has occupied me so entirely and then, (but rarely,) a potatoe ; in that I have added nothing to the work

43 ATHENEUM, VOL. 2, 3d series.

to-day; but my time has been well opinions at least six times. And what employed in thinking.

of that—what have I had ever to do Sept. 8. Saturday. I have been with these loose gloves, that I have adding greatly to my stock of charac stripped off so easily whenever they ters during the last few days. Have pinched my hand or became wet, or been at eight parties. Society is, af- went out of fashion ? Nothing ! noter all, the proper field for observa thing! If they had belonged to me, tion. There is a very plausible theo- they would have adhered. I cannot ry about plotting, meditating on one's throw a leg or an arm to the winds own heart, and so on; but what, after whenever I get dissatisfied with them; all, does it end in ?-self-torment or they are mine, and so were those hours sleep. I will venture to say, that the of childhood! They have passed inman who sits down to think, invaria- to iny character, and they will not pebly is either lulled to slumber by the rish! Louisa ! you were worth all bee-like humming of his thoughts, or the French and English and German kept awake by their hornet stings. In philosophers that ever flung dirt into society, on the other hand-[Hiatus the well from which truth is never to valde deflendus.]

be drawn up. November 1.-If I had not heard April 7.L— says, he believes the controversy which has just taken nothing but what is revealed to him place between D and M

upon through his senses : two months ago, the old subject of ideas, I could not I should have despised him for the ashave imagined that it was possible for sertion ; now I envy him. Beliere a human being to be so utterly defi- only what he perceives by his senses ! cient in logic as the latter. The views Would to God I could believe as much! adopted by the former, and the rea The paper on which I am writing, soning by which he supported them, the ink which stains it, the hand which were absolutely unanswerable, to one holds this pen, would to God that I who knows anything of the experience could believe in them! I ask not for of his own mind; and yet the coolness a faith in unseen realities; the things with which his opponent contradicted around me are too impalpable for my him! The more une believes, the grasp. I remember once in a typbous more one is a man. M— believes fever, while I was lying awake at night nothing; he is therefore not a man. in that exquisite torture of weakness

which takes hold of every separate March 9.-And so Louisa Mordaunt limb and of the entire frame, I saw a is dead! How well I remember the form walk into my room and seize the cheek that I saw two months ago so light, and place itself at the foot of very pale and transparent, covered all my bed. And then it put out the over with the rosiness of childhood. light,-for there was no need of it,Good heavens ! it is not ten years since and gazed at me with two gory eyes the time when I used to cultivate her that were bright enough to illuminate youthful ambition for climbing trees, the whole room. And then with its and to tease her by pulling down her long thin fingers with which it was long tresses, till they almost reached pointing all the while at me, it pluckher feet, when she was summoned to ed out those eyes and pelted me with show off in the drawing-room, and to thein. And I looked, and for a morow about on the lake, taking care ment there was merely the hollow open that she should be well splashed at sockets ; but soon I saw starting into landing, all which she paid off by a them other eyes rnore gory and Sloody hundred girlish wiles, worth a thog- than those which it had cast a way, sand of mine for cunning and wit. and again it hurled them at me, and Only ten years ! and during that time again they grew up more red and horI have read—no, not much of that rible. Oh! that I could see the men either, but changed the whole of my and women about me with only one

millionth part of the definiteness with ty-six. Note him well; inconsistency which that scene presents itself to me is his, and yet he is consistently selfin my sleeping and waking dreams ! ish; mawkishness is his, and yet he

Many leaves are torn out here : in a endures the mawkishness of no one loose piece of paper, I found the follow- but himself; he is indifferent, yet not ing, written in a paler ink than the rest. tolerant; he does not contemplate, yet

Leonatus Posthumus was a liar. he never acts; he hates everything, The being who embodies all that is and here is his solitary praise ; becontradictory and false in creation; the cause in that everything is included being with whose nature all discords the one thing that deserves to be hatare in barmony, and everything that is ed-himself. Oh! that I were a lawbarmonious in discordance ; that being yer again! The ruin of my mind, in. is not a woman, but a young man, be- deed ! Ha ! ha! ha! that joke will tween the ages of nineteen and twen- be the death of me.

POWER OF EDUCATION.

ALL associations between animals of states that he has employed seventeen opposite natures are exceedingly in- years in this business of training createresting; and those who train animals tures of opposite natures to live togefor public exhibition know how attrac- ther in contentment and affection. tive are such displays of the power of And those years have not been unprodiscipline over the strength of instinct. fitably employed. It is not too much These extraordinary arrangements are to believe, that many a person who sometimes the effect of accident, and has given his halfpenny to look upon sometimes of the greater force of one this show, may have had his mind instinct over the lesser force of ano awakened to the extraordinary effects ther. A rat-catcher having caught a of habit and of gentle discipline, when brood of young rats alive, gave them he has thus seen the cat, the rat, the to his cat, who had just had her kit- mouse, the hawk, the rabbit, the guitens taken from her to be drowned. nea-pig, the owl, the pigeon, the starA few days afterwards, he was sur- ling, and the sparrow, each enjoying, prised to find the rats in the place of as far as can be enjoyed in confinethe drowned kittens, being suckled by nient, its respective modes of life, in their natural enemy.

The cat had a the company of others,—the weak hatred to rats, but she spared these without fear, and the strong without young rats to afford her the relief the desire to injure. It is impossible which she required as a mother. The to jinagine any prettier exhibition of rat-catcher exhibited the cat and her kindness than is here shown. The nurslings to considerable advantage. rabbit and the pigeon playfully conA somewhat similar exhibition exists tending for a lock of bay to make up at present. There is a little Menage- their nests ; the sparrow sometimes rie in London where such odd asso- perched on the head of the cat, and ciations may be witnessed upon a more sometimes on that of the owl,—each extensive scale, and more systematic- its natural enemy; and the mice playally conducted, than in any other col- ing about with perfect indifference to lection of animals with which we are the presence either of cat, or hawk, acquainted. Upon the Surrey side of or owl. The modes by which this Waterloo Bridge, or sometimes, though man has effected this, are, first, hy not so often, on the same side of keeping all the creatures well fed ; Southwark Bridge, may be daily seen and, secondly, by accustoming one a cage about five feet square, con- species to the society of the other at taining quadrupeds and birds. The a very early period of their lives. keeper of this collection, John Austin, The ferocious instincts of those who

« AnteriorContinuar »