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If we seek for one distinguishing passing him, man is incessantly cremark of philosophic advancement in ating bugbears and obstacles out of a nation or an individual, we shall unusual phenomena. He is credulous find it in the keen perception of what from his very impatience to get the constitutes evidence. There may be, truth, and his inexperience of the and there often is, enormous intel- ways in which truth can be sought. lectual activity and brilliant faculty Fearful curiosity is the origin of conjoined with a very imperfect sense superstitions ; solemn curiosity is the of evidence; so that splendid crea- origin of philosophies. tions of art and daring systems of The grossness and universality of philosophy often issue from minds the superstitions which have alarmwhich very faintly discriminate the ed and subdued mankind, have often elements of a demonstration. Some been made the subject of declamatimes this is congenital weakness; tion; but it would perhaps have sometimes it is due to imperfect cul- mitigated the contempt of some deture; men rely on incomplete evi- claimers, could they have known dence, because they have not learned that the credulity they are pitywhat complete evidence is. The ing had often as rational a basis as latter condition is noticeable in the the lofty speculations of a Pythaspeculations of early philosophers, goras, a Plato, or a Hegel. Surwho uniformly accepted verbal dis- rounded as we are by mysteries, and tinctions for valid proofs, simply be- helpless as we find ourselves amid cause they had not learned to dis- them, we are irresistibly prompted to criminate the illusory nature of ver- seek an explanation of them. So bal distinctions. In Aristotle, for strong is this desire, that, in all but example, we constantly find a refer- very acute or very cultivated minds, ence to what has been said on a any explanation which does not consubject. “ The usual point from tradict previous conceptions is eagerly which he starts in his inquiries,” to received. In the presence of moving quote Dr Whewell's account, is tables, the cause of the movement that we say thus or thus in common not being apparent, men cannot aclanguage. Thus, when he discusses quiesce in simple ignorance; they the question whether there be in any demand an explanation ; and the part of the universe a void, or space mere suggestion that spirits moved in which there is nothing, he inquires the table is readily welcomed. And first in how many senses we say that others, who reject with scorn the one thing is in another. He enu- suggestion of spirits, accept, on no merates many of these; we say the better evidence, the suggestion of part is in the whole, as the finger is “ electricity." in the hand ; again we say the species Supreme disregard to the accuracy is in the genus, as man is included in of the facts on which its conclusions animal; again the government of are based, is one of the marks of an Greece is in the King; and various uncultivated intellect. It is a part other senses are described and exem- of the credulousness continued from plified, but of all these the most proper childhood ; and is seen in the acceptis when we say a thing is in a vessel, ance, without misgiving, of any stateand generally in place.”*
ment of facts which is made confiIt is to a better apprehension of dently, and without obvious motive the nature of Evidence that the de- for deceit. Not only in matters of cline of superstition is due. The science, but in matters of daily life, figments of the imagination vanish is this credulity observed. You canbefore the realities of science ; and not step into an omnibus, or chat science itself becomes rapid in its with an acquaintance at the club, growth only because men have learned without hearing distinct, positive, the necessity of testing their conclu- and important statements respecting sions, and cross-examining the evi- the intentions of public men,-statedence. Subject to the fears anil ments involving their personal honphantasies of an imagination which our, perhaps the national safety, and is stimulated by the marvels encom- uttered with an air of conviction
* WHEWELL: History of the Inductive Sciences, Chap. I.
which would be ludicrous were it body, observed on it neither arms por not so sad ; yet if you happen to ask · head; another witness saw one arm, on what evidence the speaker relies, and a head the size of a man's fist; you find perhaps that there is no- a third, a physician, saw both arms thing better than the surmise or and head of the usual size." * gossip of Our Own Correspondent, or The scientific intellect is alert and of some“ ignorant ape walking about inquisitive as to proof. It is not conin breeches,” who undertakes to sup- tented with observing all the links in ply a newspaper with his interpreta- the chain are united, unless each link tion of the motives of persons he has is of firm iron. The logical sequence never secn, and whose characters he may be perfect, yet the premises all cannot know. The other day we wrong. In the early days of science, heard a lady speak with sorrowing important conclusions were formed severity of a popular author being upon evidence which no one thought “such a dreadful liar.” Surprised of testing. Explanations were abunat the charge, we asked on what dant; theories cost little; but actual evidence it was asserted. She was knowledge was small. Centuries of completely taken aback at the idea such philosophy produced little reof evidence being requisite; but sult; two centuries of philosophy, quickly returning to her position, she since men began to be rigorous as to confidently replied, “Oh! it is evidence, have produced the splendid known.” By whom known, and how results we know. known, remained a mystery. She Yet although the necessity of testhad heard this said ; had believed it ing evidence is fully recognised in without misgiving, and repeated it theory, it is still frequently neglected with conviction.
in practice even by men of science. The object of the foregoing re- On all hands we see men speculating marks has been to show how easily without undergoing the tedious but an inference may be mistaken for a indispensable process of verification. fact, and how habitually men declare They take too much for granted. they have seen what they have only They fail to distinguish between proinferred. Seeing is, in all cases, be- bability and proof; between hypolieving; but in all cases we must thesis and fact. If this laxity is noassure ourselves of what we have ticeable in science, no one will wonder seen, carefully discriminating it from at its existence in morals and politics : what we have not seen but only there, men who demand evidence are imagined, and carefully ascertaining considered "troublesome.” Neverwhether the facts seen by us are all theless there, as in science, we must the facts then present. It is by no guard against the tendency to believe means easy to see accurately any se- without evidence, and to mistake an ries of events; nor, when under any inference for a fact: there, as in strong emotion, is it easy to prevent science, we must be very cautious in the imagination from usurping the admitting the statement of a respectplace of vision. “Many individuals,” able witness to be a complete erpressays Liebig,“ overlook half the event sion of the facts, merely because his through carelessness; another adds character guarantees the veracity of to what he observes the creation of the statement as to what he saw. We his own imagination; whilst a third, do not impugn his veracity in declarwho sees sufficiently distinctly the ing that no character can be a guardifferent parts of the whole, con- antee for the accuracy and completefounds together things which ought ness of a description ; because the to be kept separate. In the Gorlitz description can only be of the facts trial, in Darmstadt, the female at- seen by him—the facts unseen are tendants who washed and clothed the beyond his testimony.
* LIEBIG : Letters on Chemistry, p. 28. On the opening of the Great Exhibition in 1851, the reporters in the newspapers differed almost as widely. One declared the weather to have been perfect—"not a drop of rain fell ;” another declared it “showery ;” a third described the four grey horses which drew the Queen's carriage ; a fourth called them four bays ; a gentleman whom we interrogated said the horses were two bays.
THE PAPAL GOVERNMENT.
A LITTLE time ago we were all creed, the creed of his home and of reading with avidity the sparkling, his country, in order to submit himwitty, and intelligent work of M. self to a foreign church, which, more About on the Temporal Sovereignty than any other church or priesthood of the Pope. M. About is a writer that ever existed, labours to repress who, like our own late Sydney Smith, all free intellectual movement-we mingles so much wit and pleasantry do not know, and do not seek to with his pungent remarks and his know. This is matter of personal grave condemnatory facts, that many and private history. We have merely readers are apt to think that they to observe that one who took up his have been amused rather than in- residence in Rome, to be close to the structed by him — enlivened more very source and fountain-head of rethan enlightened. To such readers ligious truth, and to be participant the confirmatory evidence of a sedate in the purest and most perfect reliEnglishman and a pious Catholic, gious worship, could not readily, or who has been long residing in Rome, without much provocation, have may be acceptable. We have to in- come forward as an evidence against troduce to them a work of a quite the temporal government of the sodifferent stamp from M. About's—a vereign under whose spiritual govgrave, conscientious, serious work, ernment he had been so solicitous to that aims at no wit, that sometimes place himself. dallies with the poetical aspect of Mr Hemans's work, as its title will things, that displays, wherever fit show, is of an ambitious order, and occasion presents, a gentle and not the present volume is to be regarded intolerant spirit of piety, but which only as a portion or instalment of it. never seeks to raise a smile. His Catholic Italy and its Institutions, unwilling testimony, extorted by ex- is a title, indeed, that opens a wide perience or personal observation, to and indefinite prospect. But as we the weakness and defects inherent in are concerned with that part only of the Papal Government, may be of the present volume which treats of value to those who still need to be the Pope’s civil government, it is not convinced that the two characters of incumbent on us to pass any judgCatholic priest and civil magistrate ment on the general design of the ought not to be combined in the work, or to say how far this volume same person.
has carried out its accomplishment. It is an unwilling or reluctant wit- Partly owing to the negligence of ness that we have before us. Charles a foreign printer, the book wears a Hemans, the author of this book, somewhat uninviting aspect. Auson of the poetess who has made his thors, we know, are abundantly name celebrated in England, is one repaid by the pleasant occupation of that small and most curious group their own work supplies to them; of English laymen who, in these later but if it were not for this reflection, days, from an exuberance of piety some feeling of melancholy and reor learning, have deserted the too gret would have stolen over us as we tame and scanty creed of Protestant- perused this volume. There is eviism for that fulness of religious faith deuce throughout of much industry, which they find in Catholicism. much observation, much reading, and What was the peculiar line of cogent an earnest conscientious spirit; yet reasoning which induced an intelli- all, we fear, will fail of accomplishgent Englishman not himself a ing any definite result. A precise priest, or solicitous to share in the definite object hardly seems to have honour or mysterious power of the been aimed at. His materials, expriesthood--to break with his earlier cellent in themselves, are brought
Catholic Italy: Its Institutions and Sanctuaries. Part I. Rome and the Papal Siutes. By CHARLES HEMANS.
confusedly before us; his combina- celebrations as the above described ; tion of purely historical matter but are its followers, therefore, the with contemporary events and mat- better? are the laborious classes in ter of personal observation, is not its cities (socially on a par with the skilfully contrived. We seem some majority of towns amongst the mountimes to be reading a book of travels, tains) the happier in the routine of sometimes a dry historical summary. their monotonous existence ? All There is a want of that ordinary this splendour and preparation for literary skill, of that tact and judg: the Frascati centenary, involving exment to select and combine, which penses considerable to a place of the may be seen in many a work not description, connecting itself with no evincing half the industry or thought object tangible or material, bore witgiven to the production of these pages. ness to an immortal interest, a spi
Mr Hemans does not parade his ritual reality; and, remembering it, theology, or give to it any disagree- I cannot but echo the exclamation of able prominence. To judge by the Madame de Stael, “que j'aime l'involume before us, the ästhetic side utile !”” of the Catholic worship—the poetry But what he and we should deand art which naturally unite with scribe as l'inutile, is a most serious its symbolic ritual-has made more business with this populace, whom impression on him than its peculiar we would benefit, not exactly by dogmas of theology. After describing taking away this, but by giving somethe mental stupor and degrading po- thing better, of which it fills the verty into which a certain Italian place. It occupies precisely that town is sunk, he brings through its place which each of us fills with the long straggling streets some gay and most earnest and solemn thought he imposing procession, and in the plea- is capable of. It could not be retained sure which this spectacle gives to him the moment it was recognised as and to the populace, he seems for a l'inutile. But we do not quote this moment to forgive or forget all that passage for the sake of entering into he has been telling us. A pious and controversy with the author — his charitable priesthood distributes alms gentle, grave, and gracious temper indiscriminately, and thereby culti- does not provoke to controversyvates sloth and pauperisin ; a pious but it may serve to show that it is and dogmatic priesthood distributes no iconoclast we have before us, and another kind of alms-its miserable that it is a very mild note of reprobadole of religious knowledge--and cul- tion we are to expect. tivates here also a mental sloth and We pass over the first chapter, pauperism. Mr Hemans can per- which is of an historical character, ceive this. But the cathedral of the and open the book at the second, town, “transformed into one great which bears the title, The_Papal pavilion of silk and damask hang- Court and Government. Mr Hemans ings”— but the triumphal arch, was in Rome at the time of the elec
constructed with admirable skill, tion of Pius IX. He stood with the with columns, attic, entablature, re
crowd before the Papal palace, saw liefs, and statuary, all of fragile ma
the cardinals come forth upon the terial, yet perfect in illusion”—but balcony, and heard one of them prothe statues of “the Saviour, and St nounce the glad tidings—“ Annuncio Sebastian, and St Roch, rising in vobis gaudium magnum, habemus colossal forms, prepared by means of Papam !” plaster for the heads, hands, or other parts exposed, and linen draperies “A tempest of jubilant sounds followsoaked in lime-water for the rest,” ed, formed by the chorus of xiras with --these steal away his heart, and, exulting military music, broken on at for a time, console his spirit. These
intervals by the deep booming of cannon
from a distance. Still were eyes fixed cannot be surrendered, though surrendered they must assuredly be, if
on that balcony, where another group
soon appeared, all the cardinals now the multitude are not for ever to re- standing before its balustrade, and wav. main children. Protestantism,” he ing bandkerchiefs in response to the sawrites, “ has done away with such lutes of the people, till amidst them was VOL. LXXXVUI.— NO. DXL.
brought forward one different in costume, had not even a residence in Rome, and still more in expression, distinguish and, coming hastily from his bishoped by a white cassock and rochet, a crim. ric of Imala, we are told that he went son silk mantle covering the shoulders, a gold embroidered stole, and white silked from another cardinal, and that
to the conclave in a carriage borrowskullcap. Placed in the centre of the when, on the evening of the second stately group, this personage was greeted with a tumult of applause and martial day, the scrutiny of the votes declared music, ordnance from the fortress, and
that the election had fallen upon him, pealing of bells from the churches. He "he almost fainted from emotion; raised his hand, went mutely through and it was with difficulty the cardithe action of blessing, and theo, support nals could support him to assume his ing his head on both hands as he leaned new robes behind the altar, and over the balustrade, gave way to his emo- receive in that gorgeous chapel at tion in a flood of tears."
the Quirinal, the inaugural act of On the evening of the same day that homage from the Sacred College he witnessed this military greeting called la prima adorazione.” The returned by apostolic blessing, our emotion was no doubt genuine, and author is on the bridge of St Angelo, all the exultant shouts of the multiand meets “a cortège of chariots, in tude were as genuine as such shoutthe most sumptuous of which sat the ing ever is, and there is some genuine new Pontiff, looking flushed with ex- significance, we suppose, in the “adorcitement, but perfectly self-possessed, ation," and the pompous coronation, an amiable smile on his benignant and the Accipe tiaram tribus coronis placid countenance, as he gave the ornatam, et scias te esse patrem blessing with uplifted hand, turning principum et regum, rectorem orbis, to the right and the left, that all in terra vicarium Salvatoris nostri might receive it and see him. Oh, Jesu Christi, cui est honor et gloria quanto è bello ! was the comment Í in secula seculorum. But after all heard on his appearance.”
is over the Pope retires behind the Then came the solemnities of the scenes to an existence which seems coronation, amongst which our poeti- divided between a monotonous roucal catholic and lover of symbols does tine and very perplexing negotiations. not fail to mention the smoking flax, “Little, indeed,” says our author, “is “thrice displayed and thrice consum- the Papal throne to be coveted for ed, at the end of a wand carried in the sake of the splendour or unlimitthe procession before the enthroned ed indulgences allowed to temporal Pontiff
, with the loudly chanted princes. The Pope lives without admonition : Pater sancte, sic transit liberty, shut up in the circle of pregloria mundi /”
scribed duties, bound by the same Alas! the gloria mundi does not obligations of penitence, fasting, and even wait for death to extinguish it. confession as the humblest ecclesiasIt dies down very rapidly-dies down tic. None of the distractions or in the interior of that palace to which festivities of other courts are allowed the crowned Pope retires. It is gone to his; every meal is taken by him long before the Cardinal Camerlingo alone; and he is truly (as Gerbet (in the performance of another sym- observes) 'imprisoned in the sanctity bolic rite which our author mentions) of his character, finding that to him enters the silent chamber and strikes the Papal throne becomes the column three times on the brow of the mute of a stylite.' pope, and, receiving
no answer, pro- Some of our readers may like to claims that the Papal throne is know a little more of the interior of vacant, and that a vicar of Christ has a Papal palace. Those who have again to be elected. It is at best a derived the idea of it from the luxuweary, anxious, unsocial existence to rious reign of Leo X. may learn how which a Pope is now elected. Look- staid, demure, and methodical a funcing at it from a worldly point of view, tionary a modern pope is expected to it presents nothing enviable. This be. Pius IX., formerly Cardinal Mastai,
"His court, though externally splendid, was, it is said, most unexpectedly is austerely regulated, and his privy elevated to the Papal throne. He purse is estimated at not more than 4260