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volumes, before he could convince the world of the soundness of his doctrine. Nay, there are some that even still dispute it; but their authority is now of littlo weight: their arguments are deemed so very futile and ill-founded, as scarcely to deserve mention or notice. Be it known then( for except amongst thinking people it is not generally known), that this single point about innate ideas, (Locke maintaining the negative) caused one of the greatest changes that ever stirred or affected the general interests of mankind, and eventually will never perhaps cease to operate, till the whole of the systems, laws and institutions of the civilized world are formed and finally fixed oa a different basis.
Locke told his readers that a blind man could not be made to understand any thing about colors, nor a deaf man of sounds. He inquired of the latter what was his idea of sound? The deaf man could not give any rational answer. The same question was put to the other person and a proper reply was given. But when this blind man was asked his idea of scarlet, he paused, and inquired whether it was any thing he could hear? The reply, of course was, no. Any thing that he could feel? The answer given him was that he might lay his hand upon it, but they thought that color could not be ascertained by feeling alone, as that depended on the differences of the surfaces on which the said color was laid. For instance, the color called scarlet placed or painted on a piece of rough or smooth board, or on any hard substance, would excite a very different sensation from a piece of cloth, though both of the same color. The question was repeated, in order to ascertain whether or not he could form any notion of what was meant by scarlet. It was, however, told him that scarlet was one of the brightest and most showy of all colors, and that the question was put to him merely to know his opinion of the word; wishing him to declare what he thought scarlet meant, or what it was like? "Like" said this blind man (after pausing a short time), "Like! I think it must be like the sound of a trumpet!" This answer was as good a one, and as consistent as could possibly be expected, considering that the poor man was not possessed of the sense of sight—the only sense that could qualify him to judge of colors. Being blind from his infancy, how could he form any distinct notions of things not within the scope of his knowledge? Of colors he absolutely knew nothing. As well might a man be supposed capable of describing a country he had never seen or heard of. And yet matters as gross and as improbable as this, we often hear and frequently read of:—nay, we many times witness such improprieties without being aware of them! Now to explain this assertion, suppose, when wishing to describe a fine woman, we say "she is as beautiful as an angel!", Perhaps the reader does not yet see any impropriety in the expression; but surely it is somewhat strange (we will not say wrong) but very strange, when describing an object that may be seen every day, thus to compare it to an object never seen by either of the parties speaking of it.
by reversing the order of the objects compared; thus —"An AffgeT is as beautiful as a superlatively fine woman!" Now here the simile is perfect; the object not seen is compared to one we have knowledge of, and probably very often see. In some cases similes of this kind are excusable; nay, they may be admired is enhancing the value of the poetry: Shakespeare abounds with comparisons of this sort; Hamlet, even when he is philosophizing, says "What a piece of work is man! —In action how like an angel!" and Other things of the same kind are spoken of by this* philosopher.*
It may also be mentioned, that similar phrases have often been used by lovers and love-sick poets, without anybody thinking- of the blunders thus committed. To be sure poets and lovers have a kind of general licence tQ say whatever they please; they have each of them their proper characters to maintain. Common sense, would be common place; therefore the inventive faculties must be exercised; the lover should be something' less than common sense,—the poet, something above it. In fact, a true doting lover is out of character when lie acts like a sensible man; therefore improprieties in language are quite natural, and as necessary as blunders to an Irishman. By the bye, let us produce as an
, • It should be said—''By this poetic philosopher!"—for #bOj (exoept poetic philosophers) erer earn or talked of the actum of ANGEL!? If We except only the scholiasts of the dark ages who expended their lives in the discussion of such questions as these. How many angels can stand on the point of a needle? Can an angel exist in vacuo? and, supposing it possible, would the vacuum be perfect? Can more than one angel exist in the same physical point at OB* and the same moment? &o. tie.
instance, Romeo; let us notice a trait of character (in other words a beauty !) which has hitherto escaped the most acute critics, that ever smelt out the numerous beauties of Shakespeare. It is here introduced to establish the reasoning above stated—that lovers may say almost any thing they like,—any thing, however improbable, and be still in character.
This celebrated character falls in love with two different ladies in the course of a few hours. Then again he loved where it might be expected he would have rejected the object! He leaves Rosalind, whose family had -nothing'to say of him but what is in his favour, and he runs half crazy for Juliet, whose father and friends detest even his very name. "What's'in a:name? a rose by any other name would be as sweet." Was not this a hair-brained proceeding? The oldiFriar observes "Holy Saint Francis, what a cbange is this"?" and well might he cay so; and yet all such changes are natural in a lover.
As to the quickness of the change, sagacious critics may say that it is, on that account, a greater beauty, and in every respect worthy of Shakespeare; and i* one-of those manifold proofs of his being a most profound judge of human nature.
It is maintained that men, like Romeo, of the most ardent tempers and complexions, whose inflammable spirits soonest take fire and burn the fiercest; they of all men, it is said, are most apt to change the objects of their adoration! In other words, that your most ardent lovers are the most fickle and least to be depended on. Besides the authority of Shakespeare and his critics, long experience will serve to convince
every candid man of the truth of this "remark. But. though mere matter of fact, it is, perhaps, a lamentable truth to acknowledge. What will the ladies say on the subject? How will they make their choice? Where give their preference? To ardent love and inconstancy, -or simple love and lasting affection? With one or the other they must be content, for without some alloy the banquet is not to be expected: so says experience. Ladies take your choice.
Yet, if advice on such a subject can be listened to, if ladies can be content with honest, every-day love, they will do well to take a few hints from these pages; they will reduce their hopes and expectations within the bounds of practical rule and positive fact. They will no longer look for that glaring, holiday kind of admiration, which is as apt to change, as the weather on a windy day :. 'tis now sunshine, anon passing clouds shadow the whole face of the horizon: in short, all is uncertainty; nothing to be relied upon.
By way of explanation, a few more remarks may be hazarded on the character of Romeo.. From the hastiness and violence of his love, a heedless critic might pronounce him to be an Irishman: love has been long considered the national and regular trade of Irishmen; and making love is as natural to them as the brogue, or the making of blunders. Now Borneo is rich both in the first and last of these qualifications.
Only hear him in the garden scene where he exclaims—